Health IQ was founded in 2013 after its co-founder, Munjal Shah experienced chest pains after a race. He decided he didn't want to die early so he lost some weight and focused on his health.
His idea was to reward people who lived healthier lifestyles with lower health insurance premiums instead of subsidizing those who care less about their health.
There was just one problem. The health insurance industry is heavily regulated. There was no way Health IQ could provide lower health insurance rates, and ultimately, lower life insurance rates, for healthier people.
In America, it is the healthy who subsidizes the less healthy. As a result, they pivoted to figuring out how to offer lower life insurance premiums for healthier people instead.
Please note that as of 2H 2023, Health IQ seems to be in financial trouble, laying off hundreds of employees in 2022, supposedly not paying mandatory WARN Act pay, and not paying its vendors. This is more of an issue for Health IQ's vendors and investors, and not clients. But nonetheless, it's worth being aware of.
Here is a Health IQ review summarizing its business and product offering. Given the financial difficulties of the company, I advise looking elsewhere for life insurance benefits.
My favorite life insurance platform to get real quotes is PolicyGenius. You simply input your profile on PolicyGenius and you will get multiple customized life insurance quotes all in one place. Both my wife and I used PolicyGenius to get matching $750,000 term life insurance policies during the pandemic.
The Health IQ Cost Advantage
Intuitively, it makes sense that the healthier you are, the lower your life insurance premium. Healthier people tend to live longer, and are therefore less costly to insure. Less healthy people tend to die sooner, thereby being more costly to insure.
The same logic goes for banks charging a higher interest rate to less creditworthy borrowers. The more money conscious you can become as a borrower by never missing a payment and properly managing your balance sheet, the higher your credit health and the lower your interest rate over time.
As a father of two young kids, my goal is to live as long as possible to see my boy grow up to be an independent man and my girl to grow up and be an independent woman. I hope that by playing tennis three times a week and watching what I can eat, I might be able to hold a grandchild one day. Life insurance is a must for me and my family.
But I've been disappointed about my life insurance experience since I started looking to re-up my term policy after he was born in 2017. I got bait and switched by a couple carriers who lured me in with lower teaser rates only to charge me 3-4X more once I went through their entire underwriting process.
With Health IQ, I feel their mission of creating a more health conscious society and their goal of rewarding those who are more health conscious aligns with my own personal philosophy.
Let's get into the details of how Health IQ can help save you money on life insurance.
1) A focus on health conscious people.
Whether you are a world class athlete or a desk jockey looking to get in shape, Health IQ knows that health conscious people get better rates than the average American.
When signing up, they will offer you a short quiz to test your health intelligence in order to direct you to the most appropriate life insurance career. As of now, they categorize potential applicants into the following activity categories:
- Long distance runners
- Weight Lifting
- HIIT Athletes
- and several more
2) Expanding life insurance partnership network.
When I first met the founding team in person in 2016, they only worked with one carrier. Today they have four special rate carriers across two main lines of insurance. Each year, they tend to add 1-3 new carriers who offer special rates for the health conscious.
These carriers give around 8% off for the health conscious who pass their quiz and can prove certain physical activity e-proof (Runkeeper data, Strava data, etc.). See chart for more details:
3) Partnerships with carriers with special underwriting considerations.
In addition to the rate discount, these carriers have also given Health IQ special underwriting considerations that can keep clients in a better rate class and save them an additional 25%. Here are a couple examples that might trip up people who use other carriers, but not if they use Health IQ:
a) Clients don’t get downgraded just because you have family history of heart disease. So long as your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar are within range, you can still qualify to the better rate classes. In essence, Health IQ has convinced carrier to give consumers health credits to offset their debits.
b) Clients get more leniency for BMI if you weight lift. For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s BMI was 33.9 (almost morbidly obese) when he won Mr. Olympia. But BMI doesn’t distinguish between muscle and fat. Health IQ helps with this contradiction.
See chart for more benefits:
4) More thorough underwriting process.
Health IQ encourages their clients to get fully underwritten policies. Yes, it is more of hassle to get a medical exam, but policies that don’t require medical exams usually cost 1.5x to 4.0x per unit of coverage (the rate paid for $100 of life insurance coverage a year) because carries take more risk with less information.
Many brokers misquote a customer upfront or only ask five questions. Their goal is to get you in the door with a lower, but inaccurate quote which results in a price change later in the process. This happened to me. Health IQ asks 30 questions upfront to try and avoid surprises later.
5) Strives to get the best rate possible.
Health IQ shops the market and ensures that no matter what the client gets the best rate in the market. They do this by shopping up to 30 additional major carriers, including Prudential, Pacific Life, Securian, Transamerica, Mutual of Omaha, Principal, and many others. The more carriers can compete for your business, the lower your potential costs.
The Growth Of Health IQ
When I first met with Health IQ in 2016, I had some doubts about their ability to help health conscious people get lower life insurance premiums.
Just look at the inefficient health insurance marketplace. I pay roughly $21,000 a year in health insurance for my family of three in premiums ($1,750/month), despite all of us being fit with no chronic illnesses.
I don't mind subsidizing those who make less than 4X the poverty rate. But when over 65% of Americans are overweight or obese, it seems we have an incentive problem. It's much better policy to incentivize people to get in better shape with lower premiums, and that is Health IQ's goal.
Health IQ has gone from selling $500 million in coverage in 2016 to over $15 billion in coverage. But again, the company seems to have run into financial difficulties in 2022 and 2023, so be aware.
Tthey've built a mortality database over the past five years. It is now statistically significant in helping convince carriers to further lower rates for their customers. The longer they collect and optimize the mortality database, the more impactful it becomes to help customers save. Their mortality database is one of their key competitive advantages.
Helping Consumers Save On Health Insurance
Because of Health IQ's special considerations, they've now helped 70% of their health conscious customers receive the best classification – double the industry average of 35%. This is on their actual policies in force not the quoted rate class.
If you are looking to be rewarded for your health conscious, check out Health IQ and see if they can help you protect your future today. The more you can alleviate your financial worries, the more you can focus on living your best life today.
I highly recommend understanding all the different life insurance options so you can make the best choice for you and your family.
My favorite life insurance platform to get real quotes is PolicyGenius. You simply input your information and you will get multiple customized life insurance quotes all in one place. PolicyGenius is the easiest way to get affordable term life insurance quotes.
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