New upgrades to the life insurance testing panel
As a leader in the life insurance industry, we are committed to ensuring our clients are using the most current and most accurate laboratory testing. Quest Diagnostics, a leader in diagnostic testing is passionate about developing innovative, ground-breaking tests, products and tools to provide value to clients, including our recent approval as the first commercial laboratory authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to administer a Zika test for emergency use.
As part of the Quest Diagnostics family, we have access to a medical and scientific staff of more than 700 M.D.s and Ph.D.s. Their expertise drives the innovation of new laboratory tests and ensures our laboratories are testing with leading-edge equipment, analytes and methodologies.
We are excited to announce several upgrades to the current insurance testing panel.
- HIV Fourth Generation – Effective August 1, 2016, we will be converting to the HIV-1/2 Antigen and Antibodies, Fourth Generation assay. All positive screens will be confirmed by the Geenius rapid HIV-1/HIV-2 antibody differentiation assay. Advantages of moving to this platform include:
- This new protocol is the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommended testing algorithm.1
- Detection of HIV P24 antigen in addition to HIV antibodies
- Earlier detection period (average 5-7 days) before Third Generation immunoassays
- Geenius rapid differentiation test is much faster than the current Western Blot; we will identify not only HIV-1, but HIV-2; we will experience fewer “Indeterminate” results
- Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) – Beginning in February of this year, ExamOne updated our insurance profile to include HbA1c testing on all applicants. This has become the “gold standard” for diabetes testing and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended that HbA1c now may be used to diagnose pre-diabetes and diabetes in individuals.2 We are proud to be the first laboratory in the life insurance industry to incorporate this into the standard testing panel.
Among carriers not currently opting to receive results on a screening basis, we find that 73.5% of pre-diabetics (HbA1c 5.7-6.4), and 17.8% of presumptive diabetics (HbA1c 6.5+) pass unreported to underwriting. Under the most common reflexing criteria, younger diabetics (especially under age 40) are proportionately the least likely to be detected, although due to the higher prevalence of diabetes at older ages, the majority of undetected cases are among applicants aged 55 and older.
- Fructosamine – As a part of our commitment to providing the most precise and current testing, we will be removing fructosamine from our insurance profile effective July 10, 2016. Fructosamine is not widely used in clinical medicine due to a lack of standardization, hence it is not recommended for the diagnosis of diabetes. By adding HbA1c to the insurance profile, we are offering a more inclusive test that identifies those applicants at risk of pre-diabetes or diabetes.
We appreciate your partnership and are committed to providing you with the data you need to accurately evaluate your applicants’ risk. By making these upgrades to our standard testing panel, you will receive the most up-to-date, precise testing on your applicants helping you make more informed decisions.