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Strong Uptick in Adoption of Electronic Health Records

Munich Re Life US Accelerated Underwriting Survey Confirms Commitment to Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

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    June 2023

    Munich Re Life US recently conducted its third survey* of U.S. life insurance carriers to identify new and emerging trends in the U.S. individual life accelerated underwriting (AUW) market. One goal of the survey was to chart the adoption and usage of digital health data, including electronic health records (EHRs), in AUW programs. The 2022 survey found a sharp rise in the usage of EHRs in accelerated underwriting.  


    • EHRs showed the steepest adoption (+38%) among all digital health data categories compared to the 2020 survey.
    • Over 90% of carriers surveyed were currently using or evaluating EHRs.
    • While EHRs were used primarily with human intervention at the time of the survey, most carriers planned to eventually use EHRs in their AUW rules engines, ideally without underwriter involvement. 

    EHR Adoption Rates Rise 38%

    The strong upward trend between the 2020 and 2022 surveys can be attributed partially to the pandemic, when many carriers loosened AUW eligibility requirements to make non-invasive underwriting available to a broader segment of applicants. Carriers needed to quickly pivot their underwriting processes and integrate digital health data to feel more confident issuing this additional coverage without traditional labs and exams.  

    The EHR usage trends below were captured in our 2022 and prior AUW surveys. The specific question asked was: “What tools and information sources are used or being evaluated for use, to triage or to classify risks in the accelerated pipeline?” The results shown in the graphic to the right reflect the responses related to “electronic health record” usage.
    Infographic showing EHR adoption rates from 2018 to 2022.

    Usage and Evaluation of EHRs in Accelerated Underwriting

    Companies surveyed indicated that EHRs were primarily used for AUW triage, kick-out to full underwriting, and post-issue audits. EHR usage in AUW rules engines was limited and required human underwriter review. Participants indicated that their most desired EHR improvements were higher hit rates, more complete data, and easier use. In the future, most survey respondents plan to use EHRs for decisioning directly within their AUW rules engine.

    While EHRs have experienced a significant increase in usage over the past several years, they were still being used on an occasional or non-routine basis more than any other AUW tool. Munich Re expects routine usage to grow as EHR data delivery and hit rates continue to improve.   
    Figure showing EHR usage & evaluation in 2022.

    Continual Improvement

    Munich Re Life US, through its strategic acquisition of digital health records leader Clareto, is leading the way in developing EHRs and other digital solutions to deliver reliable medical data in the absence of labs and exams and to optimize straight through processing rates.

    Visit our EHR Information Hub or contact Dave Goehrke, 2nd Vice President of Underwriting (contact card below), to learn the latest about the evolution of EHRs in accelerated underwriting programs. 

    *Munich Re Life US accelerated underwriting (AUW) surveys were conducted in 2018, 2020, and 2022 and provide a vital snapshot of the state of AUW as companies explore opportunities to increase AUW eligibility and acceleration rates. The 2022 AUW survey represented results from 31 companies, all with an AUW program in production as of June 2022. Earlier surveys had a similar number of participants, with slight differences in the mix of carriers represented.