COVID-19 – KEEP UP TO DATE WITH CARRIER CHANGES
Good news in their recent update:
As the pandemic continues to impact the way we do business, our medical underwriting team continually monitors COVID-19 data, trends and research, looking for any opportunity to revise our guidelines.
This research has resulted in us being able to modify our guidelines to underwrite certain co-morbidities. This applies to both new submissions and cases that have been paused or postponed.
We have identified some medical conditions where we believe cases may proceed or be reopened under specific circumstances.
Going forward, cases with only one of the allowed co-morbidities noted below may be allowed if the co-morbidity is the only reason the case was, or would be, paused or postponed, and the applicant is under 70 years of age.
|Diabetes||•||Allow history of Type 2 diabetes showing optimal control (A1C less than or equal to 7.0%).|
|Cardiovascular/ Cerebrovascular (stroke)||•||Allow cases other than true coronary artery disease, cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure or stroke history.|
|Respiratory/Asthma||•||Allow history of allergic asthma.|
|Malignancies||•||Allow Stage 1 or remote history of cancer (greater than 5 years)|
|Immunosuppression medication||•||Allow individuals taking these medications, unless other co-morbid conditions exist|
|Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease||•||Allow if UC or CD is in remission over 1 year|
|Hypertension||•||Allow controlled hypertension (less than or equal to 155/95)|
We have already pulled a list of in-house paused and postponed applications that fit the parameters and are starting to review them. Please see Bulletin 20-074 for additional details.
We also want to note that for applicants looking for additional flexibility in completing their exam requirements outside of their home or office, AIG has partnered with ExamOne to allow in-person visits to any of the 2,000+ Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Centers nationwide.
This is a trying time for everyone, and we appreciate having the opportunity to serve you and your clients. We will update you as soon as we have additional news or changes.
American National distributed this COVID-19 Underwriting update:
Due to the difficultly of obtaining medical exams and APS requirements in many areas, and with the sudden closure of EMSI, American National has decided to continue its expanded COVID-19 accelerated underwriting criteria. Learn more.
Temporarily expanding its acceleration criteria without the usual medical exam and APS requirements. These changes are not applicable in New York. In order to expedite these additional cases:
- Ages 50 and below
- Face amounts $100,000 to $1,000,000
- Paper and Electronic applications
- Many will have automatic table ratings applied
- If medical exam or APS can be obtained at a later date, they will re-underwrite to see if better class is warranted.
- Effective April 1st:
- All new business (excluding New York)
- Including all cases that were submitted in February and March that are still pending an exam or APS (excluding New York).
Can a client still receive life insurance if they have traveled internationally?
- Any imminent planned foreign travel will postpone the approval process.
- Anyone returning from international travel will be postponed for 30 days.
How will a client be rated if they are social distancing/self isolating?
- If the client is self-isolating/social distancing with COVID-19 symptoms suggested by a medical professional; and is waiting to be tested for COVID-19 or for the disease to present, the underwriting process will be postponed.
- If the client has a history of self-isolating/ social distancing with symptoms based on medical advice or confirmed isease, fully recovered without any complications, and has returned to normal activities – Postpone if less than or equal to 1 month. Underwrite normally, if over 1 month.
- If the client is in self-isolation due to possible or known contact to COVID-19, without symptoms, no diagnosis, and has returned to normal activities – Postpone if less than or equal to 1 month. Underwrite normally, if over 1 month.
- If client is adhering to the government lockdown, with no other reason to self-isolate, without sympt0o0ms or diagnosis, and would otherwise be continuing normal activities – Underwrite normally.
American National presented answers to their most common question: Are there any age restrictions due to COVID 19?
- Ages 80+: POSTPONE all cases until COVID-19 pandemic contained
- Ages 60-79: POSTPONE all cases that require a rating of higher than table 4 or flat extra of $5 per thousand or more for a medical reason.
- Ages 70+: Good Health Statement required on all cases.
Visit the American National COVID-19 update page
New temporary measures to mitigate the difficulty of completing insurance exams and obtaining medical records. Effective April 8th, they will implement alternative solutions to underwrite without exams! Remember to visit LGA’s COVID-19 page to see all of their announcements, e-processes and underwriting changes.
Paperless solutions: Take advantage of Legal & General America’s online tools and digital processes that can help you navigate the current situation.
LGA can help you work remotely with these resources.
Temporary life insurance underwriting guideline changes:
-Requiring a Statement of Good Health on delivery of every new policy
(excludes voluntary payroll deduction policies)
-Extending our underwriting window by 30 days to allow additional time for exams
to be completed and medical records to be received. Any premium collected with
the application will still be returned after 60 days.
-Modifying guidelines for travel, issue ages and ratings
Travel guideline modifications for countries with a level 3 or 4 advisory as noted by
the U.S. Department of State https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/
traveladvisories.html/ (Does not apply to states who prohibit underwriting based
-Recent Travel – if applicant is returning from a country with a level 3 or 4 advisory,
we will not consider coverage until 30 days after their return
-Future Travel – if applicant has current plans to travel to a country with a level 3 or
4 advisory, we will not consider coverage until 30 days after their return
-Issue age and substandard rating limitations temporarily not accepting
applications for the following:
Ages 60-79 with rating greater than Table 2 or any flat extra due to a
Ages 80 and above
Revised COVID-19 policy delivery requirements as follows:
- We will no longer require a Health Questionnaire on delivery
- For ages 66 and over, we will require a Declaration of Insurability be completed on delivery. Money can be collected only if the insured answers “No” to all questions.
- For all 1035 cases, we will require a Declaration of Insurability be completed prior to going for 1035 funds
We have resumed accepting and processing applications on individuals up to and including age 90.
John Hancock John Hancock has partnered with Human API to empower applicants to quickly and
securely share their electronic health data – Getting started with Human API.
- Establishing an alternative to paramed and/or exam when not obtainable
- Expanded Express Track streamlined underwriting process to include paper applications with no need for a telephone interview
- Providing capabilities for EHR access when APS is not available
- Policy delivery enhancements
Inforce Policies – Effective May 15, 2020, if customers are experiencing a hardship and having difficulty paying their premium due to challenges presented by COVID-19, John Hancock will provide a total grace period of 90 days.
Any premium payments received within the 90-day grace period will be applied directly to your customers’ policy and coverage will be automatically extended through their next paid through date.
John Hancock has extended the long-term care premium due date 61 days beyond the policy grace period. If a premium payment is received within that extended timeframe, coverage will be automatically reinstated. Additionally, they have extended the election deadline period 61 days past the dates indicated in a clients rate action notification packages, allowing them more time to make a decision in response to the premium rate increase.
We have revised Lincoln’s COVID-19 temporary underwriting guidelines. The full list of changes can be found on our Go Digital site, but these positive updates include:
- Increasing internal retention to $10 million through age 59 for Preferred Plus, Preferred and Standard rate classes only, from $5 million through age 65.
- Improving flat extra offer capacity to $7.50 per thousand, from $5.00 per thousand.
- Removing the restrictions for Lincoln Care Coverage® ABR and Lincoln LifeEnhance® ABR.
- Removing the restrictions for travel and the future travel amendment.
Lincoln’s Underwriting & New Business is committed to providing a superior customer experience and we continue to enhance our digital capabilities to deliver streamlined processes with quicker turnaround times. On July 20, we launched an online interview option for Lincoln TermAccel® that is both private and convenient. After ticket submission, clients can now choose to complete their application online or by phone. Adoption of the new, mobile-friendly, online experience has been robust.
That’s why we’re also excited to share today that our LincXpress® ticket submission process will be enhanced on August 24. Clients will now have a choice in how they provide their application information to Lincoln – online or by phone – for LincXpress ticket submissions, including single-life UL, IUL, VUL, and Lincoln LifeElements® Level Term cases. The new online option will enable clients to complete their interview in privacy, at a time most convenient to them.
As we continue to monitor the external environment, we remain committed to upholding our leading-edge underwriting principles while ensuring we’re operating responsibly.
As COVID-19 cases increase within the United States and around the world, Mutual of OMaha is issuing the following underwriting guidance for life products.
- If the proposed insured or any member of his or her household has traveled or resided outside of the US within the past 30 days, the application will be postponed until 30 days following their return.
- If the proposed insured or any member of his or her household has come into close contact with anyone known to the insured to have tested positive for COVID-19, the application will be postponed until 30 days following their exposure.
- In addition, anyone testing positive for the COVID-19 virus or those who have been hospitalized or quarantined for the virus will have their application postponed for a minimum of 90 days.
As Mutual of Omaha carefully reviews our underwriting processes and procedures, which continue to evolve during this current situation, we would like to announce the following changes of Life Underwriting effective immediately.
Accelerated Underwriting Program: We are increasing the maximum face amount limit to $2 million.
- Issue Ages 18-55
- Face Amounts: $100,000 – $2,000,000
- Available Products: Term Life Answers, Income Advantage IUL and Life Protection Advantage IUL
- Speed eTicket (Drop Ticket) process only
Mutual/United of Omaha will now mail all life insurance policies direct to customers. Read the complete message for more details.
Important LTC Update
- Is Mutual of Omaha accepting LTC applications for age 65+ again?
Yes. As of June 15, 2020, we are accepting applications in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
- AS OF 7/6: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island
- AS OF 7/20: Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia.
We will continue to prequalify applicants 64 and younger. The prequalification will be good for 60 days. If the health of the client changes or the prequalification is past 60 days, you will need to prequalify the applicant again.
Our position on COVID-19:
- We do not limit ages of the applicant, such as age 70 or 80
- We do not limit table ratings
- We do not limit riders available including Long-Term Care Rider
- We do not require Good Health Statements on all policies
- We accept healthcare worker applicants who have not experienced or tested positive for COVID-19 that qualify with a Good Health Statement.
Are you making any underwriting changes as a result of COVID-19?
- This continues to be a fluid process. Our Life Underwriting team is closely monitoring new customers
who apply for life insurance, especially those who may have traveled where the risk of COVID-19 is
- New customers that have planned or anticipated travel outside of the U.S. until January 1, 2021, will
be postponed for 30 days from the date of return to the U.S., provided there is no other future travel
of concern even though at one time was acceptable by our International guidelines prior to the current
- Underwriting for proposed insureds who have had a positive test for COVID-19 without
hospitalization will be postponed for 30 days.
- Underwriting for proposed insureds who have experienced a COVID-19 infection without
testing for diagnosis and no hospitalization will be postponed for 30 days.
- Underwriting for proposed insureds who were hospitalized for COVID-19 will be postponed for at
least 180 days (6 months). They should have favorable post-discharge pulmonary function testing.
- Though not a direct response to COVID-19, as of March 20, the limitations on maximum age and face
amount in Intelligent Underwriting (IU) applications have been lifted. Clients are now eligible for an IU
application within product guidelines, with the exclusion of Survivorship IUL and CareMatters.
Previously, the maximum age and face amount were 70 years and $5 million. We are excited to be
able to expand the capabilities of our Intelligent Underwriting platform for our financial professionals
New accepted alternatives for medical records and medical requirements:
- LabPiQture through ExamOne, which provides up to seven years of lab and test results from an applicant’s doctor through Quest, as well as past insurance lab results
- Electronic medical records (EMRs) through Clareto and Human API
- Patient Portals
- Proposed insured’s access to their own medical records
- Physicals with labs completed within the last 24 months
New permanent Intelligent Underwriting guidelines
Though not a direct response to COVID-19, as of March 20, the limitations on maximum age and face amount in Intelligent Underwriting (IU) applications have been lifted. With this permanent enhancement, clients are now eligible for an IU application within product guidelines, with the exclusion of Survivorship IUL and CareMatters®. Previously, the maximum age and face amount were 70 years and $5 million. We are excited to expand the capabilities of our Intelligent Underwriting platform for our financial professionals and customers.
New permanent acceleration guidelines:
- Ages 18 to 50 applying for face amounts of $100,000 to $2 million on eligible products
- Ages 51 to 60 applying for face amounts of $100,000 to $1 million on eligible products
- U.S. citizen or permanent resident (10-year green card status) or acceptable visas are eligible for acceleration
- Risk classes of Nontobacco Preferred Plus, Nontobacco Preferred, Nontobacco Standard Plus, Tobacco Preferred and the newly added Standard rate class
Other underwriting programs with no medical requirements:
OneAmerica will be moving back to their traditional age and amount requirements on July 1st! Read the announcement for details.
Temporary changes to their business limits, effective May 1st.
- Ages 70 and above
Cases not meeting these criteria will be postponed
- Only single pay is allowed
- COB must also be single pay
- Annuity-Funded Whole Life and Asset Care 2 & 3 remain available
- The full suite of Annuity Care products remains available (COB pay periods remain as they are today on annuities)
- No rated cases allowed
- They are suspending the following:
- Asset Care Recurring Premium Whole Life
- Asset Care 4
- Asset Care with Return of Premium
- Ages 69 and below
- Ages 70 and above
No changes to current guidelines
For ages 70 and above, cases not meeting these criteria will be postponed.
Certificate of Insurability
For all underwritten products, both traditional and CARE Solutions, we will require a Certificate of Insurability (COI) upon policy delivery for all sales – both Cash on Delivery (COD) and Cash with App (CWA). The COI or Statement of Health is included with the policy delivery packet. The COI must be received before the policy can be put in force/paid.
Revising Age Limits
We are now able to extend offers to PL Promise GUL* and PL Promise Term applicants who are:
- Aged 71-80 at Standard or better risk class, and
- Aged 70 and below up to Table Four.
We will not accept any new applications outside of that criteria until the temporary restrictions are lifted.
See additional information: COVID-19 underwriting update.
They also released this COVID-19 Disaster Relief – Repayment Plan bulletin.
On May 1, 2020, we made changes to our underwriting requirements to streamline the process and improve speed of service—including updated age & amount guidelines, elimination of the examiner’s reports, and new supplemental health questionnaires for certain conditions to reduce Attending Physician Statements (APSs). These changes are unrelated to COVID-19.
Age and rating limitations:
- Age 80+: Postpone
- Ages 70 – 79: Must be Standard or better
- Ages 60 – 69: Must be Table 4 or better
- Ages 0 – 59: Will consider all risks through Table 4
Applicants age 0 – 59 who are rated over Table 4 will be considered on a case-by-case basis if there is no significant underlying medical condition or treatment that makes them more susceptible to COVID-19 death. These medical conditions and treatments include, but are not limited to:
- Heart disease
- Significant cancer in the last 10 years
- Obesity rated higher than Table 4
- Pulmonary disease (COPD, Asthma, etc.)
- Autoimmune or Immunosuppressive Disease
- Any medication that causes immunosuppression (Biologic, Prednisone/Steroid, Methotrexate, etc.)
Protective is keeping you informed with their COVID-19 Resource Center for complete information on Protective’s response.
Includes information regarding business continuity, annuity business submissions, life and annuity policy delivery requirements can be found on their NEW COVID-19 Resource Center.
Protective extended their grace periods for customers impacted by COVID-19.
Prudential distributed this message to let you know how they are helping to support you and your clients.
Click the link to learn about Prudential’s eCapabilities!
Prudential announced changes in underwriting and new business. Highlights include:
- PruFast Track face amount increased to $3MM
- Discontinuing the need for medical exams/labs, where possible, for new life insurance policies with face amounts of less than or equal to $3M for individuals 60 years of age and under.
- Pru will order medical requirements
- Human API usage
- Implementing a full end-to-end process to electronically deliver policies from application/submission to policy placement.
Prudential slide presentation from the TMA/Prudential webinar. This presentation outlines Prudential’s digital end to end capabilities; along with the changes and suggestions they’ve made to be productive in the COVID era.
2020 Life Resource “eBook” Guide
Get the new eBook: Doing Business with Prudential – Life Business Resource Guide Spring 2020. Find what you need to help you do business quickly and easily in this changing environment.
SBLI made additional temporary changes to its’ underwriting, effective April 17th.
- For cases aged 59 or younger:
- > Table 6 or better, we are continuing to accept applications.
- > Table 7 or higher, we are postponing applications until further notice.
- For cases aged 60 or older:
- > Table 2 (150%) or better, we are continuing to accept applications.
- > Table 3 or higher, we are postponing applications until further notice.
- Read the full announcement here.
- For cases aged 59 or younger:
SBLI announced updates to their COVID-19 response on April 6th, including underwriting, customer service/payment processing, vendor information and ePolicy delivery.
We are pleased to announce the following changes to the temporary COVID-19 participation guidelines effective September 16, 2020:
- Maximum issue age will increase to age 75 for all life products including SecureCare Universal Life (excluding Advantage Elite Select Term Life 15, 20, and 30);
- COVID-19-specific travel restrictions will be removed on all life products including SecureCare UL;
- Applicants ages 51-60 will now be accepted at table C (175%) or better rates on all life products except SecureCare UL; and
- Write Fit1 expansion to $3,000,000 for applicants ages 18-50 will continue.
All other participation guidelines, including money not being accepted with new applications and temporary insurance agreements not being available, continue until December 31, 2020. For a full list of the participation guidelines effective September 16 and continuing through December 31, 2020, please see below.
- The maximum face amount for WriteFit applicants ages 18 through 50 is being increased from $2 million to $3 million. Applicants ages 51 through 60 continue to be eligible for up to $1 million of coverage via the WriteFit platform. Eligibility for WriteFit is determined by answers to the tele-interview.
Traditional Life Underwriting:
- Insurance ages 76 and older: new applications will not be accepted.
- Insurance ages 61 through 75: Applicants assessed at Standard or better rates will be issued. All others will be postponed until at least December 31, 2020.
- Insurance ages 51 through 60: Applicants assessed at Table C (175%) or better rates will be issued. All others will be postponed until at least December 31, 2020.
- Insurance ages 50 and younger: Applicants assessed at Table F (250%) or better rates will be issued. All others will be postponed until at least December 31, 2020.
- Money will not be accepted with new applications until at least December 31, 2020, and temporary insurance agreements will not be available during this time.
SecureCare UL Underwriting
- Ages 76 and older: new applications will not be accepted.
- Ages 75 and younger: mortality evaluation will need to be standard or better for a SecureCare UL policy to be issued. Applicants who would be table rated for mortality purposes will be postponed until at least December 31, 2020.
- Money will not be accepted with new applications until at least December 31, 2020; and temporary insurance agreements will not be available during this time.
Money will not be accepted with new applications until at least September 15, 2020, and temporary insurance agreements will not be available during this time.
Transamerica announced a new underwriting program which includes streamlined underwriting, reduced nonmedical guidelines, and changes to traditional paramed requirements up to $1,000,000 or $2,000,000.
This gives the agent and client flexibility to customize and choose the best underwriting experience for their individual circumstance. They can choose from three different underwriting paths:
- Business as Usual – some clients won’t mind a full-paramed in order to have the most options in pricing and face amounts. All rate classes available
- Up to $2,000,000 thru age 55 if they can send in another carriers UW / paramed done with in last 24 months, or a Dr’s full Physical Exam in last 12 months. All rate classes available.
- A True Non Med option up to $1,000,000 thru age 55. No paramed, blood or urine. Standard Plus is best class available.
- Get details for all of their COVID-19 updates in this brochure.
Transamerica has also made several major improvements to help your business, including streamlined underwriting, reduced nonmedical guidelines, and changes to traditional paramed requirements up to $2,000,000. Visit their new COVID-19 Response page regularly for new updates.
Underwriting Update: True non-med for Term
COVID-19 New Business Update