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Life Health > Life Insurance

Hartford Cuts Medical Eams For Many Applicants

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Hartford Financial Services Group says it has eliminated requirements for medical examinations and tests for many life insurance applicants.

The initiative is part of a company plan to make it easier to buy life insurance, says Chris Graham, vice president and chief underwriter for the Hartford’s individual life division.

Under certain conditions, company underwriters will rely on applicants’ histories of treatments with prescription drugs instead of reports from applicants’ physicians.

The new guideline applies to applicants age 40 or younger applying for $2 million in death benefits or less and to those ages 41 to 60 seeking up to $1 million in benefits.

Older clients could skip medical tests if they can provide a favorable report from their regular physician, the Hartford says.

Other changes announced by the company:

==Making standard premium rates more widely available to applicants who in the past may have been classified as substandard risks; and

==Allowing customers who bought life insurance within the previous two years to buy additional coverage without the need for medical exams or tests.

Instead of an attending physician’s statement, the company will instead ask to see the applicant’s history of taking prescription drugs by checking a pharmacy database. It would ask for an APS only if the applicant is taking prescriptions for a significant medical condition, the company says.

In some instances, too, an APS might be replaced by a telephone interview with the applicant by company representatives.

In addition, applicants ages 61 to 75 who apply for policies of up to $2.5 million and those 76 to 85 who apply for policies up to $1 million may qualify for insurance without undergoing a physical exam or blood, urine and EKG tests if they had a physical exam from their regular doctor within the past six months and make the results available.

Hartford says it will even offer several of its variable universal life, universal life and whole life policies to older applicants who have had certain health problems.

Under its so-called enhanced standard program, applicants who failed to qualify for standard rates in the past now may be able to do so. It is offering the program to applicants up to age 70 who apply for $10 million in coverage or less and those 71 to 80 who apply for up to $5 million in coverage.

Until Dec. 31, applicants who have purchased a life policy from the Hartford or another approved carrier can apply for coverage up to $1 from the Hartford without the need for a medical exam or tests. Instead, the company says, its representatives would conduct a medical interview with the applicant by phone.

The new policy is the second recent move by the Hartford to make it easier for applicants to obtain coverage.

In October, the company reduced life insurance pricing for more than 100,000 women who have overcome relatively mild cases of breast cancer.

Breast cancer survivors now can qualify for standard rates if results of common tests show that they have a strong prognosis for survival, Hartford says.

Under certain conditions, company underwriters will rely on applicants’ histories of treatments with prescription drugs


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