Reviews

Health IQ Review: Life Insurance Discounts for Healthy People?

Health IQ Review
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This Health IQ life insurance review covers:

  • An overview of the Health IQ business model.
  • What being health-conscious means (according to the company) and how to qualify for a lower rate.
  • My experience in taking the assessment and getting a quote.
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Although the application process is more time-consuming than other insurers, health-conscious people stand to save substantial money.

Health IQ Pros:
  • Can accommodate people with healthy lifestyles whose habits might raise red flags with other insurers, such as those who follow a ketogenic diet and may thus have relatively high cholesterol.
  • Works with many top-rated insurance companies.
  • Works with individuals with diabetes who have a healthy lifestyle.
Health IQ Cons:
  • Medical underwriting is required for policies valued at $500,000 and up.
  • Health IQ is very stringent in its classification of “health-conscious individuals,” as only 1 out of 5 people who qualify are granted a lower rate.
  • When writing this review, questions to their support team went unanswered.

6 Things to Know About Health IQ

  1. Health IQ is an independent broker with access to a variety of top insurers
  2. There are three ways in which you qualify for lower rates: a high score on the health literacy quiz, active lifestyle credits and underwriting credits. The maximum savings is 41% off a given company’s traditional rates.
  3. The health literacy quiz, which you take prior to receiving a quote, is 50 questions and takes about 15 minutes to complete. You can save up to 8% off a typical policy with an “Elite” score. 
  4. Active lifestyle credits require verification of your fitness level. For a discount of up to 9%, you can take different health assessments, like running an eight-minute mile or biking 50 miles in a week.
  5. Health IQ’s application process is more time-consuming than most other insurers. There’s a quiz, a phone call to determine your health status, a potential health assessment, and most likely medical underwriting. All of this can take as long as six weeks to complete.
  6. Health IQ also offer discounts on life insurance for individuals with diabetes. You’ll need to get an “Elite” level score on a diabetes-specific version of the quiz, provide proof of health habits, and pass medical underwriting to qualify for the lower rate. 

Health IQ Company Overview

To understand Health IQ, you need to know a few basic facts about how life insurance is normally priced.

Traditional insurers try to determine the price you’ll pay by classifying you into one of four groups:

  1. Preferred Plus
  2. Preferred
  3. Standard Plus
  4. Standard

While these classifications vary from company to company — and it’s a bit more complicated if you’re in poor health – this breakdown is fairly standard.

Life insurance companies then have rate tables based on your:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Smoking status

When you apply for life insurance, you go through an underwriting process that analyzes factors such as your health history, your family health history, and the results of your physical examination (if required).

An underwriter then looks at your results and assigns you a classification (i.e., Preferred Plus, Preferred, etc.), referring to the company’s rate tables to determine the price you’ll pay.

This is the way life insurance companies have operated for decades, and it has been consistently profitable.

If a life insurance company wanted to, they could collect more information about you to determine your rate — potentially having more classifications than just the four listed above. But collecting that additional information would come at an additional expense.

So, let’s say there are two individuals:

  • A health-conscious person who adheres to a good diet and exercises regularly. 
  • A not-health-conscious person, who isn’t overweight but is not in great shape. They don’t pay much attention to what they eat and don’t have a regular workout routine.

If you’re a life insurance company, the person you want to insure is the health-conscious individual. But based on the information you collect, differentiating between the two is difficult.

For example, a not-health-conscious person who is 30 years old can have perfectly fine blood work and a clean health history, despite their less-than-stellar dietary and exercise habits.

With only four general classifications, this not-health-conscious person has a high chance of being assigned to the Preferred Plus rate class — meaning they’ll pay the same amount for life insurance as the health-conscious person.

That’s the problem Health IQ is trying to solve. Their goal is to provide a lower life insurance rate for health-conscious individuals.

Health IQ Competitive Intelligence

In order to provide a lower rate for health-conscious individuals, Health IQ needed to:

  • Prove that health-conscious individuals have a lower chance of dying.
  • Find a way to determine whether or not someone is health-conscious at scale at a reasonable cost.

How the company tackled this problem at first was by developing a health quiz, administering it to over 1 million people, then tracking the data over a number of years to see if: 

  1. They could determine who was health-conscious based on their answers.
  2. Whether health-conscious people actually live longer (and could therefore be insured for less money).

According to their team, they were able to successfully gather data on both questions. With that data in hand, they went to life insurance companies to see if they would provide a lower rate for these individuals.

The answer was yes. And, according to Health IQ, they are the only life insurance broker that offers a rate class above Preferred Plus. 

Therefore, if you do qualify for the Health IQ rate (about 1 out of 5 people qualify for it), it’s often the least expensive life insurance policy you’ll find.

What Does Health-Conscious Mean?

From my point of view, Health IQ is really serving two types of individuals.

  1. They cater to health-conscious individuals — i.e., people who have established healthy habits in their lives.
  2. They also serve the specialized athlete/dieter who has unique characteristics that could potentially disqualify them from Preferred rate status with most insurers. Examples include an endurance athlete who has a slow resting heart rate, a vegan, or someone on the keto diet who has high cholesterol.

To qualify for the special Health IQ rate you must first achieve an “Elite” score on their Health IQ quiz, which varies based on your lifestyle. For example, weightlifters take one version of the quiz while cyclists take another.

Health IQ has a wide variety of different quizzes, including those for:

  • Athletes
  • Cyclists
  • Healthy eaters
  • Runners
  • Swimmers
  • Tennis players
  • Vegans
  • Weightlifters
  • Yogis

My Experience Getting a Quote from Health IQ

While putting together this Health IQ life insurance review, I couldn’t help but wonder if I qualified for a special rate. I consider myself a health-conscious person; if you like to apply labels, I’m in the CrossFit/paleo group, never smoke and rarely drink.

My quiz was tailored to the fact that I’m a generally health-conscious person. Therefore, most of the questions were about nutrition and general fitness topics.

The questions are not designed to be easy. These are the questions that Health IQ uses to determine if you’re eligible for a special rate, so they’re no walk in the park.

Health IQ general quiz
One of the questions from my Health IQ quiz.

You only get a minute to answer each question, so it’s not like you can poke around Google for the answers. 

By earning “Elite” status on the quiz, you place yourself in Health IQ’s “Elite” category, which qualifies you for a special rate. 

After completing the quiz, I did indeed qualify for Health IQ’s special lower rate — though I was not yet told what that rate was.

My Health IQ quiz results.
My Health IQ quiz results.

Health IQ Application and Medical Underwriting Process

After earning the “Elite” classification, a member of the Health IQ team reached out to me by phone. I briefly discussed my lifestyle with them, and was transferred to a licensed agent. After a few minutes with that agent, I was able to see the special rates Health IQ offers.

Those rates were indeed a savings compared to what I saw on other quote comparison sites. Overall, it was about a 10% discount compared to the Preferred rates I can find elsewhere.

Note: When I applied for life insurance through Health IQ in 2017, there was no option to qualify for active lifestyle credits by providing proof of exercise. This option was only recently added. 

It’s also important to understand that Health IQ is an agent, not an insurer. They have negotiated special Health IQ rates with certain carriers, and they work with around 20 A+ rated insurance companies, which offer the same rates you’ll find on most of the larger life insurance comparison sites.

So, even if you don’t qualify for the special Health IQ rate, your policy is being shopped around by many of the top insurers.

Health IQ Competitors and Alternatives

If you’re a health-conscious person — someone who’d likely get a Preferred Plus rate from a life insurance agency — my recommendation is to go through a traditional underwriting process, which requires a medical exam. 

While companies like Bestow and Sproutt have grown in popularity by offering life insurance with no medical exam required, overall these no-medical-exam policies tend to have higher rates for those who’d qualify for an insurer’s best rate.

To qualify for a rate lower than an insurer’s best rate, an alternative is John Hancock’s Vitality PLUS Program, which allows you to save money by maintaining certain healthy habits while your policy is in-force. In other words, these savings go into effect after you purchase your policy, not upfront. 

That means that to continue saving money, you have to maintain healthy habits year in and year out.

Final Thoughts on Health IQ

If you’re a health-conscious person, I’d recommend seeing if you can qualify for Health IQ’s lowest rate. If you do, it’s likely the best rate you’ll find, with no strings attached (such as tracking healthy habits throughout your policy’s term). 

This savings can add up to thousands of dollars over the life of your policy. 

If you don’t qualify for their special rate, Health IQ still provides you access to over 20+ quality life insurance companies to help you find one that provides a low rate.

Visit Health IQ to learn more

R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss is the founder and editor of The Ways To Wealth, a Certified Financial Planner™, husband and father of three. He's spent the last 10+ years writing about personal finance and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, MSN Money, and other publications.

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