Health IQ Review
Health IQ is a life insurance agency based in Mountain View, California. The company offers lower insurance rates for health conscious people and athletes.
In this review, we take a look at the unique services offered by Health IQ and discuss how people who lead a healthy and active lifestyle can benefit from buying a policy from the company.
Table of Contents
If you are not in suitable health, you are unlikely to get the best rates from Health IQ. So, a traditional insurance company with lenient underwriting guidelines like AIG or Prudential might be the right choice for you.
About Health IQ
The story of Health IQ is a very interesting one. In 2010, Munjal Shah, an Indian-American entrepreneur based in California, sold his company to Google for $100 million. The very next day, he experienced intense chest pain and was admitted to the hospital.
He was concerned that he had suffered a heart attack, since he had a family history of heart disease.
Fortunately, it turned out to be a case of lung inflammation. The incident, however, made Shah realize the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Shah changed his diet, started exercising regularly, and shed 40 pounds over the next few years. While doing so, he realized that it takes a great deal of discipline, patience, and effort to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
He decided that the best way to improve the health of a society’s population is to reward health conscious individuals. As a result, he founded Health IQ in 2013.
Right at the outset, Shah was able to secure $35 million in funding. The investors sensed the company’s growth potential and the impact it was likely to have on the life insurance industry.
Today, the Health IQ team has firmly established itself as a brand and has successfully carved out a niche for itself. So far, the company has managed to issue life insurance coverage worth $29 billion.
They are different from startups like Ladder, Ethos, and Bestow in that they are actually providing consumers with the ability to compare among multiple life insurance carriers rather than one insurance company.
So, you do not have to worry about Health IQ’s financial strength or stability. You only need to make sure that the insurance company which provides you with coverage is financially stable and reliable.
This is not to say that Health IQ is not a financially sound company. It is backed by a number of prominent investors and is run by a man who has an excellent track record – both as a CEO and as an entrepreneur.
Moreover, the company only associates itself with top-rated insurance providers like Prudential, Lincoln Financial Group, and John Hancock. So, you can be sure that you are getting the best deals in terms of life insurance coverage with Health IQ.
The Link between Lifestyle and Mortality Risk
Numerous studies show that people who are health conscious and lead an active lifestyle are at a lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and a number of other diseases and also have a significantly lower risk of early death.
With this being the case, it only makes sense for insurance carriers to reserve their lowest rate classes and rates for healthy people, right?
Unfortunately, the underwriting methods they use do not allow them to differentiate between a person who has a high health IQ and leads an active lifestyle and an average person who is in good health.
For example, let us say two people apply for a life insurance policy with a traditional insurance company. They are both 35 years of age, have the same job, and earn the same amount of money.
- Person A is fit, eats a balanced diet, exercises regularly, and keeps his stress levels in check with the help of yoga and meditation.
- Person B is in good health and does not have any pre-existing conditions. However, he consumes sugary snacks and soda regularly and leads a sedentary lifestyle.
Now, between these two people, Person B is far more likely to develop health problems in the future and also has a higher mortality risk compared to Person A, due to his eating habits and lifestyle.
The life insurance company, however, has no way of differentiating between these two people, since it is only concerned about the current health status of the applicants, which can be ascertained with the help of lab tests.
So, both Person A and Person B are likely to be clubbed into the same category, assigned the same risk class, and charged the same rate for their policies.
It is, as you can understand, inherently unfair to Person A, who puts in a lot of effort to lead a healthy lifestyle. This is precisely where Health IQ enters the picture.
The Health IQ Model
To buy a policy through Health IQ, you need to undergo a three-step process.
- In the first step, you need to answer a few questions about your health condition and go through a medical exam.
- In the second step, you need to take the Health IQ quiz, which is designed to evaluate you as an individual and find out if you are a health conscious person or not.
- In the third step, you need to tell the company what type of physical activity you are into. The company offers you a number of categories to choose from including weightlifting, HIIT, long distance running, cycling, swimming, triathlon, hiking, yoga, and many more.
You also need to provide the company with an e-proof (data from fitness tracking apps) regarding your lifestyle.
How Health IQ Rewards You
- If you pass the Health IQ quiz and get an ‘Elite’ score, you can get a 4% discount on your life insurance policy.
- If you can verify your physical activity and lifestyle with data, you can get another 4% discount on your life insurance policy.
- In addition to this, the insurance companies which have partnered with Health IQ have special underwriting guidelines for health conscious people and can offer you an additional 25% discount on your coverage.
On the whole, your life insurance rates can be 33% lower than what the average person is likely to pay the same amount of coverage. These better rates translate into thousands of dollars in savings over a period of 30 years.
You can buy term life as well as whole life insurance through Health IQ.
Term Life Insurance
If you need life insurance coverage at affordable rates for a specific period of time (10 to 30 years), a term life policy is the right choice for you. If you are in your 20’s or 30’s and in good health, you can buy a substantial amount of coverage at very reasonable rates.
The best part is that the rate is locked for the entirety of your policy’s term, which means the amount of premium you pay in the very first month of the coverage period is also what you will pay in the very last month.
Whole Life Insurance
If you, on the other hand, need coverage that lasts your entire lifetime, a whole life policy might be the right choice for you. Though the rates are higher compared to a term life policy, a whole life plan covers you until your death, as long as you are prompt with your premium payments.
In addition, the built-in cash value component serves as an emergency fund, which you can access through partial withdrawals and policy loans.
Life Insurance for Diabetics
Apart from traditional term life and whole life policies, Health IQ also offers a life insurance policy exclusively for people with type-2 diabetes.
The company has partnered with Protective Life to offer a policy specifically designed to meet the needs of people with well-managed type-2 diabetes. In order to qualify for the policy, you should meet the following criteria.
- Your blood sugar levels should be under control.
- You should lead an active lifestyle.
- You should get an ‘Elite’ score on the Health IQ Diabetic Quiz.
If you qualify, you can buy life insurance coverage at a lower rate compared to what you are likely to pay with traditional insurance companies.
Now, let us take a look at the pros and cons of buying life insurance coverage through Health IQ.
If you are in excellent health, Health IQ offers you an opportunity to save up to 33% on your life insurance coverage, which is substantial.
The company says that 76% of its clients are assigned the lowest risk class – Preferred Plus or Preferred Best – by insurance providers. So, you stand to save a lot of money over a period of 20 or 30 years.
Unlike traditional insurance providers, Health IQ does not determine your insurability based on your current health condition. It considers a wide range of factors – from your diet to health literacy, level of physical activity, and your overall lifestyle – to determine your mortality risk.
For example, traditional insurance companies usually consider high BMI as a risk factor. Health IQ, on the other hand, has a buffer zone for weightlifters and other people with above-average muscle mass, as they are known to have a higher BMI than regular people.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, for instance, had a BMI of 33.9 when he won the Mr. Olympia title. Under normal circumstances, a BMI of 33.9 would be considered a sign of extreme obesity.
It is not the case with weightlifters and bodybuilders, who naturally have a higher BMI than regular people but are in perfectly decent health.
Similarly, most insurance companies tend to label people with a low heart rate as high risk applicants. Health IQ, on the contrary, will take your lifestyle into consideration before deciding if your low heart rate is a symptom of a health problem.
Athletes generally tend to have a low resting heart rate, as their heart muscles are strong and are able to pump more blood with each beat.
So, if you lead a very active lifestyle and have a low heart rate as a result of it, Health IQ will classify you as a low-risk applicant and make sure you get the lowest rates possible.
Health IQ’s website is very informative and easy to use. You can get a free, personalized quote, complete the health quiz within a few minutes, and find out if you qualify or not.
Not an Insurance Provider
As mentioned above, Health IQ is a broker, not an insurance provider. The company does not offer policies of its own. It has a list of affiliated insurance companies, from which you can buy the amount of life insurance coverage you need.
Not the Right Choice for People with Health Problems
Health IQ was founded for the very purpose of rewarding health conscious people by providing them with low-cost insurance coverage.
The company has devised a sophisticated mechanism to differentiate between those who are health conscious and those who are not. The former get the best offers and the lowest rates, while the latter do not.
If you are not very health conscious and do not lead an active lifestyle, a traditional insurance provider is the right choice for you, since the policy costs are decided based on your current health status and family health history alone.
Final Thoughts on Health IQ
Health IQ is an excellent choice for those who are fit and healthy. The company has partnered with a number of top-rated insurers, all of whom are willing to offer considerable discounts for people who lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
The coverage you buy through Health IQ is likely to be cheaper than the coverage you buy from a traditional insurance company, even if you undergo a medical exam. So, if you lift, swim, or run marathons for fun, you should definitely consider applying for a policy through Health IQ.