The Underwriting Corner: What You Should Know About Prescription Checks

Prescription checks are one of the best underwriting tools developed in many years. Knowledge of a person’s prescription history may enable an underwriter to forgo the need to order an APS in some cases.

When an underwriter makes a prescription-check inquiry, an order is placed electronically and a report is returned almost immediately with a detailed list of prescriptions that includes the prescribing doctor information, dosages, number of refills, etc. By using a prescription check, the underwriter can make an informed decision of whether a final approval can be made or if additional scrutiny will be required.

Prescription checks are very useful as they available for a large percentage of the population. Unfortunately, depending on varying factors, not everyone will show up. That is why it is so important that the field force continues to do their part in obtaining the most accurate and complete medical history they can when taking the application. The prescription check will supplement what the agent provides in a fast, cheap and efficient manner.

Examples of how a prescription check can help:

Case #1:

A mildly depressed applicant is taking a small dose of Prozac. The agent notes on the application that the proposed insured is grieving the loss of a family member earlier in the year. The underwriter can pull a prescription check and see that the applicant began taking Prozac around the time that the agent indicated on the application and confirms that the primary care physician is prescribing the medication and the dose has remained stable and low. In this scenario, the underwriter can likely proceed without any additional information.

On the other hand, if the prescription check comes back and shows that the client has been taking anti-psychotic medications prescribed by a psychiatrist for years, this would prompt the underwriter to investigate further.

Case #2:

A young female indicates on her application that she is taking medication for her thyroid. No further details are given. The underwriter can pull a prescription check and see that the proposed insured is currently taking a medication for hypothyroidism and has been refilling the medications on a regular basis for several years. In this situation, the underwriter can likely proceed without any additional questions.

On the other hand, if the prescription check comes back and shows that the client is taking a medication for hyperthyroidism, additional investigation may be required.

These are just two of many ways that the prescription check can make the underwriting process more efficient as we seek ways to reduce the time from application to issue.

Prescription checks are specifically ordered.

written by Laura Trout – Sr. Underwriting Consultant for independent marketing group.

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