Health IQ has forged a unique position in the life and health insurance markets. The company’s business model is built around rewarding customers who lead healthy lifestyles, citing scientific consensus and statistics that quantify just how much healthy lifestyle choices reduce a person’s risk of early death. Over the life of a 30-year policy, Health IQ claims that consumers can save more than 40% or $10,000 on their premiums without sacrificing the completeness or security of their coverage.
The Health IQ story began in 2010 as founder Munjal Shah was celebrating the greatest success of his career after selling his startup company to the tech giant Google. One day after completing the sale, Shah began experiencing sharp chest pains. Suspecting he might be having a heart attack at the young age of 37, Shah sought emergency medical assistance. The problem turned out not to be a cardiac event, but it nonetheless prompted Shah to make major lifestyle changes.
Within months, Shah had adopted a healthy diet and shed 40 pounds. His newfound commitment to healthy living brought him in contact with many other like-minded entrepreneurs, and a group of them decided to pool their knowledge and resources to found Health IQ. From its earliest beginnings, the company aimed to reward a niche market of health-conscious consumers by offering complete life insurance at a lower price.
Technically, Health IQ is a special type of insurance brokerage known as a managing general agent (MGA). MGAs have underwriting authority from insurance carriers and are permitted to offer unique discounts available only to exclusive, targeted consumer segments. Prospective customers earn discounts by completing a questionnaire built around objective measures of health awareness and personal fitness.
Health IQ offers insurance plans in four major categories:
- Life insurance: Health IQ provides standard life insurance policies that deliver cash payouts to beneficiaries upon the death of the policyholder. Customers can save anywhere from 8% to 41% by performing well on the company’s proprietary quizzes and questionnaires, and by qualifying for additional underwriting discounts.
- Life insurance for diabetics: The company offers a special class of life insurance products to people diagnosed with diabetes. To qualify, a diabetic customer must demonstrate that he or she is taking proactive steps to manage their condition according to prevailing medical and scientific best practices.
- Disability insurance: Health IQ provides disability insurance that protects customers from income loss and other expenses associated with long-term injury or illness.
- Medicare supplement insurance: Designed for healthy seniors enrolled in the Medicare program, Health IQ’s Medicare supplement insurance provides older, health-conscious customers with exclusive discounts on coverage that provides additional protections beyond Medicare’s standard inclusions.
As of November 2019, Health IQ enjoys an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and 92% of its TrustPilot consumer reviews score the company as “excellent,” its highest rating.
Terms and conditions
Health IQ is built on a unique system that goes well beyond the standard set of terms and conditions used by life insurance providers. The company allows consumers to qualify for lower rates in three different ways, each of which can deliver valuable discounts.
These three paths include:
- Health literacy credits: Applicants accumulate “health literacy credits” by taking a unique questionnaire that tests their knowledge of healthy living. Instead of generalized, self-reported health and fitness information, the quiz poses questions that only a health-conscious person would know how to answer, allowing consumers to rack up as much as 8% in premium savings.
- Active lifestyle credits: Customers can snag 9% in additional discounts through “active lifestyle credits.” Health IQ offers numerous options, including running an eight-minute mile, cycling 50 or more miles, or competing in a swim meet. Applicants must follow a strict verification process that eliminates the possibility of cheating.
- Underwriting bonuses: Many insurance companies charge higher premiums to customers who meet certain conditions, regardless of their actual health status. For example, they may penalize applicants who have low heart rates, high overall cholesterol, or family histories of certain health problems. Health IQ’s unique underwriting system accounts for these shortcomings, recognizing that such issues do not necessarily indicate poor health or increased risk. These underwriting credits can reduce premiums by as much as 21%, compared to the cost of a similar policy from another provider.
Combined, these three discount pathways can deliver savings of 8% to 41%, relative to what a comparable policy would cost elsewhere. Over a 30-year term, Health IQ rewards its healthiest customers by delivering savings on premiums that can total up to $10,568.
Pros and cons
Health IQ’s unique system offers many advantages, but it also comes with some disadvantages. Professional reviews and customer feedback cited the following pros time and again:
- Meaningful insurance savings for healthy, active people
- Thoughtful benefits for people with chronic medical conditions who go to great lengths to safeguard their health
- An excellent range of insurance plans and options for a specialized niche provider
- The opportunity to double up lower-cost coverage with affordable disability insurance, an option that few life insurance companies offer
On the flip side of the coin, reviewers and customers tended to express dissatisfaction with:
- Health IQ’s lengthy, detailed, and involved application and evaluation process
- Not all health-conscious people will qualify for meaningful savings if they are not able to earn further discounts through verified active lifestyle credits or underwriting bonuses
Overall, Health IQ offers far more benefits than drawbacks to qualified consumers looking to save money on their life and health insurance needs.
If you think of yourself as healthy but can’t run an eight-minute mile, bike 50 miles in a single sitting, or perform well in a competitive swim meet, Health IQ may not be for you. You might still qualify for some discounts, but your actual savings will vary and may not compare well against options offered by competing lower-cost insurance brokers.
However, if you’re a healthy person who eats well, exercises regularly, and has achieved a high level of personal fitness, chances are you’ll qualify for discounts that make Health IQ’s application process well worth your while. The company also has a fantastic customer service reputation, giving qualified applicants yet another reason to consider it.