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RGA Turns Rx Research into Improved Underwriting Results for Insurers

ST. LOUIS, March 26, 2013 – RGA’s Rx automated scoring system, developed by RGA Reinsurance Company (RGA), is today being successfully utilized by numerous U.S. life insurance company underwriters as an essential element in underwriting simplified issue and fully-underwritten products. 

The initial idea behind this scoring system, which scores thousands of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that can appear on insurance applicants’ prescription drug histories, emerged from a prescription history mortality study conducted by RGA in 2008 and published in the Journal of the Academy of Life Underwriting in 2009. The study, the largest Rx mortality study ever performed, compiled Rx history data from 1.1 million insurance applicants, and determined that individual Rx histories are predictive of mortality.

This study encouraged life insurance underwriters to use Rx histories in their underwriting, but doing so turned out to be more cumbersome than anticipated. Frequently, applicants with long medical histories had lengthy Rx histories as well, slowing the underwriting process, which insurers constantly seek to speed and simplify.

From the research, RGA developed an underwriting methodology that assigns risk (or severity) scores for thousands of individual prescription and over-the-counter drugs. This scoring enables an underwriter to efficiently assess an applicant’s Rx history, so that an applicant’s underwriting risk can be properly and quickly evaluated.

RGA today provides the Rx automated scoring system to customers in two ways. First, its flagship AURA underwriting software incorporates the automated scoring system as part of its automated underwriting capabilities for licensed AURA users. Second, carriers that are not AURA licensees can access the Rx scoring system via ExamOne’s ScriptCheck prescription history service.  RGA partnered with ExamOne to provide Rx scoring as an enhancement to ScriptCheck, which is the industry’s oldest provider of Rx histories. Insurers that subscribe to ScriptCheck can access RGA’s Rx scoring as well for a nominal additional cost and receive both the histories and the scoring in one report. Also, RGA provides real-time support as needed to underwriters using Rx Scoring with ScriptCheck.

“Underwriters appreciate the marriage of these two services,” said Dianne Schuetz, Director Product Management, ExamOne. “In near real-time, an underwriter can get applicant Rx scores delivered with normal ScriptCheck results, for a small additional transactional cost per hit. The process is similar to one many underwriters use now, only enhanced with RGA’s Rx Scoring tool. Organizations are finding great value in the additional credible evidence, coming in a format that saves them time. Both services are backed by support from ExamOne and RGA.”

CUNA Mutual Group, an insurance and financial services company, was one of the first companies to introduce ScriptCheck with RGA’s Rx scoring into its underwriting process.

“Our underwriters are very pleased with the ExamOne ScriptCheck product with RGA Scoring,” said Barb Lutz, Underwriting Director, CMFG Life. “We’re getting excellent protective value to supplement the rest of our underwriting efforts. The RGA scoring directs the underwriter’s attention to prescriptions of more concern and away from those of lesser concern. It also works well as a verification tool. It is allowing us some additional flexibility on how we underwrite policies. The payment model is straightforward and cost-effective. We only pay for what we use. For us, all of the benefits were magnified by the fact that we didn’t need to change our underwriting process. We just added a feature.” 
The Rx automated scoring system was recognized by A.M. Best’s inaugural Innovators Showcase competition in 2012 as an example of forward thinking in insurance that breeds success. RGA is continuing to develop the scoring system. “Currently, we are refining scores for various drugs and developing new ways to leverage the knowledge we gain from reviewing Rx histories,” said Alan Hobbs, Vice President, Underwriting Services, RGA Reinsurance Company. “Rx scoring fits RGA’s strategy of turning innovative research into practical development and real-world usefulness.” 

About RGA
RGA Reinsurance Company is the principal operating subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated, which is among the largest global providers of life reinsurance. RGA operations are located in Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. Worldwide, the company has approximately US$ 2.9 trillion of life reinsurance in force and assets of US$ 40.4 billion.
The AURA logo and the RGA logos are registered trademarks of Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated in the United States. All other names mentioned herein may be trademarks.

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