Principal halts lab tests and physical exams

According to Bloomberg, Principal Financial has halted lab tests and physical exams for individual disability insurance policies through at least May 31 in response to the coronavirus.

Brokers will instead underwrite policies using a digital portal powered by Human API that gives access to medical data with client permission, Kara Hoogensen, senior vice president of specialty benefits at Principal, said in an emailed statement. In 2019, Principal and Human API launched a pilot program but the current situation led Principal to roll out the solution faster and more broadly.

The move “represents a fast alternative to traditional medical records, which involves doctors signing and sending copies of records,” Hoogensen said. “We want to do our part and let the health system focus on serving those directly affected by the virus while still supporting individuals getting income-replacement coverage.”