What is Human API?

The Human API platform pulls all your medical records electronically to provide life insurance companies with a thorough analysis of your health history

Nupur Gambhir


Nupur Gambhir

Nupur Gambhir

Life Insurance Expert

Nupur Gambhir is an insurance editor at Policygenius and licensed Life, Health, and Disability agent in New York.

Published July 31, 2020|4 min read

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The life insurance application process can take four to six weeks. But oftentimes, we’d like to get coverage as soon as possible — especially when our family’s financial health is at stake. That’s where Human API comes in.

The platform can significantly speed up a life insurance application decision by pulling all of your medical records electronically, letting you skip the medical exam. But because of its relatively new incorporation in the underwriting process, it isn’t available on all applications. At present, only a handful of life insurance companies use Human API to underwrite applicants — and your doctors also have to use the platform for it to work. If Human API isn’t available to you and you are unable to take the medical exam at this time, there are other options available to get coverage quickly and safely.

Key Takeaways

  • The Human API platform pulls your previous medical records electronically and delivers them to insurers in under 20 minutes

  • Not every insurer or medical provider uses the Human API platform

  • If Human API isn’t available to you, you can still apply for an instant decision life insurance policy to get coverage quickly

  • Other no-medical exam life insurance options are available

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What is Human API?

Part of the life insurance application is a thorough evaluation of your medical history and health. This includes questions about your background, a medical exam, and sometimes an attending physician’s statement (or APS). Traditionally, any requested past records have to be mailed or faxed. The entire process can take a few weeks.

Human API eliminates the need for this process and enables insurers to fast-track the application process. Instead of requiring you to take an entirely new medical exam to gauge your health, applications using Human API pull information from your previous doctor’s visits using Electronic Health Records (EHR). Insurers have the information they need within 20 minutes and are able to make an application decision shortly after — getting you life insurance coverage almost immediately.

How does Human API work?

Insurers won’t be able to pull your records without your consent — the entire process complies with HIPPA and requires your authorization. There are a couple of steps you’ll need to take to permit Human API access and allow insurers to use your previous medical records for underwriting:

  • Read through your email invitation and terms and conditions

  • Accept the terms and conditions disclosure

  • Locate and enter your provider’s information

  • Connect your account

  • Give permission for your records to be released

Any of these records come directly from your medical provider and cannot be modified — by you or the Human API platform.

The caveat with Human API is that in order to use it in your life insurance application process, your prospective insurer must use it to gather medical records and your medical providers must already use the program to store data. If both parties don’t already participate, the Human API platform won’t be able to access your information and use it towards your application.

What records are available through Human API?

The information that Human API releases to your insurer will only be about your medical background — and legally, can only be used for its intended purpose. Insurers will likely have access to details about your medical visits, diagnoses, test and lab results, medications, and immunizations. You’ll be able to see any records that the insurer can access.

If you decide you don’t want insurers to have access to your medical records, you can rescind access at any time — just know that those records then cannot be used for your life insurance application and you might need to take the medical exam to get coverage.

Am I eligible for Human API?

Your eligibility to use Human API during the application process largely depends on its availability. Currently, Banner/William Penn and Prudential are Policygenius partner life insurance companies that use it to get medical records electronically, though more are in the process of adding the platform to their services. Additionally, as mentioned above, your medical providers must also be working with Human API in order for them to release your records to the platform.

What if my insurer or medical provider doesn’t use Human API?

Even if you’re unable to use Human API to fast track your life insurance application, you can still get quick coverage. Instant decision life insurance policies like the Brighthouse SimplySelect policy don’t require a medical exam and, similarly to Human API, pull your records while you’re on the phone applying (with your consent). Some applications require further investigation, but if your application is approved, your life insurance coverage can go in force almost immediately after your phone call.

With social distancing mandates in place, life insurance policies that don’t require a medical exam are a safe way to get the coverage that protects your loved ones. If you’re not eligible for an instant decision life insurance policy, you also have the option of getting a no-medical exam life insurance policy. The application for no-medical exam life insurance still uses your previous records to evaluate your health but doesn’t do so instantly. No-medical exam policies tend to take the same time as traditional life insurance policies to retrieve and analyze your previous records, meaning you’ll still have to wait about a month or more to get coverage. To make sure your loved ones are financially protected in the interim, you can get temporary coverage, which may not have as high a coverage amount but will still pay out some death benefit.

The bottom line

The Human API platform speeds up the life insurance application process and can get you necessary coverage almost immediately — all without taking a new medical exam. But it’s not always available. People who would like to forego taking an in-person medical exam at this time can still apply for coverage from an instant decision life insurance policy or an insurer that offers no-medical exam coverage.