What is the Life Insurance Medical Exam
A Life Insurance Medical Exam is a requirement by the insurance carrier in order to review your medical history and assess what your overall health and life expectancy is. This gives the life insurance carrier an idea of how much risk they may be taking by insuring you.
Life Insurance premiums are tied to rate classes, which are based on risk. When the insurer views you as healthy and low risk, you receive lower premiums than someone with average health.
The life insurance medical exam is usually performed by a qualified nurse and they are done in the comfort of your home. Their is no cost to the insured for the life insurance medical exam.
Two Stages Of The Medical Exam For Life Insurance
Their are two parts to the medical exam for life insurance:
- The first stage is a detailed medical questionnaire ask out loud by the examiner.
- Second stage is basic urine and blood samples.
The medical exam for life insurance might seem intimidating but the process is pretty straightforward. The exams usually take about 20 minutes to complete.
Questions Asked During The Medical Exam For Life Insurance
- Your past and immediate medical history including any time you have been hospitalized, medications your are prescribed, procedures you have had, or conditions. You will be asked a list of health questions to help you remember any conditions you have been diagnosed with.
- Medical history of your family.
- Your primary doctors phone name, phone number, and address. Details of your last visit.
- You will be asked about your lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking, drug use, and exercise
- How much life insurance you are buying
Procedures To Expect During The Life Insurance Medical Exam
- The examiner will check your height and weight
- Your blood pressure and pulse will be measured
- Blood work (to check things such as cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides, and HIV)
- Urinalysis (to check things such as tobacco and drug use)
Preparing For A Life Insurance Medical Exam
Their is no book that you can prep with the night before, it’s not a college exam or driving test. But you can take action to make sure your results are the best possible.
One Week Before Medical Exam
- Eat healthy foods that are good for your blood pressure and cholesterol like leafy greens, oatmeal, avocados, and nuts.
- Avoid foods high in sodium and sugar. Stay away form processed foods, they tend to elevate blood pressure and sugar levels.
- Try not to drink sugary sodas or energy drinks. Try to have at least 8 glasses of water a day to flush out toxins.
- Do not drink alcohol 3 days before the exam.
24 Hours Before Medical Exam:
- Make sure to get plenty of sleep the night before.
- If you exercise routinely, skip the day before since working out can affect cholesterol levels or the levels of protein in the urine.
- Try and avoid stressful situations, these tend to raise the blood pressure.
- Fast for 8 hours before the medical exam for life insurance.
If you’re fasting the day before, make sure to skip your morning coffee. Black coffee can raise blood pressure level and also can dehydrate you, making it harder for the paramed to draw a good blood sample or urine specimen.
On Medical Exam Day:
- Drink plenty of water and continue to avoid caffeine. Bring a snack for after the exam if you have been fasting.
- Have a photo ID and list of all medications being taken.
- Have the name, address and contact information for your primary care physician.
- Always stand tall and wear lightweight clothing.
- If you are not having a good day or feeling well, reschedule the appointment.
Other Health Exam Do’s and Don’ts:
- Ladies, if the exam falls at the beginning of your menstrual cycle, reschedule the exam. This could contaminate your urine sample.
- Be careful what you eat or drink. Skip foods and medicines that could give a false positive for drug use, such as poppy seeds, Vitamin B12 supplements, cold medicine and decongestants, sleeping pills or tonic water.
- If you are scared of needles be sure to tell the examiner. Do your blood pressure reading after you have had your blood drawn. This will give you time to calm your nerves down.
- Schedule to do your exam as early in the day as possible. This ensures you are well rested and able to focus.
- Disclose your full medical history to the examiner, even it doesn’t seem relevant.
- No recreational drug use for 30 days.
Lastly, don’t panic if the life insurance rate you’re assigned isn’t the one you expected. You can always apply for a new policy later or ask your insurer to reconsider your rate class if your health has improved because you’ve lowered your cholesterol, lost weight or made another positive change. Of course, this may entail going through another medical exam but it could be worth it if it allows you to pay less for life insurance premiums.
What Happens After a Life Insurance Medical Exam
After you have completed the medical exam for life insurance, the company will review your results to determine if you are insurable and what rate class you are.
How Long It Takes to Get Results
Usually the results are delivered to the company and reviewed in 7 business days from the time the exam was completed.
When Does Life Insurance Coverage Start After an Exam
Coverage starts as soon as you are approved by the life insurance company and pay first months premium.
What Happens If I Fail The Medical Exam for Life Insurance?
If the information you disclosed on the application and your medical history add up to more risk than the insurance company wants to take on, you may be declined.
You have the right to request a copy of your results and explanation on why you were declined. This will give you some insight on what needs to be worked on in order to qualify for a life insurance policy later on.
If you just recently had a health issue and got denied for life insurance coverage, be patient. Underwriters love when time goes by after an illness. The more time passed the better.
Options After Failing A Medical Exam
If you have failed a life insurance medical exam and have been denied coverage, you should contact a life insurance broker who has access to several life insurance policy types and companies. A broker may be able to find you coverage.
You should also find out if your employer can offer you a policy. Often employee benefit life insurance policies do not have medical exams. Just because one life insurance company declines to insure you, it does not mean all of them will.
Get all the facts from a licensed life insurance professional or contact your state insurance commissioners office to get the most information to find the right life insurance policy for your needs.
You’ve made a great decision by applying for life insurance and you know that the death benefit can provide a financial stablilty for your loved ones if you pass away.
A medical exam is just a requirement some applicants need to take to qualify for an affordable life insurance policy. The more you know about what the exam involves, the less likely you’ll be anxious about it once the day of the test arrives.
Keep calm and know that you can do this. If you have any questions or need a quote, please give us a call.