Life Insurance Medical Exam Results
Life insurance applicants are typically required to undergo a medical exam. The results of that exam can determine how much you will pay for your policy and whether or not you will be issued a policy at all.
A life insurance medical exam is also called a paramedical exam and is part of the underwriting process. Its purpose is to measure how great of a risk you pose to the insurance company. The healthier you are, the less of a risk you are to insure and the less you can expect to pay for a policy.
But if the results of the medical exam reveal any issues with your health, you can probably expect to pay higher rates for a policy because the insurance company will view you as a customer with an increased risk for an earlier death. It’s even possible that the results of the medical exam will lead the insurance company to not offer you any coverage at all because the risk is simply too great.
What Does the Medical Exam Include?
The paramedical exam will typically include:
- A survey about your health, medical history and lifestyle
- A check of your pulse and blood pressure
- A blood test
- A measure of your body mass index.
Some tests also require a urine sample and older applicants may also be required to undergo an EKG.
Many insurance companies offer to send a medical examiner right to your home to conduct the exam and it can often be completed in 30 minutes or less.
What is the Insurance Company Testing For?
The results of the paramedical exam will provide the insurance company with an overall report on the health of your:
- Heart and arteries
- Kidney and bladder
The exam can also uncover things like the HIV virus and the presence of nicotine or other drugs.
Tips for Taking the Exam
Below are five helpful tips to prepare yourself for the paramedical exam and improve your chances of securing a lower rate for your life insurance policy.
- Avoid excessive exercise for 24 hours prior to the exam and get plenty of sleep the night before the test. Both of these measures can help lower your blood pressure.
- Don’t eat any salty or fatty foods for several days before the exam in order to score well for cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Consume only water for six to eight hours prior to the exam. Even a piece of healthy fruit can cause your blood sugar level to register high results on the exam.
- Avoid taking any over-the-counter drugs 24 hours before the exam as any potential side effects may interfere with your test results.
- Avoid drinking any alcohol for as long as possible prior to the exam. Alcohol raises your level of liver enzymes, something that can trigger a number of red flags for the examiner.
No Medical Exam Life Insurance
It is also possible to forego the medical exam altogether. No medical exam life insurance, also called simplified issue life insurance, is a form of life insurance that does not require a medical exam as part of the application process. Issuance of the policy may depend upon answers to health questions set forth in the application. These plans may have a graded death benefit for an initial period of time.
The tradeoff for not having to take a paramedical exam is that this type of insurance may come with slightly higher rates for the policyholder. But if you’re worried about having to pay higher rates anyway as a result of your medical exam, then a simplified issue policy may work for you.
*Applications for insurance may be subject to acceptance by insurer. Rates and coverage amounts will depend upon the carrier selected.