When you apply to purchase a life insurance policy, you may be asked to submit to a life insurance medical exam.
The insurance company requests this exam to determine your risk for certain medical conditions. They may also test for drugs in your system, including nicotine.
Depending on the insurance company, the medical exam may include blood work, a urinalysis, physical examination, and maybe even an EKG.
Also, in case you were wondering, many insurers will pay for the exam when you’re seeking a whole or term life insurance policy.
What you can expect during a life insurance medical exam
After you submit your application for life insurance, a third party company will contact you to schedule your exam. These companies are hired by the life insurance carrier to conduct exams on their behalf. They may come to your home or have you visit a medical facility.
You may be asked to refrain from having anything to eat or drink for at least 12 hours prior to your exam.
The exam typically takes less than 30 minutes and may consist of:
- Taking your height and weight
- Questions about your health as stated on your application
- A blood draw
- Urine sample
When your test is complete, and your results are ready, the company furnishes your results to the insurance carrier. You may also request a copy.
What does a life insurance medical exam test for?
A life insurance medical exam investigates three major areas:
- Confirming the information you provided on your application
- The condition of your health
- Illicit drug use
The exam may test for diseases such as HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. It also may identify indicators of heart disease such as a high cholesterol level. The test results may also point out kidney disease or diabetes.
How to prepare for your life insurance medical exam
Be honest: It’s important to complete your application completely and honestly. If the insurance carrier finds a misrepresentation on your application, they can deny coverage. Keep in mind, the application may ask about your lifestyle and if you regularly participate in dangerous activities, such as skydiving. You may also be asked about driving history and speeding tickets.
Eat a healthy diet: Be mindful of your diet in the days and weeks leading up to your exam. Lower your sodium intake as well as your consumption of fatty or sugary foods. Salt, sugar, and fat may elevate your blood pressure and cholesterol, so it may be best to avoid them to help get the best results. Shed a few pounds: If you’re above a healthy weight for your height, try to shed some pounds before the exam. If you’re overweight, your insurance carrier may charge a higher premium on your policy. It’s best to be as close to your healthy weight as possible.
Abstain from alcohol: Refrain from drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before your exam. This will help ensure you don’t have a high blood alcohol level.
Drink plenty of water: Hydrating properly helps to flush toxins out of your system, and it may also make the exam more comfortable. You’ll have an easier time producing a urine sample and your veins will be easier to reach for a blood draw.
Dress lightly and practice good posture: Clothing can increase your weight by a few pounds, so dress lightly. Especially if you are approaching an unhealthy weight, your clothing may push you into a higher weight class. Also, stand tall so you are measured at full height.
Keep calm and…
Undergoing a life insurance medical exam can make even the healthiest person a little nervous. Stay calm and complete the application as honestly as you can.
Hint: If you can’t pass a life insurance medical exam, consider a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.