The Life Insurance Medical Exam

Planning for your future | Life Insurance

Medical Exam and Life Insurance

When you submit your application to buy a life insurance policy, you will be asked to attend a medical exam. It is known as the Life Insurance Medical Exam, and is done so that the insurance companies can review the information and medical history you have shared with them. The exam is performed by a licensed medical professional, and the results from the exam have a big impact on you getting the insurance.

life insurance medical exam

The life insurance medical exam is complete in two stages, which combine your current health information, with the one that you have shared with the company. The result from the exam will determine whether you qualify for the life insurance policy, and will also impact the annual premiums you must pay for the policy. If you are confused about the life insurance medical exam, or want more information about it, you came to the right place.

Here is everything you should know about the life insurance medical exam:

What’s Involved in a Life Insurance Medical Exam?

After you have submitted your life insurance application, your insurance agent will review it, and pass it on to the life insurance company. They will then ask you to take a medical exam, to review your current health, and measure vital statistics. The medical exam is simple, and can be taken at your home, at a local exam center, or even at your workplace. It is important to note that you must fast for at least 8 to 12 hours before taking a life insurance medical exam. Therefore, it is better to schedule the exam to be taken in the morning.

The standard life insurance medical exam will have a physical, which will include the following:

  • Your driver’s license (to check your identity)
  • Blood sample
  • Urine sample
  • Height and weight measurement
  • Blood pressure and pulse readings
  • EKG (especially for seniors who want a massive death benefit)
  • Health questions

The medical exam generally takes about 20 to 30 minutes, but if you are asked for an EKG, it could add another 15 to 20 minutes to the exam. Some insurance companies even require X-rays or a saliva sample, but that happens rarely.

The medical exam will be conducted by a testing company, and the results will be shared with you after the analysis is completed. If you pass the life insurance medical exam, you will get the insurance policy at the rates you want, but if you don’t pass it, you may be denied coverage.

The Two Stages of The Life Insurance Medical Exam

The life insurance medical exam has two stages, and they are taken separately. These stages are:

Ø  Stage One – verbal questionnaire

The medical professional will ask you various health questions

Ø  Stage two – standard sample collections

You must provide a blood or urine sample. These will be tested, and can be taken at your home. The life insurance company must notify you in advance about what tests will be conducted in the medical exam.

Common Conditions the Medical Exam Looks For

There are various reasons why you may be asked to take the medical exam, but life insurance companies have revealed three main reasons.  Here is what they are looking for when they ask you to take a medical exam:

  1. Identify underlying medical conditions
  2. Complete a full medical history of the applicant
  3. Verify information you submitted to the insurance company in the application

The verbal questionnaire and the medical exam will reveal a lot of things about your health, which the insurance company can use to determine whether you are a health risk. If you aren’t in great health, you can expect higher premiums, because you are riskier. The medical exam will look for the following:

HIV/AIDS and hepatitis:

You will be tested for HIV/AIDs and hepatitis, apart from other diseases, and you may be denied coverage if you have these conditions.

Recreational drugs:

Life insurance companies can deny you coverage if you use recreational drugs, since that increases your chances of an untimely death.

Nicotine usage:

Tobacco and smoking are frowned upon, since they are the cause of various health problems. If you are a smoker you may have trouble finding low premiums, and may even be denied coverage.

Elevated cholesterol

High cholesterol is another condition that may cause you problems, because it increases your chances of getting a stroke or heart disease.

Hyperglycemia

This is a clear indicator or diabetes, and you could expect to pay higher premiums if you test positive.

High blood pressure

Anyone that suffers from high blood pressure will find it hard to find insurance policies with low premiums, because of the increased risk of coronary disease or heart failure.

How Are Assessments Made by the Life Insurance Company?

Life insurance companies use longevity charts as statistics to measure and compare mortality rates of people. These charts are given out to insurance companies with statistical information related to the ages at which men, women, and children die. Life insurance companies use this information to calculate risks in approving insurance applications.

For instance, if a longevity chart shows that 29-year-old men are at a higher risk of dying than 29-year-old women, the insurance company will charge higher premiums from men.

The Types of Questions You Will Be Asked

You will be asked various questions related to your health in the medical exam. The type of questions you’re asked will generally depend on the information you have disclosed on your insurance application. However, you can expect questions on:

  1. Your medical history
  2. Your family’s medical history
  3. Phone number, address, and name, of your doctor or other medical professionals you have visited for medical situations or consultations
  4. Lifestyle habits like exercise, recreational drug use, drinking, and smoking
  5. How much life insurance you want to buy
  6. Whether you suffer from anxiety, depression, or if you have ever been hospitalized for any medical condition.

Procedures to Expect During the Medical Exam

You will undergo different procedures during the medical exam, which will include the following:

  1. Weight and height measurement
  2. Urinalysis
  3. Pulse and blood pressure measurement
  4. Blood work

Once the medical exam has been completed, the insurance company will check the results and determine whether you qualify for insurance, and what premiums you will be charged. It may take a couple of months for the entire process to be completed.

What should you do to Prepare for a Life Insurance Test?

You don’t need to be nervous about taking a life insurance test, because it is just like preparing for any other medical test. Once you have submitted your application to the life insurance company, you should prepare yourself to answer various questions related to your medical history, lifestyle, and health. You can make things a lot easier on yourself by disclosing accurate information on your application, because you will be denied coverage if you are caught sharing wrong information.

After the questioning, you must prepare for the medical exam. The best way to prepare your body for the exam is to drink plenty of fluids and eat a lot of healthy foods. Make sure to consume a lot of salmon, nuts, and avocado to raise good cholesterol levels, and reduce sugary or fried foods from your diet. Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water, which will cleanse your body from toxic chemicals, open out your veins, and allow you to give a clear urine sample.

When Will Life Insurance Coverage Start After a Medical Exam

This depends on the insurance company, because each company has a different process for offering coverage. If you are in excellent health, you can expect life insurance companies to start coverage as soon as you have submitted your application. This will only happen if the information you have shared checks out, and by the time you have completed the medical, your insurance coverage would have started.

People who pay their insurance premium while submitting their application can expect the coverage to start from that date. This is subject to their information checking out, but if you haven’t paid the premium, then coverage will begin once the medical is complete and you have passed.

As always, ask the life insurance company, or your life insurance agent about important details related to the coverage, and premiums. Most life insurance policies have a contestability clause, which can deny life insurance benefits to policyholders for various reasons in the first two years. Make sure that you check out the terms of the policy, to clear any doubts.

What Not to do Before a Life Insurance Medical Exam

You should stop consuming alcohol or coffee at least 3 days before your medical exam. Apart from that, you can take it easy on your exercise routine, because it can show elevate proteins when you take the urinalysis. It is advised that you take every precaution, so that you don’t get inaccurate results when you give the medical exam. Although it is unlikely you will get inaccurate results, but exceptions can always happen. Therefore, you are strictly advised to avoid the following:

  • Cold Remedies & Decongestants – can show false positive for amphetamines
  • High Protein Snack Bars – can show false positive for marijuana
  • Ibuprofen – can show false positive for marijuana
  • Poppy Seeds – can show false positive for opiates
  • Sleeping Pills – can show false positive for barbiturates
  • Tonic Water – The quinine can show false positive for cocaine
  • Vitamin B12 or Riboflavin Supplements – can show false positive for marijuana

What Happens If You Fail a Life Insurance Medical Exam

This occurs more commonly than you think, but if you fail a life insurance medical exam; there is nothing to panic about, because there are plenty of options still available to you. First let’s discuss the reasons behind why you failed your medical exam. This can happen if you have submitted inaccurate information in your application, which doesn’t match with the data found in your medical exam.

In such a case, you will be denied coverage, or you may be asked to undergo further testing. You can ask the insurance company to share a copy of your medical exam, so that you have knowledge of what health problems you are suffering from. It can also be possible that the insurance company has made a mistake, which is why it is important to have your doctor check the medical exam report.

If You Die Before the Medical Exam Results Are In

In such a situation, the outcome will depend on the life insurance company you are working with and what rules they have in place regarding your death before the medical exam results are in. However, if you have been accepted, then your insurance policy had started when you submitted your application, and your beneficiary will be given the payment. However, if you have failed the exam, then the insurance company isn’t liable to pay anything to your beneficiary.

If the insurance policy has a clause like suicide provision, or other clauses that exclude coverage if you die, then the policy isn’t going to pay out. Therefore, it is important that you discuss this issue with your life insurance agent and the company, so you understand the terms of your insurance policy.

What Are Your Options If You Fail a Medical Exam?

In the worst-case scenario, where you have failed your medical exam, and have been denied coverage, you shouldn’t feel as if your options have ended. There are a lot of other insurance policies available that don’t require a medical exam, and are available at affordable rates. You can also check whether your employer can offer you with a life insurance policy, because employee benefit life insurance policies don’t require medical exams.

As always, conduct plenty of research when applying for life insurance policies, and talk with licensed life insurance professionals about medical exams. There are a lot of life insurance companies out in the market, with plenty of life insurance policies that provide coverage without the need for a medical exam. You can also get in touch with us for more information about the life insurance medical exam.