If you have loved ones who rely on you for financial support, you probably already know you need life insurance. If something happens to you, a payout from insurance would help them pay their bills and stay afloat.
However, you may be putting off applying for life insurance because of the medical examination. Maybe you don’t have time or just don’t want to be poked or prodded.
Don’t let the possibility of undergoing a medical examination prevent you from purchasing life insurance. The actual exam is probably not as difficult as you believe.
Why do life insurance companies demand a medical examination?
Underwriting is a process used by life insurance firms to assess the risk of applicants, including their estimated life expectancy. This lets insurers set the right prices for life insurance to protect their financial interests.
It also prevents healthy people from overpaying for coverage to subsidize the less healthy. Insurance premiums are more likely to be cheaper for healthier candidates. Those with pre-existing ailments and those who are older will pay more or maybe denied coverage.
Gathering information regarding an applicant’s health is an important aspect of the underwriting process. Insurers require you to complete an application that includes questions about
- Your medical background
- Prescriptions from the past and present
- The medical history of your family (parents and siblings)
- Your driving history
- Amy’s risky pastimes
- Plans for international travel
A fully underwritten policy takes into account all medical and personal information. This usually includes a medical exam to check your information and see if you have any health problems that could shorten your life expectancy.
What a Medical Exam for Life Insurance Entails
You don’t have to give up a full day for a life insurance medical exam. Depending on the tests covered, it can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.
Before your exam, you’ll usually be given questions regarding your medical history over the phone, and the examiner will go over them with you again in person.
Here’s an example of the kind of information you’ll need
Medication names and dosages for historical and current ailments.
Doctors’ names, addresses, and phone numbers visited in the previous five years.
Medical conditions, dates of diagnosis, treatment, and contact information for the treating physician
The number and expiration date on your driver’s license
Your height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure will be measured during the examination. To test for health issues such as raised cholesterol or blood sugar levels, as well as to screen for nicotine and drug use, you will most likely have to produce a urine sample and have blood drawn.
If you’re over 50 and applying for a large sum of life insurance, such as $1 million or more, you may be asked to have a painless electrocardiogram (EKG). Electrodes will be implanted in your body to record your heart’s electrical activity. Who requires an EKG depends on the insurance company.
You won’t have to undress for the exam, but loose clothes are recommended if your test includes an EKG.
Some insurance companies may ask for an X-ray or a treadmill stress test, which must be done in a doctor’s office or clinic.
If you’re 70 or older, you may need to take an additional cognitive ability test.
How to Get a Medical Exam for Life Insurance
A life insurance medical exam is not only short but also simple to obtain. Insurance companies work with organizations like ExamOne and APPS-Paramedical Services, which provide testing services.
A medical testing service representative will usually contact you to set up an appointment. The exam will be covered by the insurance company.
You can have the test performed at your home or place of business, and a nurse or paramedical expert will come to you. If you choose your job, keep in mind that delivering the urine sample from the bathroom to your examiner may be embarrassing.
You could also take the exam at one of the paramedical service’s exam centers.
Putting off the exam will only slow down the process of getting insurance, so schedule it as soon as you can.
How to Get Ready for a Medical Examination
The outcome of your medical check will have a significant impact on the cost of life insurance. It is critical to take the exam seriously. Granted, in the time between enrolling for insurance and passing the exam, you won’t be able to make significant changes to your health. However, there are things you can do to improve your results.
24 hours before the examination: Limit salt and high-cholesterol foods like red meat, and stay away from over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal decongestants.
Don’t drink alcohol or work out hard in the 12 hours before the test, because both can raise blood pressure.
One hour before the exam, avoid coffee and nicotine; instead, take a glass of water. The blood test will be easier if you stay hydrated.
During the examination, wear short sleeves or sleeves that can be rolled up so your blood can be extracted and your blood pressure may be taken.
Inquire about fasting requirements when scheduling your exam. During the 12 hours leading up to your exam, you may need to avoid eating and drinking anything other than water.
Life Insurance Medical Exam Preparation Tips
Obtaining the Results of Your Medical Exam for Life Insurance
Depending on the paramedical business that performed the test, you may be able to view the results of your blood and urine tests. ExamOne, for example, one of the most popular paramedical services, offers results within seven to fourteen days of an exam. Applicants can register on the ExamOne website to get email notifications of their results.
Ask the agent you speak with when scheduling your exam whether you can access your exam results. Alternatively, contact the customer support department of the paramedical firm.
Insurers Get Information About You in Other Ways
Insurers collect information about you in a variety of ways, in addition to your application and medical tests. They collect your health information by:
Examining your medical files
Checking your medication history via a third-party service like Milliman Intelliscript
Verifying facts on your application using the MIB Group database
Insurance firms may also look into:
Check your driving record to see if you have any tickets that show you are driving dangerously.
Verify your details using public records.
Which properties do you own?
If you have a criminal past or other information that indicates you’re a high-risk customer,
Your credit score
Check your social media to see if you’re doing anything unsafe.
If you’re applying for coverage for millions of dollars, you’ll need third-party financial documentation like tax returns or documents from an accountant.
All of this information is used by insurers to calculate your underwriting classification, often known as a risk or rate class. Insurers typically offer preferred and standard rate classes, as well as preferred plus and standard plus. They usually have a substandard category for people who have more serious medical problems.
The charges are the lowest for those in the preferred plus and preferred classes. To get the greatest prices, you should generally:
Be in good health and have not used tobacco in the last three to five years.
Possess a spotless driving record?
Before the age of 60, there was no family history of heart disease or cancer.
How to Get Out of a Medical Exam
You can skip the medical exam if you’re worried about how your health will affect your rate or your ability to get coverage, or if you just don’t want to go through the process.
Many life insurance companies provide no-exam policies. Haven Life, for example, offers “fully underwritten” coverage that does not require an exam. For many candidates, fully underwritten insurance is the cheapest alternative, especially if they are healthier and younger. This is because they give the insurance company the most information, which is used to figure out how much a policy should cost.
There is no medical exam required for these three types of underwriting.
Today, several life insurance companies offer no-exam coverage and a quicker application process.
Fast life insurance is another alternative, in which providers use data and algorithms to swiftly determine a term life insurance quote for you. These choices are typically offered to applicants who are younger (under 50 or 60) and in better condition.
Simple problem insurance on the life
A medical exam is not required for the simplified issue life insurance underwriting process. Applicants must answer a few questions concerning their medical history and way of life. Third-party data sources, such as prescription history, may be checked.
Simplified issue policies will have higher rates than fully underwritten and accelerated underwriting policies, even for healthy people, because less information is gathered and no medical testing is necessary.
Insurers frequently limit the amount of coverage offered under a simple issue policy.
Life insurance that is guaranteed to issue
A guaranteed issue coverage does not require you to take a medical exam or answer health questions. If you’re in bad health, these policies can help you acquire coverage.
They’re usually designed for seniors with limited financial resources who want a small insurance policy to cover burial and death expenses.
Most of the time, guaranteed-issue policies are the most expensive for how much coverage they offer.
If you’re young and healthy, you shouldn’t be afraid to take a medical exam. Then you’ll have a better chance of getting the coverage you require at the best possible price.