What To Expect in a Life Insurance Medical Exam – Life insurance companies often require applicants to undergo a medical exam to evaluate their eligibility for coverage. The exam assesses an individual’s health, and based on the results, the insurance company determines the premium rates for coverage. The healthier an individual is, the lower their premium rates will be, and vice versa.
However, some health conditions may disqualify an individual from coverage completely. In such cases, final expenses and guaranteed-issue products may still be available. At the end of this article, you will know what to expect in a life insurance medical exam.
What is a Life Insurance Medical Exam?
A life insurance medical exam is the process of conducting a personal interview with an applicant. The applicant will be asked to offer information about their medical history, current and past use of prescription medicines, and their family’s medical history. This exam also includes recording the applicant’s height, weight, blood pressure, and pulse, and collecting blood and urine samples. In addition, an electrocardiogram (EKG) may also be performed.
What is a Life Insurance Medical Exam Used For?
While the medical exam is a general test to determine an insured’s health and potential risks, there are a few specifics that the exam will look for. The list below indicates what each part of the exam is generally looking for:
- Blood Pressure: To check for high blood pressure, which can be an indicator of heart disease or other health conditions.
- Blood Test: To check for high cholesterol, HIV, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and other health conditions.
- Urine Test: To check for the presence of protein, drugs, or sugar in the urine, which can be an indicator of certain health conditions.
- EKG: To check for heart rhythm and other heart-related issues.
The lists above are what a life insurance medical examination is used for. It can qualify or disqualify you from life insurance.
What Does a Life Insurance Medical Exam Involve?
Insurance companies usually partner with a medical organization to do the exam. The exam is short, lasting around 30 minutes, and can be done wherever it is most suitable for the applicant. The applicant must be prepared to provide the list below:
- A detailed medical history.
- The list of prescription medicines.
- Your family’s medical history.
- The address and name of their primary care physician.
- The answers to general lifestyle questions.
Lifestyle questions may include your work history, driving record, travel habits, tobacco use or other drugs, and dangerous hobbies. All of these can affect an individual’s insurability, but the presence of a dangerous job or hobby or even the use of tobacco doesn’t necessarily mean one is uninsurable; it can also cause an increase in insurance premiums.
Preparing For a Life Insurance-Related Physical
Preparing for a life insurance policy can seem discouraging, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. The process is usually quick and easy, and any discomfort is slight, mostly due to a blood draw. However, it is helpful to know what to expect so you can prepare ahead of time. The lists below are a few tips to follow:
- Get enough rest before the exam to avoid any potential negative effects on your blood pressure and other measurements.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals before the exam, as they can influence your test results.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing, making it easier for the technician or doctor to take your measurements and conduct all necessary physical exams.
- If you are on any medications or health supplements, bring a list of them and their dosages to the exam.
- Inform the technician of any medical conditions or concerns before the exam begins.
Following the above steps one after the other will assist you in making sure that your life insurance physical is as correct and complete as possible.
Stages of the Life Insurance Medical Exam
The life insurance medical exam usually has two parts, and they are as follows:
- A verbal questionnaire: This is where the medical professional will physically ask you a series of questions.
- Standard and basic sample collections: This includes giving your urine and blood for tests. These tests can often be done in your home, and you should be informed in advance by your life insurance agent or broker which tests they will be doing.
The lists above are the two (2) parts of the life insurance medical exam.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to Disclose a Pre-existing illness To Get Life Insurance?
Yes, it is important to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions when applying for life insurance. Insurers use this information to assess the risk of protecting you and determine your policy premiums. If you fail to disclose pre-existing conditions, the insurer may decline to bargain coverage or void the policy in the event of a claim.
Which Medical Conditions are Usually Exempt From Life Insurance?
Typically, life insurance policies do not exempt specific medical conditions. Instead, the insurer will evaluate the applicant’s overall health to determine the premiums for the policy. For instance, if someone has a pre-existing medical condition, they may be considered a higher risk, and the insurer may charge higher premiums to reflect that risk.
Can Life Insurance Companies Access Your Medical Records?
Yes, when you apply for a life insurance policy, the insurer may ask you to sign a release form that permits them to access your medical records if you permit them to do so. This information is used to assess the risk related to insuring you and determine the premiums for your policy.
Can I “fail” a Life Insurance Medical Exam?
Your medical exam results could lead to a denial of your application. However, other factors besides your current health, including a DUI on your driving record or a risky hobby, could also lead to a denial.
How Should I Prepare For the Medical Exam?
To prepare for the medical exam, make your personal information available, get enough rest before the exam, and be prepared to answer questions about your medical history and lifestyle. Follow any specific instructions provided by your insurance company and make sure that you are well-rested on the day of the exam.