nurse with man taking life insurance medical exam

Tips to Prepare for Your Life Insurance Medical Exam

A life insurance medical exam is a standard part of the application process, during which an applicant undergoes a brief medical assessment. The primary purpose is to evaluate an applicant’s overall health and determine the level of risk they pose to an insurance company. This also helps in securing the most affordable rates, as premiums are significantly influenced by an applicant’s life expectancy.

If you are getting a new life insurance policy it’s important to prepare for the exam even if you feel confident about your health. Seemingly harmless lifestyle factors like excessive caffeine, lack of sleep or intense exercise can affect test results and potentially impact your life insurance premiums. The good news is there are helpful tips to follow in preparation for your life insurance medical exam.

What to expect

A life insurance exam, or paramedical exam, typically consists of two parts: an interview and a physical examination. During the interview portion an examiner will review and confirm your application information. You may be asked to provide the following:

  • A list of current medications and dosages
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of doctors or clinics visited in the last five years
  • List of medical conditions or diagnoses including date diagnosed, treatment and physician information
  • Your health insurance member ID for any current health insurance

It is important to note that insurers have multiple ways of verifying the information you provide, so be honest in your application.

During a physical evaluation, your vitals like height, weight, pulse and blood pressure, as well as blood and urine samples, will be taken. For older applicants, or those seeking high risk insurance, an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) might be required. This information will be used to determine any existing or underlying health issues such as high cholesterol, heart disease, liver or kidney disorders, diabetes, immune disorders and more.

Keep in mind that life insurance medical exams are not just a pointless formality. They play a pivotal role in the application process for several key reasons:

  • Assessing risk and pricing. Your overall health and medical history information is used to assess the level of risk you pose and set appropriate premiums. This helps ensure you pay life insurance rates that reflect your risk.
  • Depending on your health, you might not qualify for certain insurance policies or coverage amounts.
  • Insurer financial health. Accurate risk assessments and pricing helps life insurance companies have enough funds to cover claims. If they underprice policies for high-risk individuals, it could jeopardize their financial health. At the same time, overcharging low-risk applicants can prevent them from being more competitive in the marketplace.
  • Preventing fraud. Life insurance medical exams prevent applicants from lying about their health status to get lower quotes. This could lead to losses for insurers and higher rates for others.

Given the significance of these examinations, your life insurance medical exam prep should be treated with utmost importance. Taking time to properly prepare can significantly impact your exam results and ultimately your insurance policy terms.

What you can do to prepare

If you have an upcoming exam here is what you can do to prepare. In the weeks leading up to your exam make sure you eat healthily, drink lots of water and reduce alcohol intake. The day before, limit your salt intake and high-cholesterol foods, avoid alcohol, nicotine and red meat altogether, and get a good night’s sleep.

On the day of your exam, it’s equally l important to avoid caffeine, alcohol and strenuous exercise, while continuing your hydration. In fact, drinking a glass of water an hour prior to your appointment can help reduce the risk of low blood pressure and fainting, while hydrating your veins for a faster blood-draw. Lastly, have a government-issued ID and your medical information ready, including a list of all your treatments, medications and OTC medicines. These steps will make the exam process efficient and comfortable for you.

Remember, a little preparation goes a long way, not just for your exam but also for understanding the intricacies of life insurance rates — like why life insurance is more expensive for men, statistical risks and life expectancy differences. Get started today!

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