A life insurance medical exam is relatively quick (usually 15 to 45 minutes) and you can choose a convenient location. The idea of making an appointment for a medical exam to apply for a life insurance policy probably doesn't seem like a great time. But don't let the process stop you.
Did you know the life insurance medical exam can help you secure the lowest life insurance rates?
Generally, the younger and healthier you are, the less you will pay in life insurance premiums. But even if you are confident in your health, you should still prepare for the medical exam. This is because life insurance companies largely base rates on your life expectancy.
Seemingly harmless actions can affect your lab tests.
Too much red meat
Not enough sleep
A vigorous morning at the gym can create poor results that may not reflect your true health.
You won't have to review your entire lifestyle to “pass” the exam and get the best life insurance quote possible.
A few small adjustments in the weeks and days leading up to your exam can really pay off in the long run.
Here's how you can prepare for a life insurance medical exam.
Where can I get a life insurance medical exam?
After you submit a life insurance application, EPIA will help you to schedule an appointment with a representative from a medical testing service. You can usually do this at one of three locations:
At a paramedic's examination center
Tip: Your workplace may not offer the privacy you’ll want. While you don’t undress for the exam, you will likely want privacy to provide blood and urine samples.
What to Expect During a Life Insurance Medical Exam
Expect a life insurance medical exam to consist of the following:
Your examiner will likely review questions you have already answered on the application, such as questions about health conditions and medications.
Be prepared to provide contact information for your physician(s).
Keep in mind that insurers have many ways to verify the information you provide.
A physical exam
You can expect your height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure to be recorded.
You will likely have to provide a urine sample and have blood drawn.
If you are over 50 and applying for a high amount of life insurance ($1 million or more), you may have to take an electrocardiogram (ECG).
What does the life insurance physical exam include?
The insurance company will likely have your examiner collect the following during your life insurance exam:
Height and weight measurements: These measurements are used to determine your body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of body fat.
Blood pressure check: Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, or weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys, which can lead to kidney disease.
Blood and urine samples: These samples can detect high blood pressure, high cholesterol or glucose levels, liver or kidney disorders, diabetes, immune disorders, HIV antibodies, and indicators of nicotine, tobacco, or drug use.
Possibly an electrocardiogram: Also called an ECG or EKG, this test detects abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), coronary artery disease, previous heart attacks, and the efficacy of heart disease treatments (such as a pacemaker).
How should I prepare for a life insurance medical exam?
In the weeks leading up to the exam A few healthy tweaks to your diet can help lower your LDL levels and raise your HDL levels.
Drink a lot of water. Drinking water can help dilute sugar and protein concentrations and cleanse toxins from your system.
Limit your salt intake. Too much salt can make your urine too concentrated and lead to dehydration.
at a healthy diet. Foods rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products can help lower blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic. It's a good idea to avoid processed foods that has added sodium.)
Limit alcohol. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. That's one drink a day for women and two a day for men, according to the Mayo Clinic. Drinking more than a moderate amount can raise your blood pressure and reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
The Day Before the Exam
You should take some extra precautions the day before the test, such as:
Avoid alcohol and nicotine. Both can raise your blood pressure. But remember, the blood or urine test will reveal recent nicotine use.
Avoid red meat. Red meat is a food rich in cholesterol.
Avoid over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines and nasal decongestants. These types of medications can increase blood pressure.
Have a good night of sleep. People who sleep less than six hours a night may have increased blood pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Here are steps you can take on exam day to help ensure the best possible results:
Avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soda, and tea.
Avoid strenuous exercise, which can raise your blood pressure.
Drink a lot of water. Being well hydrated also makes it easier to provide urine and blood samples.
Have a photo ID ready. You will most likely need a government-issued ID, such as your driver's license, state-issued photo ID, or passport.
Have your medical information ready, including a list of medical conditions, treatments, prescription drugs, and contact information for your doctor(s).
Wear short sleeves or sleeves that can be rolled up so the examiner can take your blood sample.
When you get your blood pressure reading, a few simple steps like not having a full bladder and keeping your feet on the ground while reading can get the best results. A full bladder can increase your blood pressure reading by 10 to 15 points, and crossing your legs can add 2 to 8 points, according to WebMD. Swinging your legs can increase your blood pressure reading by 6 to 10 points.
Will I get my life insurance exam results?
After the exam, the life insurance company will review the results and may contact you with the results. You can get the results directly from the company hired to take the exam. You can also contact the paramedic company's customer service and ask how to get your exam results.
What if my life insurance is denied because of the medical exam?
If the life insurance company denies your application, request for the reason in writing. Ask for details and check the results. Watch out for:
Data entry errors. It is possible that may be human error, such as inaccurate or incomplete information.
False positive results. A false positive means your test shows you have a disease or condition when you don't actually have it. This can happen if the test was not done correctly or other factors that could affect the accuracy of the results, such as food and drink, medication, stress, vigorous exercise, illness, or variations in laboratory procedures.
If you discover an error, discuss it with your life insurance agent and ask how to proceed with a correction.
If the problem was an unexpected positive result, see your doctor to rule it out. For example, if blood or protein is found in a urine sample, this could be an indicator of kidney disease or a result of vigorous physical activity.
If you are denied because of your health and your doctor confirms the test results, you can take steps to improve your health. It is not a good idea to retake your life insurance medical exam right away, as you’ll be denied again.
EPIA inc. is a private Insurance Agency with no ties with legal entities. The information contained in this article is based on information provided by the Forbes Official Website.