When applying for life insurance, you will probably have to undergo a medical exam to determine your premium. These exams are completed by paramedical health care professionals who are hired by the insurance company. In addition to the exams, you will also have to provide information about your medical and family history.

The insurance company hires a paramedical professional to complete a medical exam before issuing life insurance in order to identify any health conditions that may shorten your life. The cost of this process is covered by the insurance company.

Where to Get a Life Insurance Medical Exam

In most cases, you do not have to go to a hospital or medical center for a life insurance medical exam. A life insurance medical exam is often done at home. The medical professional who will come and do the tests will bring a kit with them to collect samples from you.

Why Life Insurance Companies Require a Medical Exam

There are three reasons life insurance companies administer medical exams:

    1. To verify the information originally submitted to the company in your life insurance application
    2. To take a full medical history of the applicant: The questions on the life insurance medical exam go more in-depth into your medical history and your family members. If the company determines you are likely to die at an early age, they will want to collect higher premiums early on. If the company feels you will live longer they may not need to collect as much from you in the early part of your life because they may determine that you will be around longer to continue to make premium payments.
    3. To identify any underlying medical conditions. Medical conditions such as diabetes, inconsistencies in the blood work, or HIV that the applicant may not be aware of or may not have declared. The company will also verify drug or nicotine use. The information from the medical tests will be matched against the sample test results.

The Medical Exam Process:

  • A paramedical professional will gather your medical history, height, weight, blood pressure, pulse and (potentially) blood and/or urine samples.
  • Blood tests are used to detect the presence of antibodies or antigens to various viruses and diseases. Urine tests are used to detect the presence of medications and illegal drugs.
  • Exams do not include sensitive tissues, such as breast or prostate exams.
  • If the insurance company has any further questions after the exam, you may be asked to submit more information. Additional tests may be ordered based on your age and the policy amount desired.
  • After the results are received by the insurance company, you will be given a risk rating: either “flat” or “table” for your medical history and conditions. In general, table ratings increase premiums because they are permanent or somewhat permanent conditions.

Plan Ahead

Some things to consider before having a life insurance medical exam:

  • Get a good night’s sleep the day before.
  • Fast for 6-8 hours before the exam.
  • Do not drink alcohol for at least eight hours prior to the exam.
  • Make sure you are hydrated.
  • Limit your intake of salt and high cholesterol foods for at least 24 hours prior to the exam.
  • Do not engage in strenuous exercise for 24 hours prior to the exam.
  • Know your medical history.

What Happens If You Fail a Life Insurance Medical Exam?

If the information you submitted on the original application does not match the data collected during your medical exam, then you may be denied coverage, or you may receive a request for additional testing. Be careful because your life insurance policy may not be in force as a result of the change of circumstance.

If you failed the medical exam or feel something on the medical exam was inaccurate you’ll want to ask the insurance company to send a copy of your medical exam results to you, or your doctor. This way if you failed because you have a health problem you can address that with your doctor. But, if you failed because of a mistake by the insurance company, you and your doctor can remedy the situation immediately. That way, your mistaken results will not stay on your health record and cause you to be denied for other insurance.

If you have failed a life insurance medical exam and have been denied coverage, you should contact on of our licensed advisors who has access to several life insurance policy types and companies. Just because one life insurance company declines to insure you, it does not mean all of them will.

That’s what we are here for. We work with multiple companies and can help you find the right policy for you and your situation.