Our team of brokers loves to help others achieve financial protection. So it’s important for us to discuss how life insurance offers a key investment opportunity for yourself and other members of your household.
When applying for life insurance, people are often concerned about the health exams they are required to take before their policy can be instated. It’s only natural that people want to know what precisely you might be tested for.
Understanding Life Insurance Medical Exams
Medical exams are commonplace when it comes to life insurance; most people become comfortable with such exams once they understand how the exam will be conducted and what types of tests they will be subject to before they can be approved for a life insurance policy.
The following text will address some of the most typically asked questions and provide detailed information about the nature of insurance-related medical exams.
But, if you do have few medical issues there are still options out there for obtaining life insurance, such as no medical exam policies that can be purchased if you feel that your current state of health or health history such as needing life insurance with cancer history will hinder you from getting traditional medically underwritten insurance.
Why Do Life Insurance Companies Require Medical Exams?
Initially, it might feel invasive to have your insurance provider checking into your health, something so essentially personal.
Yet their stake in your health is substantial; in fact, your insurance provider is taking a financial risk by insuring your health. In order for your provider to take this risk, they need more information to go on.
For example, if you drink heavily or smoke, your provider is likely to require a higher premium because these lifestyle habits are associated with greater health risk. In order to assess their own risk, they must assess your health and decide if they can insure you and at what rate.
How Do Life Insurance Medical Exams Work?
Many potential life insurance consumers may feel nervous about seeing a doctor or healthcare provider they are unfamiliar with. Yet once they understand the nature of the exam and the convenient methods employed by most insurance companies they become far more at ease.
Typically very basic exams are conducted by paramedics or traveling nurses that come right to your home. They are engaged by the insurance provider to perform these routine tests which are essentially standard throughout the life insurance industry.
They are certified professionals and come right to your home or even your office to conduct the exam at your scheduled appointment. The exams tend to be brief and involve little inconvenience.
What Do Life Insurance Companies Test for in a Medical Exam?
Although your height, weight, and blood pressure will be examined, the main aspect of the exam centers upon the drawing of a blood sample. This sample provides the insurer with the information they need to make basic assessments concerning your health.
The following breakdown outlines what your blood sample can tell your insurance provider.
Heart disease is a major health issue today. Your blood sample can provide information about your heart as well as your arteries. Your insurer is finding out information about:
- Cholesterol– Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can clog your arteries and lead to heart disease. Consequently, your insurer will check your cholesterol level.
- HDL– This substance is your ‘good’ cholesterol. Everyone has good cholesterol and your insurer will be looking to see if you have an optimum level of this good cholesterol that helps your body ward off a stroke or heart attack.
- LDL– LDL is Low-Density Lipoprotein which is regarded as bad cholesterol. Your test will provide a reading of your LDL level.
- Cholesterol/HDL Ratio– This ratio of good to bad cholesterol provides your insurer with a number; this number helps them make a determination about covering you. A ratio 5.0 or under is regarded as a good score.
- LDL/HDL Ratio– This ratio is also a helpful determining factor for your insurer. The lower the number is the lower the risk or likelihood of heart disease.
- Triglycerides– These are fat lipids that are associated with an increased risk for heart disease. Conditions like obesity and diabetes as well as lifestyle choices like drinking alcohol can increase the triglycerides ides in the body and increase health risks.
- Diuretic– The presence of a diuretic, a medication, in the system indicates that you may already be undergoing treatment for high blood pressure.
The health of your liver is another essential factor your insurer will examine. Their tests look at enzymes like Alkaline Phosphatase, AST, ALT, and GGT which may determine if there is liver or muscle disease present.
Total Protein Level
Your protein level can indicate to your provider if either liver or kidney disease may be present.
Bilirubin and Albumin Levels
A high level of Bilirubin is associated with liver or gallbladder disease. A diminished level of Albumin, on the other hand, can also be suggestive of severe liver disease as well as indicate the presence of other disorders.
Increased levels of Globulin are associated with infection or immune system problems.
Medical tests involving the pancreas look for blood and urine Glucose as well as Fructosamine. The amount of sugar in your blood can indicate diabetes. If Glucose is present in your urine, there is also a risk of this condition. If Fructosamine is detected, there is a likelihood of uncontrolled diabetes.
Your provider will also test your blood for HIV as well as the presence of Cotinine which alerts them to a smoking habit. Some insurers may also require an EKG.
You’ve Had Your Life Insurance Medical Exam, What’s Next?
Your exam results typically take several weeks to be reviewed. You will be provided with a copy of the results as will your provider.
They will assess the exam results and look at other risk factors that will inform their decision like criminal background and lifestyle choices (i.e. drug use). Then, of course, they will notify you of their decision regarding coverage. Your exam results may also play a role in the rate of your premium.
Your insurer will be able to discuss in detail how your exam impacts your rate and also address any other issues or concerns you have about the nature of their exam.
No Exam Life Insurance Policies
If you’ve been declined life insurance because of your health or any pre-existing conditions that you have, don’t assume that you can’t get life insurance protection for your family. There are still plenty of affordable plans for you and your family.
A sure bet, low-risk option is researching whether a plan with no medical exams is right for you, be aware though that there are some drawbacks with those type of policies.
The obvious advantage is that anyone can purchase a no medical exam plan and be approved for coverage, regardless of how poor their health is or any pre-existing conditions. There is no medical exam, and most companies won’t ask any questions about your health before they accept you for life insurance.
Everyone deserves to give their family life insurance protection and have peace of mind, regardless of their health.
Get Coverage Faster with a No Exam Policy
Another significant advantage of these no exam plans is how quickly you can get life insurance coverage for your family. With a traditional life insurance policy that requires a medical exam, it could take up to a month to get a life insurance plan.
With a no medical exam, you can get life insurance protection in a matter of days, with some companies it could be a couple of hours. If you’re looking to be covered as soon as you can, these are the best option for you.
Note several aversions to no medical exam that can harm the security of your life insurance plan. These plans will cost more per month, or whichever payment option you choose. The reason is your risk profile is on a different tier than it would be if you did not have any health issues.
With a no medical exam, the company doesn’t how your health is, or how much of a risk you are to insure, they will lower their risk by jumping that monthly premium up.
No Exam Policies Offer Less Coverage
Another notable pitfall to no exam plans is that there is a low ceiling on how much coverage that you can purchase without the medical exam. With most insurers, you can only purchase up to $25,000 worth of insurance coverage without taking a medical exam.
If you need more coverage than that, you’ll have to purchase more than one plan or apply for a traditional life insurance plan.
Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company is highly recognized for offering their no exam, guaranteed issue life insurance policies. While these may not be the most affordable plans, if you are in need of coverage and your health keeps you from qualifying for traditional coverage, this can be an avenue that you explore.
Calculating Your Life Insurance Needs
Aside from having life insurance, it’s vital that you get enough life insurance coverage for your family. Buying too little in face value would burden your family. It would leave the estate with a massive amount of leftover debts and no life insurance money to pay for all of those bills.
Before you apply for life insurance, you’ll need to calculate what your life insurance needs are and how much protection you should purchase. Plenty of factors go into determining how well you want to protect your family.
The first number that you should calculate is all of your debts and final expenses that you would leave behind. One of the biggest expenses that you would leave behind is your mortgage, which can put a serious strain on your loved one’s budget.
You should total up all debts which will include your mortgage, student loans, car payments, and much more. All of those are going to be the responsibility of your family members if something tragic were to happen to you.
Would your families lifestyle change if you were to pass away?
One of the main reasons it would is because household income would decrease. Take your current annual income and multiply it by four and add the outcome into the total face value of the plan you’re looking at. This will give needed security to your survivors.
Final Thoughts on Life Insurance Medical Exams
We know that finding the perfect plan can be a long and frustrating process, but stay diligent in your search for purchasing life insurance. With plenty of different factors that the insurance company is going to look at when you’re going through the application process, the medical exam will give the company an overall picture of your health.
As you can see above, the medical exam is going to look at every aspect of your health, which is a large piece of the puzzle in your life insurance policy and how much you pay in premiums.
Worried about how the medical exam might affect your class rating? Confused about how many options are available to you? Take a deep breath and call us, experience independent brokers, and we will walk you through every step.