What Do Life Insurance Companies Test for In A Medical Exam?

What do life insurance companies test for?Life insurance is one of the most important purchases that you’ll ever make for your loved ones. It’s the best way to ensure that they will have the money that they need, regardless of what happens to you. Finding the perfect life insurance plan can be a long and difficult process, but we are here to help.

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 they are going to be tested for. 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. Though do not allow your health issues to hinder you from obtaining life insurance, there are other options out there 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.

Life Insurance And 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 Will The Exam Be Conducted?

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.

Healthy LivingWhat Do The Tests Involve And What Do They Check For?

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 Condition

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 is a waxy substance that can clog your arteries and lead to heart disease. Consequently, your insurer will check your cholesterol level.


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 stroke or heart attack.


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.


This ratio is also a helpful determining factor for your insurer. The lower the number the lower the risk or likelihood of heart disease.


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.


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

Your protein level can indicate to your provider if either liver or kidney disease may be present.

Bilirubin and Albumin

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.

Additional Tests

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 and EKG.

Post Exam

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 Medical 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 options for you and your family. One of the best options is to purchase a no medical exam life insurance policy, but there are a few advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of when you’re shopping for the perfect insurance policy to fit your needs.

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.
Another significant advantage of these no exam plans is how quickly that 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 hours. If you’re looking to get life insurance as quickly as possible, these are the best option for you.

There are a few disadvantages to no medical exam that can hinder the effectiveness of your life insurance plan. The most significant disadvantage is that these plans are more expensive than a traditional life insurance policy that requires an exam. With a typical life insurance plan, the insurance company is going to calculate how much of a risk you are for a plan, the more risk that you are, the higher the premiums are going to be. With a no medical exam, the company doesn’t how your health is, or how much of a risk you are to insure, they are going to offset this risk by charging you much higher monthly rates.

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 insurance companies, 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.

Calculating Your Life Insurance Needs

Aside from having life insurance, it’s vital that you get enough life insurance coverage for your family. Not having enough life insurance is one of the worst mistakes that you could ever make for family. It would leave your loved ones 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. There are several different factors that go into determining how much life insurance your family is going to need.

The first number that you should calculate is all of your debts and final expenses that you would leave behind to your loved ones. 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 add up all of your 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.

The next factor to consider is your annual income. The secondary goal of your life insurance is to replace your paycheck. If you’re one of the main income earners in your household, they would suffer financially if you were to pass away. Your life insurance can replace your salary and give your family the money that they need, without having to sacrifice their standard of living. It’s wise to get seven to ten times your annual salary to ensure that your family has the protection that they need.

Life Insurance, What You Need To Know

Life insurance is one of the most important purchases that you’ll ever make for your loved ones, but we know that finding the perfect plan can be a long and frustrating process. There are dozens 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 going to play a major role on your life insurance policy and how much you pay in premiums.

If you have any questions about the medical exam or about the different options available to you, please contact one of our agents today. We would be happy to answer those questions and ensure that you’re getting the best plan to fit your needs. Don’t wait any longer to get the life insurance protection that your family deserves. We are here to make the process as quick and painless as possible.

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Doug Mitchell

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