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Life Insurance Medical Exams

life insurance medical exam

Written By Doug Mitchell

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA.  Doug has spent close to 30 years in the insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health.  Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

Holly Mitchell  &

Holly Mitchell’s background in life insurance insurance goes back to 1985 when she worked for her father who was a New York Life agent. Holly has a marketing degree from Auburn University and has had a life insurance license since 2008. In addition to advising life insurance for customers all around the country, Holly is our website fact checker.

Rob Pinner   &

Rob Pinner is the founder and CEO of Pinner Financial Services servicing all 50 states. Rob started his insurance career in 2002.

Louis LaBash

Results-driven and innovative life insurance professional with 30 plus years of life insurance industry sales and marketing experience. Recognized as a pioneer in the field, leveraging phone and internet channels to exceed personal sales of over $100 million during the first decade of the 21st century. Creator of a highly effective intuitive IUL life insurance sales software that facilitated the sale of millions of dollars of indexed universal policies by numerous life insurance agents. Proven track record as a Managing General Agent (MGA), Life Agent, IUL Life Insurance Sales Software developer, and leading-edge creator of insurance marketing tools, educational content, and delivery systems.

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When applying for life insurance, people are often concerned about the health exams or blood tests that might be required.

Medical exams are common when it comes to life insurance.

Once you understand how the exam will be conducted, you can become comfortable with the life insurance medical exam.

In this article:

Why Does Life Insurance Require A Medical Exam?

Initially, it might feel invasive to have your insurance provider checking into something as personal as your health, yet their stake in your health is substantial.

In fact, your insurance provider is taking a financial risk by insuring you. For your provider to take this risk, they need to know about your health and other important information.

For example, if you drink heavily or smoke, your provider will view these lifestyle habits as a greater risk. Life insurance companies assess health and other risks before deciding if they can insure you and at what rate.

How Do Life Insurance Medical Exams Work?

Typically, these routine tests are conducted by paramedics or traveling nurses used by the insurance provider, which are essentially standard throughout the life insurance industry.

The exams tend to be brief and involve little inconvenience.

A certified professional will examine your height, weight, and blood pressure in addition to drawing a blood sample.

What Does A Life Insurance Blood Test Look For?

A blood 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 Health

Your blood sample can provide information about your heart as well as your arteries, including:

  • Cholesterol– Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can clog your arteries and lead to heart disease.
  • HDL– This substance is your ‘good’ cholesterol. An optimum level of this good cholesterol helps your body ward off a stroke or heart attack.
  • LDL– LDL is Low-Density Lipoprotein and is regarded as bad cholesterol.
  • 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 and 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.

Liver Health

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.

Globulin Levels

Increased levels of Globulin are associated with infection or immune system problems.

Pancreas Health

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 Blood 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 an EKG.

What Happens To Life Insurance Health Exam Results?

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 how your exam impacts your rate and address any other issues or concerns you have about the nature of their exam.

Can I Get Life Insurance Without Taking A Medical Exam?

If you want to avoid a medical exam or have serious medical issues, there are still options out there for obtaining life insurance.

No medical exam policies can be purchased if you feel that your current health, such as needing life insurance with cancer, will hinder you from getting traditional medically underwritten insurance.

When researching whether a plan with no medical exams is right for you, be aware that there are some advantages and drawbacks with this type of policy.

Easy to Qualify

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.

Get Coverage Faster

Another significant advantage of these no-exam plans is how quickly you can get life insurance coverage for your family. Traditional life insurance that requires a medical exam could take up to a month to get covered.

With a no medical exam, you can get life insurance protection in a matter of days or even a couple of hours. If you’re looking to be covered as soon as you can, these are the best option for you.

Policies Are Expensive

These plans will cost more per month, or whichever payment option you choose. Your risk profile is on a different tier than it would be if you took a health exam and did not have any health issues.

No Exam Means Less Coverage

Another notable pitfall to no exam plans is a low ceiling on how much coverage 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.

Life Insurance Medical Exams & Blood Tests Provide Savings

We know that finding the perfect plan can be a long and frustrating process. But stay diligent in your search for purchasing life insurance.

There are plenty of different factors that the insurance company is going to look at when you’re going through the application process. And 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. This 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 our experienced independent brokers, and we will walk you through every step.

Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA. Doug has spent close to 30 years in the life insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health. Some other notable items about Doug: Top of the Table Million Dollar Round Table member (MDRT). (MDRT is a global, independent association of the world’s leading life insurance advisors) | Premier Partner with Lincoln Financial and Cabinet Member | Served two years as President of the Auburn/Opelika Association of Financial Advisors | Life Millionaire status at Horace Mann Insurance Company and was awarded the Life Agent of the Year Award | New York Life, Executive Council Member | Currently serves as President of Ogletree Financial, a life insurance General Agency. | Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

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