Life insurance companies commonly require policy applicants to complete a medical exam shortly after they apply for coverage. This is a simple and basic exam, and it's generally not something to stress over too much. You will, however, want to know what to expect in this exam.
The Purpose of the Medical ExamThe purpose of a life insurance medical exam is multifold, but all reasons for the exam are straightforward. The underwriting life insurance company uses the exam to:
•Verify information you initially provided when applying for coverage
•Gather your full medical history and family history
•Identify underlying medical conditions you may haveThis data helps underwriters more accurately predict your likely longevity, which is a primary factor they consider when setting premiums.
The Process of the Medical ExamThe medical exam itself is simple, and often even easier to complete than an annual physical check-up. The exam may be conducted by a paramedic or nurse and consists of two parts.
The first part is a simple questionnaire that's completed verbally. During this phase, the examiner will confirm the information you initially provided and ask additional questions. You can expect questions about your medications, hospitalizations, surgeries and conditions, as well as your contact information, lifestyle habits, family medical history and amount of coverage desired.
It's important to answer all questions fully and honestly. In many cases, other tests will be conducted to confirm your answers (for example, blood tests will check for illicit substances and Cotinine, which is a chemical that indicates tobacco use).
The second part of the exam involves taking vitals and collecting samples. The examiner will measure your height and weight, and they'll check your pulse, blood pressure, etc. You'll then need to provide a urine sample and blood sample. The samples will be used to check for HIV, measure cholesterol, and perform several other checks.
Depending on your age and gender, you may have to complete some additional tests. Insurers sometimes require an EKG if you're 50 years of age or older, and men over 50 might need to complete a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test.
The Scheduling of the Medical ExamMost life insurance medical exams are completed at home and at your convenience. There's usually no need to go to a clinic or practice, and the entire process typically takes 20 minutes. You'll be able to schedule the exam at a time that works for you. Importantly, women should avoid scheduling their medical exam during their period or anytime they have vaginal discharge. Discharge can interfere with the accuracy of urinalysis.
The Results of the Medical ExamThere are three possible outcomes of your medical exam:
•Passing, in which case you're eligible for coverage
•Inconclusive, in which case you'll need to undergo additional testing
•Failing, in which case you'll be denied coverage
You'll hopefully pass the medical exam, but don't worry if you don't - you shouldn't give up searching for coverage if you are ultimately denied by one insurance company. A Sproutt insurance advisor can help you check other insurance companies' offerings and find one that'll likely provide coverage.