Prepping for Your Life Insurance Medical Exam
In order to receive the most accurate term life insurance estimates, you will need to submit to a life insurance medical exam. Read on to find out what you can expect from the exam and how you can prepare yourself for it.
Purpose of the Medical Exam
Unless you are very young and/or applying for a very small policy, you will have to take a life insurance medical exam. Insurers use the exam to make sure that you have no serious medical issues and to verify the information you provide in your medical history questionnaire. The results of your medical exam will help your carrier determine appropriate term life insurance estimates for your health status.
How the Exam Is Conducted
Commonly, life insurance medical exams are administered by licensed paramedical professionals who conduct the exam at your home or office. Although the insurer will ask you for the name of your physician, your doctor cannot administer the exam. The physical portion of the exam lasts anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. The paramedical will take your height, weight, blood pressure, and ask you questions about your medical history.
Many life insurers also require the paramedical to take a sample of your blood, urine, and saliva for analysis. Depending on your age, you may not have to give a full blood sample. Younger applicants may only have to give a finger-prick blood sample. The samples will be analyzed for the presence of antigens and antibodies that could reveal the presence of a number of conditions. The samples will also be analyzed for kidney and liver problems, cholesterol issues, diabetes, heart disease, and for the presence of nicotine, drugs, or prescription medication. If you take medication or use nicotine, you should disclose this before submitting your samples. Evidence of nicotine, drugs, or medications in your system may disqualify you for coverage or raise your term life insurance estimates, especially if you were not candid in your medical history.
Getting Ready for the Exam
For the lowest term life insurance estimates, you want the results of your medical exam to be as positive as possible. To put your best foot forward, schedule the exam for the morning, as this is when the body is least stressed. Make sure you fast for 8-12 hours before the exam, and avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine for at least 24 hours before the exam. Also avoid medications that could raise your blood pressure, such as nasal decongestants. If you have enough time before your exam, you might try to lose a little weight beforehand as well. The more you weigh, the higher your estimates on term life insurance will be.