When you apply for life insurance, you’re generally required to undergo a life insurance medical exam. The examiner will record your height and weight, take your blood pressure, collect blood and urine samples, and confirm your answers on your life insurance application. The medical examiner is going to collect all demographic information and physical measurements. Those will be passed to the insurance company and the underwriter, which will make the risk assessment on the basis of the profile, and place the applicant into an underwriting class or category. Life insurance medical exam results directly affect how much money you pay the insurance company in premiums.
Good life insurance medical exam results are crucial to obtaining affordable life insurance rates. Your life insurance medical exam results should confirm what you’ve already reported on your application. Unfavorable results, like a high blood pressure reading, will likely result in higher rates. (Some types of coverage, known as simplified issue life insurance, do not require a medical exam.)
It’s important to ensure the life insurance medical exam results are accurate and garners the best possible results. Here are steps to a good exam, according to ExamOne (a 3rd party life insurance medical exam company).
Stay well-hydrated. Drinking water before the exam can make it easier to draw your blood, a necessary step in obtaining cholesterol readings.
Fast prior to the exam. You should not eat for a period of four to eight hours before the exam. Even a muffin eaten an hour before the exam could result in elevated glucose levels.
Avoid physical exercise. Take it easy and avoid rigorous workouts for 12 hours before the exam. That doesn’t mean just passing on that planned marathon, but also avoiding a fast walk or a workout on an elliptical trainer.
Refrain from alcohol. For 12 hours before the exam, avoid consuming alcohol. Alcohol can dehydrate you, and a lot of alcohol within 12 hours of the exam could result in elevated liver function tests, which could bump you out of a preferred category, and also lead to additional tests.
Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Applicants should avoid both coffee and smoking an hour before the test, as caffeine and nicotine elevate blood pressure. And a further word about coffee: Black coffee is OK up to an hour before the exam, but adding cream and sugar is like going off your fast. So if you’re having coffee within the fast period, avoid cream and sugar.
Get a good night’s sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep generally tends to reduce anxiety. Keeping your anxiety levels down, especially when it comes time for the blood draw, will help keep your blood pressure down. The last thing you want is your exam to produce higher than normal blood pressure results.
Limit salt and high-fat foods. For an hour before the exam, lay off the salt and fatty foods, as they may affect exam results.
Know your medications. Generally you will be asked questions about your medical history during the exam, including whether you are currently taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication.
Test outside menstruation periods. Female life insurance applicants should not take the test when they are menstruating.
Follow all these steps and you are more likely to obtain the best possible life insurance medical exam results.
NOTE: These are excellent guidelines whether your medical exam is for life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, or any other type of insurance medical examination. The test used for all insurance policy types is generally the same.