I can’t tell you how often my clients underestimate the importance of their life insurance medical exam.
Don’t take the exam lightly. A little preparation can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the policy.
While there may not be much you can do regarding chronic medical conditions prior to your exam, there are strategies that can help improve the chances that your application is accepted, while also keeping your premium rates affordable.
Get Affordable Rates for Optimal Health
Even though you may be ready to purchase life insurance, you might still need to undergo a life insurance medical exam. This medical exam will help them to best predict your life expectancy, along with determining your rate.
Going through the exam could save you a lot of money versus buying a no medical exam life insurance policy.
The younger you apply for coverage, the lower your premiums will be.
If you’re not happy with the rates the life insurance company offers you following your medical exam, that’s fine. Your medical exam results are considered valid for 3 to 6 months (varies by company), which means that if you’re using an independent insurance agent, you will be able to use your medical exam to apply with other companies as well.
Cleaner Lifestyle Makes a Big Difference
Bottom line, “preferred plus” is not an option if you are obese, or use alcohol, tobacco, or recreational drugs. Even just a slight elevation in your blood pressure reading or cholesterol could result in an increase in your premium.
While you may not have the time to lose significant weight or stop smoking prior to your examination, following these strategies will help you improve your rating, as well as possibly save you a substantial amount of money during the life of your insurance policy.
Get Prepared With Your Answers and Paperwork
The life insurance medical exam is usually performed by a qualified medical professional in your home or office, at the expense of the insurance company, and typically takes about 30 minutes.
Be prepared to supply the examiner with your photo ID, and a list of all former and current physicians you have visited, as well as their addresses and phone numbers.
You’ll be questioned about your present state of health, including any current therapies, prescription medications, and supplements you are using.
Expect to also be questioned whether you drink, smoke, use recreational drugs, or engage in dangerous hobbies like mountain climbing or skydiving.
Be Prepared to Roll Up Your Sleeves
Once your medical history paperwork is completed, the examiner will measure your height, weight, pulse rate, and blood pressure, as well as collect both a blood and urine specimen.
There may also be some instances in which an electrocardiogram, or EKG is ordered. Most life insurance companies will provide you with the results of your examination that you may review with your physician if you have questions or concerns.
The life insurance company will screening for many conditions and include – cancer, heart disease, liver disease and diabetes.
Rate classes vary by your health and begin with Super preferred and go down to standard. If you have some health conditions you may be table rated and have to pay additional premiums. Many applicants fall somewhere between ratings, so the more you abide by a healthier diet and get plenty of exercise, the better your chances are of improving your rating.
Begin Preparations a Week in Advance
- Drink Plenty of Water
Paramed organizations offer advice on how to prepare for the exam and one suggestion is to drink plenty of water at least one week prior to your life insurance medical examination. Drinking plenty of water will boost hydration and help to remove toxins from your body, along with making blood draws easier.
- Avoid Fast Food
If fast food is your greatest temptation, this is definitely the time to avoid the excess carbohydrates and saturated fats that will raise your blood pressure and your cholesterol. Try, instead to replace those foods with green, leafy vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and “good fats” like avocado and olive oil. While you’re considering diet changes, choose to cut back on the sugar and salt as well.
- Cut-out Caffeine and Alcohol 3 Days Before
If you can avoid alcohol, your blood test will show that you don’t have alcohol on board. This looks more appealing to an underwriter. The liver is an organ with strong consideration when underwriting for life insurance.
While you won’t be excluded for consuming excess caffeine, drinking too much coffee or energy drinks prior to your exam will certainly not help your results. Caffeine can also raise your blood pressure.
- Stop Smoking Immediately
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it has been estimated that tobacco use reduces your life by at least 10 years. Life insurance providers have reason for concern when it comes to smoking applicants, and it is not uncommon for a smoker to be charged two to three times more for coverage compared to nonsmokers.
It’s important to discontinue using the form of nicotine you’ve been using long before applying for a life insurance policy. Quitting smoking a few days prior to your life insurance medical exam will not get you a non-smoker rate but will help in getting your blood pressure down. Most companies will require you to stop smoking or using tobacco products for 12 months before you can qualify for a non tobacco rate.
Lincoln National and Prudential life insurance company actually allow you to smoke cigars and pipes and chew tobacco and still get a non tobacco rate for life insurance.
Prudential is the only company that allows you to vape or smoke e-cigarettes and qualify for non smoker rates.
Day Before Exam Preparation
Top suggestions for you to practice the day before your life insurance medical exam:
- Drink water as needed, but not to excess (starting one week before exam)
- Fast 12 hours before the exam
- Limit extreme exercise – may elevate cholesterol and protein levels
- Get at least 8 hours sleep the night before
- Avoid stress as much as possible.
Exam Day Blood Pressure Tip
With the anticipation you might feel the day of the life insurance medical exam, it’s possible for your blood pressure to rise slightly. Here is a simple technique that lowers your blood pressure. An elevated blood pressure could mean that you’re more at risk for stroke, heart attack, or kidney failure.
Try, Try, Try Again
Even if your first choice for life insurance turns you down for coverage or rates your premium, you can keep looking, or wait and apply again next year.
If you use an independent life insurance broker, they may be able to find you affordable coverage with another company. If you do decide to apply elswhere, make sure to address the issues that caused the rating in the first place.
We work with over 40 life insurance companies and can help you find the one that is right for you. Call us here at InsuranceQuotes2Day at 1-800-712-8519 or start your quote now: