Medical exams can be intimidating, but they can be even more so when they will be used to determine a monthly life insurance premium. Although a life insurance medical exam may seem daunting, there are several tips and tricks applicants can utilize to ensure they get the best possible reading during these important assessments.
The Purpose of Life Insurance Medical Exams
Life insurance medical exams are used to estimate a person’s life expectancy through a variety of factors. Insurance companies use a person’s life expectancy and overall health to see if they qualify for specific plans and to decide their monthly premium rate. This physical exam is meant to rule out any major health conditions, verify any pre-existing conditions, and test the overall physical health of an applicant. People who smoke tobacco, are overweight, or have pre-existing health conditions may still be approved for life insurance, but they may pay higher premiums since their health isn’t in peak condition.
Life insurance medical exams can last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes and may be held in the applicant’s home, office, or a paramedical service’s exam center. The insurance company should cover the cost of the exam, which typically consists of a verbal interview where the examiner will ask the applicant about their current medications, habits, or existing health conditions, and a physical exam. During the physical portion of the exam, an applicant’s height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure are recorded. Blood and urine samples are often taken, as well. Older individuals applying for higher amounts of life insurance may take an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), too.
Preparation is Key
***Due to COVID-19, some companies have changed their exam procedures. Check with your life insurance company to see how they are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Watch what you consume.
In the weeks leading up to a life insurance medical exam, it is important for applicants to watch what they eat and drink since different substances have different effects on the body. Weeks prior to the exam, applicants should start drinking more water and eating less processed foods. Applicants should also avoid alcohol and nicotine since both can raise blood pressure.
Take it easy.
Leading up to an exam, make sure to get more than six hours of sleep per night. Inadequate sleep can cause increased blood pressure, which will show up in the physical exam. Applicants should also avoid working out the day of their exam since it could both raise their blood pressure and increase the proteins in their urine, a symptom often seen in patients with kidney disease.
Avoid certain medications.
The day before a life insurance medical exam, applicants should avoid certain over-the-counter medications, including antihistamines and nasal decongestants. Medications like these can increase blood pressure.
Prepare all materials ahead of time.
Before an applicant meets with a medical examiner, they should prepare all necessary materials like a photo ID, their primary care physician’s contact information, and a list of any current medications. Not only will this ensure that they are prepared, but it may also help lower stress levels the day of the exam, which can result in lower blood pressure and a lower heart rate.
The best way to approach a life insurance medical exam is by planning ahead. By knowing what to expect and being aware of the steps to take to ensure that the exam runs as smoothly and accurately as possible, applicants can put their best foot forward and show insurance companies just what they’re made of!
Life Insurance Questions?
We hope this information on preparing for a life insurance medical exam is helpful for you.
If you’d like to learn how we can help you plan your retirement, call Empower Brokerage to speak to one of our Life and Annuity experts (888) 539-1633.
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