You probably know that your health is an important factor life insurance companies use to decide how much to charge you for coverage. The healthier you are, the less you pay. They get a lot of the information they need by performing a medical exam.
Sometimes the difference in cost is dramatic. Bad results can even cause your application to be denied. So there’s a lot riding on those results.
What Happens During a Medical Exam?
After you’ve applied for a life insurance policy, your agent will schedule a time for you to meet with a nurse or medical examiner. In most cases, the examiner will be able to meet with you at your home or office.
The examiner will ask you some questions about your medical history. They’ll check your blood pressure. They will also measure your height and weight to determine your body mass index (BMI). Your BMI is an important indicator of your risk of premature death.
(If you’re curious, you may want to find out your body mass index using the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s super-easy BMI calculator.)
You’ll provide a blood and urine sample. A resting electrocardiogram (EKG) or additional tests maybe required, depending on your age and the size of the policy.
The entire exam typically only takes about 30 minutes.
How Should I Prepare for My Medical Exam?
We’ve provided some helpful tips that will help you get the best possible results on your medical exam in the video below. Following these simple tips will help you pay the lowest rate possible.
Here are a few additional details:
- Eat healthy foods to make sure your blood work is as clean as possible. Really, you should always try to eat healthy (for the record, I’m a vegan). Even if changing your diet isn’t a priority for you, you should do your best to cut out the junk food for the 7 days before the exam.
- Green vegetables like broccoli and spinach are known to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Foods high in fiber are good for your cholesterol, too.
- Try to avoid stress and be well-rested, especially the day before the exam.
- Avoid drinking alcohol for at least the 3 days leading up to the exam. Remember, you’re trying to flush the “bad stuff” out of your blood. You don’t want the insurance company thinking you can’t stop drinking for a couple days, either.
- On the day before the medical exam, try not to take any painkillers or stimulants, including caffeine. Take prescription medications on schedule but avoid nasal decongestants, aspirin and ibuprofen if possible.
- Avoid any strenuous activity (exercise, heavy lifting, etc.) on the day of the exam. That ensures you don’t have any extra protein in your urine.
- You’ll want to start fasting (not eating) for at least 8 hours before the exam. You can drink water – that’s it.
- It’s a good idea to drink a glass or bottle of water before the exam so you’re ready to give the urine sample.
- Don’t use any form of tobacco the day of the exam.
These medical exam tips can help you avoid abnormal test results. Failure to follow these basic tips can put you in a lower rate class, which can cost you thousands of dollars in premiums over the life of the policy. You may even have to retest with your primary care physician at YOUR expense.
We want to make sure you get your life insurance at the lowest rate you can qualify for. These tips will help you do that.