NEWS & ARTICLES INSURANCE GUIDE

There are many reasons why someone might want to avoid taking a paramedical exam, which is also more commonly known as a life insurance medical exam or a paramed.  Some are not sinister, it may make you nervous to have someone examine you for instance.  Some people may want to avoid the exam because they haven’t been to the Dr.’s office in a long time, and they are worried about the results of the exam.  A very common reason that people want to avoid the exam though, is that they might know that they have a health problem that will either compromise their ability to get life insurance, or cause them to have a very high premium.  Here are some considerations if you are worried about getting the paramedical exam.

You Can Buy No Exam Life Insurance For a Price

If you really don’t want to get the exam, you can avoid it.  Many companies sell no exam life insurance policies.  They are perfectly legal, the companies are reputable, and there are thousands of policies sold every day.  There are two very different types of no exam policies out there, and you should understand which one to pursue.

Very Small Policies from Traditional Providers May not Have an Exam

If you are not applying for a lot of life insurance coverage, you can probably avoid a life insurance exam even with a traditional provider.  The cutoff is different for every company, but generally for policies under $50,000 no exam is needed.  Here’s the catch.  The life insurance company is still going to do underwriting on you.  They will likely ask for medical records from your primary physician and you will need to fill out a questionnaire on your health.  If you have a known health issue that you don’t disclose to the life insurance company, they don’t necessarily have to pay out on your policy.  They still may, typically the way this is handled is if the life insurance company would still have issued the policy with a different health rating they will pay at least the majority of the death benefit out.  If they had known about your health issue and they would not have issued the policy according to standard underwriting guidance, they will deny a payout.  Honesty is the best policy on the questionnaire.  The company may also require the agent to obtain a saliva sample from you, which usually just tests for HIV.

The good news is that if you don’t have any known major health issues and you are nervous about going through a paramedical exam and you are applying for a small face amount you don’t necessarily need to go through one.  You can still get a top notch health rating such as preferred or premier.  Your policy will be affordable and you will have a major life insurance provider write your policy.

A “No Exam” or “Guaranteed Issue” Policy is Different

Another type of policy that won’t require an exam is usually referred to as a guaranteed issue policy.  Here is the big problem with buying a no exam policy/guaranteed issue policy though, it costs way more money than a standard issue policy.  This is a “last resort” type of policy for people that have no other options for getting life insurance coverage.  Here are some normal features of a guaranteed issue policy.

  • Very high premiums.  Usually if you sum the total premium payments made over about a 10 year period you will total the death benefit.
  • Can’t die within the first two years.  If the insured person passes away with the first 2 years the policy typically won’t pay out.  The plus side is that premium payments are often returned.
  • Premiums may rise every year.  Some policies will have an increasing premium structure and cost more and more money every year.
  • Little to no underwriting.  There may or may not be any health complications that will disqualify you from getting a policy issued.
  • No paramedical exam.  Because the policy is “guaranteed issue” there is no need for a health exam.
  • Small face value.  Usually the life insurance company will limit the face amount of the policy to a very small amount.  Often it is only about $25,000 or less as a maximum face value.
  • Quick issue.  There is not much waiting for the policy to get issued.  Sometimes a decision is made the same day.
  • Term policy only.  This is not a permanent form of life insurance and there is no cash value.  It is a term policy and is usually meant to be held for under 10 years.

This type of policy is for people who have serious health complications but still want some form of coverage.  Examples would be someone with cancer, someone who has had a heart attack, or someone with a degenerative nerve disease like multiple sclerosis.  The companies that write this type of policy are typically not the major insurance providers such as Metlife, New York Life, Northwestern Mutual and Prudential, but they can be as this is a growing type of life insurance and major companies are starting to get involved.  Oftentimes smaller, less known companies issue these types of policies who may not be quite so large.

That doesn’t mean that they aren’t trustworthy though.  Life insurance in all forms is highly regulated in the United States and it is rare to see a company break the law because there is a precedent of extremely harsh penalties.  Life insurance also enjoys some tax advantages and the industry is not keen to draw negative attention to themselves.

Unless you think there is a chance that you will be terminally ill within the next few years it generally doesn’t make much sense to buy this type of coverage though because of the reasons outlined above.  If you think this is your only hope for coverage you should still try to exhaust your options with a standard issue policy before pursuing a guaranteed issue policy.

It Might be in Your Best Interest to Take the Medical Exam

A paramedical exam is not necessarily a bad thing!  Even if you have a known health issue you may still qualify for much cheaper life insurance through standard underwriting processes.  For instance, health issues can be controlled with medication.  If you take medication and your issue is relatively under control and there is no reason for you to live a substantially shorter life than someone without your condition, a life insurance company will work with you to get a policy issued.  Even if you have certain types of cancer that are in remission you can still obtain life insurance.

If don’t have a known issue but you are worried what the exam might uncover, you shouldn’t think of it as a bad thing.  If it is discovered that you have high blood pressure or cholesterol you can take medication to get your numbers within normal range.  You can either re-take the exam and reapply for insurance after your medicine has time to become effective or the life insurance company will allow you to improve your assigned health rating through a reconsideration process.  Finding out about a health issue earlier rather than later will improve your chances of living a long unaffected and healthy life.  Use the exam as an opportunity for a checkup and a reason to get any health concerns under control.

If You Are Very Nervous Around Drs.

 

Get over it!  We know it might not be that easy.  If you have a strong fear of seeing a Dr. there are a couple of things that may put you at ease here.

The first is that the exam is not carried out by a Dr. at all.  It is carried out by a nurse who performs dozens of exams every week.  They know what they are doing, are comfortable to be around, and the exam usually only takes a few minutes.  They have probably seen it all, and you don’t need to worry about their judgement.  In fact, they don’t really render any judgments to you at all, they just report their findings to the insurance company.  While they may need to draw a little blood, you don’t need to worry about any other painful or overly invasive tests.

They come to you.  You can carry the exam out at your home, a friends home, or even your work if your employer allows it.  You can pick a place that is comfortable to you that you will be at ease in.  You don’t need to go to a sterile office at all.

If you are still really nervous about having the exam, you can get a physician to prescribe anti-anxiety medication.  While not ideal, the insurance company will usually allow the exam to take place under these circumstances as long as you disclose it and get permission beforehand.  Don’t self subscribe or try to hide any medication you are taking before or during the exam.  If a pet or service animal makes you more comfortable, you can also keep them around while having the paramedical carried out.

Life Ant Offers No Exam Policies

If you are set on getting a policy without a paramed exam, we can help you.  Whether you are looking for a traditional policy with a small face value or you are looking for a guaranteed issue policy, check with our experts and we can get you a quote or help you buy a policy.  If you aren’t sure if you qualify or not, our agents will get you answers.