When you sign up for a new life insurance plan, you will be required to have a medical exam. Your health factors into the cost of your life insurance premium, and the medical exam is used to determine your overall fitness level and assign you a health rating. The logic is that if you are in good health, you are going to be less likely to die, and therefore the insurer is less likely to be required to pay out a claim. If you are healthier, your premium will be lower. This exam is very important, and it’s helpful to be prepared and informed before it happens.
Can you use your own doctor for a life insurance exam?
Unfortunately, you cannot use your own doctor for a life insurance exam. Insurers want unbiased results, so they will hire their own medical professional to do the exam. Although you won’t get to choose the doctor, you do get to choose the time and place of the exam (within reason). This ensures that you don’t have to disrupt your schedule too much for the exam. It also means that you won’t have to pay any doctors’ fees or make a health insurance claim to have the exam done.
The life insurance company will ask for medical records as a part of their underwriting process. So in a way, your medical data on file with your own doctor is used. It is not a substitute for the exam, but your doctor’s findings will be read by the insurance company.
For many people, the idea of a physical exam is a stressful one, but knowing what to expect can make the process easier and less overwhelming. Typically, a life insurance paramedical exam only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. You won’t have to take your clothes off or undergo any invasive procedures. The examiner will start with some questions about your medical history. Then, they will do a blood pressure test, take a urine, blood, and saliva sample, and may do some quick cognitive tests. If you are interested in a very comprehensive policy, they may also do an EKG or similar test. You can have the results sent to your personal doctor afterwards to deal with any health problems that may have come up during the exam.
Key Factors Insurance Companies Look At
There are many important factors that life insurance companies look at with your health examination. These include:
- Your BMI, which is essentially your height to weight ratio
- Your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, which can be indicative of your overall health habits.
- The presence of serious conditions and diseases like diabetes, HIV, and Alzheimer’s, just to name a few. All of these can contribute to a shorter lifespan, which is why companies care about them.
- Your heart, liver, and kidney function, as these are all vital components of a healthy life. This is a big part of the reason that you need to provide blood and urine samples.
- Whether or not you use drugs. This includes serious illegal drugs, like meth, cocaine, and heroin, but it also includes marijuana and nicotine use, both of which are addictive and can have long-term health consequences.
How to Prep For Your Exam
There are some things you can do before your exam to make sure you get the best results possible. Although your exam is important for your premium, it’s not something to be too nervous about – it’s short and should be relatively non-invasive. Here are some things you can do to ensure that the examination goes smoothly.
- Prep your health documents beforehand. You don’t want to be running around at the last minute trying to find your health records or important identification documents. Set aside time the day before to make sure all of these items are in order and put them in a folder to keep them safe.
- Avoid alcohol the night before the exam. Alcohol is dehydrating and can have a negative effect on various aspects of your health. You should also avoid using any recreational drugs for several days before the exam.
- Be sure to get a good night’s sleep before the exam. Sleep is very beneficial for your overall health.
- Try to eat a healthy diet the day of, and avoid heavy meals that could make you feel groggy. If you decide to exercise, keep it light and avoid anything that could cause excess strain on your body.
Your life insurance medical exam is an important part of your premium costs. Although you cannot use your own doctor, the process is designed to be easy and cause minimal stress. Be sure to adopt your best healthy habits in the days leading up to the exam – it can help you achieve a lower premium.