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Life insurance paramedical exam preparation

Researcher & Writer
December 05, 2019

The life insurance medical exam can make or break your bank, based on what health rate class you are ultimately approved at. The following life insurance medical exam tips are meant to provide insight on how you can obtain the best rate class. But before you even take an exam, make sure you are applying with the right insurance company.

Many people have life insurance paramedical exam questions. The most common has to do with why results come back at a different life insurance rate class than applied for.

We find that one of the major reasons that people applying for life insurance come see an unexpected health rate class or are declined for life insurance is simply due to a lack of understanding of what the life insurance health exam entails.

Therefore, it is our goal to inform our clients of the various tips and insight we have gathered over the years on how to get the best results on a life insurance paramedical exam. The following article is the fruit of that labor.

Our goal is to help you find the most affordable life insurance. Whatever your need, we are here to help.

Also, if you hate needles and/or need coverage asap, for things such as life insurance to secure a small business loan or to meet the requirements of a divorce settlement, consider going with a top no exam company.

Life insurance medical exam tips:

A paramedical exam for life insurance is designed to help life insurance companies get a more complete picture of your health. Your results will determine your life insurance premiums, as well as whether or not the life insurance company approves your application for a policy.

The exam may include a blood test, urine sample, and review of your medical history to ensure your physical health aligns with what you've stated on your application. Insurance underwriters are trying to estimate your life expectancy by looking for signs that you have a pre-exsisting health condition such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol levels.

Some life insurance companies require a paramedical exam as part of their underwriting process, while others allow you to skip the paramedical if your medical history indicates you're healthy or if you're willing to pay higher premiums for your life insurance policy.

Hopefully this article covers all your life insurance medical exam questions regarding preparation and tips for getting the best results. You might also want to read our companion article, what do life insurance companies test for? for a more in depth look at exactly what life insurance companies are looking for on your exam.

1. Choose the right company

We work with the:

Run some life insurance quotes and see if the company you are applying with is in the top 15 for price. Make sure you are applying with a company that will give you the best price for life insurance coverage for your specific health profile.

Not sure who will offer the best price for life insurance for your specific health condition or lifestyle? Speak with a licensed life insurance agent, they can guide you towards the best life insurance policy for you.

2. Watch your diet.

  • Focus on eating things that improve your blood work. Leafy greens, such as spinach, broccoli, kale, chard and salads, help to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. How important are low cholesterol and blood pressure numbers? Elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels are the number one reason life insurance applicants come back at a different rate class than originally quoted. If you believe you may have issues with your blood work, consider no medical exam versus exam life insurance where there is no blood draw.
  • Also, avocados, nuts and salmon are great at raising your HDL (good cholesterol) level, which is the primary concern of life insurance underwriters. Underwriters are looking at two cholesterol numbers. One is your total cholesterol and the other is your HDL ratio. You can have a high total cholesterol number but your HDL ratio needs to be excellent. The more good cholesterol you have the better. That is why focusing on foods that improve your HDL before you take your exam can save you a lot of money by avoiding a lower rate class or by qualifying for a higher rate class. Further, foods high in soluble fiber help increase your HDL levels. Some examples are apples and oranges. Also, it has been shown in studies that a glass of wine with dinner can help raise HDL levels. Some other options to help your HDL levels are olive oil, peanut butter, oats, orange juice and fish.
  • Stay away from processed foods high in salt and sugar (e.g. fast food). Foods high in sodium can elevate blood pressure. Foods high in sugar could elevate your blood sugar levels. Why take the risk? Life insurance exam 101 tip: It is better to avoid these high sugar and salt types of foods before you take your life insurance exam.

3. Drink lots of water.

  • Drink a lot of water in the day leading up to your life insurance physical exam. This will flush out your system and make it easier for your examiner to draw blood. That is right, plenty of water makes for full veins, and full veins make it easier for the nurse to find a vein that can be used. (Have a fear of needles? Consider a no medical exam vs exam policy).
  • Limit coffee, which acts as a diuretic and causes you to urinate more. And completely avoid coffee the morning of your medical exam for life insurance as it can cause elevated blood pressure, one of the #1 reasons people come back at a higher rate than they applied for.

4. Avoid exercise and alcohol

24 hours before the exam, skip your workout and any alcoholic drinks.

  • Exercise can elevate your blood pressure and may also cause elevated proteins in your urine.
  • Life insurance health exam tip: Lay off the exercise for 24 hours before your exam to make sure your body is clear of any potential issues.
  • Also, consider laying off of the supplements (such as creatine) for a few days. At times, creatine in the urine can cause an underwriter to offer a rate other than applied for. This leads to the client having to retest with their primary care physician to show that they have no health issues. Retesting takes additional time and money. Avoid this scenario by laying off the supplements (whey and casein protein powders, creatine, etc.) for a day or two before your life insurance physical exam.
  • No alcohol for 24 hours before your medical exam for life insurance. Alcohol is high in calories and sugar and has a direct effect on triglycerides (However, a small glass of wine might benefit you, see HDL above). Plus, it does not look good to have blood work or a urine sample high in alcohol levels. Instead, take 24 hours to detox before your exam for life insurance.

5. Fast in your sleep

Don't eat or drink anything except water for at least 8 hours prior to your health exam.

  • When preparing for your paramedical exam, it's important to fast. If you do not fast you risk elevated blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels. The last thing you want is a false positive on your life insurance physical exam.
  • If you are concerned about fasting for 8 hours, consider taking your life insurance exam first thing in the morning. That way you can simply fast in your sleep, wake up and take your exam.

6. Start your morning right.

The day of the physical exam is here. By now you should be able to answer the question: "How do I pass my life insurance health exam?" However, there are a few more life insurance medical exam preparation tips to be aware of:

  • The morning of your life insurance medical exam you should have a glass of water in expectation of a urine sample, but
  • no breakfast or coffee until after the examiner has taken your labs. You want your body to be free of anything that could affect your lab results. Better to avoid coffee and breakfast that to take the chance that your lab results from you life insurance exam come back other than stellar.
  • Blood draw tip keep your arm straight and your elbow locked to prevent any pain and keep your veins popping out. Believe us when we say we understand about not wanting to do a blood draw. However, this life insurance paramedical exam tip makes the blood draw easy peasy!
  • Wait to take your blood pressure if you feel overly stimulated. Sometimes the idea of a health exam for life insurance can cause people's heart to race. If you find your heart racing, wait to have the examiner check your blood pressure until you have calmed down.
  • If you have an EKG scheduled, make sure you have a couch to lay down on. Give the paramedical examiner a moment to set the machine up properly.
  • Dress in light clothing. Sometimes the difference between one rate class or another is one measly pound. Don't take any risks on your medical exam for life insurance. Wear shorts and a t-shirt. A sweater can weigh as much as two pounds. Deal with the cold and ditch the sweater, at least for the exam.
  • Finally, when the examiner measures you, stand up nice and tall. Life insurance carriers use a build chart to determine what rate class you qualify for. The taller you are the more weight you can carry.

So there you have it: Termlife2Go's life insurance medical exam preparation tips for how to pass life insurance medical exams. Of course, you can bypass this list if you simply choose life insurance without medical underwriting. 

If you're looking for no exam life insurance, consider Haven Life or Bestow.

If you choose an exam-required life insurance policy and don't get the health class rate you're hoping for, don't worry. The insurer may offer you alternative insurance coverage with a shorter-term life insurance policy or a lower death benefit. And you may be able to work with your doctor to improve your health and apply again in a few months for better results.

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We are a team of life insurance experts with the simple mission of helping you find the best coverage for your unique situation. We research, review, and rank life insurance companies to make that process easier.