The Importance of Life Insurance Medical Exams

Life insurance is an important financial tool to protect your family, but fears and misinformation keep countless people from learning more and signing up for a life insurance policy. For example, many fear the dreaded medical exam required by insurance companies. However, the life insurance required medical exam is a good thing and could help you save money on your life insurance policy.

There are three common methods insurers use to issue a life insurance policy: fully underwritten, simplified issue, and guaranteed issue. Each has differences that are important to understanding when it comes to your life insurance policy and exam requirements.

Medical Exam Sign up Options

Fully underwritten policies are the most common. This policy requires people to fill out a detailed questionnaire on medical history and complete a health exam. This information allows the life insurance company to place people in the most appropriate risk category, and secure a price for the life insurance policy based on that risk.

Simplified issue policies do not require a medical exam. People are required to complete an application and medical history questionnaire, but the physical medical exam is skipped in lieu of a simple risk underwriting process. Because there is no medical exam, and the carrier is not able to review the health screening and lab results, insurers charge a higher price than they would for someone who completes a medical examination. Simplified issue insurance policies are generally not available for the same value as fully underwritten policies.

Guaranteed issue policies are guaranteed for anyone. These life insurance policies are typically for people who cannot get life insurance because of health challenges, or for someone who is looking for a low amount of insurance. The cost is high and limits are typically low compared to either simplified issue or fully underwritten policies.

Medical Exam Risk Categories

People looking for standard issue policies, like the three mentioned above, are categorized based on a risk of death. While this isn’t a jolly subject to discuss, it is the primary reason to get life insurance – to protect your dependents in the event of an untimely passing.

Each insurer has its own risk categories or underwriting classes. The most commonly used classes, from best to worst, are: preferred plus, preferred non-smoker, standard plus, standard non-smoker, preferred smoker, and standard smoker.

These classes price policies. For example, people who smoke pay more than those who do not because their likelihood of death, while the life insurance policy is in effect, is greater than someone who is a non-smoker.

Medical history also impacts risk, which is why the life insurance medical exam is important. A healthy person can undergo a medical exam and be rated for the preferred plus class, but if they sign up for a simplified issue policy where there is no exam, they may end up paying more!

In cases like this, a medical exam will save money on premiums each month, as the insurer has enough information to rate the insured in a lower risk category/class. With no medical exam, they have to default to a more expensive policy because they don’t have enough health information to rate them in a less risky category/class.

In most cases, a policy with a medical exam will yield a lower monthly rate than a policy with no medical exam. Don’t just get any life insurance policy, make sure you get the right one.

Free Medical Exams

In an era with skyrocketing health insurance and medical care costs, getting a medical exam can be time consuming and expensive. When applying for a standard issue life insurance policy, a medical examination (which checks for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other common health problems) is included, free of charge. These medical exams are simple, quick, and typically take 30 minutes. Even better, a nurse will come to the home or work to conduct the exam at a time that’s most convenient.

During the medical exam for life insurance, the nurse reviews medical history and take your blood pressure, a small blood sample, and a urine sample. Yes, that blood sample requires a needle, but it is quick and very worthwhile to potentially save money on the life insurance policy over time.

With the information from the medical exam, people are able to seek out the proper treatment if required. In some cases, for example, if high cholesterol is identified and the person does not qualify for the lowest risk class, they can work with a primary care physician and perhaps leverage medications to lower cholesterol before re-applying for life insurance later.

No one likes going to the doctor or having a medical exam, but the exam could turn up a serious health issue, in which case you are better off knowing the information and getting treated.

What are You Waiting For?

Your life insurance premiums will typically increase as you get older, so the sooner you are able to lock into a term life insurance policy, the better. Don’t hesitate because of the life insurance medical exam – procrastination could cost you lower monthly premiums. The nurse will come to your home or office to make it easy for you, the medical exam process is quick, and you will end up getting a life insurance policy that is best for you. So, make today the day you take action. Protect those closest to you with life insurance and be prepared should the unthinkable in life happen.

Curious how SelectQuote, America’s #1 independent term life sales agency, can help you find a life insurance policy that’s right for you? We impartially shop the highly rated insurance companies we represent to find you the right term life policy to fit your budget and your needs. Start your free quote.

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