Life Insurance Medical Exam Guide

Navigate the medical exam process when applying for a life insurance policy with the help of SelectQuote

When starting the life insurance application process, more often than not, you’ll be required to take a medical exam. It’s a quick and simple process that usually takes less than an hour and can be conducted in your home, work or wherever is most convenient. To help ease your nerves, here’s a guide on what you can expect during a life insurance medical exam. 

Why do insurance companies require a life insurance medical exam? 

The life insurance medical exam is part of the underwriting process, which determines the premiums for your insurance. The underwriter looks at applications and calculates risk—as in what’s the likelihood an applicant will pass away and how soon. The life insurance medical exam allows the underwriter to cross reference the details on your health questionnaire and confirm the final price for your selected coverage.

There are two parts to the life insurance medical exam:

  1. Life Insurance Medical Questionnaire

    The life insurance medical questionnaire will ask basic questions regarding your medical history, health and lifestyle habits.

  2. Life Insurance Physical Exam

    The life insurance physical exam is a simple checkup, similar to what you’d receive at a doctor’s office (weight, height, blood draw, heart monitoring, etc.). The physical exam is used to confirm your answers on the medical questionnaire.

Procedures Performed During a Life Insurance Medical Exam

Similar to an annual physical, during the life insurance medical exam the tech will perform routine health checks such as checking your pulse, blood pressure and height and weight to determine your body mass index. You also might have to provide a blood and urine sample during your life insurance medical exam. The types of procedures performed can include:

  • Heart monitoring
  • Checking your blood pressure
  • Using your height and weight to calculate your body mass index
  • Blood and urine sample

How long until I receive my medical exam results?

You should expect to hear back from your life insurance medical exam within four to eight weeks. 

How long after the medical exam until my life insurance starts?

Each company’s process is different, but in many cases, your life insurance coverage begins as soon as your first premium payment is submitted. 

What to Do If You Don’t Receive the Medical Exam Results You Want

If you don’t get the results you want from your life insurance medical exam, there are a few options to proceed. One option is to purchase the policy for preliminary coverage and ask the life insurance company to reconsider in a year or two, once you feel as though your health has improved. 

Another option is to consider no medical exam life insurance, such as accelerated underwriting, simplified issue and guaranteed issue life insurance. Simplified issue life insurance typically replaces the medical exam with a health-related questionnaire, while guaranteed issue requires no medical exam or health questions, and you can’t be turned down for coverage if you’re between the age of 45-85. 

Simplified issue life insurance

Simplified issue life insurance is a type of final expense insurance in which your coverage is based on a questionnaire about your health and lifestyle rather than a medical exam.

Guaranteed issue life insurance

Guaranteed issue whole life insurance is another form of final expense insurance that has guaranteed acceptance if you’re between the ages of 45-85.

The most viable option to finding the right coverage for you is to shop around, as other life insurance companies may have better life insurance rates for your unique health history. This is something SelectQuote can help you do, as we work with some of the most trusted life insurance carriers in the nation. We can compare coverage and prices available in just minutes to help find the right plan for you.  

SelectQuote Can Help You Find the Right Life Insurance for You With or Without a Medical Exam

While a medical exam is necessary to obtain traditional term life insurance, there are also no medical exam life insurance policies available if the exam is a concern of yours. Whether you’re concerned about your health, have been turned down before or would just like to avoid a medical exam altogether, SelectQuote can help.

We do the shopping. You do the saving.