Learn more about medical exams and term life insurance with SelectQuote.

People are often hesitant to shop for life insurance due to the unfamiliarity of the medical exam requirements. We can answer any questions you might have and show you all your options.

Do I need a medical exam to get a term life insurance policy?

A medical exam is often an important part of the process of buying life insurance, as your life insurance policy and health go hand-in-hand. These exams are standard for most types of life insurance, including term life insurance policies, and are free and often take less than 30 minutes.

If you’re concerned about how your health might impact your ability to obtain term life insurance, you might consider life insurance options that don’t require a medical exam. Whether it’s accelerated underwriting, guaranteed issue, or simplified issue life insurance, these types of coverage can be favorable for individuals who:

  • Have an unmanaged chronic health condition
  • Need immediate coverage
  • Have a high-risk occupation or participate in a risky sport or other activity
  • Are older or have a serious condition and want to help your family afford end-of-life expenses

While no medical exam life insurance can be a good option for some, term life insurance is often the most affordable and common option. At SelectQuote, we can help you weigh out your options, ensuring you have the right coverage for you at a price that works with your budget.

Medical Tests for Term Life Insurance

Before the formal medical exam, you’ll most likely be asked to fill out a questionnaire covering the basics such as your age, health, family health history, lifestyle and more. Then, the term life insurance company will send a licensed, third-party paramedical examiner to your home, work, or an exam center—wherever is the most convenient for you—to complete the exam, which is like a mini check-up that typically takes no longer than 30 minutes. In the case an EKG (echocardiogram) is requested, the exam could take an additional 15-20 minutes. A standard life insurance medical exam will include:

  • Driver’s license check
    (to confirm your identity)
  • Blood sample
  • Urine sample
  • Height and weight measurements
  • Pulse and blood pressure readings
  • EKG (only required in certain circumstances)
  • Driver’s license check (to confirm your identity)
  • Blood sample
  • Urine sample
  • Height and weight measurements
  • Pulse and blood pressure readings
  • EKG (only required in certain circumstances)

Life insurance companies use your questionnaire and the results of your medical exam to screen for a variety health-related conditions and indicators, including:

  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes and hyperglycemia
  • Nicotine/Tobacco use
  • Recreational drugs
  • HIV/AIDS
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes and hyperglycemia
  • Nicotine/Tobacco use
  • Recreational drugs
  • HIV/AIDS

Does life insurance check medical records?

Depending on the insurance company and type of policy, there could be a request to check your medical records. If that’s the case, during your medical exam, you’ll be asked to sign a form granting the release of your medical records to the life insurance carrier. This is a common part of the underwriting process where insurance providers evaluate how much of a “risk” you are to insure.

Life insurance providers also may consult prescription drug databases to learn more about your prescription drug history to learn more about your medication dosages and fill dates, as well as provide contact information for your pharmacy and physician.

Many of these practices are used to cross-check the information provided. If any of it doesn’t match, you could be at risk for a higher rate or potentially denied. The more accurate the information provided, the more accurate your initial quote will be.

How do I prepare for a life insurance medical exam?

In the days leading up to your medical exam, there are a few steps you can take that may help set you up for success. You might be asked to fast—no eating or drinking anything except for water for 12 hours before the exam. A few other steps you can take to prepare for the days leading up include:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid drinking alcohol, coffee or other
    highly caffeinated beverages
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid heavy exercise
  • Avoid salty and sugary foods
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid drinking alcohol, coffee or other highly caffeinated beverages
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid heavy exercise
  • Avoid salty and sugary foods
  • Get plenty of sleep

It’s normal to feel nervous before your exam, but rest assured that it will be a quick and easy process that will get you closer to finding peace of mind.

Let us help you find the right term life insurance policy for you.

Try not to stress over the process of obtaining a term life insurance policy. Medical exam or not, SelectQuote can help you compare options and figure out what works best for your needs. We can gather multiple quotes from some of the most trusted insurance companies in America in just minutes. Let us help.

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