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When you apply for life insurance, you’re generally required to undergo a life insurance medical exam. The examiner will record your height and weight, take your blood pressure, collect blood and urine samples, and confirm your answers on your life insurance application.  The medical examiner is going to collect all demographic information and physical measurements.  Those will be passed on to the insurance company and the underwriter, who will make a risk assessment. Life insurance medical exam results directly affect how much money you pay the insurance company in premiums.

Good life insurance medical exam results are crucial to obtaining affordable life insurance rates. Your life insurance medical exam results should confirm what you’ve already reported on your application. Unfavorable results, like a high blood pressure reading, will likely result in higher rates. It’s essential to ensure the life insurance medical exam results are accurate and garners the best possible results.

Here are steps to a good exam…

  • Stay well-hydrated. Drinking water before the exam can make it easier to draw your blood, a necessary step in obtaining cholesterol readings.
  • Fast before the exam. It would be best if you did not eat for four to eight hours before the exam, and even eating a muffin an hour before the exam could result in elevated glucose levels.
  • Avoid physical exercise. Take it easy and avoid rigorous workouts for 12 hours before the exam. That doesn’t mean just passing on that planned marathon but also avoiding a fast walk or a workout on an elliptical trainer.
  • Refrain from alcohol. For 12 hours before the exam, avoid consuming alcohol. Alcohol can dehydrate you, and too much alcohol within 12 hours of the exam could result in elevated liver function tests, which could bump you out of a preferred category and lead to additional tests.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Applicants should avoid coffee and smoking an hour before the test, as caffeine and nicotine elevate blood pressure. And a further word about coffee: Black coffee is OK up to an hour before the exam, but adding cream and sugar is like going off your fast. So if you’re having coffee during fasting, avoid cream and sugar.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep generally tends to reduce anxiety.  Keeping your anxiety levels down, especially when it comes time for the blood draw, will help keep your blood pressure down.  The last thing you want is for your exam to produce higher-than-normal blood pressure results.
  • Limit salt and high-fat foods. For an hour before the exam, lay off the salt and fatty foods, as they may affect exam results.
  • Know your medications. Generally, you will be asked questions about your medical history during the exam, including whether you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication.
  • Test outside menstruation periods. Female life insurance applicants should not take the test when they are menstruating.

Follow all these steps, and you are more likely to obtain the best possible life insurance medical exam results.

NOTE:  These are excellent guidelines whether your medical exam is for life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, or any other type of insurance medical examination.  The test used for all insurance policy types is generally the same.