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What You Need to Know Before Taking a Life Insurance Medical Exam

by Dr Prem Community Writer

Life insurance is not a necessity but it’s certainly a good investment; but, how easy is it to get life insurance? A lot depends on your age and your current health. If you want decent coverage with low monthly payments, it’s in your best interest to apply for life insurance at a young age and do so when you’re in relatively good health.

Here are a few more tips and tricks for getting your body ready for the life insurance medical exam most companies require.

Understanding the Rates


Before we discuss what type of medical condition you should be in before undergoing a medical exam for life insurance, let’s first cover what it is you’re striving for. The best coverage with the lowest monthly premium is known as “preferred plus” coverage. This means you are in extremely good health. The next level down is known as “preferred”, followed by “select” and then lastly, “standard” coverage for those who are a general health risk.

It’s important to note that insurance companies view potential clients as an investment. They don’t like offering insurance to people who are unhealthy or may not live very long. Therefore, your rates will be higher. For those individuals who are extremely young or in very good health, insurance companies are most likely to offer larger policies at lower premiums.

View the results of your medical exam as an easy way to get inexpensive life insurance coverage, while also improving your overall health and quality of life.

How to Prepare

Now that you understand why you want “preferred” or “preferred plus” rates, let’s take a look at how to get them!

The Basics

Checking blood pressure

The insurance company often sends its representatives to your place of residence. Here, they’ll perform the medical exam. Some basic things they’ll check include height, weight, and blood pressure. If you know that you’re somewhat overweight prior to your exam date, make efforts to lose a few pounds before that day. This can easily be done through regular exercise and a healthy diet. Of course, you should maintain a healthy weight from day to day, and not just for your insurance exam.

It’s also important to note that changes to your weight may need to start long before you apply for life insurance. It’s never recommended to take part in crash diets or other “quick fix” type meal plans. These can negatively impact your body, metabolism, and overall well-being. Calculate your BMI (body mass index) and make efforts to achieve your desired weight months prior to the medical exam.

The nurse will also ask for a urine sample and will take blood. The insurance company is testing for three major things – cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The best way to prepare for these tests is simply to lead a healthy life overall. Making healthy food choices, avoiding toxic substances, and living an active lifestyle, can not only ward off the above mentioned diseases but can also help you score that “preferred plus” rating on your life insurance.

Drink Lots of Water

drink water

We already know that drinking water is essential for overall health, but this is especially true prior to a health insurance medical exam. Drinking plenty of water at least one week prior to your exam will help flush any toxins from your body. Another benefit to consuming at least eight glasses of water for seven days leading up to your medical exam is that it will help you produce a urine sample. Drinking plenty of water also helps your veins to “pop” making it easier for the nurse to draw your blood.

Avoid Certain Foods


Though you should always avoid eating foods high in saturated fat, this is even more true in the time leading up to your medical exam. Both foods high in saturated fat and carbohydrates can actually elevate your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Consuming healthier fats like olive oil and nuts, alongside lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables will help maintain healthy levels for the best blood test results possible.

Sugar and salt are other two food ingredients that can negatively impact your medical exam. Sugar is the biggest culprit when it comes to blood sugar levels and diabetes. A lot of people are pre-diabetic and don’t even realize it. If you’re one of these people, even small amounts of high-sugar foods prior to your blood test can push your numbers into the “diabetic” range, which will negatively affect your eligibility for “preferred” rates. Salt leads to water retention and too much salt isn’t good for the kidneys. You may also want to avoid eating anything containing poppy seeds prior to your blood test, as these tiny seeds can actually give a false positive for drug use.

Other Things to Avoid

avoid alcohol

There are three other things you should steer clear of before taking a medical exam for life insurance – alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco.

Not only does alcohol dehydrate you, but it can negatively affect liver function. It’s fine to drink alcohol in moderation, but if you limit your alcohol consumption prior to your blood test, it will show no alcohol in your system, which is something insurance companies like to see. Drinking caffeine found in soda and coffee won’t necessarily impact your blood tests, but the boost of caffeine can increase your blood pressure.

It’s no big surprise that smoking cigarettes is frowned upon when it comes to obtaining a life insurance policy. If you’re a regular smoker, expect to pay between two and three times more than non-smokers for the same policy. That’s because smoking is said to cut nearly 10 years off your life. Not to mention it can lead to a variety of different cancers, unhealthy skin and teeth, irritability, and decreased sense of taste. It’s recommended you quit smoking several months or even years before applying for life insurance. Limiting tobacco use for just a few days prior to your exam won’t fool the nurse or the provider.

Lead a Healthy Life and Apply Early


The sooner in life you apply for life insurance, the lower your premiums will be. The healthier you are, the more likely a life insurance provider will view you as an eligible candidate. The bottom line is, most things that life insurance medical exams check for are lifestyle choices you should be making anyway, including adopting a healthy diet, remaining active, and limiting fattening foods, as well as nicotine and excess alcohol. By making these necessary changes now, you’re guaranteed overall health and a better life insurance premium.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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