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Tips for Your Life Insurance Medical Exam

Most life insurance companies require a medical examination as part of the life insurance application process. The medical exam can be completed at your home or any other convenient location. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes and is conducted by a licensed paramedical or medical doctor at the insurance company’s expense. The medical exam involves a blood and urine specimen, blood pressure reading, height and weight measurement, and sometimes a series of questions regarding your medical history.

Common Questions about the Medical Exam

To prepare you for the life insurance medical exam, common questions and responses have been provided below.

Who Performs the Medical Exam? Medical examinations are performed by licensed paramedical examiners in your area. They are usually independent contractors.

Where and When Will the Exam Take Place? One of the life insurance company's approved and licensed paramedical examiners will call you to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. The medical exam may be performed in your home, office, or any other agreed upon the location that is convenient for you.

How Much Does the Medical Exam Cost and Who Pays for It? There is no cost to you. The life insurance provider pays for the medical exam.

What is Included in the Medical Exam and How Long Will it Take? A routine medical exam includes a review of your medical history, including the names of doctors you've seen, dates you saw them and any treatment recommended. A physical exam that includes height, weight, blood pressure and a pulse is conducted. You will be requested to provide a urine sample, and you will also have blood work done. Stress tests such as an EKG may be required to test your heart if you are 50 or older. The exam takes at the most, 30 minutes to complete.

What Type of Medical History Will Be Asked? The examiner will ask questions regarding medical conditions, surgeries, medications, or other previous treatments. The examiner will also ask the names and addresses of physicians and hospitals that have treated you. You may wish to collect this information in advance to save time during the exam.

Are There Any Other Requirements? If additional testing such as a questionnaire, electrocardiogram (EKG), or a blood test is required, the arrangements will be made by the examiner.

What Happens with My Medical Exam Information? All information obtained during the medical exam is strictly confidential and is sent to the insurance company as part of your application for life insurance.

Will I Get a Copy of the Lab Test Results? Yes. You can request a copy of the lab test results directly from the life insurance company, or you may send a letter with your application. To request your results by letter, write to the life insurance company asking for a copy of your lab test results on an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper. Include your name, address, the date and your signature.

How to Prepare for Your Medical Exam

Here are tips to keep in mind when preparing for your medical exam. The best time to schedule an exam is in the morning. However, you should always schedule your appointment during the least stressful time of the day for you. If a weekday exam is not convenient, you can arrange an appointment for Saturday or Sunday. Do not forget your license or another form of ID.

It is advisable to wear comfortable clothing. You are not required to undress for the exam. However, a short-sleeved garment or one with sleeves that quickly roll up is preferred.

It is best to fast for at least 8 to 12 hours before your exam. You may drink water during the fast. In fact, a glass of water an hour or so before the exam is desired to facilitate obtaining a urine specimen. You should also avoid the following:

What to Avoid Before Your Life Insurance Exam:


  • Avoid alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours prior to the exam.

  • Avoid coffee, soda, tea or other products with caffeine for several hours before the exam.

  • Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco for at least one hour prior to your scheduled appointment.

  • Avoid nasal decongestants.

  • Avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours before the exam.

Prepare in advance for questions regarding medical conditions, surgeries and any medications you are currently taking. Have handy the names and addresses of physicians and hospitals that have treated you recently and in the past. If you have any special requirements such a large blood pressure cuff, let the examiner know prior to the appointment. Most importantly, get a good night's rest before your medical exam so that you feel calm and prepared for your exam.

Most life insurance companies require a medical examination as part of the life insurance application process. This medical exam can be completed at your home or any other convenient location. It takes about 15-30 minutes and is conducted by a licensed paramedical or medical doctor. The medical exam generally involves a blood and urine specimen, blood pressure reading, height and weight measurement, and sometimes a series of questions regarding your medical history.

To help you learn more about the medical exam, we have put together a list of common questions customers have about the life insurance medical exam and some quick tips on how to prepare for your medical exam.

Note: The responses and quick tips provided are basic information for medical exams. Specific procedures, policies, protocols, and requirements may vary.

Quick Tips

Who Performs the Medical Exam?

Medical examinations are performed by licensed paramedical examiners in your area.

How Much Does the Medical Exam Cost and Who Pays for It?

The life insurance provider pays for the medical exam. There is no cost to you.

What Is Included in the Medical Exam and How Long Will It Take?

A routine medical exam includes a review of your medical history, including the names of doctors you've seen, dates you saw them, and any treatment recommended. A basic physical exam (height, weight, blood pressure, pulse) is conducted, a urine specimen, and blood work is also taken. In some cases, some insurance companies may also require EKGs and/or treadmill EKGs (stress tests), for certain life insurance policies. A licensed paramedical examiner (often an independent contractor) who is paid by the insurance company will typically conduct the exam. The exam is usually completed within 30 minutes.

What Kind of Medical History Will Be Asked?

The examiner will ask questions regarding medical conditions, surgeries, medications, or other treatments you may have had. The examiner will also ask the names and addresses of physicians and/or hospitals that have treated you. You may wish to collect this information in advance to save time during the exam.

Are There Any Other Requirements?

If additional testing such as a questionnaire, electrocardiogram (EKG), or a blood test is required, the arrangements will be made by the examiner.

What Happens with My Medical Exam Information?

All information obtained during the medical exam is strictly confidential and is sent to the insurance company as part of your application for life insurance.

Where and When Will the Life Insurance Medical Exam Take Place?

One of the life insurance company's approved paramedical examiners will call you to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. To meet your needs, the medical exam may be performed at your home, office, or any other agreed upon location.

Will I Get a Copy of the Lab Test Results?

You can request a copy of the lab test results directly from the life insurance company or you may send a letter with your application. To request your results by letter, write to the life insurance company asking for a copy of your lab test results on an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper. Please include your name, address, the date and your signature.

How to Prepare for Your Medical Exam

To obtain the best possible results from your life insurance medical exam, we suggest that you follow these basic steps:

  • Undressing is not required; however, please wear a short-sleeved garment or one with sleeves that easily roll up.

  • Try to fast for at least eight hours before your exam (12 hours is preferred). You may drink water.

  • The best time to do your exam is in the morning. If a weekday is not convenient, check with your examiner to see if you can arrange an appointment for Saturday or Sunday.

  • Drink a glass of water an hour or so before the exam to facilitate obtaining a urine specimen.

  • Avoid coffee, soda, tea or other products with caffeine for several hours before the exam.

  • Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco for at least one hour prior to your scheduled appointment.

  • Avoid alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours prior to the exam.

  • Avoid nasal decongestants.

  • If you require a large blood pressure cuff, let the examiner know prior to the appointment.

  • Get a good night's rest before the medical exam.

  • Schedule the appointment for the least stressful time of the day.

  • Have your photo identification available.

  • Do not engage in strenuous exercise for 24 hours before the exam.

  • Prepare in advance for questions regarding medical conditions, surgeries, medications, or other treatments you may have had. The examiner will also ask you for the names and addresses of physicians and/or hospitals that have treated you.



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