A nurse giving a life insurance medical exam.

Life Insurance and Medical Exams

Updated February 5, 2024 . AmFam Team

Depending on the life coverage type, a health exam may or may not be required to qualify for a policy. Learn more about medical exams for life insurance from American Family.

Are you ready to buy life insurance? Depending on which type of policy you’re applying for, how much coverage you want, and things like your age and health, you might have to take a medical exam. Don’t worry, it can be a quick and easy process — especially when you know exactly what it entails. We’re here to help you navigate the process.

What is a life insurance medical exam?

The purpose of a life insurance medical exam is to get a snapshot of your health, since your health is one of the main factors a life insurance company looks at when determining your premium and whether you qualify. It’s important to note that the earlier in life you purchase a life insurance policy, the better. Since your health usually declines with age, purchasing life insurance earlier in life could potentially save you money down the road. That’s why it’s encouraged to purchase when you’re young and healthy. And, if you’re purchasing a permanent life insurance policy, you could lock in a lower premium for life! Read more about when to get life insurance.

An application, an interview, and sometimes a medical exam are required before you can receive coverage. During the exam, you’ll get your height, weight and blood pressure examined, and provide a blood and urine sample.

To make the testing as convenient for you as possible, you have the option to have someone come to your home or place of work to perform the test for free, which takes only thirty minutes on average. You can also stop into a nearby contracted lab, if you prefer.

Life Insurance Medical Exam Tips

When applying for life insurance, you’ll need to answer some health history questions as part of the application process. Here are a few things you should have on hand:

  • Name, address, social security number and driver’s license number
  • Your physician’s name and address
  • Any prescribed medications including dosage frequency and physician
  • Your medical history

If the coverage you’re applying for requires a medical exam, follow these tips prior to your appointment:

  • Make sure you are well rested with a good night’s sleep
  • Avoid smoking, caffeine and strenuous activity/exercise for two hours prior to your appointment
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages and nasal decongestants for 24 hours prior to your appointment
  • Have a government-issued picture ID (preferably a driver’s license) available
  • Wear a garment that is short sleeved or has sleeves that can easily be rolled up

What is no medical exam life insurance?

Did you know that you can get certain life insurance policies without having to take a medical exam? Appropriately enough, this type of insurance is known as No Medical Exam Life Insurance. With a no medical exam policy, you get a faster approval, and even if you have a preexisting medical condition, there are some policies that may cover you.

Types of Life Insurance with No Medical Exam

There are three common types of non-medical life insurance: group, simplified issue and guaranteed issue life insurance policies. Here’s a quick look at each.

  1. Group Life Insurance. With a group life insurance policy, you won’t need to get a medical examination. With a group policy, the rates are based on the group, not the individual, eliminating the need for a medical exam in most cases.
  2. Simplified Issue. With a simplified issue policy, you’ll need no lab work or medical exam. You will have to answer questions from a basic health questionnaire. If your answers are in alignment with the insurance company’s underwriting guidelines, you’ll be eligible for coverage.
  3. Guaranteed Issue. Is a type of whole life insurance that is usually only offered to older adults (50-to-80 years old) but the age limitations vary by provider. With a guaranteed issue policy, you get the benefits of accumulating a cash value over time in addition to skipping out on the medical exam.

How much does no medical exam life insurance cost?

One drawback to purchasing a no medical exam life insurance policy is that they can be more expensive. The reason for the cost is that when you waive a medical exam, it negates one of the best predictors of morbidity. When an insurance company is at a higher risk, they increase the cost to help cover the possibility of a life expectancy that may be diminished.

Can I get life insurance without a medical exam with American Family Life Insurance Company?

Good news! There are some life insurance policies you can get without taking an exam. A great feature of American Family Life Insurance Company’s DreamSecure Simplified Term Life Insurance, DreamSecure Children’s Whole Life and Senior Whole Life policies is a simplified application process, which doesn’t require a medical exam — though you will answer some medical questions. It’s also possible, based on the amount of coverage requested and factors such as your age and health, that you may not need an exam for other products offered by American Family Life Insurance Company, such as DreamSecure Term Life, DreamSecure Flexible Life Insurance and DreamSecure Whole Life Insurance.

Will I have to take another exam in the future?

If you have a term life insurance policy — meaning your policy is temporary and only lasts for the set amount of years you choose — you might have the option to convert it to a whole life policy during a specific window of time. A great perk when converting term to whole life insurance is not having to take another medical exam to secure permanent life insurance coverage.

On the other hand, if your term policy expires and you still want life insurance, you may need to apply for another policy and may need to take another medical exam.

Getting life insurance in place gets you one step closer to helping financially secure your loved ones’ future in case you were to pass away. Get in touch with your American Family Insurance agent to learn more about our life insurance coverages and gain peace of mind that you’re protecting the ones who matter most.

Policy Forms: ICC18-33 (10), ICC18-33 (15), ICC18-34 (20), ICC18-35 (30), L-33 (10)(ND), L-33 (15)(ND), L-34 (20)(ND), L-35 (30)(ND), L-33 (10)(SD), L-33 (15)(SD), L-34 (20)(SD), L-35 (30)(SD), ICC18-36 (10), ICC18-36 (15), ICC18-36 (20), ICC18-36 (30), L-36 (10)(ND), L-36 (15)(ND), L-36 (20)(ND), L-36 (30)(ND), L-36 (10)(SD), L-36 (15)(SD), L-36 (20)(SD), L-36 (30)(SD), ICC21 L141 MS 01 22, L141 ND 02 22, L141 SD 02 22, ICC17-225 WL, L-225 (ND) WL, L-225 WL, ICC17-227 WL, L-227 (ND) WL, L-227 WL

Approval is subject to health history and underwriting guidelines.

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