Why Medical Records can Delay the Life Insurance Underwriting Process

Life Insurance

Do you know the number one reason why your life insurance application process could be delayed? Pending medical records are the usual culprit. Once your life insurance application is submitted to the insurance company, the underwriter may request medical records, depending on your medical history.

Some physicians (especially HMO’s) require their own authorization to be completed. When this happens, we send you the required authorization for completion and once we receive it back, we resend to the physician. There are some physicians who utilize a copy service. The physician’s office will schedule the copy service to come to their office to complete the task. Depending on how many medical records requests that physician’s office has, the service may only go to the office once a week.

As you can see, all of these instances can cause a possible delay in the receipt of your medical records. The physician’s office, medical records department, or copy service all process on a first come, first serve basis. With the larger HMO’s, it could take 4-6 weeks (or longer) to obtain the records.

When completing your application, it is important to document all of your physicians. If you only tell us your primary care provider and after the records are obtained and reviewed; there could be documentation in your records that you are seen by a specialist. The insurance company may want to review those records and a new medical records request is initiated.

I have encountered instances where a physician that had treated you in the past left the practice and went to a different office. When this happens, the original practice will probably not forward the records to the new office. We would need to request your records from both practices. Again, providing us with that information will help avoid these delays.

About the author: Teri Costen has been in the life insurance business for over 20 years. She is a mother of three who enjoys working out, taking aerobic kickboxing classes, and making stained glass. Teri believes that finding the right life insurance policy helps protect your family and loved ones. You can contact Teri at 1-800-651-1953 or TCosten@Pivot.com.