What is Involved with a Life Insurance Health Exam?

Life Insurance

Do you have questions about life insurance health exams? Is the idea of a medical exam holding you back from applying for term life insurance? Many people I speak with are apprehensive about the exams associated with life insurance applications. I think mainly just the word exam itself brings to mind going to a doctor’s office for a full physical. What I’ll attempt to do in this blog is give you an overview of the health exams for life insurance, based on the companies I quote life insurance through. This should help to demystify the health exam process, so that it’s clear as to what the exam involves.

When I talk with clients about term life insurance and answer questions about the reasons for all the medical questions, I find that some people just do not go to a doctor. I have heard many times that it is believed by many that they have no health problems and have not needed to go to a doctor. For some, it has sometimes been years since they last saw a doctor or had a checkup. For others, it’s routine to go for a yearly physical. Clients often ask me why can’t the insurance company just use the results of my last exam with my own doctor? It’s a good question. The reason is that with term life insurance applications that require a health exam, the application and exam have to be done in real time. What I mean by this is, you can’t apply for a term life insurance policy today and use the results of a health exam you did last year or 6 months ago with your doctor. The health exam needs to be done by a third party company (the exam company contracted by the insurance company) at the same timeframe you are applying for the term life insurance.

Most insurance carrier’s medical exam requirements are satisfied with what is called a mini health exam. Usually the mini health exam takes only about 15 to 20 minutes. Many clients ask me if the person coming to do the exam is a nurse or doctor. This is another great question. They are licensed health professionals representing exam companies such as Exam One or Portamedic. For the mini health exam they are usually going to do the following:

  1. Check and confirm height and weight that was listed on the application
  2. Check blood pressure
  3. Collect a small blood sample
  4. Collect a urine sample
  5. Sometimes the health professional may have a list of medical terms or questions to ask you that is part of the application and required by the insurance carrier.
  6. If needed, the insurance carrier may sometimes request a resting EKG based on age and amount being applied for. Resting just means you are at rest, sitting down and relaxed.


About the author: Dan Cody has been in the life insurance business for over 7 years. He loves playing a variety of instruments including the guitar, bass, drums, and piano. He also supports cancer research foundations and volunteers at local pet shelters. Dan enjoys helping customers understand life insurance, so they can find a solid policy that fits their needs. You can reach Dan at 1-800-651-1953 or DCody@Pivot.com.