3 Tips for Your Upcoming Life Insurance Medical Exam
Are you planning to purchase life insurance? Or are you already in the process? That could be a wise decision. Life insurance is a valuable financial tool that can protect your family should you pass away, and it can also have important living benefits as well. Your life insurance policy will provide a tax-free death benefit to your beneficiaries, which they can use to pay debts and medical costs or for financial stability during a difficult time. While you are living, you can also use the cash value in your properly structured life insurance policy for financing needs or even a retirement income stream.
However, not everyone can qualify for life insurance. Your eligibility for coverage is based on a number of factors, but your age and health are two of the most important. These factors are analyzed during a process called underwriting. During this time, the life insurance company looks at the proposed coverage and analyzes its potential risk. Essentially, they are determining when you might die based on your age and your health.
Age is an easy factor to quantify. Health is more difficult. Life insurance companies often use questionnaires, medical records, and medical exams to learn more about an applicant’s health. The result of that analysis can influence whether a person is eligible for coverage. It can also affect your rating and premium amount. The healthier you are, the lower your premium is likely to be – or the more cash value you can accumulate in your policy, depending on the type of policy you are considering.
You can’t change your health overnight, but there are steps you can take to prepare for the exam. Below are three tips to help you get the best rating possible and reduce your premiums or improve your odds for eligibility:
Improve Your Health Habits
You may already know that you have some unhealthy habits. Maybe your diet could use some improvement. Perhaps you smoke cigarettes or regularly drink alcohol. Now is the time to cut back on those habits, even temporarily. By reducing your trips to fast-food restaurants, you could lower your cholesterol. You could cut back on drinking and boost your liver health.
Smoking is an important habit to consider. Most insurance companies have two sets of rates—one for smokers and one for nonsmokers. If you plan ahead and stop smoking well in advance of underwriting, you may be able to qualify for a nonsmoker rate. As you might imagine, the smoker rate is usually substantially higher than the nonsmoker rate.
Get Rest and Eliminate Stress Before Your Exam
Blood pressure is a big indicator of heart health and an important metric for life insurance underwriters. Since heart failure is a major cause of death, especially among seniors, life insurance companies will place a heavy emphasis on high blood pressure. Take steps in the lead-up to your exam to have a relatively normal blood pressure level.
Try to get a good night of sleep before your exam, and also try to eliminate any ongoing sources of stress. Get that big project finished at work, or resolve the home repair issue you’ve been dealing with. Think about taking a relaxing walk or some other form of light exercise the morning of the exam. Also think about skipping your morning coffee.
Don’t Withhold Information
You may feel tempted to lie about your health or lifestyle in order to qualify for lower rates. For instance, you may not be honest about your tobacco, drug or alcohol use. Maybe you’re considering being dishonest about your participation in risky activities like sky diving or scuba diving. Or perhaps you’re thinking about omitting from your questionnaire a diagnosis you received in the past or a prescription you currently take.
Life insurers often understand that unintentional omissions happen. However, if you pass away and the insurance company suspects that you intentionally misled underwriters or lied during the application process, it may challenge the benefit payment to your beneficiaries. If the lie is discovered or suspected during the underwriting process, you could be declined or even denied coverage by other life insurance companies in the future. Resist any temptation to omit information from your medical exam.
Ready to protect your family and plan for the future? Let’s talk about your life insurance strategy. Contact us today for a FREE evaluation. We can help you analyze your needs and goals and develop a plan that works for you.
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