The Only Paramedical Exam Resource You Will Ever Need

By Michael Horbal – updated on – 09/20/2022

The paramedical exam (life insurance medical exam) will make or break your life insurance underwriting outcome.

Here’s how to make it a positive experience.

Paramed Exam Overview

Paramed exams include a personal medical history interview and a brief life insurance medical exam.

In addition, the examiner will check your height, weight, blood pressure, and pulse.

Underwriting may require blood and urine samples.

A resting EKG is necessary for some cases.

The life insurance paramedical exam is the same whether you buy term life insurance or universal life.

You’ll also sign the authorization forms allowing insurance companies to search prescription databases and the Medical Information Bureau.

We now have life insurance companies offering you $500k – $3 million with no medical exam.

How to Pass Your Paramedical Exam

  1. Ask your agent for the paramed exam requirements. Exam requirements vary based on the amount of life insurance applied for and your age.
  2. Know Your Dates – Have the dates of any surgeries, treatments, and tests.
  3. Have your physician’s contact information available – Have the names & contact information of any physicians
  4. Have a list of your medications and dosages – Have the names and dosages for all medicines you take.
  5. If you are sick, reschedule for a later date – Lab results and blood pressure may elevate, and you will miss out on the best rate classes.
  6. Watch what you eat – Limit salty, fatty, and sugary foods for a few days before the exam. You don’t want to negatively affect your cholesterol levels.
  7. Fast for 6-8 hours before your exam for best results, but do not fast if your medical condition requires that you do not.
  8. Don’t drink alcohol before your paramedic exam – Don’t drink for at least 48 hours before the exam.
  9. Don’t use tobacco products before your exam – If you smoke or use tobacco products, stop using them for a few hours before your exam, as they tend to elevate your blood pressure.
  10. Answer the examiner’s questions – Make sure you understand the question before answering. You don’t have to guess, and you shouldn’t reply with more than what they are asking you for.
  11. Limit exercise activity on exam day – Working out temporarily raises your blood pressure and has also been known to cause elevated liver test results. Skip your routine on the day of the exam.
  12. Schedule morning appointments when possible – Make sure you schedule a morning exam as your blood pressure is typically lower, and it will be easier on you since you are fasting.

Special Underwriting Notes:

Special note for cigar smoking and chewing tobacco programs.

If your quote requires a negative urine sample, stop long enough beforehand to ensure the negative test.

Here’s ExamOne’s consumer guide to help you prepare.

If you need a quick overview of the entire application process, our Life Insurance 101 guide is helpful.

Suppose you are converting a life insurance policy.

In that case, you can disregard this entire article because conversions don’t require medical exams unless you add a life insurance rider for long-term care benefits or increasing death benefits.

For business cases such as SBA loans or key person coverage, we can schedule all the exams simultaneously or on different days to fit your schedule.

If you’re getting life insurance to satisfy a divorce decree, you may consider a no medical exam life insurance policy instead.

FAQs

The most common questions we receive from clients include:

What do the life insurance medical exams test for?

Life insurance medical exams test for elevated blood sugar levels, kidney functions, liver functions, cholesterol, hepatitis, blood cell counts, PSA levels, illegal drugs, and cotinine.

Do I receive a copy of my lab results?

Yes, your lab results are available soon after completing your paramedical exam. Your agent can help you get a copy too.

Who pays for the paramed exam?

The life insurance companies pay for the medical exam. So, there is never any cost to you, ever.

Do all life insurers require paramed exams?

No, more and more companies are eliminating the exam requirement.

Can I repeat my test if the results are unfavorable?

In most cases, no. If you end up with unfavorable lab results, moving you to another life insurer will be easier.

How does the examiner collect my blood and urine samples?

The examiner collects a few small vials of blood and gives you a cup to collect the urine; no, they don’t come into the bathroom with you.

How does the amount of life insurance affect the medical exam?

The more life insurance you apply for, the greater the paramed exam requirements.

Where is the paramed exam completed?

You have a choice between having the paramed at home, or you may visit a local facility, which is usually a Quest Diagnostics lab.

Does the paramedical check my blood pressure?

The paramedical examiner will record three blood pressure readings and check your pulse.

How long is the paramed exam good for?

Paramed exams are good for 6-12 months, depending on your age and the company you apply to.

Can my paramed exam be used at another company?

Yes, your exam may be used with another life insurance company.

Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Paramed Exam Update – ExamOne is still completing exams subject to the following:

  • In the last 14 days, have you exhibited signs of fever or respiratory distress or had close contact with someone who has?
  • In the last 14 days, have you traveled to China, South Korea, Iran, Hong Kong, or Italy or had close contact with an individual who has?

If you answer “yes” to either question, ExamOne will postpone scheduling your paramedical exam for a minimum of 14 days.

Paramedical Exam Questions

Have you been diagnosed with or treated for:

  • High blood pressure?
  • High cholesterol?
  • Any high-risk health conditions such as:
  • Heart Conditions? (chest pain, murmur, heart attack, EKG)
  • Cancer? (Breast cancer, melanoma, prostate cancer)
  • GI Problems – Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Hepatitis?
  • Endocrine Disorders – Diabetes, Thyroid Conditions
  • Respiratory Problems – asthma, emphysema, sleep apnea
  • Mental or Nervous Disorder? (anxiety, depression, OCD, bipolar, suicide ideation/attempts)
  • Brain Disorders? (Seizures, epilepsy, TIA, MS, strokes)
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with AIDs?
  • Any disorders of the blood or immune system? (anemia, leukemia, lymphoma, HIV, etc.)
  • Do you drink alcohol?
  • If yes, how often do you drink?
  • Have you ever used illegal drugs? Marijuana is no big deal with the right companies.
  • If yes, what did you use, and when?
  • Drug addiction and/or alcohol abuse?
  • Any other health history not mentioned?
  • Do you smoke or use other types of tobacco?
  • What types, how often, and if you quit, when did you quit?
  • They’ll also ask about your family history of medical problems with your parents and siblings.

If medical records are needed, let the examiner know about all physicians you’ve used.

We use Human API to speed up the medical records process.

With the increase in accelerated underwriting and instant life insurance approvals, insurers rely heavily on their life insurance statistics and data to determine if you even need a paramedical exam.

Life Insurance Lab Tests

The life insurance paramedical will require blood and urine samples.

What do they test with your blood sample?

  • Serum HIV – tests for the presence of HIV
  • Hepatitis C Antibody – Detects prior infection.
  • Glucose – Used to help diagnose and evaluate diabetes.
  • HbA1c – Evaluates glucose levels for the prior 2-3 months.
  • BUN – Used to evaluate and diagnose kidney disease.
  • Creatinine – Used to assess kidney function.
  • Estimated GFR – Measures the functions of the kidneys.
  • Alkaline Phosphatase – Checks for bone or liver disorders.
  • AST – Tests for liver, heart, or muscle disorders.
  • ALT – Test for liver disease.
  • GGT – Alcohol use, certain medications, and liver disease.
  • Blood Alcohol – Tests for ethanol in your blood.
  • Total Protein – Screens for kidney and liver disease.
  • Albumin – Tests for advanced liver disease.
  • Globulin – May indicate infections, immune disorders, etc.
  • Cholesterol – Measures the amount in your bloodstream.
  • HDL Cholesterol – The “good” cholesterol.
  • LDL – The “bad” cholesterol that clogs arteries.
  • Cholesterol/HDL Ratio – Measures total cholesterol to HDL.
  • LDL/HDL Ratio – Used to calculate heart disease risk.
  • Triglycerides – This may indicate heart disease and alcohol use.
  • PSA – Used to evaluate prostate cancer risk.

Reflexive testing is more specific due to an elevation of one of the above lab tests.

Life insurers will soon have another tool at their disposal.

ExamOne recently released their new LabPiQture product.

This allows life insurers to access all Quest Diagnostic lab test results in your medical files.

Older Age Underwriting Tests

More companies are implementing senior life insurance underwriting requirements.

Examples of tests include:

Chair Stand Test – The doctor will ask you to sit in a chair and stand up without using your arms.

This test may be repeated a few times throughout the exam.

The Clock Drawing Test – The examiner will ask you to draw a clock with the numbers 1-12 on the clock.

The examiner may then ask you to draw the hands of the clock at a specific time.

Gait Test – Assess the insured’s ability to walk normally across a room and back.

Word Recall Test – The examiner will tell you five words they want you to remember.

During the exam, they will ask you to recall those words.

Each company has different criteria.

If your spouse is applying for life insurance, make sure they are paying attention while you complete your tests, as they will need to complete the same tests.

We’ll let you know if your paramed exam may involve one of these tests.

Final Words

Paramed exams are not as bad as some agents make them.

In many cases, the life insurance medical exam takes 25-45 minutes to complete.

We’ll schedule your paramed exam with you.

We use ExamOne whenever possible as it’s part of Quest Diagnostics.

They offer convenient locations and have been the most consistent paramedic exam company.

We’ll prep you ahead of time to ensure you know what to expect. We work for you, not the life insurance company.

Our goal is to help you find your best term life insurance rate based on your medical history.

Thank you.

Michael Horbal - Author

Michael J. Horbal

Owner of RiskQuoter

Too many people overpay for life insurance because they end up with the wrong life insurance company, agent, or both. That’s why I started RiskQuoter – To help you get the best life insurance rates available.

As an independent insurance agent, I’m licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and offer 40+ life insurance companies to ensure you get your best rate!

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