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Preparing for a Life Insurance Medical Exam

When you apply for a life insurance policy you may have to participate in a brief medical exam performed by your doctor or a medical professional chosen by the insurance company to document the current state of your health. One of the many reasons for the exam is to make sure there are no hidden problems with your health that you were unaware of or forgot to mention on the application. These kind of conditions or issues could affect your eligibility for certain life insurance plans or directly impact the cost of your coverage.

There are a few things you can do to prepare for your exam that will keep you from getting dings on smaller items, which while minor, can still play a role in determining your eligibility for life insurance.

The Day Before the Exam

There are a few measures you should take at least a full day (24 hours) before your life insurance medical exam that will improve numbers in your blood work. You should steer clear of any alcoholic beverages and avoid eating red meat and other foods high in cholesterol. Doing this will keep your lipid count down. Do not participate in rigorous exercise routines because these could skew results for certain blood and urine tests that you might be a required part of the exam.
Stop taking any over-the-counter medications including cold medicines and nasal sprays, but continue to take prescription medications according to your physician’s instructions.

Exam Day

When exam day arrives, be sure to avoid drinking coffee, soda, or tea, as these contain caffeine. As with your preparation the previous day, do not partake in strenuous exercise or smoking cigarettes because these activities, along with the caffeine, increases your heart rate and blood pressure.
Schedule meals around your exam time. If your exam is in the morning hours, wait until after it has been completed before having breakfast. Eat alight lunch if the exam is in the evening, and make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.

During Exam Time

Just before the exam begins, make sure to have all of your medical information, including prescription bottles, with you so that you can consult your records during the interview portion of the exam. You will need to give a detailed explanation of your health history, who your doctors are, how often you see them, and why. Be sure to answer all of the medical history questions truthfully and to the fullest extent of your knowledge.

The medical professional conducting your exam will be taking your height, weight, blood pressure, and  blood samples. Avoid wearing sweaters or long-sleeved shirts if possible, as this gives the nurse or doctor easier access to your arm for the blood pressure cuff.

In many cases a urine sample is also required, so be sure to drink a glass or two of water at least an hour before the exam.

While medical exams can be a bit nerve wracking, the kind required by life insurance companies often only takes a few minutes to complete. Once it is over, you’ll be well on your way to providing the right type of financial protection your family deserves.