Let’s talk a little bit about a crucial part of the underwriting process for term life insurance enrollment…the paramedical exam. We’ll discuss what it is, it’s importance, and the things you can do to have the best possible results (which translates into the best possible rates).
First, what is the paramedical exam when applying for term life insurance? When you apply for term life, there are essentially two parts…the application and the paramedical. After the application is submitted, the insurance carrier (or third party paramedical/nursing company) will contact you to arrange a time and place of your choosing to have a physical exam. This physical exam usually amounts to a general health question/answer process, vital physical information (height/weight, etc), and a blood panel work-up. The person taking the work-up is a licensed nurse and the lab is usually mobile (comes to your residence or work-place). Let’s look at each of these three sections in more detail.
Medical questionnaire. This visiting nurse will likely go through your application and discuss any medical issues you listed on the application. he/she may also ask additional questions regarding your health history, family history of disease/death, and your current health well-being. It’s important to answer correctly and thoroughly in order to protect the viability of your policy.
Physical exam. A general physical exam will usually be given with attention to metrics that impact mortality rates. Height/weight is at the top of the list in this regard with the strong correlation between height/weight and general cardiovascular health, this becomes an important piece of information. There are other signs of potential underlying issues such as inflamed glands, glands, lack of reflex response, eye white colorization, cognitive awareness, and last but not least…blood pressure. The last item is important because it’s one of the few you can actually influence (aside from just living a healthy lifestyle in general). In general, it’s all the things we should be doing anyway but getting the best term life insurance rate might be a good incentive. Make sure in the days prior to the paramedical exam to get plenty of rest and avoid alcohol or excessive caffeine, over-eating, excessive salt intake. All of these factors can spike a blood pressure reading and affect the final rates that are offered you. It’s good for you anyway!
They will also draw blood in order to do a full blood panel work-up. This allows them to see issues such as elevated cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar levels, and a host of warning signals. It’s not uncommon for a person to find out about an unknown health issue as a result of such a paramedical exam.
The entire process is relatively fast and will probably take around 20-30 minutes. Again, the tips above to get the best possible results from the paramedical exam can translate into real money over the course of the policy. Ideally, you can stretch these habits over a lifetime but at least be well-rested and “healthy” prior to the exam.
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