To paraphrase noted insurance expert Ben Franklin, all that’s certain in life is death, taxes, and that nobody enjoys getting a blood test.
And yet, you may at some point need to get one if you are applying for a life insurance policy. To better understand why, and what you can expect, we asked our trusted Haven Life Operations team a few questions. (The experience turned out to be relatively painless for everybody.) Their answers are below.
Why is a blood test necessary for a life insurance medical exam?
In short, the blood test is part of your insurer’s overall attempt to assess your overall health, so they can charge you the correct rate for your insurance. With the blood test, they’ll be looking for high blood pressure, high BMI, high cholesterol or glucose levels, as well as indications of nicotine, tobacco or drug use.
Depending on your results, you may be able to qualify for one of an insurers’ best underwriting rate classes. For the best results (and the lowest premiums), you’ll generally want to fall into the following groups:
- Blood pressure under 130/80
- Cholesterol of 220 with an HDL ratio of 4.5 or less
- A “normal” BMI of 18.5 to 24.9.
- No detection of nicotine, tobacco or drug use
- No detection of diabetes, cancer or any other major illnesses
(Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into the fascinating world of life insurance medical exams.)
Who conducts the blood test?
Haven Life partners with ExamOne, a Quest Diagnostic company. A trained paramedic/examiner would conduct the exam—per examOne, it depends on the state, as the certifications and qualifications vary. But all examiners complete medical training.
Do I need to go someplace to do the exam?
Whatever is easiest for you! An examiner can come to your home or office, or you can go to the nearest exam office. (In terms of people who work with needles for a living, examiners are much more flexible than tailors.)
What do I do if I don’t want to take time off from work to do this?
You don’t have to—an examiner can come to your office and complete it. (We’ll assume you can find somewhere relatively private for the examination, or that your colleagues aren’t too squeamish.) You can also check for weekend availability or take an exam at your home early in the morning before work.
What steps does are taken to ensure the results are kept private?
You’ll be required to sign a HIPAA authorization to comply with HIPAA laws that regulate who can or cannot access your information. We also apply physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards to protect your personal information from unauthorized access, and we provide training to our employees on how to safeguard personal information. (Only authorized employees are permitted to access personal information, which may only be used for permitted business purposes.) Finally, we contractually require service providers to protect your personal information and use it exclusively for the purpose of performing certain business functions on our behalf.
While no electronic data transmission or storage of information can be guaranteed to be 100% secure, suffice it to say we take your privacy very seriously.
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Is there any reason I might not have to take a life insurance medical exam?
Haven Life offers the InstantTerm, no medical exam process to individuals, up to age 45 and applying for up to $1 million in coverage, that qualify to skip the exam based on information in their application. This sophisticated technology analyzes various data, including the health information that’s provided in the application and other external data you authorized us to collect, to make an eligibility decision in real time. Keep in mind: issuance of the policy or payment of benefits may depend upon the answers given in the application and their truthfulness.
Can I have my personal physician conduct the test?
Unfortunately, no. As we partner with ExamOne, the exam would need to be conducted with them.
Could I have my doctor send you the results from a recent previous test?
If you’ve completed a medical exam for another life insurance application in the past 12 months, you might be able to submit it in place of having to retake the exam. Email email@example.com for assistance. However, annual physicals don’t include all of the testing done for life insurance.
Does the life insurance exam blood test hurt?
Only a little. 🙂
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Louis Wilson is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in a wide array of publications, both online and in print. He often writes about travel, sports, popular culture, men’s fashion and grooming, and more. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he has developed an unbridled passion for breakfast tacos, with his wife and two children.