Life insurance medical exam: What to expect
To get the most affordable rates for life insurance, you will usually need to take a medical exam. Here is how to schedule and prepare for it.
When shopping for life insurance coverage, as with anything else, most of us are searching for great value. Securing a policy that’s a great value generally means it provides a combination of quality, robust coverage and good pricing relative to similar products.
If there were a perfect way to describe medically underwritten term life insurance, it would be “a great value.” For most people who need coverage — which is usually individuals who have young families who rely on them financially — medically underwritten term life insurance provides coverage at an affordable price during the years your family needs it most. Yes, there have been technology advancements in the life insurance industry to, in some cases, provide medically underwritten life insurance without a medical exam. For eligible applicants, we offer this type of coverage and experience at Haven Life. But the reality is that many people need to take a life insurance medical exam in order for us to provide them with their final rate.
If you need to take a medical exam to get life insurance, this means you are on the path to getting coverage that’s a great value and some much-needed peace of mind that your loved ones are financially protected.
Learn what to expect from your life insurance medical exam, why it’s needed and what your options are for completing the exam.
In this article:
Why life insurance companies require a medical exam
- By taking a medical exam, you can save thousands of dollars over the course of your coverage.
- Medically underwritten life insurance is more affordable than other types of coverage because a paramedical life insurance examination provides the best insight into your overall health and life expectancy.
- With life insurance, generally the fewer assumptions a life insurance company is making about you, the lower your premium rates will be.
- Broadly speaking, the better your health, the less you’ll pay for life insurance.
Pro tip: You can use recent life insurance medical exam results
Good news: If you have taken a life insurance medical exam in the past two years, it’s likely we can use those results to provide your final offer and rate.
If you’d like for us to access results from a recent life insurance medical exam, please reach out to customer success for assistance.
Your medical exam options
If you’re ready to schedule your medical exam, you have a couple options:
#1: Have the examiner come to you
- It’s quick.
- It’s convenient.
- We use ExamOne paramed examiners, who practice the utmost care and professionalism when administering a mobile examination.
- Most cities and states currently support at-home medical exam tests.*
- When ExamOne calls to schedule your paramedical exam, you will be notified whether the mobile offering is possible.
*Currently, mobile exams are not available in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont.
#2: Visit an exam center
- Your life insurance medical exam can be taken at a local Quest Diagnostics Center or designated laboratory.
- With more than 700 locations, Quest Diagnostics Centers generally offers a wide range of appointment times and days — even weekends.
- When ExamOne calls to schedule your paramed exam, they will work to find you an available appointment at a nearby exam center.
- If you’re not sure how to schedule your medical exam, our customer success team is happy to assist.
What to expect during the medical exam
The exam itself takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
When you schedule the medical exam for your insurance policy, you will be asked about:
- Your health history
- Your family’s health history
- Medications you take
- Details about recent medical treatment you may have received
- Any medications or supplements you’re currently taking
- Whether you smoke, drink or use drugs
- What type of job you have
- The kinds of hobbies you engage in
Then, the paramed will:
- Take your blood pressure
- Check your pulse
- Measure your height and weight
- Collect a blood and urine sample
- Depending on the insurer’s requirements, you may also be asked to complete an electrocardiogram or EKG.
- Paramedical examiners are certified medical professionals trained in drawing blood and taking specimens.
The insurance company pays for the exam so it doesn’t cost you anything other than time.
Pro tip: If you’re feeling nervous about the exam, schedule it to take place wherever you’re most comfortable.
What our customers say about the exam
Oct 6, 2021
Satisfied & at Peace
I love the process through Haven Life, as the application was easy to complete, and the medical exam was done at a facility near my home. Customers also have the option to have the medical examiner visit their home; however, I preferred to visit a nearby lab. Finally, I got a fair price for a 30-year term life insurance with Mass Mutual. I am delighted because the process was easy, and the underwriter did not make a huge issue like other insurance companies I have tried in the past, and the whole process took less than a week to complete. I am at peace know that should something happen to me; my family will be covered.
–Sofiaread more at
Jun 30, 2021
Very pleasant experience
Very pleasant experience, well structured process, very accommodating in terms of medical exam dates/location.
–Doru Rollread more at
Jun 30, 2021
Good, room for improvement.
Overall application was an average/good experience. Did require a medical exam even though I'm under 40 and in great health. That kind of dragged the process out. First schedualed exam was canceled last minute as well. But rates were pretty good. Website is a little rough around the edges, has room for improvement.
–Justinread more at
Jun 16, 2021
Very easy and quick
Very easy and quick. From start to finish including medical exam, it was all less than three weeks. Rates where fantastic and worked for our family.
–Charlesread more at
May 20, 2021
Fast, Fair & Efficient
Fast, fair and efficient. From the moment I requested information to the time I signed my policy online, it was smooth sailing. The nurse who visited my home was very cordial & friendly. I’m glad I got my insurance through Haven Lite
–Williamread more at
How to prepare for a life insurance medical exam
At least one week before the health exam:
- Eat foods that stabilize your blood pressure and cholesterol levels: leafy greens, oatmeal, avocados, and nuts.
- Avoid processed foods that are high in sodium and sugar. They can elevate your blood pressure and sugar levels.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day to flush toxins out of your system. Consider reducing your intake of coffee, caffeinated tea or energy drinks because too much caffeine could skew your blood test results.
- If you drink socially, avoid alcohol beginning a few days prior to the exam.
24 hours before your medical exam:
- Get plenty of sleep the night before the health exam.
- Limit your intake of salty or high-cholesterol foods.
- Skip your regular exercise routine, since that could affect your cholesterol levels or the levels of protein in your urine.
- Avoid stressful situations as much as possible, which could cause elevated blood pressure.
- Consider fasting at least 12 hours before the exam is scheduled. Talk to your primary care doctor or another medical professional about whether fasting is appropriate.
On exam day:
- Continue to avoid caffeine. Hydrate with water instead. Bring a snack to eat afterward if you’ve been fasting for the exam.
- Wear lightweight comfortable clothing. It will make checking your blood pressure and collecting a blood sample easier, and it may save you some pounds on the scale.
- Bring a photo ID, and be ready to provide names and dosages of any medications you take.
- Try to be calm. Consider taking 15 to 30 minutes before the exam to just relax. If you’re traveling to the exam — whether driving or taking a brisk walk — don’t stress out over traffic, and make sure you arrive in time to get your heart rate down.
- Proactively tell the examiner about any history you may have of faintness when providing a blood sample or donating blood.
- Reschedule the exam if you’re not feeling well.
Other medical exam do’s and don’ts:
- Do consider rescheduling if the exam falls at the beginning of your menstrual cycle since that could contaminate your urine sample.
- Do skip substances and foods which could result in false positives for drug use, such as poppy seeds, Vitamin B12 supplements, cold medicine and decongestants, sleeping pills or tonic water.
- Do tell the paramedical examiner if you’re afraid of needles or if you’d prefer to do the blood pressure test last so you have time to calm your nerves.
- Do schedule your physical exam as early in the day as possible so you’re well-rested and able to focus on the paramed’s questions.
- Don’t leave out any of your medical history, including your prescription history and any pre-existing conditions, even if something seems irrelevant. The insurance company needs all your information to accurately gauge your health.
- Don’t use any recreational or illicit drugs for at least 30 days before the exam. This should be a no-brainer but it’s worth a reminder.
- Don’t schedule a medical exam if you are feeling sick or think you may have some kind of illness.
After the medical exam:
- You will be provided with a barcode number to view your results online. With that number, you can register online to be notified when the results are available.
- Your life insurance application is submitted, and you’ll wait to learn if a policy offer will be extended, and what your life insurance rate will be. (This usually takes a few short weeks.)*
- During the application process, you can receive temporary life insurance coverage worth up to $1,000,000, at the premium rate your coverage would typically cost.**
- You can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ve taken an important step toward financially protecting the people you love with life insurance.
Not interested in taking a medical exam?
Meet Haven Simple, a no-medical-exam-required*** life insurance product from Haven Life.
It’s a 100% digital buying experience for those who want coverage without a medical exam.
About Brittney Burgett
Brittney Burgett is the marketing and communications director at Haven Life, a customer-centric life insurance agency backed and wholly owned by MassMutual. She joined the startup more than five years ago as one of the first ten employees and oversees external communications, content, SEO and various other growth marketing initiatives. Brittney is a passionate leader who believes that managing your financial life doesn't need to be intimidating or complicated and brings that philosophy to all the editorial and brand work at Haven Life. Prior to her role at Haven Life, Brittney worked in public relations, her client list included brands in the tech, food and nutrition spaces.Read more by Brittney Burgett
Our editorial policy
*If the life insurance rate you’re assigned isn’t the one you expected, you can always ask your insurer to reconsider your rate class if your health has improved. (This will likely entail going through another health exam.) You can also apply for a new policy later, though that also will likely entail undergoing another exam, and means you will go without coverage
**If you are offered a policy and accept it, your temporary coverage payment will be applied toward your first month of full coverage. If you do not accept or get declined, you will receive a full refund.
***You must be truthful when applying for Haven Simple. Failure to disclose important information could result in the non-issuance of policy, or non-payment of the death benefit.
Our editorial policy
Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.
Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.
Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.
Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.
MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.
Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus
What our customers are saying
Oct 2, 2023
Super impressed. Application was easy, fast, and user friendly. Pricing competitive and came back quickly. Customer service was quick and helpful.
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Sep 8, 2023
User friendly platform and very easy…
User friendly platform and very easy application process! Super content with Haven Life , consider them when shopping for a policy.
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Aug 11, 2023
The ease of the process and speed in getting my application approved was terrific. Highly recommend using them for your insurance needs.
–Martinread more at
Aug 10, 2023
Simple and well-designed process for buying life insurance
Life insurance is an industry that seems stuck in the past - things like completing an application, filling out paperwork, scheduling medical exams, etc. are not handled online at many companies. At Haven Life all of this can be done and tracked online, and I hope that others in the industry will follow suit. Other positives include that pricing was competitive and easily available through an easy online quote. It was also possible to adjust the specifics of the policy throughout the process, even after underwriting was complete - changing my mind on one small detail did not require restarting the process. The underwriting process proceeded quickly. I was easily able to gain access to my lab results online. Etc. The process was easy at every step.
–Calvinread more at
Jul 27, 2023
5 STARS!⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ They made everything…
5 STARS!⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ They made everything simple, seamless and positive.
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