What to Do if You Don’t Want to Face a Life Insurance Medical Exam?

Have you been putting off getting Life Insurance because you don’t want to face a life insurance medical exam? If so, I feel your pain. I’m documented to have white coat hypertension – the sight of someone coming at me with a stethoscope and a tongue depressor causes my blood pressure to elevate. Some are afraid of a medical exam because they haven’t been to the doctor in years and they’re afraid what the exam might show.

If so, there’s no need to put off getting life insurance. There are workarounds to a medical exam.

What to Do if You Don’t Want to Face a Life Insurance Medical Exam?
What to Do if You Don’t Want to Face a Life Insurance Medical Exam?

Let’s start by getting one fact clear from the beginning – the least expensive way to buy a life insurance, particularly a large policy, is by submitting to a medical exam. Even though life insurance companies have access to medical databases, they still prefer to have you examined by one of their own. That’s especially true if it’s been more of a couple of years since you last visited a doctor.

But let’s get back to those workarounds…

Employer Group Life Insurance – No Life Insurance Medical Exam

Unless you’re required to submit to a medical exam as part of your employment application, you usually won’t need one for an employer-sponsored insurance policy. This is the first best place to get life insurance without an exam. You’re accepted into the policy by virtue of the fact that you are an employee of the organization. It’s also one of the most inexpensive sources.

But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. They are two fundamental problems with employer group life insurance policies:

  1. The policy is contingent upon your employment. If you lose your job, you lose your coverage.
  2. Coverage is limited. Most policies will go up to $50,000. If you want more coverage, you’ll either have to pay for it, or the employer will pay for it. If they do, they’ll add the premiums to your W2 for tax purposes.

Still, it’s an excellent way to get a small policy in place.

Other Group Life Insurance

There are other sources of group life insurance. Organizations that you belong to, or others you do business with, may offer life insurance as a group benefit. It’s a way of expanding services, and probably as an incentive to keep you in the organization.

Typically, when group plans are offered through organizations, you’re not required to submit to a medical exam. Just as it is the case with employer plans, your eligibility runs with your membership in the organization. Insurance companies are willing to provide such policies because the members of certain organizations are deemed to fit into a certain preferred profile. For example, members of the group may tend to be healthier, less likely to smoke, or more financially stable. Since all are considered underwriting factors for insurance purposes, the insurance company is willing to forgo a medical exam for qualification purposes

Examples of organizations that provide group life insurance include:

  • Banks
  • Credit unions
  • Trade organizations
  • Professional organizations
  • AAA
  • AARP

Check with any organizations or groups you’re a part of to see what’s available.

No Medical Exam Life Insurance

If you don’t have access to an employer group plan or a non-employer organization, you can get plans on the market. Life insurance companies do make policies available that don’t require a medical exam. In fact, the number of companies offering such plans is increasing. They recognize that many people want insurance, but don’t want to deal with the medical exam.

An excellent resource on no medical exam life insurance is provided by my friend Ty Stewart at SimpleLifeInsure.com. His Guide to Life Insurance Without an Exam is a serious information source, and even lists the companies with the better plans.

Some of what Ty reports on no medical exam policies includes:

  • There are limits on the size of the policy, but they can go up to $500,000.
  • More than 20 companies offer no exam policies
  • It’s not much more expensive than full review policies. It’s just 10% to 15% more expensive. Sometimes there’s no difference from full exam policies.
  • You can buy a no-exam policy up to age 80 with some companies.
  • You can add a no-exam policy on top of another full review policy.

What I’ve to learn from Ty that is the life insurance industry is steadily evolving. Policy types that couldn’t be offered 20 years ago are becoming routine. And like everything else in the 21st century, life insurance is also becoming more complicated.

Having a good life insurance broker in your corner is well advised. Ty can help with that, since he offers policies from dozens of companies in all 50 states. If you’re looking for life insurance and don’t know the best way to go, you can reach him by email.

Final Thoughts on Life Insurance without a Medical Exam

Now there’s an important point that needs to be made about no medical exam life insurance. “No medical exam” doesn’t mean that your health history is ignored. If you have a health problem or two in your past, the insurance company will be able to review the information through available medical databases. Your health history will still be taken into consideration, even if an exam isn’t required for the policy itself.

No medical exam coverage is best for those who don’t have access to a group plan, or haven’t had a physical in a few years and suspect there may be an issue or two. It may also be worth looking into if you have a term policy and are coming to the end of the term. Again, if you haven’t had an exam in a few years, and want to be sure, you can opt for no medical exam policy.

If you have health conditions that might preclude getting life insurance, look into guaranteed issue life insurance. Those are policies where those with high health risk profiles can get coverage. But the policies have limited death benefits, high premiums, and exclusions. They may even have waiting periods of up to two years before paying benefits.

But if that’s the way you need to go, Ty Stewart can help you with that as well.

Does facing a medical exam spook you, and is it causing you to put off getting life insurance?

( Photo by Army Medicine )

2 Responses to What to Do if You Don’t Want to Face a Life Insurance Medical Exam?

  1. You may be purchasing false security anyway. 60 Minutes did a good expose on the insurance companies and their billions of dollars in unpaid claims they all sit on. Some even had the death certificates of the policy holders in the same files showing the policies were paid in full along with full contact information. They just keep the money and do not pay anything. The consumer always has to give proof and guarantees to the insurance companies, and you better not make even a tiny mistake or typo. The companies however do not have to prove anything to you, just trust them. There are more honest people in your average jail than among people in the insurance industry. Your beneficiaries better have a good lawyer to fight for their money and keep every scrap of paper. All of this happening when they may be elderly and frail, too weak to fight over proceeds of an agreement bought and paid for long ago. Perfect victims for dishonest companies.

  2. Hi Daniel – If true that’s a nightmare scenario and one of the biggest scandals of all time. It would undermine confidence in the entire financial system – large companies reneging on obligations.

Leave a reply