Medical Exam Guide

As part of your application for life insurance, a medical exam will be required. Either a paramedical company will complete this report or a medical doctor will be contracted by the insurance carrier. The examiner will schedule the appointment at a time and place that is convenient for you. This includes your home, office, or the examiner’s office; you should make the decision that best fits your schedule.

Since your life insurance rates will be directly affected by the findings on the exam, it is important to follow the guidelines below to generate the best results possible:


  • Drink plenty of water the day before the exam.
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before.
  • Limit high-salt, high-fat, and high-cholesterol foods for twenty-four hours before the exam.
  • Have a list of your current and past physicians’ names, addresses, dates of visits, and the medications they have prescribed you for at least the past five years.
  • Schedule your exam as early in the morning as is practical.
  • Void early in the morning prior to the examination. Afterward, drink a glass of water one hour before the appointment to facilitate obtaining a urine specimen.
  • Avoid drinking coffee, tea, or any caffeinated beverages before your exam. The caffeine can temporarily raise your blood pressure and increase your pulse.
  • Refrain from strenuous exercise for forty-eight hours before your exam. Heavy exercise can temporarily elevate liver test results and cause protein in your urine sample.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol forty-eight hours before the exam. Alcohol can negatively influence blood pressure, pulse, and liver tests.
  • Try to not use any tobacco or nicotine products for at least an hour before your exam. These products can temporarily raise your blood pressure and pulse. If you use noncigarette tobacco periodically and are applying for nontobacco rates, avoid tobacco usage at least seven days prior to the exam.
  • A blood sample taken while fasting better optimizes lipid, liver, and sugar tests. Each company has different requirements, but an overnight fast with the exam done early in the morning is preferred.
  • Don’t forget your photo ID. This is required by the examiner to verify your identity.
  • Wear a short-sleeved shirt or a shirt with sleeves that can be easily rolled up.
  • If you need a large blood pressure cuff, let the examiner know when you are scheduling your exam.
  • If you weigh more than three hundred pounds, please let the examiner know when you are scheduling your exam.
  • Avoid taking any over-the-counter medications and vitamins for twenty-four hours before the exam. Advil and nasal decongestants, for example, can elevate liver tests, and many weight-lifting supplements affect kidney tests.
  • If you are feeling sick, don’t be afraid to cancel your appointment. Having the best possible exam will help you get the best possible rating.

These tests are performed at no extra cost to you and are paid for by the insurance company, but you have a right to know the results. Some insurance companies have started automatically mailing lab results to the client’s home, but we encourage you to request that the carrier send you your exam results. It is preferable to obtain the entire exam including labs and have your advisor’s underwriting department review them before submission of a formal application.

For a PDF version of a “Request for Release of Insurance Medical Lab and Exam Results” please click here.