Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Feb 13, 2022

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The Facts of Life

  • A life insurance blood test is typically a part of the medical exam a client has to take before getting approved for life insurance coverage
  • Life insurance blood tests will show if a person has HIV or AIDS, STDs, and abnormal hormone or protein levels
  • Two to three days before a life insurance blood test, it’s a good idea to eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol to get the best exam results

When you are looking to purchase a life insurance policy, you may have to complete a series of things first. There is an application to fill out, a health history questionnaire to answer, and you may also have to complete a life insurance medical exam, especially if you are purchasing a whole life insurance policy.

A life insurance blood test is often included when you take a medical exam to apply for a life insurance policy. Life insurance companies use the blood test, among other medical results, to help assess your level of risk and ultimately decide whether they will offer you life insurance coverage.

If you know that you have a medical condition that may negatively impact your life insurance rates, it is important that you shop around for coverage to find the cheapest options based on your unique situation. Your health status may not have as much of an impact on some insurance rates as it does on others.

As you shop for life insurance coverage, be sure to use our free quote tool above to compare quotes from a variety of insurance companies today.

What do life insurance blood tests test for?

A medical life insurance exam is used to decide where you fall as a potential policyholder when it comes to levels of risk. If you are young and in perfect health, you are likely to get exceptional rates on life insurance coverage because you are less likely to die at a young age.

Medical exams are also a way life insurance companies can make sure that your answers to any health questions are valid. With both life and health insurance exams, if the company discovers that you falsified information on your application, you will automatically be denied coverage.

Most life insurance tests will include the following:

  • A driver’s license or social security check
  • A blood sample
  • A urine sample
  • A measurement of your height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure
  • A series of health questions
  • A medical history verified by previous physicians

The blood test part of a life insurance physical is used to screen for a lot of different health indicators, diseases, and conditions. Because these things could impact your lifespan, life insurance companies want to know as much as possible about your physical and medical condition.

Among other things, a life insurance blood test tests for:

  • HIV and AIDS
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Abnormal cholesterol
  • Abnormal hemoglobin levels
  • Abnormal glucose levels
  • Abnormal creatine levels
  • Abnormal protein levels

Blood tests can also be used to assess whether you use illegal drugs, such as amphetamines or opiates. Because the blood test portion of a life insurance medical exam can test for so many things, it is always in your best interest to be as honest as possible about your health status and past health history.

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What do I do to prepare for a life insurance blood test?

To prepare for a life insurance blood test, you really have to start when you fill out the application. You need to be up-to-date on all information concerning your health and medical history for at least the past five years. You will also be asked very specific questions about your lifestyle and overall habits.

Because insurance companies will verify anything you tell them, you need to be as honest as you can about this information. If you are not sure about an aspect of your medical history or current health status, it is better to let them know that than to make up an answer.

For the best results when it comes to a blood test, you should eat healthy foods and be sure to drink plenty of water for at least two or three days prior. To help specifically with your cholesterol levels, you can eat foods like avocado, nuts, and fatty fish such as salmon. And be sure to avoid fried foods as well as processed foods or foods with a lot of added sugar.

Drinking enough water can help you clear chemicals and other things out of your system. It will also open your veins, allowing the blood draw to be more efficient and less painful.

Two to three days before your medical exam, it is a good idea to limit or stop your intake of coffee altogether. You should also avoid alcohol and maintain regular exercise that does not put too much stress on your body as this can cause your protein levels to elevate.

Additionally, you may want to avoid the following foods and chemicals to make sure they do not negatively impact your blood test:

  • Poppy seeds
  • Vitamin B12 supplements
  • Tonic water
  • Ibuprofen
  • Sleeping pills
  • Cold remedies or decongestants
  • Snack bars and shakes that are high in protein

Taking these extra steps a few days before your medical exam could help you get better life insurance blood test results, and this may allow you to get cheaper rates on your life insurance coverage.

What happens if I am denied coverage because of my test results?

If a life insurance company denies you based on your medical exam, you will want to learn why. You can ask the insurance company for a copy of your test results. This will help you assess whether something is wrong in the report.

In most cases, if you’re denied permanent coverage, you can ask whether you would be eligible for a term life insurance policy. You can also ask whether the insurance company offers no medical exam life insurance options. Depending on your unique situation and what you’re looking for, this type of policy may be a good choice for you and your loved ones.

It is always a good idea to go back to the drawing board and get information from new companies if you are denied coverage. You may be eligible for a policy with someone else, and you may be surprised by the rates you are able to get as a result.

Be sure to use our free quote tool below to find and compare life insurance rates from top companies in your area today.