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: Apr 7, 2022

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The Facts of Life

  • Life insurance companies typically test for drugs during a medical exam.
  • Drug tests help life insurance companies during the underwriting process of a policy.
  • There’s a chance your medical exam may test for THC, nicotine, and various drugs in your system.

If you are starting your search for a life insurance policy, you may be surprised to learn that one thing you will need to do during the application process is complete a life insurance medical exam. This life insurance health exam allows life insurance companies to better assess your risk during the underwriting process.

Some life insurance options — like no medical exam term life insurance — do not require that you take an exam, but most life insurance company policies do require one. With a medical life insurance test, you can expect to take a life insurance physical and complete a life insurance drug test. If a life insurance medical exam drug test is news to you, you may want to know more about how to pass a life insurance exam.

There are a few things you will want to know before your required drug test to make sure you get the best results. You should also be sure to compare life insurance rates from a few different companies in order to avoid overpaying for your life insurance coverage.

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

What do life insurance companies test for?

If you want to know how to pass the life insurance exam, it may help you to know a bit more about what actually happens during the medical exam.

Life insurance companies use a process called underwriting when they create policies. This process allows insurance companies to determine how risky you are covered and ultimately calculate your life expectancy and generate rates for your policy.

Though medical exams can be stressful, one of the helpful things about them is that healthy people end up saving money on their policies based on the results of their medical exams.

The drug test associated with a medical exam for life insurance coverage is only one piece of the puzzle. Along with the drug test — which is conducted after a medical professional collects both a urine sample and a blood draw — that you will take, you will also be required to fill out an application that asks several questions about your personal health and your family’s health history.

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What is the life insurance medical exam process?

After you have filled out the required application and answered several questions about your health and your family’s health, you will be required to take your medical exam. During the exam, a medical professional will measure your height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure.

You will have to submit a urine sample and have your blood drawn, so you can be tested for specific health issues such as high cholesterol or blood sugar levels that are too low or too high. The blood and urine samples you submit will also be used to screen for THC, nicotine, and drugs in your system.

Do insurance companies drug test their employees?

You must take a life insurance urine test and blood test, so you can be tested for illicit drugs. If you have taken a medical exam and believe you failed the life insurance drug test portion of the exam, it may be possible to retest, depending on the types of drugs found in your system.

If you are wondering, “do life insurance companies test for THC?” the answer is yes. While not all life insurance companies test for THC, many do.

What types of drugs do life insurance medical exams screen for?

While each life insurance company is different, most companies test for the same types of health markers during a medical exam. This is also the case for a drug test. In general, most life insurance companies test for:

  • Amphetamines
  • Methamphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • PCP
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Methadone
  • THC

If you have any of these drugs in your system when you take your medical exam, it is likely that your insurance company is going to find out about it. Once the company finds out, you may face higher premiums. There is also a good chance you could be denied life insurance coverage altogether.

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What STDs do life insurance companies test for?

Virtually all life insurance companies will test for HIV and AIDS during a medical exam. But you may not have to worry too much about your life insurance company testing for specific STDs.

Most life insurance experts agree that life insurance companies do not really test for STDs. But you will have to complete an application that asks whether you have any STDs. While you may be tempted to state that you do not have STDs when you really do, you should always be completely honest in your application to avoid being denied coverage.

Thankfully, STDs are not very likely to make your life insurance premiums much higher. In fact, they may not impact the cost of your life insurance coverage whatsoever.

What should I do before my medical exam?

If you’re wondering how to prepare for a life insurance exam, there are a few things you can do to make sure the process goes smoothly.

Three to four days before your medical exam, you should try to drink plenty of water and limit your salt intake. You will want to eat healthy foods, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and stay away from foods that are fried or heavily processed. Be sure to limit or avoid alcohol as well.

The day before your exam, avoid all over-the-counter medications if at all possible. You should get at least eight hours of sleep if possible.

On the day of your exam, make sure you:

  • Avoid coffee, tea, and soda.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Have your photo ID ready.
  • Have your medical information ready.
  • Wear short sleeves.

Following these steps will help you get the best results possible on your life insurance medical exam.

How do I get the results of my life insurance medical exam?

After you have taken your medical exam for life insurance coverage, you will have to wait awhile before you get the results. How you get your results will depend on the company that performs your exam.

If your medical exam is completed by ExamOne, you will receive your ExamOne results anywhere from seven to 14 days after you take the test. The company will email you and let you know your results are ready. You can access your account and see your results from your phone, tablet, or computer.

If you fail your exam, are denied life insurance coverage, or receive life insurance rates that seem high, you should continue shopping around for different types of life insurance. You will want to compare quotes from as many companies as possible to know for sure you’ve found the best and cheapest rates available.

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The Bottom Line

Yes, life insurance providers do test for drugs. When applying for any fully underwritten life insurance policy, you will be asked to undergo a physical exam.  A life insurance physical examination entails meeting with a para medical professional who will draw a blood sample, as well as obtain a urine sample from you.

The samples will then be tested to see if they contain any particular type of substance. You may also be asked some additional questions about any past drug use or addiction. People who are healthier tend to pay less than people who have a medical condition.

You can use our free quote tool below to get started in your search for life insurance coverage today.