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...

Full Bio →

Written by

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.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Mar 15, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right life insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident life insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one life insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our life insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top life insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

The Facts of Life

  • Life insurance companies use a medical exam as part of the underwriting process
  • Medical exams require a blood draw and a urine sample to conduct numerous tests
  • Your medical exam may test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), nicotine, and drugs in your system

If you are beginning your search for a life insurance policy, you may be surprised to learn that one aspect of the  application process involves completing a life insurance medical exam. This life insurance health exam allows insurance companies to better assess your risk factor before deciding whether or not to offer you a policy.

While there are a few coverage options that do not necessitate an exam — like no medical exam term life insurance — most life insurance policies will require one. For a medical life insurance test, you can expect to take a physical and complete a urine and blood test, among other things. If a life insurance medical exam is news to you, you may be concerned about how to pass this type of medical exam.

There are a few things you will want to know before your exam. This will ensure that you receive the best results possible in order to obtain affordable rates on life insurance. You should also compare life insurance rates from several different companies so that you don’t end up paying too much for your coverage.

Feel free to use our free quote tool above to find and compare life insurance rates from the best companies in your area today.

What do life insurance companies test for?

In order to learn how to prepare for a life insurance exam, it may help you to know a bit more about what life insurance companies are actually looking for during the medical exams.

Life insurance companies operate using a process called underwriting. This method allows insurance companies to determine how much of a risk you are to cover and ultimately calculate your life expectancy. Fundamentally, insurance companies do this to create an accurate price for your life insurance policy.

One positive aspect of the medical exams for life insurance companies is that healthy people are less likely to end up overpaying for life insurance coverage in order to subsidize other unhealthy individuals.

Since a major part of the underwriting process for life insurance includes collecting information about your health, the medical exam is a quick and efficient way to acquire a lot of information at once. Along with taking a medical exam for your health insurance coverage, you will also provide an application to the company that discusses your medical history, your driving record, your family’s medical history, and more.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap life insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What happens during a life insurance medical exam?

After you’ve completed the application and answered a series of health questions, it will be time for you to take the medical exam. During the medical exam, you can expect to have your height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure recorded.

Most life insurance medical exams require a urine specimen and a blood draw in order to test for specific health issues, such as high cholesterol or unhealthy blood sugar levels. These samples may also be used to screen for nicotine and drugs in your system.

People who are over 50 may have to undergo an EKG so that insurance companies can determine whether they’re at risk of a heart attack. This will depend on the insurance company you’ve selected. Some medical exams may require a stress test or an X-ray, but this is less common.

Lastly, anyone over 70 may need to take an additional cognitive test during the medical exam.

Do insurance companies test employees for drugs?

Since part of the medical exam involves blood and urine samples, insurance companies can test for drugs. If you have taken a medical exam and believe that 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’re wondering, Do life insurance companies test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?, the answer is yes. While not all life insurance companies test for THC, many do. If THC is found in your system, you may face higher premiums. There is also a slight chance that you could be denied life insurance coverage altogether.

What STDs do life insurance companies test for?

Virtually all life insurance companies will test for HIV and AIDS during a medical exam. But if you’re worried about how to pass a life insurance exam if you have STDs, you may not need to be too concerned about it.

More and more life insurance experts agree that life insurance companies do not actually test for STDs. Instead, the life insurance application will ask you whether or not you are aware of any STDs in your system. While you may be tempted to imply that you don’t have STDs when you actually do, it is still a good idea to be completely honest during your application process.

The good news is that STDs are unlikely to make your life insurance premiums much higher, and they may not impact the cost of your life insurance coverage at all.

Enter your ZIP code below to compare cheap life insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How can I prepare for my medical exam?

In the days and weeks leading up to your medical exam, it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water and limit your salt intake. You will want to eat plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and stay away from foods that are fried or heavily processed. And you should either limit or avoid your alcohol consumption.

The day before your exam, be sure to disregard any over-the-counter medications. You will also want to try to get at least eight hours of sleep.

On the morning of your exam, ensure that you do the following:

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

Following these steps should lead to the best possible results when you take your exam.

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

After you’ve taken your medical exam for life insurance coverage, you may be curious about how to obtain the results. The answer to this will actually depend on who completes your medical exam.

If the medical exam for your life insurance company was completed by ExamOne, you should receive your ExamOne results anywhere from 7 to 14 days after your test. In most cases, the company will email you to relay that your results are ready. You can access your account via a link in the email and view your results from your phone, tablet, or computer.

If you fail your exam, are denied coverage, or receive high rates from the insurance company, you should continue shopping around for different types of life insurance. Be sure to compare plenty of quotes to find the best and most affordable life insurance coverage.

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