Life Insurance Medical Requirements: Lab Finding and Results Defined
Life Insurance Medical Exam: What Do They Test For?
medical exam is the most crucial part of the
entire life insurance application process as the insurance
company will base rates for the life of the policy on the
results of this exam and lab studies. Before beginning
the application process, and undergoing a medical exam, applicants
information and a helpful guideline outlining the criteria
insurers use to evaluate a person’s insurability, relevant
to their overall health, before an exam is performed or lab
work is even collected.
Preparing for an Insurance Medical Exam
a “mini physical” exam
to obtain a policy. The insurance exam is completed by a
licensed examiner who will contact you to set-up an appointment
at your convenience. The exam can be completed at your home
or office. The exam consists of a blood and urine sample,
height and weight check, blood pressure measurement and a
detailed review of your medical history. On some occasions,
an electrocardiogram (EKG) may be required depending upon
the insurance company. For more specifics about how the exam
is conducted, go to: http://www.keypersoninsurance.com/about_paramedical_exams.php
Follow these few suggestions prior to the medical exam to
- Get a good night's sleep the night before the examination
- Abstain from alcoholic beverages for at least eight hours
prior to the exam
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco for at least one hour prior
to your examination
- Avoid drinking coffee, tea or caffeinated soft drinks
for at least one hour prior to your examination
- Limit salt intake and high cholesterol foods 24 hours
before your examination
- Do not engage in strenuous physical activities 24 hours
before the examination
- Advise the Paramedical Examiner of any medications you
are taking, even non-prescription medications
- Provide a list of your physicians’ names and addresses,
dates of past visits, names of prescribed medications and
any information regarding injury and/or major illness during
the previous five years
- If you belong to Kaiser or any other prepaid medical
plan, have your medical record number available
- Drink a glass of water an hour or so before your appointment
to aid in providing a urine specimen
- If a blood specimen is required, fast according to provider
directives prior to the examination unless otherwise instructed
Understanding Blood Chemistry and Urine Analysis
A review of this glossary of terms,
related to blood chemistry and urine analysis, will explain
what general levels reveal with regard to your health and
your insurance application. The blood that is drawn during
the physical exam will be processed and checked for the following
substances and levels:
- Albumin: The
largest portion of total serum protein. Decreased serum
albumin can indicate many disorders, including advanced
liver disease. Results may be
affected by increased amounts of steroids, androgens and
- Alkaline Phosphatase: An enzyme
found primarily in the liver and bones. Elevated levels
may indicate the presence of bone disorders as well as
a variety of lever and bile duct diseases. Results may
be affected by pregnancy and not fasting before the test.
Kids tend to have elevations especially during the developmental
years. Medications do not typically affect the results.
- Bilirubin Total: Levels that are abnormally
high may occur in individuals with liver and gallbladder
disease, sometimes producing jaundice. Results showing
elevations with normal liver function abnormalities are
- Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN): An
end-product of metabolism; levels are used to detect the
presence of kidney diseases. Results may
be affected by high protein diets and are usually viewed
along with creatinine results to determine total kidney
- Cholesterol/HDL: This ratio is a predictor
of coronary artery disease. A ratio of 4.5 or less is associated
with lower risk of heart disease. Results may
be affected by not fasting before the blood is drawn and
- Creatinine: A waste product released
from muscle tissue and excreted from the kidneys. Like
BUN, creatinine measurements also are used to screen for
kidney disorders. Results may
be affected by a few medications and delays in processing
the lab sample.
- Fructosamine: Measures 'glycated
serum proteins', a person’s average blood sugar concentration
over the past two to three weeks. These levels can help
detect diabetes. Results may
be affected by hemolysis.
- Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase
(GGT, GGTP): An
enzyme commonly included in the group of results called
the liver function tests. It may be elevated when alcoholism,
cirrhosis, hepatitis, carcinoma, cholestasis, obstructive
jaundice, and hepatotoxicity are affecting the liver. Results may
be affected by many medications, tobacco use, and build.
This test is quite controversial and should be used in
conjunction with other liver panel studies like the SGPT
(ALT) and SGOT (AST) before determining a prognosis. It
is quite helpful in applicants that have a history of alcohol
- Globulin: A major component
of serum proteins. It has many functions including maintenance
of the immune system. Abnormal globulin levels, both elevated
and decreased, may indicate infections, allergic states,
immune disorders and other diseases. Results indicating
elevation or depression of levels reflect the aforementioned
- Glucose: The main source of energy
for living organisms. The most important cause of elevated
glucose is diabetes mellitus, but other impairments can
also elevate glucose levels in the blood and urine. Results may
be affected by stress, trauma, heart attacks, and caffeine.
- Glycohemoglobin or Hemoglobin
the amount of glucose in the blood over six or more weeks
and is an effective tool in monitoring the control of diabetes.
Insurance companies do not routinely test for A1C unless
there is an abnormal glucose level. Results may
be affected by hemolysis or sickle cell abnormalities.
- High Density Lipoprotein (HDL): The
quantity of HDL, as well as the ratio of HDL to total cholesterol,
is important in determining one's risk of coronary artery
disease. Markedly elevated HDL may also indicate heavy
alcohol intake. Results may
be affected by alcohol use, tobacco use and exercise.
- Low- Density Lipoprotein (LDL): LDL
levels are important in determining a person's risk of
coronary artery disease. Results may
be affected by a not fasting before a blood sample is drawn.
Blood should not be drawn until six weeks after an acute
illness has cleared the body.
- LDL/HDL: This ratio
is calculated using total cholesterol, HDL and triglycerides
measurements and is an accurate predictor of coronary artery
disease. The lower the LDL/HDL ratio, the less the risk
of coronary problems.
- Aspartate Aminotransferase
(SGOT /AST): An
enzyme found in the liver as well as cardiac and skeletal
muscle. Elevated levels can indicate liver and muscle disorders. Results may
be affected by prescription medications or strenuous activity.
- Alanine Aminotransferase (SGPT/
enzyme found in muscle, cardiac and liver cells. Elevated
levels commonly occur with liver disease and are often
proportional to the degree of disease. Results may
be affected by strenuous activity or several prescription
medications. This information should be correlated before
making any assumptions.
- Total Cholesterol: A primary risk factor
for coronary artery disease which can be controlled. Elevated
cholesterol levels are associated with atherosclerosis
and heart attacks. Abnormal cholesterol levels may also
indicate other disorders in the body.
- Total Protein: Measurement in serum
analysis includes two major components, albumin and globulin,
and assesses the body's ability to maintain its chemical
balance. Results may be affected
by strenuous activity or several prescription medications.
This information should be correlated before making any
- Triglycerides: Increases in triglycerides,
fats that provide a major reserve of energy for the body,
and other fats (lipids) are used to help predict the risk
of coronary artery disease. Ideally, triglycerides
should be measured after an overnight fast. Results may
be affected by not fasting at least 10 hours before the
blood is drawn and the consumption of alcohol within 24
hours of the blood draw.
Urine collected will be screened for the following:
- Cotinine: The
major metabolite of nicotine. This test, which can be performed
on both urine and blood serum, distinguishes tobacco users
from non-tobacco users.
- Creatinine: A product released from
muscle tissue and excreted from the kidneys. Creatinine
measurements also are used to screen for kidney disorders.
- Glucose: Elevated glucose levels are
indicative of diabetes mellitus and other conditions.
- Granular Casts: Protein masses that
form in the kidneys are excreted through the urine and
are used in detecting inflammation or hemorrhaging.
- Hyaline Casts: A form of protein
mass that can indicated kidney or heart disease.
- Protein: A combination of complex amino
acids that make up our body cells. Abnormal cell levels
may indicate the presence of kidney disease.
- Protein/Creatinine Ratio: This
ratio is more specific than an isolated protein measurement.
It can help determine whether the protein is elevated due
to possible disease or urine concentration.
- Red Blood Cells: Not typically carried
in urine, therefore, a higher than average reading could
indicate the presence of kidney diseases. The exception
is menstruating females.
- Specific Gravity: Used to check
renal or kidney functions. The presence of glucose or protein
may cause higher than expected readings.
- White Blood Cells: The presence
blood cells indicates the presence of a urinary tract infection
or inflammation of the urinary tract
Lab work results will be analyzed and sent to the insurance
company for evaluation
Awaiting Application Approval
The process of filing for life insurance is not complicated,
however, it takes time. The underwriting process begins
when your application and exam have been received by the
insurance company. During this process, a representative
at the insurance company will review your application and
exam paperwork, order your lab results from the lab and request
any medical records from your attending physicians. They
may also request your driving record as well as a brief telephone
interview to verify the accuracy of your information. The
underwriting process should be expected to take 4-5 weeks
depending on the specific requirements needed. Upon
acceptance, you will be notified immediately. If concerns
are raised by the results from the medical exam, blood work
Can MEG Financial Help?
At MEG Financial, we have worked with many
individuals across the country that have had related
histories and have helped many obtain fairly priced life
insurance. A number of these clients previously attempted
to buy life insurance elsewhere but were either turned down
or asked to pay a significantly higher rate. Our experience
helping others with related problems is invaluable
to you in identifying the insurance company that will treat
you most fairly.
For more specific information or to obtain
a custom quote, call MEG Financial today at (877) 583-3955.
You may also submit this short form and an independent insurance
agent will personally contact you to go over any questions
or other concerns.
Links for Lab Results and Blood Tests