Healthcare is important. No one can argue with that. To find quality healthcare without the financial assistance of a reliable insurer, though, often proves to be a Herculean task nowadays. Being well-aware of your options is an essential part of the process. Sometimes, individuals specifically opt for no exam medical insurance and no exam life insurance.
Covering the Basics
The most common way is if your employer provides insurance through your job. If you can’t be insured by your employer (or if support you get is not enough to cover your needs), then you need to look for additional insurance options. The process of finding medical or life insurance seems pretty straightforward. You pick an agent, fill out their forms, receive a quote, and then sign with them.
In reality, however, things often turn out to be a little more complicated. Most insurance agents will ask you to provide your medical information in advance. They can also ask you to fill out a specific application with multiple-choice questions that determines their risk of signing a life insurance policy with you. If that would be a problem, for one reason or another, have no fear. There are still ways to receive no exam medical insurance. Keep reading because we will describe all the things that you need to know about this option. So let’s start with the crucial questions.
No Exam Medical Insurance
Can you get medical insurance without being subject to a medical exam?
If you are not on an employer-sponsored health insurance policy, the best thing that you can do is get yourself an insurance quote from an insurance agent independently. Believe it or not, most agents will not ask you to go through a medical exam to accept you as their client. The application forms that you will be asked to fill out are rather extensive. You will have to answer all sorts of health questions concerning your well-being, current health condition, and any prescription drugs that you might be taking. You’ll also need to provide information on:
- Excessive weight
- Specific work environment
- Use of recreational/non-prescription/illegal drugs
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Honesty is Key
You should provide honest answers to all questions because the insurance company is more than likely to double-check the information you provide with the Medical Information Bureau. Lying on your application forms constitutes a crime and can get you in all sorts of trouble. If your health is at risk due to your work, lifestyle, or medical history going back some ten years, the insurance company may still request that you go through a medical exam before they make a final decision whether to sign with you or not. The review will most likely include:
- Full blood panel
- Urine exam
- Physical exam
Note that the insurer has the right to ask for all the tests to be done by specific healthcare professionals. They can also request a facility of their choice.
Life Insurance Policies
Life insurance is a legitimate way to guarantee the financial well-being of your family in the unfortunate event that you pass away during the term of the insurance policy. The people closest to you receive a payment from the insurance company under the conditions determined in the contract that you have signed with them.
Logically, life insurance companies would be hesitant to take up clients that are at higher risk of dying, and they require medical tests before they approve a policy. More and more insurers, however, offer options for no exam life insurance that people can take advantage of. Insurance agents will be more than happy to give you the information about your options for no exam insurance.
So why doesn’t everyone get no exam life insurance?
Even though it is possible to obtain a life insurance policy without going through a medical exam, it is also quite likely that you will be refused one. You may also decide that the coverage does not satisfy your needs. As a result, underwriting and eligibility determined by pre-existing medical conditions and other factors become the main reason why many people decide that no-medical exam policies are not the right option for them.
What does it mean to have a life insurance policy underwritten?
Underwriting is a complex process that life insurance carriers conduct when they are dealing with potential clients. The first important subject that the underwriter determines is whether or not the person whose application they are considering is worth the risk of getting a policy from the company. The underwriting process also involves figuring out the amount of money the benefactors of the policy are to receive from the insurer. It also determines the premium that has to be paid to cover the risk of insuring the person in question.
If during the process of having a potential policy underwritten, you become classified in a risk group of some sort, you may have to go through a medical exam. They can then determine the coverage of the policy and the premium you will have to pay. So, the question becomes, which factors will make you eligible for no exam medical/life insurance?
Eligibility for No Exam Medical Insurance and Life Insurance
The Age Factor
To qualify for no exam insurance coverage, you may be required to be in a specific age group. Some of the nation’s primary life insurance carriers, such as Mutual of Omaha, Sagicor Life Insurance or Assurity Life insurance, list certain age groups that are eligible for no-medical exam life insurance. Typically, you will be asked to answer just a few general health questions if you are between 18 and 65 years of age.
The logic behind that practice is that the older you are, the higher your chances of having pre-existing health conditions tend to be. The risk of death or your likeliness to be in a long-term care facility also becomes more significant. All those factors increase risks for the company, so your premium rises and the coverage is for a smaller sum of money. If you are in a low-risk age group, you are more likely to go without an actual physical exam. The insurance agent could be satisfied with only a phone interview, for instance.
Most life insurance companies have stringent regulations for no exam life insurance policies. That’s especially when it comes to your height, weight ratio, and general body build. You will not be eligible if you do not fit into the prescribed requirements. Your body-mass index (BMI) will be among the first things they will ask about when you start the application process. Please do not lie about this when filling the form.
Even though you will not go through a physical examination that would confirm or disprove the information you have provided, stating the real numbers are essential. Companies will check the information you provide with the Medical Information Bureau. If they find out that you have given them false information, you will face some pretty unpleasant consequences. As we mentioned above, that can lead to you not being able to qualify for a life insurance coverage. It is simply not worth the risk.
Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
The types of pre-existing medical conditions that will disqualify you from no-exam coverage vary significantly from company to company. So, before applying for life insurance, you should check the guidelines of each company and choose the one that has reasonable requirements to pass. Some companies carry out extensive background checks and obtain records in the process, while others rely solely on automated research. Nevertheless, it is easy to guess which pre-existing conditions will disqualify you, as they appear on health question forms of all insurance companies out there. Those include:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Bipolar Disorder
- Heart Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Alcohol and Drug Use/Abuse
Factors to Keep In Mind
You might still be able to obtain life insurance coverage even with pre-existing conditions in place. It is unlikely to do so without first passing a medical exam, though. Some pre-existing conditions such as asthma, type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea may be acceptable for many companies. Keep in mind that this is as long as you manage them properly, and your records are in order.
If you have been declared terminally ill (meaning that according to medical professionals, you have less than two years to live), insurance agents will deem you too big of a risk to be medically underwritten to qualify for life insurance. It is not worth applying in such an unfortunate turn of events.
Lack of Regular Medical Checks
Excellent health is one of the paramount conditions under which life insurance companies feel compelled to give you insurance coverage without an exam. But there is no way for them to see you are in excellent health without a health examination if you do not have extensive and impeccable medical doctor’s records. The only way to do so is if you get regular check-ups with your doctor.
The lack of routine checks can easily be detected through a simple inquiry with the Medical Information Bureau and doctor’s records. If you don’t have consistent records, you are unlikely to get a policy without a medical exam. Make sure that you have gone to the doctor for regular check-ups in the past few years before you apply.
Your Financial History
Another thing that agents are particularly interested in is whether or not you will be able to keep up with the premiums on your life insurance plan and coverage. If they find out that you have declared bankruptcy in the past or that you have a bad credit score, you will likely get refused for no-exam insurance or life insurance. That can be an unpleasant matter for sure, but we need to remind you that insurers are first and foremost business-oriented. They are interested in keeping their revenue stream intact.
This would not be possible if they provide coverage for people who are not able to pay their premiums. If the benefactors of your life insurance need to receive money, then it is in your interest to choose an insurance company with reliable payers.
Financial history requirements vary from company to company, so you need to check with every provider carefully.
Life Insurance: With or Without Medical Exams?
If your health is sound, there is no reason for you to skip going through a medical exam before you get your life insurance coverage. There are, however, several reasons you might want to reconsider your strategy. Medical exams require time to be carried out. Furthermore, the underwriters would spend additional time to process the results when speed is often a factor. Imagine that you need to speed up the process because you need life insurance for a pending business deal or a divorce, and you are in a hurry to get a policy in place. Then you will benefit from the no exam life insurance plan.
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White Coat Syndrome
Another reason people skip the medical examination option is a recognized condition known as a “white coat syndrome.” The way it affects people is by raising their blood pressure and causing other adverse effects on a merely physiological level. Individuals suffering from white coat syndrome start having unpleasant experiences when they are in the presence of a medical professional. That is why when these people apply for life insurance, they just want to avoid the physical exam.
In addition to your overall medical condition and age, occupation is another factor taken into consideration during the process of medical underwriting. The riskier job or hobbies you have, the less likely you are to get a good deal on premiums and life insurance coverage. Therefore, if you enjoy car racing, skydiving, or rock climbing, you would want to skip the medical underwriting for the sake of obtaining a better deal from the life insurance company. Life insurers are less prone to give you the coverage you want if you are an extreme sports lover. As we mentioned above, after all, they are business-oriented and carefully weigh the risks a new client can bring.
Last, but not least, people go for no medical exam insurance solely for the sake of convenience. If you are an older person, it’s not worth the hassle of going through exams when all you need is just a small sum to cover your final expenses. Coverage of only $25,000 and a guaranteed-issue policy that you can get without a medical exam will be more than enough for you.
Why Bother With Medical Exams When Looking for Life Insurance
The short answer to that question is money. Is it worth sparing the time necessary to get your application and exam results processed if you want to leave your family behind with enough money? By going through the exams, you will be able to pay a much lower premium and get higher coverage. This way, your loved ones will receive a sum equal to five to 10 years of your current salary. This means that you will not have to worry about their financial well-being. A better deal can be obtained for your mortgage too. You can get a policy that protects it, thus eliminating the possibility of your partner or kids having to sell the house in the event of your passing.
Your Great Health
Being in excellent health is another reason not to bother about getting life insurance. Many people consider that it is for people with health issues or a stressful job, but if you have a peaceful position, that is not concerning you. Well, you never know what the future holds, so it’s better to go for life insurance now. You will have your answer — and possibly better coverage — in a matter of several weeks, up to a couple of months. If you have extra time to spare, why not do it?
So, it all boils down to your current situation and immediate needs. You should carefully think and decide which of the two options presented to you will best fit your current circumstances. There are pros and cons in both scenarios, so the final decision on the no-exam vs. with-exam life insurance depends entirely on you.
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Is there more than one kind of life insurance policy without a mandatory medical exam?
If you are dead-set on getting that policy without a medical exam first, you will get the chance to choose between different types of plans. But what are the pros and cons of going for one or the other? There is a difference between the options your life insurance agent will present to you. However, you have to carefully read the fine print to make sure that you pick the best option for your needs.
Policy type 1: Guaranteed-Issue Life Insurance
This type of policy will not only spare you the hassle of undergoing a medical examination. But it will also guarantee that insurance companies will not gain access to your doctor’s records. You will be asked only a series of yes-or-no health-related questions concerning your well-being and lifestyle, but you will be expected to answer honestly.
Companies are looking for potentially risky clients who use tobacco products, have had stays hospitals and long-term care facilities, or have HIV, AIDS, or a terminal illness. The underwriters will decide whether or not you qualify for guaranteed-issue life insurance based on your answer. This type of insurance comes with a graded death benefit. Death benefit means that your heirs will receive the sum agreed upon once you have passed away.
Furthermore, at least two or three years (or another agreed-upon period) need to pass after you have signed the policy to be able to benefit from the full coverage of the life insurance. The graded death benefit is a considerable con to guaranteed-issue life insurance, so you need to decide whether the convenience of this policy outweighs its downsides.
Another drawback of this policy type is that since the company knows almost nothing about your health risks, the premiums are sky-high. Guaranteed-issues life insurance is the most expensive kind of life insurance coverage out there.
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Policy type 2: Simplified-Issue Life Insurance
If you opt for this coverage type, you will not be required to undergo a medical examination, but the insurance company will be compelled to go through your records. That means that they will have access to information concerning any medically relevant condition that you may have suffered from in the past several years or are suffering from today.
Health Questions Asked
Additionally, the health questions that the underwriters are going to ask (about your occupation, medical history, and potentially risky habits) will tend to be much more extensive. You will need to give many details when you are applying for simplified-issue life insurance. The money is usually paid to your benefactors upon your death, and there is no requirement for a minimal waiting period.
Due to more scrutinizing of your health and overall medical history, should you qualify for simplified life insurance, you can expect higher coverage as well. Premiums are lower than those of a guaranteed issue policy. Note, however, that they are still considerably higher than those of a medically underwritten policy.
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How to Make These Policies Work
Both simplified- and guaranteed-issue life insurance policies have the benefit of medical exams being removed from the underwriting process. For those who don’t like the doctor’s office, the above-described plans are the right choice. Much like regular life insurance:
- Premiums are not tax-deductible, but the money received from the policy is.
- Premiums are paid upon learning you qualify for the policy in question.
- Your benefactors receive the payment agreed upon in the policy if you die.
Differences Between No Exam Life Insurance Policies
There are also several other vital differences to no exam life insurance policies that you should consider:
- Premiums are much higher than medically underwritten ones, so the final expense for you is higher.
- Graded death benefits for guaranteed-issue ones often require a period of two to three years between signing and being eligible for the full coverage to be received as stated before.
- You get coverage more quickly because you do not have to wait for lab results.
- The coverage is significantly lower than the one you get from medically underwritten life insurance (applies for all life insurance companies, including Sagicor Life Insurance, Mutual of Omaha, etc.).
In short, for the convenience of saving time, you are paying more and, potentially, you will be getting less.
How much less will you get?
This question is a rather important one that you need to ask yourself before you jump head-first into a no-medical exam life insurance policy. Even if you have no experience whatsoever with life insurance, you may know that traditional medically underwritten policies aren’t expensive. At the same time, they pay out substantial amounts of money – up to a million dollars. Do not expect such a thing with guaranteed- or simplified-issue life insurance policies.
The traditional cap for guaranteed policies amounts to merely $25,000. You may find an insurance company that is willing to go as high as $100,000, but those are rare cases. As for simplified-issue life insurance, you will have a hard time finding an agent that will offer you more than $350,000. That is provided you are in excellent health and under a certain age. Usually, you will not be able to qualify for such high coverage. From a statistical point of view, you are more likely to be eligible for $150,000.
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Is there a way to get more money?
Yes. Some people who do not want to go through medical exams but still want to leave more money to their loved ones than just enough for their final expenses purchase two policies at once. Let’s say that you qualify for $350,000 from one insurance company and $150,000 from another. There is no law preventing you from paying for both policies, which add up to a total of $500,000! This is a hefty sum and one which will guarantee that your family will be in no immediate financial peril upon your passing. There is one obvious drawback, however. If you have two life insurance policies, you need to be sure you will be able to keep up with paying two premiums.
How about those premiums?
The premium is the money you pay to the insurance company to receive coverage. That much is clear. The exact amount of money you will be required to pay will vary, depending on the number of factors that are taken into consideration during the underwriting process (see above). Therefore, two distinct individuals who qualify for no medical exam life insurance may be required to pay different amounts of money to receive the same amount of coverage. There is no way to give you an exact number for the premium you will be expected to pay because prices vary significantly from case to case, as well as from company to company.
Your best bet is to ask for life insurance quotes from as many companies as possible and compare the results. The thing you need to keep in mind while doing so is that you can expect premiums for no-medical exam life insurance policies to be as much as double the ones you will be required to pay for a medically underwritten policy with the same coverage. Looking at things from this perspective, it will probably make you think twice about skipping a medical examination purely on the grounds of it being a hassle. Or your fear of doctors will suddenly disappear now. It is worth spending these additional hours in the doctor’s office if you are going to save a pretty penny.
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Wait, that’s not all.
Before you go and start looking for the life insurance policy that is perfect for you, there are some additional things you need to know and consider. You want to be fully prepared before you decide that your fear of needles trumps your wish to pay lower premiums. There are additional (and somewhat more confusing) factors and terms to consider, such as:
- Death benefit
- Policy types
- Life insurance carrier
Before purchasing a policy only based on the lower premiums they are offering you, read the fine print. Make sure that the coverage will be paid in full to your benefactors under any circumstances in the event of your death. If there are further conditions and grading, learn about those, and consider whether or not they are suitable for you. Once you have cleared the question with the death benefits, it is time to move on to the next one.
Type of Policy
We think it is already pretty clear you are looking for life insurance coverage that is not medically underwritten. We have already explained the differences between medically underwritten and no-exam policies, as well as the different types of no-exam policies that you can take advantage of.
You need to consider one more thing, however. Any life insurance, no matter whether you see the doctor or not, can be a term life insurance policy or a whole (life policy) one. The term life insurance policy is valid for a set amount of time – say 10 or 30 years, during which you need to keep up with your premiums. The whole one is indefinite. Depending on your current situation, the approval time you can afford and your overall health, you might find it more suitable to purchase a term policy instead of whole (life policy) or vice- versa. Make sure you talk to your insurance agent about the options available to you. Note that not all insurers carry both types of policies.
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Check Out the Carrier
Think about it: you will be committing to pay substantial amounts of money in the form of premiums to the life insurance carrier, expecting that they will pay out the coverage of the policy to your benefactors once you are no longer with them. Hopefully, this is going to happen far away in the future. So it is only natural that you do your due diligence before you sign any contract.
Check the financial situation of the carrier you are considering. Fortunately, we now live in the age of the internet. This means that you have credible information about the reputation of a particular carrier, as well as data on their financial strength and claims-paying procedures, right at your fingertips. Familiarizing yourself with such details will give you a pretty good idea of whether or not it is worth signing with a specific company. You need to only go for a life insurance company that will be still around and will not give your loved ones a hard time when you are gone.
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Bonus Tip: Waiver of Premium
The concept of a “waiver of premium” is an essential one. We have already mentioned several times that one of the main drawbacks of no-medical exam life insurance policies is that premiums are pretty high. The waiver of premium is a unique condition under which the insured party may not be required to pay premiums for a certain amount of time.
Those instances include periods of disability or unemployment, for example. It is highly recommended that you sign a policy that allows for a waiver of premiums. It will protect you in cases you have dutifully paid your premiums for years, and you suddenly lose your ability to do so for a couple of months. Unless a waiver of premium is present in your contract, you may lose your coverage by the time you get back on your feet.
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Current Best Life Insurance Carriers in the United States
One of the main issues for people searching for life insurance is the sheer number of life insurance companies out there and the various plans and incentives they offer. Much like with car insurance, it seems that there are thousands of carriers to choose from. If you believe their advertisements, all of them are the best in the business. That, of course, is not possible. We would suggest that you start your search with those firms which have a traditionally good reputation and have been in business for a considerable amount of time. The top insurance companies in the U.S., as of today, are:
- Haven Life
- Banner Life
- Mutual of Omaha
- Principal Financial Group
- Phoenix Life
- American National
We recommend that you do not randomly pick just one of the companies on this list. Call all of them separately or submit an online request and ask for more information on their policies. You can also arrange a face-to-face meeting or a phone interview with an insurance agent working for any of them. This way, you will get a feeling of what it would be like to deal with those companies.
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Life Insurance Quotes
Most (if not all) of these life insurance carriers offer the option to request a life insurance quote online by filling out a simple form. The quote you will receive will not be binding in any way. You will still have to go through the application process, sit through the recommended approval time, and learn whether or not you qualify. However, the online quote will give you a reasonably good idea about the premiums and coverage you will be offered.
Some companies boast about things such as guaranteed acceptance and short approval times, with or without a medical examination. Those might look tempting at first but do your due diligence. There is usually a catch with such offers. However, it’s not difficult to find if you carefully read the terms and conditions on the company’s website. Since it is your family’s financial well-being at stake here, such an effort is worth the time.
Choosing in the End
Life insurance is certainly not the most pleasant of matters to consider. Many people, however, find comfort in knowing that in the case of their passing, their family will be provided for and financially independent. If this extra peace of mind is something you might be interested in, the sensible thing to do is to find out more about acquiring life insurance.
Please tell us if you have found this guide to be useful in your quest for the best no- medical exam life insurance policy. Do you have any questions? Don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comments.