Why do some medical insurers require a medical exam?

Updated on March 5, 2022

One of the most daunting aspects of obtaining medical insurance is the idea of the medical exam. Firstly, it is important to note that not all policies require a medical exam, and for those that do it really need not be a huge ordeal. In this article we’ll look to address some of the misconceptions around the exam, and answer why it may be required in the first place.

What is life insurance?

To answer why your provider may ask for a medical exam, we must first look at what medical insurance actually is. Whilst quite grim, providers are essentially taking a gamble as to how likely you are to die. Providers want to make money not lose it, and so they take into consideration various factors in evaluating the probability of paying out. One of the most important factors is your general health, it’s why generally you’re asked about your smoker status. A medical exam offers another means of establishing your general health. It may also be required for group life insurance.

Why use a medical?

You may be thinking that anything worth knowing from a medical exam would be in your medical records. However, records can be doctored, if you’ll pardon the pun, and an examination by an independent physician offers the insurers some protection. It is possible to lie to someone asking general questions, it is much harder to lie to a physician and the body never lies. Now not all who fail to declare consider themselves to be committing fraud, many are simply worried they won’t be accepted. Regardless of the intention, a medical gives the insurers peace of mind when offering a policy.

A medical is also a useful tool to see how health has progressed, particularly important if you wish to extend the period of your cover. Your answers to the general questions may not have changed since the initial plan, but our health gradually, and naturally, declines over time. Hence why you may be asked to undergo a medical in these circumstances, even if you didn’t have to at the beginning.

A third reason, though admittedly probably the most frightening, is that an individual may have an underlying medical condition they were unaware of. It is an unlikely scenario, but not entirely impossible. It is therefore worth making a medical exam a regular part of your healthcare outside of any insurance.

What to expect

Now we know why, another common question is what an exam actually entails. The exam itself won’t take too long, roughly 30 minutes and will require you to answer some health and lifestyle questions in addition to the test. The tests include a blood pressure and blood test, and your measurements will be taken, i.e. weight, height etc. 

The points made in this article will hopefully have helped to assuage any worries or concerns you had about a medical exam. You can now apply for a life insurance policy confident in the knowledge that if you’re asked to have a medical, it is nothing to be feared and can also be beneficial for you!

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.