Quick Guide: The Life Insurance Paramed Exam

It's free, quick and painless. For the most part.

The paramedical (paramed) exam brings on more anxiety and angst than any other part of the life insurance application process. Hands down.

But it shouldn’t be that way. Because the paramed isn’t nearly as bad as some make it out to be. In fact, many people who’ve completed theirs tell us it was better than they expected.

It just gets a bad rap.

Well, it’s time to expunge the untruths and set the record straight about this misunderstood part of the life insurance application process.

What is a paramed exam?

The paramed exam is a requirement for most life insurance applications; the exception being a no medical exam term life insurance application. If you are applying for a regular term life insurance policy or a permanent life policy, you will need to complete an exam. Life insurance policies that require an exam are almost always less expensive than those without. So, taking this extra step will likely save you a lot of money over the years.

The paramed is a 20-30 exam conducted by an examiner who works for an exam company such as Superior Mobile Medics or APPS. The examiner will come out to your home or office to complete the exam and the life insurance company will pay for it.

The life insurance company uses the information collected on the exam to help evaluate your application for coverage. This process is called underwriting, and the exam is a big part of it.

What information do they collect?

The examiner collects information that allows the underwriter to know your current health status and your medical history. The examiner will also verify your identity by viewing your picture ID. This allows the insurance company to know who is truly applying for the policy, and helps prevent insurance fraud. This is especially important if you did not physically meet with your agent when you completed your application, as is the case in most policies applied for online.

The examiner will collect the following during the exam:

  • Health questionnaire
  • Height/weight
  • Body measurements
  • Resting heart rate
  • Blood pressure readings
  • Blood sample
  • Urine sample

There may be other requirements the examiner must collect for older applicants or for people applying for large amounts of coverage. These requirements vary by life insurance company. Some examples are resting ECG’s, functional tests and financial questionnaires.

What do I need to do?

We’ll start by scheduling your paramed exam with you when we complete your application call.

You’ll need to fast for eight hours leading up to the exam, so keep that in mind when choosing a date and time. Early morning or late afternoon may work best, but the exam company can find a time that works best with your schedule. They also offer weekend appointments in most areas.

The following tips will help you prepare for your paramed exam and help you get the best results.

  • Schedule the appointment for the least stressful time of the day.
  • Do not eat for eight hours prior to the exam. You can and should drink plenty of liquids during this time.
  • Drink a glass of water one hour or so before the exam.
  • Avoid caffeine (coffee, soda, tea, etc.) for several hours before the exam.
  • Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco for at least one hour prior to your exam.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages for at least eight hours prior to the exam.
  • Get a good night’s rest before the exam.
  • Have photo identification available.
  • Limit salt intake and high cholesterol foods for 24 hours before your examination.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities for 24 hours before the examination.
  • Have photo identification available.
  • Advise your paramed examiner regarding any medications you are taking, even non-prescription medications.
  • Have available your physician’s names, addresses and dates of past visits.

All done. Now what?

Congrats, you survived! Told you it wasn’t so bad.

It will take 7-10 days for the life insurance company to receive your lab results and exam forms. They will then be submitted along with your application to the underwriter for review. If there are no other requirements, such as medical records or additional forms, we usually get an approval from the company within 2-3 weeks of you completing your exam.

And one last suggestion… You should request a copy of your lab results from the life insurance company. All companies will send them to you for free. This is a good way to check up on your health and may even help you discover something you weren’t aware of. Just let your Case Manager know you’d like a copy.

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