A medical exam is required for most life insurance applications. The exam typically consists of blood and urine samples, blood pressure readings, height and weight measurement, a medical questionnaire and, in some cases, an EKG.

The exam can be done at your home or office and usually take about a half hour.

The results from your exam are reviewed by the insurance company underwriter and help determine the health class you will be assigned, which will also determine your rates. While you can’t drastically change the outcome of the exam, here are some tips that will help you get the most accurate results from the exam:

  • If you can, it’s best to fast for a period of at least eight hours prior to the exam. This will result in more accurate blood test results. For this reason, we recommend early morning appointments, if possible.
  • If you must eat prior to the exam, no heavy meals and little or no caffeine on the morning of the exam. Decaffeinated coffee and a light breakfast would be best.
  • Stay off salt for 3-4 days prior to exam. This may have a beneficial effect on your blood pressure.
  • No alcohol for 24 hours prior to the exam, as alcohol tends to elevate blood pressure for 12-24 hours.
  • Get a good night’s rest before the examination.
  • If you smoke, don’t smoke within 30 minutes of the exam. Smoking tends to constrict artery walls and elevate blood pressure.
  • If you have an acute illness (i.e. the “flu”), you should consider rescheduling the exam as some acute illnesses affect the urine and blood tests.
  • (For females) You should tell the examiner if you have your menses as this affects the urine and a notation can be put on the lab slip.
If you fall into one of the categories below, please follow these additional specific directions:


  • No stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes).
  • Morning exam
  • Blood pressure after you have had a chance to relax – 3 attempts at 10 minute intervals
  • Take usual medications


  • Exam 2 1/2 hours after meal, and no sweets or sugars after the meal
  • Empty bladder right after meals
  • Drink 1-2 glasses of water before the exam
Urinary Specimen Problems (albumin, RBC’s, sugar, etc.).
  • Empty bladder right after meals
  • Drink 2-3 glasses of water before the exam
  • No sweets or foods with sugar content before exam
  • Do not do strenuous exercise such as running for 24 hours prior to the exam.

Coronary, EKG Problems

  • No stimulants

Final Tip

  • Do not try to hide any medical history – be completely candid with your answers on your application and with your medical examiner
Follow these tips, and your medical exam should go ver

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