Term Life Without Medical Exam

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Biil McNeal
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:57 pm

Term Life Without Medical Exam

Post by Biil McNeal » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:13 pm

A family member told me he got denied term life insurance due to medical underwriting for a relatively minor condition found on physician exam. He's in good health and is not sure what do to next. Is it possible to skip the medical exam by getting multiple smaller term life policies from different agencies? I'm looking for term life as well so this is also of interest to me.

ResearchMed
Posts: 6597
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Term Life Without Medical Exam

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:16 pm

Biil McNeal wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:13 pm
A family member told me he got denied term life insurance due to medical underwriting for a relatively minor condition found on physician exam. He's in good health and is not sure what do to next. Is it possible to skip the medical exam by getting multiple smaller term life policies from different agencies? I'm looking for term life as well so this is also of interest to me.
If it was relatively "minor", then wasn't he able to get coverage with special medical underwriting rates, which would mean higher rates?

If that company doesn't offer it, perhaps another does?

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 16693
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Term Life Without Medical Exam

Post by dm200 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:31 pm

Biil McNeal wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:13 pm
A family member told me he got denied term life insurance due to medical underwriting for a relatively minor condition found on physician exam. He's in good health and is not sure what do to next. Is it possible to skip the medical exam by getting multiple smaller term life policies from different agencies? I'm looking for term life as well so this is also of interest to me.
This was my experience: Many decades ago, I needed term life. The insurance company asked for my medical records from my doctor(s). I was denied - due to some kind of liver function test(s). No doctor had ever even mentioned it to me. I went round and round with the life insurance company - with them getting into the weeds of actuarial medicine and clinical medicine. I went to e Gastroenterologist (the liver is one of their jurisdictions). She told me the only way to know for sure is stick a needle into my liver - and nobody would do that. She wrote a letter for me to the life insurance company - and they issued the policy.

What I would do is gather all the details and see if he can get them to change their minds.

The box you are now in is that if he tries to get a policy from another company - he will have to say that he was denied.

Stinky
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:38 am
Location: Sweet Home Alabama

Re: Term Life Without Medical Exam

Post by Stinky » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:53 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:31 pm
Biil McNeal wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:13 pm
What I would do is gather all the details and see if he can get them to change their minds.

The box you are now in is that if he tries to get a policy from another company - he will have to say that he was denied.
Agree with this post.

Even if your friend goes to another company without medical exam, they will check industry records for previous denials, and his denial will pop up. And he will be asked on the other company's application if he has ever been denied, and if he does not mention the denial, his new policy could be voided.
Actuaries have interaction with all parts of an insurance company. That allows them to annoy EVERYONE simultaneously.

BruDude
Posts: 2699
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:28 am
Location: Las Vegas

Re: Term Life Without Medical Exam

Post by BruDude » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:21 pm

What some people think is a minor issue can be very different from how an underwriter looks at it, especially if it’s an uncontrolled condition where they aren’t following doctors orders for treatment.

Just because there’s no medical exam doesn’t mean there’s no medical records review. These policies still have medical underwriting.

Many companies have gone to “accelerated underwriting” for young healthy people with amounts up to $500k-1M depending on the insurance company. SBLI is the only company that truly guarantees no medical exam up to $500k up to age 59. Others have lower limits and the “simplified” underwriting policies generally have higher rates.

If you have a concern discuss it with an independent agent that offers both options and ask their advice. My advice as an agent - for most people, if you want the lowest rates, take the exam.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 16693
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Term Life Without Medical Exam

Post by dm200 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:45 am

BruDude wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:21 pm
What some people think is a minor issue can be very different from how an underwriter looks at it, especially if it’s an uncontrolled condition where they aren’t following doctors orders for treatment.
Just because there’s no medical exam doesn’t mean there’s no medical records review. These policies still have medical underwriting.
Many companies have gone to “accelerated underwriting” for young healthy people with amounts up to $500k-1M depending on the insurance company. SBLI is the only company that truly guarantees no medical exam up to $500k up to age 59. Others have lower limits and the “simplified” underwriting policies generally have higher rates.
If you have a concern discuss it with an independent agent that offers both options and ask their advice. My advice as an agent - for most people, if you want the lowest rates, take the exam.
Yes - it may also be the case that this "minor issue" is something (actuarially) that shortens life slightly but there is no real treatment of ways you can do anything about it.

Before applying for life insurance (with medical records and/or an exam), I think I would get my weight to a healthful level (BMI under 25) and make lifestyle changes (diet/exercise/stop smoking) to look and be good to the insurance companies. I might also review all my medical records to make sure there is nothing there adverse where the records are wrong or misleading. One increasing risk today is that so many tests show so many things - and can lead to adverse misinterpretations.

Rupert
Posts: 3269
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Term Life Without Medical Exam

Post by Rupert » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:13 am

Biil McNeal wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:13 pm
A family member told me he got denied term life insurance due to medical underwriting for a relatively minor condition found on physician exam. He's in good health and is not sure what do to next. Is it possible to skip the medical exam by getting multiple smaller term life policies from different agencies? I'm looking for term life as well so this is also of interest to me.
Without knowing the precise condition at issue, it's hard to say whether another insurance company -- one with different underwriting standards -- might write him a policy. A non-melanoma skin cancer might be considered "relatively minor," for example, because it can be cured if caught early, but it may still result in denial of a life insurance application by some insurance companies if you are prone to developing such cancers (i.e., if it's your third basal cell carcinoma, as opposed to your first). If you don't mind telling us the condition, folks might be able to steer your family member to an insurance company willing to work with him. Another avenue to pursue would be a group policy offered by an employer or professional organization.

MrsBDG
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:04 pm

Re: Term Life Without Medical Exam

Post by MrsBDG » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:10 pm

If you can find out the condition, that could be helpful. As previously mentioned, life insurance exams test liver functions that doctor's don't. There is also the CBD which can indicate alcohol use. I have also seen people have tests ordered and not completed which prevents a policy being approved. Any new application will see the prior info on the MIB, at least by category. And it could be something seen on a prescription database.

Did he have a headache and talk his doc into an MRI, then decide it's too expensive? Now the underwriter will want to see it completed.
Did he have a prior recommendation for a follow up colonoscopy and not yet do it and it's 'overdue?'
Has he had anything minor mentioned in medical records, but without a responsible level of follow up?
All sorts of seemingly silly things can cause the life insurance company to postpone or decline an application.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 16693
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Term Life Without Medical Exam

Post by dm200 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:38 am

MrsBDG wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:10 pm
If you can find out the condition, that could be helpful. As previously mentioned, life insurance exams test liver functions that doctor's don't. There is also the CBD which can indicate alcohol use. I have also seen people have tests ordered and not completed which prevents a policy being approved. Any new application will see the prior info on the MIB, at least by category. And it could be something seen on a prescription database.

Did he have a headache and talk his doc into an MRI, then decide it's too expensive? Now the underwriter will want to see it completed.
Did he have a prior recommendation for a follow up colonoscopy and not yet do it and it's 'overdue?'
Has he had anything minor mentioned in medical records, but without a responsible level of follow up?
All sorts of seemingly silly things can cause the life insurance company to postpone or decline an application.
OR - there may be such liver tests that are normally run by your doctor - but your doctor may not find it "clinically" significant - as it was in my case years ago.

Post Reply