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Are life insurance blood tests needed?
In order to receive the absolute lowest rates life insurance Blood Tests are typically required. But, depending on the amount of life insurance coverage you need, you may be able to get by without doing life insurance blood tests. Nowadays, some companies will underwrite life insurance coverage without blood tests up to $500,000 depending on the age of the prospect.
But, it is important to remember that even if a life carrier doesn’t require life insurance blood tests upfront, they reserve the right to request blood tests if they feel they are needed to evaluate your situation.
In addition to blood tests, life insurance carriers can also request a urinalysis and a resting EKG. Life insurance underwriters will also most certainly order a copy of your personal physician’s medical records if warranted.
What do life insurance blood tests look for?
Life insurance blood tests are done as part of the risk assessment for life insurance. They screen for “silent” disorders that are not causing symptoms but may cause increased mortality risk, such as kidney, liver or even heart disorders.
Life insurance blood tests can also assess current status in those with a known medical condition, such as diabetes.
Which blood screenings do they run?
Listed below you will find the basic screens that are done on blood testing. Normal ranges vary slightly depending on the laboratory doing the test and the age of the prospect.
- Glucose– (70-109 MG/DL)- is the main reading for diabetes control. The major cause of elevated glucose is diabetes.
- Hemoglobin A1C– (3.0-6.0%)- these tests are used to confirm elevated glucose (blood sugar) and fructosamine readings. When an individual’s A1C is abnormally high, his or blood sugar has been high in the past 1- 2 months.
- Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) (6-25 mg/dl)- this is an end product of protein metabolism. BUN levels are elevated in kidney disease.
- Creatinine (.6- 1.5 MG/DL)- is a waste product released form muscle tissue and is extracted from the kidneys. Creatinine is elevated in kidney disorders.
- Alkaline Phosphate (30-115) is an enzyme found primarily in the liver and bones. Elevated levels may indicate the presence of liver or bone disorders.
- Total Bilirubin (greater than 2MG/DL) – levels that are abnormally high occur in individuals with liver and gallbladder disease.
- SGOT (0-41)- is an enzyme found in the liver and in cardiac and skeletal muscle. Elevated SGOT can indicate liver or muscle disorder.
- SGPT (0-45) – is an enzyme found in the muscle, cardiac and liver cells. Elevated SGPT commonly occurs with liver disease.
- GGTP (2-65) – is another liver enzyme. It is released as a result of damage cells walls in people with liver disease. It is also sensitive to drugs and medications. This marker elevated can also represent high alcohol usage.
- Total Protein (6.0-8.5)- includes two major componets, albumin and globulin. It’s measurement assess the body’s ability to maintain chemical balance.
- Albumin (3.0-5.5) – is the largest portion of the total serum protein. Decreased serum albumin can indicate many disorders, including advanced liver disease and malnutrition.
- Globulin (1.0- 4.6) – is a major component of serum proteins. It has many functions, including maintenance of the immune system. Abnormal globulin levels, both elevated and decreased, may indicated infection, allergic reactions, immune disorders or other diseases.
- Total Cholesterol (Greater than 200 MG/DL) – is a risk factor for coronary artery disease.
- HDL Cholesterol (40-85) if high, is associated with protection against coronary artery disease. The quantity of HDL, as well as the ratio of HDL to total cholesterol, is important determining one’s risks of coronary artery disease.
- LDL Cholesterol (60-130)- if high, is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease.
- Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio – is a predictor of coronary artery disease. A ratio of 4.5 or less is associated with lower risk of heart disease.
- Triglycerides (10- 190) – are fats that provide a major reserve of energy for the body. Increase in triglycerides and other lipids can increase the risk of coronary artery disease.
- LDL/HDL Ratio (less than 3.6) – is calculated using the total cholesterol, HDL and triglycerides measurement. The lower the LDL/HDL ratio the less risk of coronary problems.
- HIV – routinely screened to test whether a person is positive or negative for antibodies for the HIV virus.
- Blood Alcohol Tests- measures the amount of alcohol in the body at a given time.
What happens if might insurance blood tests are abnormal?
Having one or more of the above mentioned tests out of the normal range does not necessarily mean your application will be declined or even charged a higher rate.
Life insurance company underwriters know that very few individuals will have perfect lab readings. For instance the normal range on the lab results are just a suggested normal range. As an example, often times someone will have a total cholesterol reading above the normal range (200). But, the total cholesterol/ HDL ratio may be excellent.
The total cholesterol range would not automatically kick someone out of the best rates. The underwriters will try to use a whole picture of the situation and see if credits can be added.
Having a good build and family history may cancel out the fact that someone’s cholesterol or triglyceride’s are a bit high.
On the other hand, if an underwriter sees several blood tests that are out of the normal range, then further investigation may be necessary. A review of your personal doctor’s records may help uncover if anything serious is going on.
The life insurance blood tests are just one part of the picture when evaluating prospects for life insurance protection.
What happens if I get a rated policy due to abnormal blood tests?
It is important to remember that every life insurance company evlauates your health and lifestyle differently. What one company may see as a problem, another company may not.
In fact, this is one of the main reasons why it is important to have an agent that can help you thru the process.
An independent life agent who represents multiple life insurance companies is the best. This way, if one company highly rates you or even declines you for coverage due to abnormal life insurance blood tests your agent can submit to another carrier.
Will I have to due another blood tests for different insurance company?
The short answer is no. This is again another good reason to use an independent life agent. The independent life agent should be able to send your current lab tests to any and all other carriers for review. This makes it easy for you to shop coverage to make sure you are getting the best deal. If one carrier doesn’t give you the lowest rates, perhaps another company will.
Questions on whether you will need life insurance blood tests?
As mentioned earlier, many carriers are now able to underwriter policies without a blood test or medical exam. This again depends on several factors. Your age and most importantly the amount of protection you need.
With over 1,000 life insurance companies in the United States it is sometimes hard to find the exact carrier. The use of an independent life insurance agent will help you not only narrow the right company down, but also negotiate on your behalf the lowest rate for your situation.
If you are in the market for life insurance and need help determining the right insurance company or simply have questions regarding life insurance blood tests, please contact us at 1-888-393-9003 or [email protected]
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