Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Nov 30, 2021

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The Truth in a Nutshell

  • Blood tests are used to discover medical issues
  • The blood test is a crucial part of a medical exam
  • There are ways you can prepare for the blood test

Typical life insurance questions include, “How much does life insurance cost?” and, “Do you need a blood test?” Most traditional policies require a blood test as part of the medical exam. Learning more about life insurance companies that require a blood test will help you prepare for acceptance.

Before learning about life insurance companies that require a blood test, enter your ZIP code to get free life insurance quotes in your area.

Why do life insurance companies require a blood test?

Blood tests are a part of a life insurance exam. Companies require these exams for most traditional policies. If you need an exam for your chosen plan, you can expect a process that includes:

  • Blood test
  • Urine sample
  • Body measurements
  • EKG
  • Health questions

A licensed medical technician completes the exam in about 30 minutes. The blood test screens for disorders without symptoms that could increase your mortality risk. In some cases, you might not even know that you have the condition.

There are also life insurance companies that don’t require a blood test, so there’s no guarantee that your application process will include this type of exam.

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What are the tests from life insurance companies that require a blood test?

How do life insurance companies check medical background information? In most cases, you’ll be required to take a blood test to get coverage. But what do insurance companies test for life insurance?

Your blood will only be drawn once, but it will go through multiple tests. These tests allow the company to discover various health conditions. The four standard tests that your blood will go through are:

  • Diabetes blood test
  • Kidney blood test
  • Liver blood test
  • Lipid blood test

Here is some more information on these four blood tests.

Diabetes Blood Test

A diabetes blood test is also known as a hemoglobin test. This test confirms your glucose levels. Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body, and elevated glucose causes diabetes. When a person’s HbA1c is abnormally high, their blood sugar level has increased in the past two months.

A person with high blood sugar might not know of their condition until this test. The result usually won’t end in denial of coverage but might cause higher rates from life insurance companies that require a blood test.

Kidney Blood Test

Elevated blood urea nitrogen and creatinine can indicate kidney problems. Blood urea nitrogen is an end-product of protein metabolism, and creatinine is a waste product from muscle tissue. Elevated levels of these products can also indicate dehydration.

The expected levels depend on your age, gender, and build. So acceptable levels differ for each person.

Liver Blood Test

Liver blood tests measure the enzyme and protein levels in your liver. When the lab tests your blood, they’ll be looking at various aspects, they’ll be looking for:

  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Total bilirubin levels
  • Aspartate aminotransferase
  • Alanine aminotransferase
  • Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase
  • Total protein
  • Albumin
  • Globulin

These levels will determine if you have any problems with your liver or gallbladder.

Lipid Blood Test

Your cholesterol level impacts your risk for coronary artery disease. High cholesterol levels can result in a heart attack. A lipid blood test looks at your risk of a heart attack by measuring proteins and fats, including:

  • Cholesterol
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
  • HDL/LDL ratio
  • Triglycerides

A high risk of coronary artery disease might not result in coverage denial but you will likely see higher rates.

While these are the most popular tests, companies might also request other blood tests, such as:

  • HIV test
  • Blood alcohol test
  • BNP test
  • CEA test

These tests are for more severe conditions, and negative results are less likely. But they allow for more accurate quotes from life insurance companies that require a blood test.

Enter your ZIP code to find free life insurance rates in your area.

How do you prepare for life insurance companies that require a blood test?

If you have a disease that will show up on a blood test, there’s not much you can do to avoid detection. However, some tips can show you how to pass life insurance medical exam tests.

The best way to prepare for a blood test is to eat healthy meals and drink lots of water in the week leading up to your appointment. Some foods that can help you pass your test include:

  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Salmon

Fried and sugary foods can boost your blood glucose and blood pressure. Avoiding coffee and alcohol in the days leading up to your appointment will also help you achieve optimal results.

Can you be denied coverage from life insurance companies that require a blood test?

The most common reason companies might deny coverage is that you left out a known condition when applying. If you’re honest about your medical history, a company might work with you. But if you left something out, they’re likely to deny coverage.

If the tests come back and you are denied, you can request a copy of the results. The results will allow you to determine the reason for denial. If something looks wrong, you can request a second exam. Most companies will oblige this request.

If your test causes high rates or coverage denial, you have other options. You can apply for no-exam policies, like simplified issue or guaranteed issue life insurance.

Simplified issue insurance relies on a health questionnaire rather than a medical exam. Guaranteed issue insurance asks health questions but won’t deny applicants based on medical issues.

Another option is to buy burial insurance, which pays your funeral and burial costs. The Insurance Information Institute provides more information about this type of coverage.

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Life Insurance Companies That Require a Blood Test: The Bottom Line

Buying traditional life insurance will usually require a medical exam. A blood test is a standard part of the exam process. Knowing about life insurance companies that require a blood test will help you prepare for your exam.

Now that you know about life insurance companies that require a blood test, enter your ZIP code to find free life insurance rates in your area.