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- Most insurance companies require a physical examination prior to offering you coverage
- Health insurance companies look for red flags when performing acceptance physical exams
- Stopping smoking can dramatically reduce your monthly premium
You may have received the “bad” news that you need to have a physical examination prior to obtaining health insurance.
Although this may seem like a waste of your time, there are several things you can do to ace your health insurance exam and keep your premiums low.
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What should I expect?
You need to do should understand that health insurance companies are looking for “red flags” about things that will cost them of money.
For example, diabetics, smokers and individuals with heart conditions will require more medical care than people without these conditions.
While a company can deny you for a pre-existing condition, it cannot deny you coverage without a documented diagnosis of these conditions.
Therefore, a physical exam helps the company to determine if you already have some condition that can allow them to legally deny coverage.
Keep in mind that health insurance companies want your business. They are not going to be looking for minor things that are easily treatable.
The common cold will not affect the insurance company’s decision because a cold is temporary and easily treated.
However, if you have a chronic cough, the health insurance company wants if it’s an indication of a pre-existing condition that could disqualify you from getting health insurance.
How can I prepare for a health insurance exam?
The good news is that there are things you can do to pass your health insurance exam. Remember that most of the suggestions are lifestyle changes that will work best if implemented as part of a total effort at a healthier lifestyle.
First, if you smoke, stop. This is probably the single most important thing you can do for your health and for your health insurance exam results.
Furthermore, if you are asked if you have smoked in the last year, don’t lie. Explain that you have quit, but expect higher premiums for up to the first year.
In order to get an accurate reading of your blood sugar, you may be told to fast before the exam. Fasting is the only way to get really accurate blood sugar and other test results.
You should schedule your appointment early in the morning and avoid food and liquids after midnight the night before.
High blood pressure is a very accurate precursor of heart disease and stroke, so insurance companies look at it carefully.
If you are not currently treating your high blood pressure, you should begin to do so immediately.
Moderate exercise can work wonders in bringing blood pressure under control. Try walking at least 30 minutes a day at a brisk pace, and check your blood pressure frequently to see how it fluctuates.
Normal blood pressure readings are 120 systolic pressure and 80 diastolic pressure. Anything above that is considered “high” blood pressure.
What about prescription medication?
If you are currently taking medication, be sure to list it on the information sheet prior to seeing the doctor.
You might even want to bring your medications with you to the exam so the doctor can see if they are generic or name brand and the dosage of each.
Under no circumstances should you take any nonprescription drugs, even if they are over-the-counter medications, as these can alter your test results.
If you are taking cold medication or other OTC drugs, be sure to tell the doctor prior to the test.
While it’s possible to prepare for your exam by eating right and exercising more, continuing those good lifestyle changes is the key to an overall healthier life.
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