Life Insurance Urine Tests

    Life Insurance Urine Tests: What To Expect

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    Depending on the type of life insurance policy you're applying for, you may be required to take a medical exam. For this, you'll have to undergo a physical check-up and submit a urine and blood sample.

    In this guide, we'll talk about what you should expect during your urine test and why the test results are important. We'll also help you prepare for a life insurance medical exam.

    What Is The Urinalysis Test For?

    During the application process, insurers may ask you to take a life insurance urine test so that they can learn more about your overall health. They also use it to detect drug and tobacco use. 

    Here are some of the aspects that paramedical labs look at during a urinalysis:

    Health Condition

    A urine test can tell physical examiners a lot about your overall health. Your urine sample will be examined to see if you have abnormal levels of the following:

    • Bilirubin (liver problems)
    • Creatinine (kidney disease)
    • Glucose (diabetes)
    • Protein (kidney failure)
    • Hemoglobin (kidney infection)
    • Red blood cells (blood disorder or organ failure)
    • White blood cells (infection)

    To avoid complications, let the examiner know if you've been taking any supplements, including weight loss supplements or vitamins. You should also avoid taking diuretics since it may appear like you've been taking blood pressure medication.

    Nicotine Use

    Applicants who test positive for nicotine will be placed in a higher-risk class. This means that they'll pay two to three times more than the average person in the same age/health category. Keep in mind that nicotine-based products, such as patches and gum, will still appear on your urinalysis test and put you in the same category as a regular smoker.

    Drug Use

    Aside from potential medical conditions, your urine sample will be screened for drug use. The urine test will enable life insurers to see if you test positive for using the following substances:

    • Barbiturates
    • Benzodiazepines
    • Cocaine
    • Marijuana
    • Methadone
    • Opiates
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    Why Do You Need A Medical Examination?

    Life insurance policies pay out a certain sum to beneficiaries if an insured person dies within the coverage period (a.k.a. term). Life insurers carefully assess an applicant's life expectancy, so that they can accurately assess the likelihood of the insured dying during the term. The higher a person's risk level, the higher the premiums that the individual will need to pay for their insurance policy.

    One way that life insurance companies determine an applicant's risk level is by asking them to take a comprehensive medical exam. Medical examiners will check your height and weight, blood pressure, as well as your blood and urine samples. They'll submit the chemical analysis to the life insurance company, which will then decide on the premiums you'll have to pay.

    People who have preexisting health conditions or a history of drug use may get denied when they apply for traditional term or permanent life insurance policies. Some conditions to watch out for are heart disease, abnormal liver and kidney function, HIV infection, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Minor issues like urinary tract infections may require further tests.

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    Preparing For Your Life Insurance Medical Exam

    Everyone wants an affordable life insurance policy. To get cheaper premium rates, you have to make sure that your life insurance blood test and urinalysis go well. Here are some ways you prepare for your exam a few days before the test.

    Gather Your Records

    Before your medical exam, you'll usually be asked about your medical history, current prescriptions, and past medications. Make sure to list all of these down, including the exact names of the drugs and their dosages. The physical examiner will confirm the information you’ve submitted on your application. 

    Avoid Drinking Alcohol

    Drinking alcohol is not bad per se, but try to avoid it around eight hours before your medical exam. Binging on alcohol before your urinalysis could make you show signs of abnormal liver function.

    Avoid-False Positive Foods

    There are types of food that cause you to get a false-positive result on certain types of drugs. While modern methods of drug testing likely won't be sensitive enough to cause any complications, it's best to avoid these hours before your urine test. 

    Examples include the following:

    • Poppy seeds (opiates)
    • Hemp oil or hemp seeds (marijuana)
    • Tonic water (cocaine)

    Avoid Over-The-Counter Drugs

    Some over-the-counter medications can cause you to get a false-positive result for certain drugs. As much as possible, avoid taking the following 24 hours before your medical exam:

    • Cold remedies and decongestants (amphetamines)
    • Ibuprofen (marijuana)
    • Sleeping pills (barbiturates)
    • Vitamin B12 or Riboflavin supplements (marijuana)

    Drink Water And Ask About Fasting

    Some people will be asked to fast before their medical exam. Regardless of whether you need to fast or not, though, make sure to drink enough water. Staying hydrated will help you complete your urinalysis faster.

    Avoid Strenuous Exercise

    If you're the type of person who likes to start their day with exercise, good for you. However, you may want to skip your daily exercise routine 12 hours before your test, since this can increase blood pressure levels.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    It's normal to feel anxious before your life insurance medical exam. But with the right information, you should be able to get through it with ease. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this part of the life insurance application process.

    Do life insurance companies test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?

    Life insurers vary widely with how they treat applicants who test positive for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. If marijuana is legal in your state, you won't get denied life insurance coverage, but you might be put in the same category as a smoker. That will significantly drive up the premiums you have to pay for life insurance.

    Ask your life insurance agent for more information about companies that are marijuana-friendly. These are insurers that won’t treat you differently from any other person who is in good health.

    Don’t forget to inform your agent about how often you use the substance and your reasons behind taking it, as well. This will help them explain to life insurers that your marijuana use does not put you at risk.

    Can I retake life insurance medical exams?

    There are some cases in which a life insurance company may allow you to retake medical exams. However, this only happens if you're showing symptoms of certain medical conditions that you have no prior history of. Applicants who fail the drug test cannot retake their urine test.

    Can I choose not to disclose my health history?

    While it might be tempting to withhold some information from insurance companies when talking about your health issues, that's never the right course of action. An insurer can check your medical records through the Medical Information Bureau and run prescription drug checks.

    If you've been found withholding information on your application, your beneficiaries may be denied the death benefit once you pass away.

    Keep in mind that people with a complicated medical history can still qualify for simplified-issue or guaranteed-issue life insurance policies, though you'll need to pay higher premium rates. Be sure to talk to your life insurance agent for more advice.

    What if I get denied for life insurance coverage?

    If your application for life insurance coverage was denied, you need to continue working with your agent to find another insurer who will provide you with a policy.

    One of your options is to get a no medical exam life insurance policy. This can also work for people who simply don't want to take blood and urine tests, even if they haven't been denied coverage.

    Keep in mind, though, that no-medical exam life insurance policies typically cost more than traditional, fully underwritten insurance. That's because life insurance companies have less information about your health condition and are taking on more risk by providing you with coverage.

    Here are some types of policies that won't require a life insurance urine or blood test:

    • Accelerated underwriting policy: Some companies provide full underwritten policies without the need for a medical examination. To determine if you qualify for this kind of policy, they’ll check your credit profiles, driving records, and medical records instead.
    • Simplified-issue policy: The application process for this type of policy doesn't include a medical exam, but you'll still have to answer a series of health questions. The life insurer may deny coverage based on your answers.
    • Guaranteed-issue life insurance: Anyone who applies for guaranteed-issue life insurance can get accepted. However, these types of policies typically have high premiums and low coverage amounts. This should be the last resort for individuals with chronic illnesses who don't qualify for any other traditional form of insurance.

    Can I access the results of my medical exam?

    The paramedical company or your insurer may give you access to your results. You can contact them directly for more information.

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    Final Thoughts

    Going through a urinalysis can make you uncomfortable, but it's necessary if you want a traditional whole or term life insurance policy. If your urine and blood test shows that you're in good health, you'll pay cheaper premiums to your insurance company.

    If you need advice, get in touch with Wesley Insurance, LLC. We'll help you find a life insurance company that provides you with the coverage you need, whether or not you want to take a medical exam.

    Written By Cameron McDowell
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