How to Improve Blood Test Results & Overall Health

What is a life insurance blood test ?

A blood test is a standard part of the life insurance medical exam. It’s performed by the same examiner who conducts the overall medical exam. The purpose of the blood test is to check for underlying diseases, health issues, and drug use. The results give the insurer a clear picture of your current health. They also offer insights into potential health problems that may arise in the future.

Additionally, the life insurance blood tests allow the insurer to check that the information you provided on the written application is accurate. If the results from your blood tests and the details you provided on your application don’t match up, it can raise a red flag.

When you agree to the blood test, you agree for the results to be delivered to the insurance company providing the policy.

How to Prepare For a Life Insurance Blood and Urine Test

You should start preparing for your medical exam a few days before it starts. You’ll want to eat healthy meals and drink lots of water throughout the week leading up to your appointment.

You’ll also want to eat more cholesterol-inducing meals (such as avocado, nuts, and salmon) while restricting your intake of fried or sugary foods (which can boost blood glucose and blood pressure).

What Not To Do

You should cease or decrease your coffee and alcohol intake one to two days before a life insurance medical exam. You should also reduce the intensity of your workout regimen since high levels of proteins are excreted in your urine when you work out.

Avoid these Foods

  • Poppy seeds: False positives for opiates have been reported.
  • Vitamin B12 or riboflavin supplements may produce a false positive for marijuana.
  • Quinine in tonic water may generate false positives for cocaine.
  • Ibuprofen: It’s possible to get a false positive for cannabis as a result of this medication.
  • Sleeping medications: Barbiturate tests can be fooled by sleeping pills.
  • False positives for amphetamines can be produced by cold medicines and decongestants.
  • Snack bars high in protein: They might be mistaken for marijuana.


9 Tips For Blood Test Success

1 – Stick to your normal routine the day before your test.

2 – Do not get your test done on a day that you feel ill unless the test is to determine why you have that specific illness.

3 – Eat a diet that is normal to you prior to your test. Do not get your testing done after a big change in your diet, such as during the holidays, after a big party, or after vacation.

4 – Make sure to follow your fasting recommendations. If your test needs to be done while fasting, schedule it for as close to 8-hours fasting as possible. Drinking water during this fasting period is ok and recommended.

5 – Do not start a new exercise routine or do a strenuous workout prior to your test.

6 – Reschedule your test if you suddenly have a poor night’s sleep and this is not a normal issue for you.

7 – Medication and supplement timing is important! For example, if you take a thyroid medication such as Levothyroxine (Synthroid) you should wait to take it until after your thyroid test. Also, the supplement Biotin can disrupt thyroid levels on the test and should be avoided for two days prior to your test.

8 – Dehydration affects your testing results. Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily prior to and the day of your test.

9 – Avoid alcohol consumption prior to your testing date.

BLOOD TESTING PRO TIP: Because the equipment and testing methods change from lab to lab, it is best to continually get your testing done from the same lab if it is possible. Comparing the results from the same lab will create the most accurate trends.

2) Detoxify

Having a fiber-rich diet and taking a lot of fluids will really help in flushing out toxins from your body. Do not drink coffee, tea or soda as caffeine will make you look bad on the results. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Having high levels of nicotine or alcohol in your system will make them consider you a high-risk client and will certainly not help in getting the best insurance policy. If you have a pre-existing condition, reference our resource page on getting approved for high risk life insurance.

Warning: Do not smoke or chew tobacco a few days before the exam. I actually had a client that did this even though they aren’t typically a smoker and it more than doubled their rate. Life insurance rates for tobacco users is not cheap!

How to Prepare for a Life Insurance Medical Exam

You should try to be in your best physical shape possible before scheduling a life insurance medical exam.

Ideally, you should get into a healthy fitness and diet regimen weeks or months before applying for life insurance. But there are simple steps you can take in just the few days before the exam to get the best possible results.

Preparing for Your Life Insurance Medical Exam

Schedule a morning exam You’ll likely need to fast before the exam, so scheduling it early will let you eat earlier in the day once it’s over. Drink plenty of water Drinking lots of water in the days ahead of the exam can help clear unwanted chemicals out of your system and reduce your blood pressure. On the day of the exam, it’ll make it easier for the examiner to collect blood and urine samples. Watch your diet Follow a healthy diet — avoiding fatty, sugary, fried and salty foods — for several days ahead of your exam to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Also eat foods that raise your good cholesterol such as nuts and oily fish like salmon. Reduce alcohol, tobacco and coffee use Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine can raise your blood pressure or other measurements that can impact your results negatively. Avoid them in the few days before — and especially the day of — the exam. Reduce exercise Avoid strenuous exercise in the few days before — and especially the day of — your medical exam to prevent elevated protein levels in your urine test. Skipping exercise completely on the day of the exam will also lower your levels. Wear lightweight clothing and shoes Every pound counts at your weigh in and you don’t want your clothing and shoes adding to your weight. Have a copy of your medical records Having your medical records — including a list of your medications and their dosages — can save time during the question session. It helps to have a short list of medical conditions, hospitalizations and other treatments handy. You’ll also need a photo ID. Relax Get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam and relax in the morning before your exam. This will help lower negative measurements such as blood pressure.

There are also some common foods, drinks, dietary supplements and prescription or over-the-counter medicines you should avoid in the day or two before your life insurance medical exam. These can create false positives for drug use.

What to Avoid Before Your Life Insurance Medical Exam

What to AvoidPossible False Positive Test ResultCold medicines (Robitussin, Delsym, Nyquil)PCP, opiatesDecongestantsAmphetaminesDiet pillsAmphetaminesDiphenhydramine (Benadryl, Zzzquil) and doxylamine (Unisom, Nytol)Methadone, PCP, opiates, antidepressantsHemp oilMarijuanaIbuprofen, naproxenMarijuana, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, PCPPoppy seedsOpiatesProton pump inhibitors (Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid)MarijuanaRiboflavin supplementsMarijuanaSleeping pillsBarbituratesTonic waterCocaineVitamin B12 supplementsMarijuanaWellbutrinAmphetamines, methamphetaminesZantacAmphetamines, methamphetaminesZoloftBenzodiazepines

Before stopping any medication, you should first talk to your doctor. You should also notify your life insurer of your medications prior to scheduling the exam.

Cleaner Lifestyle Makes a Big Difference

Bottom line, “preferred plus” is not an option if you are obese, or drink alcohol in excess, smoke cigarettes or cigars, vape, chew tobacco or use recreational drugs.  Even just a slight elevation in your blood pressure reading or cholesterol could result in an increase in your premium.

While you may not have the time to lose significant weight or stop smoking prior to your examination, following these strategies will help you improve your rating, as well as possibly save you a substantial amount of money during the life of your insurance policy.

Need Help Getting Life Insurance Coverage?

If you have a preexisting medical condition and want to buy life insurance, you will need help from an expert. This person can help make sure that you get coverage so that you don’t get declined.

Warning: Applying for life insurance without a medical exam can be risky. If you get declined coverage, it could be at least two years before you are able to get any life insurance.

What To Expect From A Urine Test For Life Insurance

During the exam, you will be provided a sterile container to collect a urine sample. Depending on the life insurance company and their security policy, they may ask you to empty your pockets before entering the restroom, or the medical examiner may do a visual inspection of the restroom prior to you entering. An ounce or two of urine is all you need to provide before returning the container to the examiner.

The examiner will seal and label the sample and send it to the lab where it will be tested for abnormal levels of sugars, proteins, acidity, and concentration that can point to diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, and liver disease.

If glucose is present in the urine, it can be a symptom of diabetes, and of potential pregnancy in women. Too much protein can be a sign of possible kidney disease.

The urine test also detects nicotine and drug use. In fact, it is the most common test for marijuana use and opioids like heroin, codeine, oxycodone, and fentanyl.

Key Point: A Positive Marijuana Test On A Life Insurance Exam

Some life insurance policies allow for occasional marijuana use, so a positive test doesn’t mean you’ll be denied coverage. Instead, you will probably have to pay higher rates just as tobacco users do. 

Be sure to disclose your cannabis use during the application process and make sure it’s acceptable to the carrier.

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What to do if You’re Denied Life Insurance Coverage

Should life insurance carriers deny you insurance because of a health issue, you do have some options to help secure coverage. 

First, request a copy of the complete medical report from the life insurance company so you can understand the issues that led to the denial and what you can do about them These reports are detailed, and the life insurance company has clear standards for a denial.

From the report, determine the health concerns you need to address. Maybe you need to lose weight or lower your blood pressure before the company will offer you coverage.  

Many employers offer life insurance to certain employees as a part of their compensation package. Should an outside carrier deny you coverage, you may be able to increase the amount of your work-sponsored coverage without a medical exam. Speak with your human resources team to see if this is an option for you.

Finally, if you’ve chosen to work directly with a particular life insurance carrier and have been denied coverage, you will benefit from working with PolicyScout. We can help you find carriers and policies that will work for you and your personal situation.

Final Thoughts

Get ready before you take a life insurance medical exam. You now know what to expect, how to prepare, what to avoid, and what to do afterward.

If you’re new to life insurance and need some guidance on the policies that will work for you and your family, please visit our Life Insurance Hub and let us help you find the right carrier and insurance to give you the protection you need and deserve.

6. Smoking

You can’t avoid nicotine rates if you’re a regular tobacco user — the evidence will show up in lab tests.

But you should still avoid tobacco at least an hour before an exam, Anderson says. Nicotine is a stimulant and can elevate blood pressure.

6) Fast

Stop eating 8-12 hours before the test. This will have the direct impact of lowering the amount of cholesterol and sugar in your bloodstream. For this reason, it is also best to take the medical exam for life insurance early in the morning, so you would not have to fast until lunchtime. Knowing how to pass life insurance exam will not only help you save and get the best insurance policy. If you have the willingness to apply the ways mentioned above for the long run, they will surely have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being; enabling you to enjoy life more.

Can you get life insurance without a blood exam?

If you’re worried that you’re not well enough to get approved for life insurance if you undergo a medical exam and blood test, or if you’re scared of needles, there is a way to avoid the entire process. No exam life insurance is a specific type of policy that allows you to bypass the exam entirely and still get coverage.

No exam life insurance is also chosen by people who need life insurance quickly and conveniently. Since the underwriting process is instant or non-existent, applications are approved fast. However, if you are a healthy person and aren’t in a rush, you can usually get better rates with traditional life insurance that requires a medical exam.