Yes, life insurance companies can and often will ask to see an applicant’s medical records before they will be willing to approve an applicant’s application.
In fact, most (if not all) traditional life insurance policies will include a section within the written application itself explicitly asking for your permission to request medical records from your doctor(s) on your behalf.
That said however…
We should note that just because a life insurance company has requested your permission to order your medical records does not automatically mean that they will.
If they ultimately do decide to order your medical records, this shouldn’t be something that you should get too “worried” about because in most situations, the fact that an insurance company is taking the time to request your medical records actually means that they are “interested” in insuring you, they just want to get some additional before doing so.
This is why…
We wanted to take a moment and discuss how one’s medical records may come into “play” when applying for a traditional life insurance policy as well as answer some of the most common questions we get from applicants when medical records are requested.
Questions that will be addressed in this article will include:
- Do I have to let an insurance company review my medical records?
- When do life insurance companies typically request one’s medical records?
- If an insurance company requests my medical records, what do I as the applicant need to do?
- Are there any “kinds” of life insurance policies that I can apply for that won’t require me to allow an insurance company to review my medical records?
- Since ordering medical records will likely “slow” down the process of my life insurance application, what can I do to help “speed up” the process?
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Do I have to let an insurance company review my medical records?
Yes, if an insurance company chooses to make this a requirement for you to apply for coverage you will need to allow the insurance company to review your medical records if you wish to apply with them.
When do life insurance companies typically request one’s medical records?
In general, what you’re going to find is that most “traditional” term or whole life insurance applications will contain a medical release form allowing an insurance company to request your medical records during the underwriting process.
The only problem with this is…
That ordering these records is going to be costly to an insurance company, because not only are they going to need to pay any “fees” that your doctor may charge for “processing” this request, they’re also going to need to pay an underwriter to order, track and review these records once they arrive. Which is why, medical records aren’t going to be ordered on a routine basis for all applicants.
Medical records or Attending Physician Statements (APS) will usually only be ordered when:
- An individual is applying for a LARGE life insurance policy typically in excess of over 1 million dollars.
- An individual is over a certain age (usually over age 60+) regardless of how large of a policy that they are applying for.
- An individual has been diagnosed with some type of pre-existing medical condition which could potentially affect the outcome of their life insurance application.
- An individual has been prescribed a medication that may indicate that an individual is suffering from some type of pre-existing medical condition which could affect the outcome of their life insurance application.
Or an applicant’s medical exam results come back warranting further investigation by an insurance underwriter.
If an insurance company requests my medical records, what do I as the applicant need to do?
Aside from providing the insurance company with all of your doctors contact information, there really isn’t much you will need to do. Which means that it will be the insurance company that will contact your doctor directly and it will be the insurance company that will incur any costs associated with obtaining your medical records.
Are there any “kinds” of life insurance policies that I can apply for that won’t require me to allow an insurance company to review my medical records?
The only “kinds” of life insurance policies that you can apply for that won’t require you to allow an insurance company to review your medical records would be those that provide “guaranteed acceptance” regardless of an applicant’s health.
These types of life insurance policies…
Are called Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policies and are commonly referred to as Final Expense Insurance Policies because they will usually only provide up to approximately $25,000 in coverage.
We should also…
Note that these “types” of life insurance policies will also contain a Graded Death Benefit which will limit when these types of life insurance policies will begin to provide coverage to an insured for NATURAL causes of death like cancer, heart disease or diabetes.
“A typical graded death benefit waiting period will usually be two years, but can least up to three if not longer.”
Since ordering medical records will likely “slow” down the process of my life insurance application, what can I do to help “speed up” the process?
Because the “process” of ordering medical records from one’s primary care physician can slow down the process of getting approved for coverage, the number one thing that you can do personally to make sure that your application will be completed as soon as possible is to make sure that you know and have all of your doctor’s information ready when applying for coverage.
You are applying for a LARGE life insurance policy, are over the age of 60 or have been diagnosed with or prescribed a medication that can be used treat a medication condition that will likely affect the outcome of your life insurance application.
There really isn’t all that much you can do other than “relax” because it’s important to understand that just because a life insurance company is choosing to review your medical records doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to approve your application or make you pay more for your coverage.
Having you medical records reviewed can often provide the evidence that an insurance underwriter will need to “OK” your application or approve your application at the “rate” that you were hoping for.
“That is of course, you choose to apply with the RIGHT life insurance company for you!”
Which is where applying with a company like IBUSA who can help you decide which life insurance company is going to provide you with the “best” opportunity for success comes into play!
So, give us a call, and let us show you what we can do for you.