Preparing for a Paramed Exam

Insurance companies must assess your current health before preparing an offer for coverage. Depending on the type and amount of insurance you apply for, this assessment usually begins with a paramedical exam which can include some or all of the following:

•    Blood pressure, pulse
•    Blood test
•    Urine specimen
•    Resting EKG

•    Personal interview with examiner
•    Personal medical history
•    Family medical history
•    Height and weight

Below we provide some basic information regarding your upcoming exam and some tips to ensure the best outcome.

Scheduling your exam:
The insurance company will have a nurse reach out to schedule your exam.  Keep in mind that you have the choice of location and time! 
Exams typically take 20 to 30 minutes, so choose a place convenient for you
Tip:  If you are sick on the day of your exam, cancel.  You can always reschedule when you are better.
Tip:  Insist on morning appointments if you can accommodate! – Exam results tend to be better in the morning.  Many examiners are available on Saturdays as well.

Below are some tips that may help your results:
•    Fast for 8 hours. Some foods elevate triglyceride and glucose readings
•    Drink lots of water.  Dehydration can affect sugar and protein levels, make it hard to find a vein and provide a urine specimen
•    Avoid caffeine and energy drinks. Stimulants boost blood pressure and heart rate
•    Don’t exercise within 24 hours. So protein doesn’t spill into your urine
•    Woman, avoid exams during menstruation. Red blood cells get in your urine
•    Wear light clothing.  One pound can change your rate class
•    Avoid smoking prior to your exam.  Smoking raises blood pressure.  For cigar smokers and other tobacco users – Some carriers will offer you a non-smoker rate but your urine sample needs to be negative for nicotine.  
•    Avoid nicotine. Even a trace of nicotine in your labs can classify you as a smoker
•    Limit salt and high cholesterol foods for 24 hours.  To avoid dehydration, weight increase, and skewed kidney function results
•    Avoid alcohol and non-prescription drugs for 24 hours. They could throw off your liver test results
•    Take your regular prescriptions. Not doing so can affect your lab work.
•    Height and weight. Check your weight in the days leading up to your exam.  On the day of your exam, take your shoes off, don’t wear belts, empty your pockets, and wear light clothing.  Important – Make sure you ask the examiner what your recorded height and weight is.  If you think it is wrong, ask them to weigh you again. 
•    Remember, your answers will be recorded.  Take a moment to determine what the question is asking and whether your answer is relevant.   If you are wondering how to address questions pertaining to medical history, substance, medications and lifestyle activities please vet these first with your advisor.   

Paramedical exams are a routine part of most insurance applications required by insurance companies. 
The insurance company pays all costs.
Paramedical examiners are mobile health professionals who work for a service contracted by the insurance company. 
Your information is kept strictly confidential. It is sent directly to the insurance company and used for underwriting purposes only.

Noah Schwartz CFP