What Is No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance?

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Did you know you can get a life insurance policy without a medical exam? Well, you can, and it’s called no-medical-exam life insurance.

Life insurance is one of the most important financial products you’ll ever buy, but many people hesitate because of the required medical exam.

Some people are terrified of needles and don’t want blood drawn.

Others may have a pre-existing medical condition and don’t want to sit through the exam.

Whatever the situation, no-medical-exam life insurance is an alternative to traditional types of life insurance.

Keep reading to learn more about what it is, how it works, and whom it’s ideal for.

What Is No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance?

As the name suggests, no-medical-exam life insurance is a life insurance policy that does not require individuals to sit through a medical exam to qualify.

But let’s back up a bit.

Why do you typically need a medical exam to be eligible for life insurance?

Forbes explains, “Life insurance companies use a process called underwriting to determine how much of a risk you are to insure.

“Insurers need to calculate the life expectancy of applicants. This helps insurers price life insurance policies accurately to protect themselves financially.

“It also helps prevent healthy people from overpaying for coverage to subsidize those who aren’t as healthy. Healthier applicants are more likely to get lower insurance rates. And those with health conditions and at older ages will pay more or could possibly be declined for coverage.”

In other words, those whose medical exams reveal more negative health conditions or higher risks will likely receive higher premiums, be denied, or could be rated based on past or current behavior, and have to pay an extra amount per $1,000 of the coverage per year.

No-medical-exam life insurance, on the other hand, does not require a medical review for you to receive coverage.

This means that even those who have serious health conditions may qualify for coverage.

How Does No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance Work?

In order to receive a life insurance premium, you typically have to sit for a medical exam.

You must provide your medical history and answer some basic medical questions.

In addition, your weight, height, and blood pressure will be recorded, and you will have blood drawn.

With no-medical-exam life insurance, you do not have to have a sit-down meeting with a physician to determine your premium (or be deemed eligible).

There are 2 main categories of no-medical-exam life insurance:

#1 Simplified issue

#2 Guaranteed issue

Simplified issue life insurance is a straightforward process to purchase, usually with just a few medical questions.

With simplified issue life insurance, the insurer may also request medical records, as well as perform a prescription database search.

Simplified issue life insurance still provides insurance companies with an overview of your health without a physical exam.

It is ideal for those who don’t want to deal with the hassle of an exam and feel confident with their medical history. Or those who are terrified of needles.

Guaranteed issue life insurance accepts everyone, usually with lower face amounts and much higher premiums.

Therefore, the process is quick, with usually just a few medical questions to answer.

How Much Does It Cost?

A major determining factor in choosing between the different types of life insurance comes down to cost.

While no-medical-exam life insurance is more convenient, it costs significantly more than traditional life insurance policies.

This is because the underwriting process is different.

With traditional life insurance, your medical exam results determine your premiums.

Geoffrey Gordon, President of the Andrew G. Gordon Insurance Agency, claims, “Generally speaking, the healthiest 20 percent get rated ‘preferred plus,’ the next 30 percent get ‘preferred,’ the borderline 30 percent rate ‘select,’ and the remaining 20 percent get ‘standard.’”
Because no-medical-exam life insurance does not have these types of results, the premiums are higher.

However, simplified issue life insurance tends to be less expensive than guaranteed issue life insurance.

This is because simplified issue life insurance providers determine premium rates based on the answers to a detailed medical questionnaire, medical reports, and prescription records.

Guaranteed issue life insurance tends to be the most expensive.

It is also important to pay attention to the amount of coverage.

Coverage limits for no-medical-exam life insurance tend to be capped as low as $25,000.

This is why some people choose guaranteed issue life insurance as a means to cover final expenses, such as funeral costs.

[Related Read: Is Burial Insurance Worth It?]

Whom Is No-Medical-Exam Life Insurance For?

While not for everyone, no-medical-exam life insurance is for:

  • Somebody with some pre-existing medical conditions
  • A person who doesn’t like medical exams
  • Someone who can’t stand the sight of the needle in a blood exam
  • Someone who just needs a small amount of insurance
  • Seniors looking for a small burial policy
  • Whoever is looking for guaranteed acceptance
  • Someone who doesn’t want to answer medical questions
  • A person who wants insurance now, with no waiting periods


A typical buyer of no-medical-exam life insurance policies either has health issues or may just not like the exam process.

Whom Is It Not For?

It is probably unwise for the following people to buy no-medical-exam life insurance policies:

  • Healthy individuals that could “ace” a medical exam
  • Cost-conscious individuals (wanting the most coverage for the least amount)
  • Someone needing a lot of coverage for a specific need
  • Someone willing to take an exam, for the potential lower premiums


Before you purchase any type of life insurance, do your research. Insurance is not one-size-fits-all. 

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