Life Insurance
What To Know About No Medical Exam Life Insurance
Mar 18, 2021
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In the world of traditional life insurance, there has always been one particular part of the process that can confuse—and sometimes even concern—potential applicants: the medical exam.

Historically, most insurers have required a physical to determine things like whether an applicant has a health condition or is a smoker. Insurance companies use the information from these medical exams to determine an applicant’s annual premium; if someone has a chronic health condition or classifies as a smoker, they’ve historically been considered “higher risk” and therefore merit higher premiums. To put it plainly, premiums are based on a person’s likelihood of dying, so the medical exam has long been used as a standardized measure of assessing that likelihood and putting a price tag on it.

Companies like Ethos are moving away from this outdated standard and offering customers an alternative: no medical exam life insurance. Coverage is usually offered when applicants answer just a few health questions, and in some cases, coverage is offered without answering any medical questions.

What is no medical exam life insurance?

No medical exam life insurance is just as it sounds—the ability to provide life insurance coverage to people without requiring a physical to assess their health; instead relying on health related questions in the application, third party data sources, and our proprietary technology. This means that anyone who has ever grappled with a chronic condition and worried about how their health status will impact their ability to qualify for or purchase life insurance can rest assured that there are options out there that make it possible to get life insurance coverage. Anyone who simply can’t make time for the hassle of scheduling and commuting to a doctor’s office (not to mention sitting for an indeterminate length of time in the waiting room) can also feel secure knowing they can still obtain a life insurance policy that fits their needs.

Because of companies like Ethos, no medical exam life insurance is becoming a more common reality that makes sense for the busy life of the modern consumer.

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What are the benefits of no medical exam life insurance?

You’d probably be hard pressed to find many people who are excited at the prospect of scheduling (and in many cases, paying for) a detailed medical exam. And you’d have a tougher time finding anyone delighted to go through that inconvenience knowing the results from the exam could affect their ability to receive or afford a life insurance plan.

With no medical exam life insurance, applicants can expect:

  • Convenience: Medical exams take time, cost money, and often involve headache-inducing piles of paperwork and long wait times. With no medical exam life insurance, you can complete a simple online application with a few health questions and sidestep all of those issues.
  • A quicker decision-making process: Receiving a medical exam means waiting for the results of that exam and then waiting to find out how those results may have negatively impacted your ability to receive coverage. By eliminating this step, the life insurance application process suddenly moves at a much quicker pace and decisions are made almost instantly. By applying with Ethos, most applicants receive a decision on the same day that they apply.
  • Fair and equitable options: No medical exam life insurance helps to remove the institutional barriers that can prevent people with health issues from getting life insurance coverage. No one should have to worry that their chronic illness or health status will prevent them from providing for their families — no medical life insurance helps to eliminate that anxiety, making it possible for nearly anyone to obtain a life insurance policy to help meet their needs. Based on the information we learn about you through the application process, we will do our best to find a product that meets your goals of a quick and painless way to obtain life insurance.

Why might no medical exam life insurance not be right for me?

If you’re perfectly healthy and don’t mind the inconvenience and time associated with taking a medical exam, you’re more likely to receive a lower monthly premium. A no medical exam product is best suited for those who prefer to skip the exam, or who may have underlying health issues that could impact their ability to get fully underwritten life insurance.

What kinds of no medical exam life insurance does Ethos offer?

Ethos is proud to offer a variety of products ranging from fully underwritten policies (meaning an application with detailed medical questions will be required), to no underwriting (meaning your medical history and status won’t be a factor in determining your rate). We work with applicants to determine the product that best meets their needs and budget, and based on the initial information we receive, we can guide applicants to the right solution. Our application is simple, straightforward, and makes it possible to receive an instant decision, so you can know your options up front.

  • Fully underwritten term: Term life insurance is generally the most simple and affordable option, and a fully underwritten term policy is considered the traditional model of term life insurance. If you qualify for a fully underwritten term policy, you’ll be asked to answer a series of questions so we can get a clear picture of your health status. If you’re generally healthy, are looking for life insurance with a higher death benefit, and are comfortable answering a number of health questions, this is likely the product you’ll qualify for. Though fully underwritten, a medical exam is only necessary for some applicants when the coverage applied for exceeds $1m.
  • Simplified issue term: While this is also a term product, the application process is streamlined, with fewer health questions. The underwriting decision is instant and based solely on third-party data pulls and your responses on the application—making a medical exam unnecessary. If you need life insurance but aren’t sure you’d qualify for a traditionally underwritten policy or you’re looking for a simple application process without medical exams or lab tests, this is probably the best match for you. Keep in mind that this type of coverage often results in higher premiums, due to the simplified underwriting process.
  • Guaranteed issue whole life: This product offers guaranteed coverage for applicants aged 65-85. This means that anyone in this age group can be approved for whole life insurance within a matter of minutes, regardless of medical history (and without medical exams). As long as you keep up with premiums, this coverage will last your whole life. When you turn 100, you no longer need to make payments, but the coverage will remain in force.

In short, it’s easier than ever to get life insurance without needing a medical exam. At Ethos, our mission is to help customers get the coverage they need, while creating the most customer-friendly experience in the industry. By bypassing the need for a medical exam for all applicants, we’re doing just that. To take a closer look at your coverage options with Ethos, visit our site.

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