When you apply for life insurance, you may be asked to complete a medical exam. While the life company will pay for this medical exam, it is also worthwhile booking a medical check-up whether you are applying for insurance or not.
What does a health check-up test for?
The medical check-up determines your risk of developing a range of health problems, such as heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and diabetes. It also provides you with an opportunity to gain practical advice on how to minimise the risk of developing these issues.
Unfortunately, leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you won’t develop health issues, though it will limit your risk. A medical check-up can flag problems before they develop into something more serious.
What to expect from a medical health check
A health check generally lasts around 20-30 minutes and is usually carried out by a nurse, but it could be another healthcare professional. You shouldn’t need to prepare anything in advance, but it’s always worth asking the health centre you’re booked in with.
During the check-up, you may be asked:
If close relatives have had the illnesses you’re being assessed for
If you smoke and how much
If you drink alcohol and how much
What your typical diet is like
How much exercise you do
After this, you’ll undergo a series of simple tests and measurements, including:
Your weight and height to determine your body mass index (BMI) and your waist may be measured
Your blood pressure will be taken using a cuff on your upper arm
A small sample of blood will be taken from your finger to check cholesterol and possibly blood sugar level
In most cases, you’ll receive the results immediately. You’ll be given a risk score (the higher the score the more likely you are to develop one of the illnesses) and will receive advice on how to adapt your lifestyle to lower risk.
What are the benefits of a medical check-up?
According to the Irish Heart Foundation, in 2016 more than 9,000 people in Ireland lost their lives to cardiovascular disease with almost half dying from heart disease.
The Irish Heart Foundation argues that in many cases, heart disease and stroke are preventable. Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, having a healthy diet and stopping smoking, can have a positive impact when treating diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Choosing the right life insurance cover for you and those closest to you is important and will provide many great benefits and peace of mind. Don’t let the fear of a medical check-up hinder your decision.