A Smarter Way to Apply for Term Life Insurance

A paramedical examination is the smartest way to apply for term life insurance and the most convenient. A basic paramedical exam is performed by a third party exam company, such as APPS or Portamedic, and consists of a medical history questionnaire, height/weight measurements, blood pressure readings, heart rate readings, and urine and blood samples. Scroll down to learn more ways to apply for term life insurance.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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The paramedical examination (paramed) is easily the least attractive part of the term life insurance application process. Although the paramed is relatively quick and can be done in the home at a time convenient to you, many people still are not comfortable with it.

What is a Paramed Exam?

A basic paramed exam is performed by a third party exam company such as APPS or Portamedic. A skilled technician completes the exam, often in the privacy of your home or office. A basic paramed consists of the following services.

  • Medical history questionnaire
  • Height/weight measurements
  • Blood pressure readings
  • Heart rate readings
  • Urine & Blood Sample

Depending on circumstances such as age, coverage amount, and medical history, the life insurance company may require additional services, such as:

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Chest X-ray
  • Treadmill test

Some paramedical exam companies have recently implemented electronic paramed exams. One company, APPS Paramedical Services, has introduced technology that allows for electronic transmission of paramed information directly to the company’s home office. The service, called Smart Paramed, is also enabled for electronic signature functionality. Here’s how it works.

Exam Information Collected Electronically

The technician records the exam readings and medical questionnaire responses on a tablet computer. This results in more accurate recording of the data and a more secure form of storage. The chances of an underwriter misreading the information or a technician losing the paperwork are both significantly reduced.

Another benefit is the technician can collect more detailed information through the use of reflexive questions. For example, if you were to answer ‘Yes’ to having a medical history of diabetes, the electronic form will respond with additional questions based upon your response. Collecting this information during the paramed exam may result in a shorter processing time for your application. It may also mean the life insurance company will not have to order medical records from your physician to acquire this information.

Electronic Signatures

The benefits of an electronic signature are faster transmission and processing of your exam, plus no need for printing, signing and mailing paperwork.

Exam Information Transmitted Electronically

The electronically collected exam information and electronic signatures make up the exam ‘packet.’ Once the packet is completed, the technician sends it to the APPS home office electronically from the tablet computer. The result is a much faster and more secure transfer of your private information.

Electronic paramed exams are still relatively new to the term life insurance industry. But as more exam and life insurance companies adopt the new technology, the process of applying for term life insurance will become quicker and more secure.

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