Belmont Financial

Financial Planning & Advice

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Suite 6.02, 492 St Kilda Road
Melbourne 3004
VIC AU
Tel 03 9867 4199 / Mob: 0411 823 665

Your Insurance Medical Exam

Belmont lone dog.PNGWhy do insurers require medical tests?

For insurance sums above certain levels, an insurer may require prospective clients to undergo medical tests. Basically before “buying the car”, an insurer may wish to “look under the hood”.

Typically, these tests might include:

  • a Blood test (testing for cholesterol, liver function, HIV, Hepatitis, etc.);
  • a urine specimen;
  • a blood pressure reading;
  • a series of general health questions; and
  • possibly further testing depending on the sum insured and health of the applicant.

The exam will be performed by a paramedic, nurse, or a doctor. It will usually take place in your home or office, and is performed at the expense of the insurance company. You should plan on spending 30 minutes for a full exam, plus an additional 30 minutes if further tests such as ECGs are included.

“Presenting the Best Version of You”

Leaving aside the general health benefits of improving one’s diet and exercising regularly, there may be a financial benefit of “living healthy” in the period leading up to your medical.

By preparing for the exam, you can help to avoid unnecessarily abnormal results, which could affect your insurance rates. This is a great way to ensure you qualify for the most affordable insurance policy. It may also improve your health…

WARNING:This note does not substitute for advice from a health professional. It is general in nature and you should make your own enquiries as to whether such measures are suitable for you and your health.

8-28 Days Before Your Exam

  • If you have this much time available before your exam, you may be able to make a marked difference to your health by making changes to your diet and taking up some form of (light) exercise.

Food

  • First, over-consumption of salty, fatty and sugary foods isn’t good for you(!). And if you have gone over the edge in these areas, you may present with poor results, especially your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • So, as far as cholesterol goes, butter, seafood and anything cooked in animal fat should be cut down or removed for the short term.
  • Despite what you may read in papers and on TV, olive oil isn’t good for you. It is pure fat and therefore laden with calories. Don’t load up on this thinking it is a decent alternative to other oils. 1/3 of a cup of olive oil has more calories than 3 Mars Bars (Sorry, that doesn’t mean you can stock up on the Mars Bars).
  • Steaming and grilling food is the healthiest way of cooking. Over the next few weeks you should aim to gradually increase the amount of food you cook this way.
  • Cut out soft drinks, sports drinks and (worst of all) fruit juices – they are full of calories.

Alcohol

  • The typical Aussie glass of wine is about 1/3 of a Mars Bar. So, no matter how much you love your booze, in the light of an impending medical exam, it can pay to cool one’s love affair for a while. If you have been giving it a nudge, having a complete break is best, but it may not be good for any one of your mental health, your marriage or your social skills.
  • So if you feel the need to have one or two, just for this little period, make it literally one or two. For the men out there (and lets face it, this paper is directed mainly towards men), take over the driving responsibilities from your better half. There may be added benefits with this approach.

Exercise

  • Depending on your fitness level, you may need to be careful in this regard. If in doubt, consult a health professional. Insurance companies customarily don’t provide insurance to those who have just come off a heart attack brought on by the first piece of exercise in 10 years!
  • If you are coming off a fairly low base of recent inactivity, you should not undertake anything more than gentle exercise prior to seeing a health professional.
  • It may be that the best option is to simply park the car a half an hour’s walk away from work every day or every second day. The return journey gives you an hour of walking and that is a good start.
  • This sort of gentle exercise done over the space of three to four weeks should make a difference in how you feel and may be reflected in your medical results.
  • If you already have a decent level of fitness, then maintaining or marginally increasing your usual level of activity can help.
  • Please note that if you are overweight or over 40, you should consult a health professional prior to undertaking ANY programme of exercise.

5-7 Days Before Your Exam

  • It is now essential to stick to a healthy diet. Minimize the use of alcohol, salt and avoid sugary and excess fatty foods.

3 Days Before Your Exam

  • Do not drink any alcohol products for 72 hours prior. Alcohol is processed by the liver and can cause liver enzymes to become elevated.

1 Day Before Your Exam

  • Stay away from ALL caffeine products. Caffeine can elevate blood pressure.
  • Avoid nasal decongestants and pain medication such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen (unless directed otherwise by your doctor).
  • Do not participate in any strenuous exercise. No jogging, weight lifting or swimming. This can cause elevated protein in the urine.
  • Fast 8-10 hours prior to the medical exam taking place. If your exam is scheduled for 8:00am, begin your fast the night before at 10:00pm. Do not eat or drink anything except for water until you complete the exam the next morning.
  • Get a good night's sleep.

The Morning of Your Health Exam

  • Don't eat breakfast or use any form of tobacco before the medical exam.
  • Have a list of your doctors, including addresses and phone numbers on hand.

The rest of your life -

It might pay for you to keep up these newly acquired habits.