Disability insurance companies typically require a medical exam as part of their underwriting process. However, some people are put off by this because it often involves a physical exam, blood profile and urinalysis — all of which can seem intrusive and inconvenient. But some policyholders might be eligible for disability insurance with no medical exam.
Reasons to look for disability insurance with no medical exam
Medical underwriting is a standard requirement when buying long-term disability (LTD) insurance. It usually includes questions about your personal and family health history, lifestyle choices (e.g., smoking, drinking and drug use) and medications you take. But it also involves a medical exam.
During the medical exam, a healthcare professional takes measurements like height, weight and blood pressure readings. They also collect labs, including blood and urine samples.
Insurance carriers are looking for pre-existing health conditions and high-risk markers, such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Mental or nervous disorders
- Tobacco or drug use
- Recurring injuries
Your medical exam and health screening results help determine your likelihood of filing a disability claim. This, in turn, impacts your eligibility and premiums.
Finding disability insurance with no medical exam requirement could save you time. But you can also benefit if you have a pre-existing medical condition that would normally disqualify you from coverage or increase your premiums.
Insurance companies offering disability insurance without a medical exam
All long-term disability insurance carriers have the ability to issue a policy based on simplified underwriting.
With a simplified underwriting process, the policyholder doesn’t undergo a medical exam.
However, the policy is still medically underwritten by reviewing the applicant’s medical records and prescription history. It’s also important to note that insurance carriers reserve the right to request labs in any case.
Simplified issue policy vs. traditional disability insurance policy
A simplified issue policy isn’t any different than a traditional disability insurance policy that requires a medical exam with labs. It’s simply a program that allows for an easier application process for both the policyholder and the insurance carrier.
Simplified issue disability insurance eligibility
Insurance companies consider the applicant’s age and benefit amount to determine who might qualify for simplified underwriting.
For example, you might qualify for disability insurance with no medical exam if you’re under 50 and applying for a $10,000 monthly benefit or less. But the threshold for both age and benefit amount varies by insurance carrier.
Some require younger applicants or a lower payout to qualify for simplified underwriting. So, the ability to buy disability insurance with no medical exam is on a case-by-case basis.
Other types of disability insurance with no medical exam
Simplified issue disability insurance isn’t the only type of LTD with no medical exam requirement. For example, depending on your employment, you might have access to a guaranteed standard issue (GSI) policy or group coverage.
Guaranteed standard issue for residents and fellows
Medical residents and fellows might be eligible for a GSI disability policy that offers guaranteed coverage without a medical exam. Select residency and fellowship programs have GSI options, but not all.
These programs are best for residents and fellows with pre-existing medical conditions. But female residents and fellows can also benefit from GSI policies with built-in unisex pricing.
Unfortunately, like many products, women often pay a “pink tax” for disability insurance. A GSI policy might offer an affordable solution for women or be the only coverage option for those with pre-existing conditions.
Employer-sponsored group policy
Many employers offer group LTD for little or no cost. So, it can be a cheap or free way to get some level of disability insurance with no medical exam.
However, group coverage shouldn’t be your only disability insurance plan. Group plans often have a weak definition of disability, making it harder to file a claim. Additionally, your disability benefits will be taxable income since your employer pays your plan premiums. So, even though your employer-sponsored plan might cover 60% of your income, your payout will be reduced due to taxes.
You might also find group disability insurance with no medical exam through a professional association. But underwriting requirements will vary by association-sponsored plan.
Is disability insurance with no medical exam the best policy for you?
A medical exam can seem like a waste of time if you’re healthy. But if you have medical issues, it can be the make or break factor for limiting or disqualifying your disability insurance coverage. It makes sense that some might prefer to find disability insurance with no medical exam.
You might have basic group disability insurance through an employer-sponsored plan, but it has many limitations. A supplemental individual policy provides more comprehensive coverage, with options for an own-occupation definition of disability.
If you’re a resident or fellow, explore GSI opportunities with your program before applying elsewhere. You can lose GSI eligibility if you apply and are denied disability coverage with another insurance carrier.
Otherwise, if you’re young (below age 50) and applying for a moderate benefit amount — say $5,000 to $10,000 a month — you might qualify for disability insurance with no medical exam.
For those wanting more substantial disability income insurance, expect the medical exam as a part of the underwriting process. Your insurance company pays for the medical exam, and it should only take 30 to 45 minutes to complete. There shouldn’t be any surprises with your results if you’ve responded to the screening questions honestly, so it shouldn’t significantly impact your disability insurance quote.
If you want to explore options for disability insurance with no medical exam, fill out the form below. SLP Insurance will discuss GSI and individual insurance policies based on your preferences and hunt down available discounts for your situation.