In the FEGLI life insurance program for federal employees there is variation in premiums according to the individual’s age, but not by risk. However, many employees purchase life insurance on the open market as a supplement to, or a substitute for, FEGLI.
In such policies, applicants generally are put into one of these broad categories:
* Preferred risk. This includes people in the best health.
* Standard risk. People who have only minor health concerns are placed here.
* Substandard risk. Below standard risk, applicants are placed into various tables, determined by the severity of their health problems, such as having diabetes or having experienced a past heart attack.
A standard risk might pay 70 percent more than a preferred risk for the same coverage.
Most applicants can qualify for life insurance at some price. However, insurers may reject applicants who are judged to have a terminal medical condition and may die soon.
You may have to take a physical exam for life, disability, health or long-term care. If you’re on the borderline, these precautions might improve the results and possibly push you into a healthier category, with lower costs:
* Watch what you eat. Don’t eat for at least eight hours before the exam. For the previous few days, avoid steaks and other fatty foods.
* Watch what you drink. Stay away from alcohol and from caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, or cola. Drink as much water as you can manage.
* Watch your schedule. Take your physical first thing in the morning, after a night of sleep. That will hold down your stress level–-and your blood pressure.
* Watch how you exercise. A strenuous workout before your exam can affect tests of liver function and downgrade your results.
Schedule your exam for a doctor’s office, where the equipment will be more accurate than a portable machine a paramedic brings to your home.