Why You May Need To Get A Complete Blood Count For Life Insurance

Insurance companies need to assess your health situation before you sign up for life insurance with them. And one test you may need to get is a complete blood count.

But why go to all that trouble? Why is a complete blood count so integral to your life insurance application?

Well, we have the answers right here for you.

Let’s dig in.

What Is A Complete Blood Count Test?

what is CBC

A complete blood test is a medical examination of your blood. In the context of life insurance, you get the test to see if you have any present or underlying health issues.

Blood count points health professionals in the right direction on someone’s health. That’s why you see it called the complete blood test.

If you have any chronic diseases such as diabetes or cancer, the blood test will reveal that.

What Does the CBC Test Look For?

Life insurance companies have laboratories and health professionals that will carry out the test. The life insurance blood test will often look at the below parameters in your blood.

  • Your Platelet Count

Platelets are blood cells that play a significant role in blood clotting when you bleed. An abnormally high platelet count might signify several diseases or poor spleen functioning.

On the other hand, a lower-than-normal platelet might tell that you are regularly stressed. It will also show problems with your bone marrow or abnormalities in the functioning of the spleen.

  • White Blood Cells Count

White blood cells are the defenders of your body. They play a significant role in body immunity. It thus makes sense for a blood test to examine the count in your body.

Therefore, if these cells are in severe decline in your body, it might point to several chronic health conditions. Blood cancer, parasitic infections, or regular use of steroids could be why.

A higher-than-normal white blood cell count shows bone marrow problems or some form of malnutrition. It could also be because of some viral infection in your body.

  • Red Blood Cell Count

Red blood cell count determines the presence or absence of different health issues. A low count will signify anemia, and an abnormally high red blood cell count will denote a condition known as polycythemia.

Both health issues are a cause for concern for life insurance company underwriters. Testing for the above parameters will determine the following matters:

  • Drug Use

Drug use leads to certain health complications that undoubtedly affect your life. That’s why the insurance company will want to see if you have a history of drug use. A blood test will confirm this.

  • Heart Disease

Heart disease is more common today, even if you aren’t that old. That makes it a significant part of your blood test. If you have heart disease, it will factor in calculating your risk category.

The higher the risk category, the steeper the rates you get.

  • Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is a known risk factor for cancer and other ailments. The blood test will also show if you are using tobacco and if it has caused any health issues.

People also call this a life insurance nicotine test. All the above will factor in the policy you are about to take with your life insurance company.

How Does The Blood Test Work?

how life insurance blood test works

Once you agree to the test, you’ll need to select a perfect date and time for it. Although it varies with different companies, here’s what will probably happen on that day:

Identity Confirmation

The examiner needs to be sure you are the person you say you are. A driving license or other forms of identification will suffice.

General Health Overview

The examiner will ask general questions about your health. This could be about drug use, underlying health issues, or if you’re on any medication.

Height And Weight Measurements

You will have your height, weight, and blood pressure measured.


You’ll give a sample of your urine in a specimen bottle or cup the examiner provides you.

Blood Draw

The examiner will draw some of your blood for the test. This won’t take long. It is a five-minute process at most.

After all the tests, you will sign the examination form to confirm your approval.

Why Do You Need To Take A Life Insurance Blood Test?

In the course of your life, you might have taken many tests. The life insurance blood test is another one you might need to take if you’re looking to take a life insurance policy.

But why do you need to take one? There are three significant reasons for that:

  1. To determine how much of a health risk you can be. The insurance company sees it as a gamble insuring you. So, it makes sense for them to want to know how likely you are to die with the policy active.
  2. To confirm your medical information. The insurance companies might need the test to verify your medical information. If you’ve disclosed several health issues, a blood test will confirm it for the insurance company.
  3. To determine the type of policy you get. The test results will influence the type of policy you get. Everything from the premiums to the size of the policy might hinge on the blood test results.

Will negative results lead to you not getting covered?

Let’s see how that will play out.

Can My Blood Test Results Lead To Denial Of Life Insurance?

life insurance denied because of CBC result

Different insurance companies have different policies. But in some cases, you might not get a cover if your blood test results are alarming.

For some companies, your policy might become more expensive than if you were healthy. But then that depends on the company you are getting the policy with.

It would help if you were as honest as possible during the initial information stages. Come clean on any concerning health issues to avoid denial of cover.

If you have cancer and lie about it, you might miss out on the coverage. The blood test will indicate the disease, and you could lose the chance to get the cover on the grounds of dishonesty.

Being honest with your insurance agent will help prevent that, though. If one insurance company denies you coverage because of your blood test, there are more that can always give you an offer.

Some insurance companies have relatively flexible plans, and you could get covered despite the negative blood test results.

Can I Avoid Taking the Test?

Is it mandatory?

Some people might worry about their privacy when taking the test. But then, the test isn’t required in all life insurance situations.

Sure, some insurance companies will insist on the test. But if you have concerns over having the test, you might have it waived.

The issue is that it might get you unnecessarily high rates. That, again, depends on the company’s terms and conditions for a life insurance policy.

Can I refuse to take it?

If you refuse to take the complete blood test, what you want is called a no exam policy. These policies will set you back a higher amount. In return, they will have fewer medical questions for you.

All you’ll need for such policies is your medical record from your doctor, and that’s it. If you can afford the no exam policy, the no exam policy is a sensible choice. Also, if you’re worried about your privacy, it may be the way to go.

However, if you can’t afford the higher rates, your best bet is to take the test. Most insurance companies have excellent privacy terms. Thus, you don’t have to worry too much about your information getting lost or into the wrong hands.

How Do You Prepare For A Life Insurance Blood Test?

prepare for blood test

The blood test will determine the rates you will pay for your policy. Thus, it makes sense to prepare for the exam.

However, the preparation shouldn’t include using any cleaning kits to cleanse your system of drugs.

That’s akin to fraudulent activity and might have you lose the chance to get a cover. So how do you prepare for the life insurance blood test?

  • Fasting

This is standard preparation for most blood tests. The insurance company lab might request you to fast before the test to ensure you get the correct results. The fast will most likely be for between ten and twelve hours.

Fasting helps keep the normal blood cholesterol and sugar levels at the natural level. It will therefore boost the accuracy of the blood test.

  • Eat Healthy

It is best to avoid foods that might spike your sugar level or blood pressure in the days leading to your blood test. You’ll have to ignore the ice cream and other sugary foods before the test if you need it to work.

  • Don’t Stop Taking Your Medicine If Any

If you’re on prescription medication, don’t stop taking your drugs on account of the test.

Doing that might show the insurance company that you aren’t dealing with your health issues well enough. That will then lead to higher rates.

  • Arrive In a Short-Sleeved Shirt

A Short-sleeved shirt will make your arm more accessible for the examiner to draw your blood.

  • Drink A Lot Of Water

Water helps clean your blood of excess sodium. It will also make it easier to get the blood from your veins.

  • Don’t Drink

If a drinker, you might do well to avoid taking some drinks for a few days. Alcohol affects your health, and it is a bad idea to drink a lot just before your blood test.

  • Get All Your Medical Information

Before the test, gather all your medical information from your doctor or other places you might have it. That way, it’s easy to know when the tests don’t turn out right through no fault of your own.

If you smoke and want to get a life insurance policy, stopping for a few weeks or months to the test won’t help.

For such action to be valid, you’ll need to have stayed clean for at least one year. Staying clean from drugs in the lead-up to the test won’t change the rates.

What Happens After the Blood Test?

After the blood test, the technician will go and test the blood. Depending on the insurance company you’ve gone to, this might take a while.

The insurance company will then analyze the results to know your risk category. After determining your risk category, the underwriters will calculate the rate or premiums for your policy.

This is usually one of the final stages of your life insurance policy application. For some companies, their decision might hinge on the test. However, for other companies, it’s often only procedural.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A No Medical Exam Life Insurance Policy?

A no medical exam life insurance policy is a life insurance policy that won’t need you to get a complete blood count test. It is usually an option for relatively healthy individuals.

However, this policy might cost you more than one where you take a blood test or other medical exam.

Can I Improve My Blood Test Results?

You can’t improve your blood test results. The best you can do is be in the best possible shape before the test. This test isn’t like school exams you can read for and pass.

Can I Ask For A Second Test?

Yes, you can. If you think the results from a first test have abnormalities, you can request a second test.

The test affects the rates at which you’ll get the policy, so there’s no problem if you ask for a second test to confirm the results.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article has given you a better idea of why you need to get a complete blood count test.

Life insurance companies require the test results to determine the rate you buy the policy. That’s why you need to take the test.

However, the test isn’t mandatory, and you can avoid it if you want to. The only problem is the policy rates will probably be higher than if you’d taken the test.

Linda Chavez

I'm a burial & senior life insurance expert, independent agent, Founder & CEO of Seniors Life Insurance Finder. I have been working in this sector since 2004 and established my own company in 2014. I have a team of seven members, and we are trying hard to share the knowledge we've gathered. We know how difficult often it is to find an affordable policy. Hence, we are doing our best to help you.