PMDC has now exempted future graduates from taking the National Licensing exam (NLE)
In an attempt to appease medical students, and after a two-year-long struggle filled with protests and arrests, PMDC has now exempted future graduates from taking the National Licensing exam (NLE) — a test mandatory to practise medicine in the country. The test was initially introduced to mimic the system of developing countries such as the US, Canada and the UK in order to inject the best potential doctors into the healthcare system. However, staunch resistance from students who claim this to be an added burden on top of the plethora of university examinations has forced the government to abolish the exit exam.
There have been mixed sentiments about the exam with some, mainly students, claiming its necessity to be a “black law”, while others believing that such assessments are necessary to maintain standards and check if graduates’ intellectual knowledge is sound. After all, many of them will be dealing with emergency life-or-death situations and perform sensitive surgeries. On the flip side, there will indeed be implementation lapses and unacknowledged factors when trying to incorporate such systems in a complex developing country like Pakistan and students are right in saying that first and foremost, it is the responsibility of the government to Strengthen the standard of education while reducing the amount of stress and pressure that students have to deal with. With a weak education foundation that is developed from the school level onwards, the government cannot expect students to pass en masse and produce enough quality doctors to meet the bulging expectations of Pakistan’s tattered healthcare structure.
In such a situation, it would be sensible for stakeholders to sit down and revisit the educational syllabus along with the number of exams that students are forced to take. A balanced programme will be beneficial for students, besides being helpful in protecting the future of Pakistan’s healthcare.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2023.
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National Eligibility Entrance Test for Undergraduate (NEET-UG) is the only entrance exam for admission to undergraduate medical courses in the country. More than 15 lakh students appeared for the entrance exam in 2021. The level of competition is rising every year and the race to get admission to the top medical college is getting tough. To successfully crack the entrance exam, candidates need to know the tips to score well, and follow them.
Devise a plan: NEET syllabus covers chapters/units from class 11th and class 12th level. The syllabus is vast and candidates need to make a comprehensive plan to complete the entire syllabus. Candidates should prepare a time table and follow it regularly. The time table should be made so that all the subjects are covered effectively.
Know the exam pattern: It is important for the candidates to be informed about the exam pattern. Complete knowledge of the types of question, marking scheme, subject-wise question distribution helps candidates to strategize for the exam.
Clarity of Concepts: During the preparation, candidates should focus on understanding the concepts. This is of utmost importance. If the concepts will be clear, candidates will be able to solve the questions with ease.
Practice mock test and previous year question papers: Mock tests and previous years' question papers will help students to know about the level of questions being asked in the exam. It will also help to enhance the speed as well as accuracy.
Revision: Revision is the most important part of NEET 2022 preparation. Candidates should revise the syllabus studied at regular intervals.
Take proper care of your health: Candidates should eat healthy food, take proper rest, include short breaks in their time table, stay motivated and always keep a positive attitude.
These tips will help students to prepare effectively for NEET 2022. Candidates should be dedicated, determined and must have a never giving up attitude to crack the exam.
The National Medical Commission (NMC) recently issued the proposed draft regulations related to the National Exit Test (NExT). Through this exam, the Centre aims to bring uniformity in the summative evaluation across the country with reference to the minimum common standards of education and training of a medical graduate.
The NExT will be divided into two parts called, ‘steps’. Step 1 will be a theoretical exam covering six subjects. The questions will be one or more than one type of MCQ. it will be conducted in CBT/online mode. Step 2 will be a practical/clinical and viva voce exam covering seven disciplines.
The indianexpress.com spoke to some stakeholders, including students who will be giving NExT, and students who are not sure whether they will have to give it or not as the date for NExT is not decided yet. While most have welcomed the decision, some were not particularly happy about it. However, one issue that remains common among all — confusion regarding the conduct of NExT.
Sparsh Singh, MBBS student, Maharani Laxmibai Medical College, Jhansi
It is a good initiative. It will eliminate the system where more weightage is given to any subject. On paper everything seems perfect, however, there is a lot of confusion regarding its implementation. There is a lot of grey area as to how things will work out — especially if you apply for improvement, and how seats will be allotted. There are a lot of question marks. But, I believe that the confusion will be sorted out once it is implemented. The students are apprehensive as no one wants to be a lab rat for any kind of experimentation but the silver lining of
what I find is, it will be the same for everyone and I know we will sail through this.
Dr Sharad Aggarwal, National President, IMA
Any change is welcome for improvement. However, I don’t understand the need for NExT, as our existing medical system has been appreciated by countries across the world. Our students also go through difficult exams and work hard to clear them. The medical profession is based on a lot of practice and with the introduction of one more exam, students will focus more on clearing yet another exam rather than focusing on practicals. They won’t be able to develop their clinical acumen. Introducing NExT for the FMGE students is still advisable as we don’t know what is their standard of study but here in India, I don’t think it is a well-thought-off process
Dr Rohan Krishnan, Chairperson, FAIMA
I think it is a welcoming move by the government but it should be implemented properly for facilitating the students. There should be mock training for teachers and students as there is confusion regarding how the exam will be conducted and when it will be conducted. It is a good idea to bring uniformity but there is no need for such a long gap between NExT 1 and 2. The gap can be reduced to three to four months. Also in some places, especially in South India, there are two batches running at one time and with NExT, the second batch will have to wait more than one-and-a-half-year to appear for the exam.
The NMC should also conduct a training session for all the deans so they get accustomed to everything and similarly teach the professors and teachers about the exam. As per reports, NMC will set up a new body conducting NExT, in this new body there should be equal participation from all parts of the country.
Boentika Singh, MBBS student, Sarojini Naidu Medical College, Agra (She doesn’t have to give NExT)–
Finally, it is coming into action. There is a standardisation of exams irrespective of your undergraduate college be it in India or abroad. In the current scenario, people try to run away from their postings, why? Because they are simultaneously preparing for an exam. But, with NExT in action, you need to prepare and do the internship properly and now NExT (NExT 2) is solely for your internship, post internship you need to clear your clinical rotation.
An internship is one of the most important parts because in MBBS you are exposed to 19 subjects and you get an idea which branch is for you. Though it is not confirmed when exactly would NExT be implemented, the curriculum of our college is changing, preparing the juniors for NExT – they are giving MCQ exams as well in theory. There are changes in the number of subjects as well. There will be uniformity in exams and there will be no gaps in the timeline.
Shubhajeet Roy, MBBS student, KGMU, Lucknow (Unsure whether he will appear NExT)–
I am an MBBS student of the 2019 batch. And, according to the timeline given by NMC, we should be giving NExT but since it has not been announced yet, I am not sure whether we will be taking it or not. It is a good thing that the Indian government is trying to set up a system that is parallel to that in the US. However, things need to be more planned for coming into materialisation. In the USA, the students are allowed to appear for repeated attempts but the scores are not calculated through an average formula. Here, they will take the average of the last three scores and that is what a lot of students are complaining about. In the USA, students are informed much in advance. It’s a good step as it is towards advancement and standardisation.
Whenever happens, the NExT step 1 will be before the internship whereas NEET PG used to be after the internship. Now, students can devote more time to internships. NExT step 2 will be focussed on their clinical skills. There will be more application-based knowledge in this exam. The world is moving towards objective exams and this is a welcome step.
Being the first batch won’t be comfortable as there are no past papers to rely on, plus unlike a three-hour exam it will be six exams for a total of 13.5 hours. As students start preparing for such life-changing exams 1-2 years before the exam, the government should inform the students much in advance.
Navreet Kaur, Sir Salimullah Medical College and Hospital, University of Dhaka (Foreign Medical Graduate Student, 2019)
There is no mention of foreign medical graduates and how they will go about it. They have taken out a schedule for NExT. There is no coordination between the exams in India (NExT exam) and those abroad. If the college exam clashes with the NExT, how will students manage? They should give some time to students and include students studying abroad. More and more foreign-returned students are opting for MRCP, PLAB as they have clear instructions. We also want to serve our country but for that, we need to feel included in the education system. They should take foreign students into consideration as there are many students who go abroad to complete their medical education.
Dr Rajiv Ranjan Prasad, Director, RDJD Medical College, Dean, Students Welfare Aryabhatta Knowledge University–
NExT is a pandora of confusion. Why is this government questioning the degrees given by their own colleges accredited by the government? They are talking about uniformity of exams, however, both the practical exams will be conducted by the universities themselves. I don't believe they should end age-old systems in one go, instead, they should modify the existing system and monitor them. It is not a perfect alternative, it would not uplift the standard of education. It is more or less a bureaucratic exercise.
Anyone anxiously holding their breath for a competent robot doctor may need to wait a bit longer. A group of AnsibleHealth AI researchers recently put OpenAI’s ChatGPT to the test against a major medical licensing exam and the results are in. The AI chatbot technically passed, but by the skin of its teeth. When it comes to medical exams, even the most impressive new AI still performs at a D level. The researchers say that lackluster showing is nonetheless a landmark achievement for AI.
The researchers tested ChatGPT on the United States Medical Licensing exam (USMLE), a standardized series of three exams required for U.S. doctors vying for a medical license. ChatGPT managed to score between 52.4% and 75% across all three levels of the exam. That might not sound great to all of the overachievers out there, but it’s about on par with the 60% passing threshold for the exam. Researchers involved in the study claim this marks the first time AI was able to perform at or near the passing threshold for the notoriously difficult exam. Crucially, ChatGPT was able to pass without any extra specialized inputs from human trainers.
“Reaching the passing score for this notoriously difficult expert exam, and doing so without any human reinforcement, marks a notable milestone in clinical AI maturation,” the authors wrote in the journal PLOS Digital Health.
Mediocre test scores aside, the researchers praised ChatGPT for its ability to craft authentic sounding, original answers. ChatGPT managed to create, “new, non-obvious, and clinically valid insights,” for 88.9% of its responses and appeared to show evidence of deductive reasoning, chain of thought, and long term dependency skills. Those findings appear somewhat unique to ChatGPT and its particular style of AI learning. Unlike previous generations of systems that use deep learning models, ChatGPT relies on a large language model trained to predict a sequence of words based on the context of the words that came before. That means, unlike other AIs, ChatGPT can actually generate sequences of words that weren’t previously seen by the algorithm and that could make some coherent sense.
The tricky USMLE exams test participants on basic science, clinical reasoning, medical management, and bioethics. They’re most often taken by medical students and physicians in training. These exams are also standardized and regulated, which makes them particularly well suited to test out ChatGPT’s capabilities, the researchers said. One thing the exams definitely aren’t is easy. Human students typically spend around 300-400 hours stressfully pouring over dense scientific literature and testing material in preparation just for the Step 1 exam, the first of the three.
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Surprisingly, ChatGPT managed to outperform PubMedGPT, another large language model AI trained exclusively on biomedical literature. That may seem counterintuitive at first, but the researchers say ChatGPT’s more generalized training may actually give it a leg up because it’s potentially exposed to a broader range of clinical content like patient-facing disease primers or drug package inserts. The researchers optimistically believe ChatGPT’s passable grade could hint towards a future where AI systems can play an assisting role in medical education. That’s already happening on a small level, they write, citing a recent example of AnsibleHealth clinicians using the tool to rewrite dense, jargon filled reports.
“Our study suggests that large language models such as ChatGPT may potentially assist human learners in a medical education setting, as a prelude to future integration into clinical decision-making,” the researchers said.
In a rather meta twist, ChatGPT wasn’t just tasked with taking the medical exam. The system was also involved with drafting the eventual research paper documenting its performance. Researchers say they interacted with ChatGPT, “much like a colleague” and leaned on it to synthesize and simplify their draft and even provide counterpoints.
“All of the co-authors valued ChatGPT’s input,” Tiffany Kung, one of the researchers wrote.
ChatGPT has added an impressive amount of passing grades to its educational trophy wall in recent months. Last month, ChatGPT managed to score between a B and B minus on a MBA-level exam given to business students at the prestigious Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Right around the same time, the AI achieved a passing score on a law exam given to students at the Minnesota University Law School. In the law exam case, ChatGPT skirted by with a C+.
“Alone, ChatGPT would be pretty mediocre law student,” lead study author Jonathan Choi said in an interview with Reuters. “The bigger potential for the profession here is that a lawyer could use ChatGPT to produce a rough first draft and just make their practice that much more effective.”
ChatGPT might be able to eke out passable scores in exams focused on writing and practicing comprehension, but mathematics is another beast entirely. Despite its impressive ability to bust out academic papers and semi-conceiving prose, researchers say the AI only performs at roughly a 6th grade level when it comes to math. ChatGPT fares even worse when it’s asked basic arithmetic problems in natural language format. That stumbling stems from its predictive large language model training. ChatGPT will, of course, confidently provide you an answer to your math problem, but it could be completely divorced from reality.
ChatGPT’s at time wacko answers are what senior Google engineers and other in the field have referred to, cautiously, as AI “hallucinations.” These AI hallucinations create answers that seem convincing but are partially or completely made up, which isn’t exactly a great sign for anyone looking to authoritative AI’s in high-stakes fields like medicine and law.
“It [ChatGPT] acts like an expert, and sometimes it can provide a convincing impersonation of one,” University of Texas professor Paul von Hippel said in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal. “But often it is a kind of b.s. artist, mixing truth, error and fabrication in a way that can sound convincing unless you have some expertise yourself.”
When you submit an application for life insurance, the insurer will usually request a medical exam to determine whether you have any disease, if you’re at risk for any diseases and your drug use. The exam may involve a physical, blood test, urine test and electrocardiogram (EKG), as well as questions about your medical history.
Medical exams are standard for most term and permanent life insurance policies and are provided for free by the insurance company, as it gives the insurer the opportunity to confirm your health details.
Life insurance medical exams are typically handled by third-party businesses, such as ExamOne, that insurers hire to handle testing. Once your application has been reviewed, your agent or the testing company will reach out to schedule an exam. The tests are quite simple and can take place at your home, your work or a local exam center. Just note that you’ll be asked to fast for the eight to 12 hours preceding a medical exam, so we recommend scheduling yours in the morning.
A standard life insurance physical consists of a:
This entire process usually takes less than 30 minutes. The only exception is if you’re asked for an EKG, in which case you should expect the exam to take an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Some insurers may also ask for a saliva trial or X-rays, but these are relatively rare.
Depending on the testing company, your results will either be provided to you after the analysis or you can specifically request a copy of the results.
Getting your results is an important precautionary measure to take even if everything goes well with the exam. If the insurer comes back with a much higher quote due or you’re denied coverage due to poor exam results, you’ll want to know why.
Life insurance medical exams are designed to assess your health, confirm the information on your application and screen for illegal drug use.
The height and weight measurements taken during a life insurance medical exam are used to determine whether you’re overweight, according to standards set by the insurer. The exam company will also take your blood pressure. Elevated figures for either of these tests could indicate you’re at higher risk for a heart attack or other health issues that the insurer wants to avoid.
Blood and urine tests during a life insurance medical test screen for dozens of health indicators and conditions, such as:
Your blood and urine samples will be tested for prescription drug use, tobacco use and whether you have any diseases. In addition, you may be weighed and asked questions about your lifestyle. While the insurer already collected this information during the application process, it will be checking that your test results and answers are consistent.
The insurer will also be checking that your responses match data from the Medical Information Bureau, prescription database and DMV records.
This is why it’s important to answer all questions from the insurer and testing company honestly, even if they make you uncomfortable. Otherwise, you can be denied coverage. So, for example, if you take antidepressants or other medications, it’s better to disclose this early to the insurer, as it will find out. Insurers also have a two-year window from the time you purchase coverage during which, if they find you’ve provided false or misleading information, they can cancel your policy.
You’ll be declined for life insurance coverage if a blood or urine test indicates you use any illegal drugs, such as amphetamines or opiates. The only exception to this rule is marijuana, as each insurer evaluates marijuana consumption differently. If you use marijuana regularly, you should consult an independent insurance agent to determine which insurance companies to apply with. For example, MetLife offers preferred rates even if you smoke multiple times per week, while Primerica doesn’t accept any such habits for term life insurance applicants.
The life insurance medical exam also screens for nicotine and cotinine in the urinalysis in order to determine your tobacco usage. The test isn’t binary and can indicate whether you’re a regular smoker or if you’ve quit recently.
However, the test won’t be able to identify how nicotine came into your system, so if you’re using a patch to quit smoking or have the occasional cigar, you’ll likely be classified as a smoker.
That’s why you should indicate any details regarding the reason nicotine or cotinine would be in your system in the initial application. Many insurers don’t mind a celebratory cigar a couple of times a year but won’t be very accepting if you don’t disclose it.
Smokers receive some of the highest life insurance rates, so some people try to quit for a period of time prior to their medical exam to qualify for better premiums. Nicotine and cotinine can stay in your system from a few days to several weeks after smoking, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to pass a life insurance test for tobacco if you are a smoker.
In addition, since the insurer can cancel your coverage if it later finds out that you smoke, it’s better to be honest during the application.
Preparation for a life insurance medical exam starts during the application process. You should be ready to answer all questions about your health, lifestyle and medical history over the past five years. This will make your initial quote more accurate, allowing you to decide if the company’s premiums are too high and switch to another insurer before going through a multiweek underwriting process. In addition, insurers will try to confirm all the answers you provide, so any inconsistencies later on may lead to you being denied coverage.
Starting a few days before the medical exam, you’ll want to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. Specifically, you’ll want to eat more food that raises your good cholesterol (such as avocado, nuts and salmon) while reducing your intake of fried or sugary food (which can raise your blood glucose or blood pressure). Drinking more water helps to clear chemicals out of your system, open your veins and, on the day of your exam, prepares you to give a urine sample.
During the life insurance medical exam, make sure to answer all questions honestly, remain calm (you want a low resting heart rate) and stand as straight as possible for your height measurement. Your height-to-weight ratio can directly impact your quotes, so don’t risk slouching.
Beginning one to two days before a life insurance medical exam, you should stop or reduce your intake of coffee and alcohol. In addition, you should tone down your exercise routine, as this can lead to elevated proteins in your urinalysis.
If you want to be particularly cautious, there are also several chemicals and foods that have the potential to trigger inaccurate exam results. Medical testing has improved significantly over time, so — while they’re unlikely to cause issues — you may want to avoid:
If you’re denied life insurance based on the results of your medical exam, the first thing to do is determine the reason. You should ask the insurer and make sure to request a copy of your test results from the company that performed the analysis. In the case that something looks wrong, request a second exam from the insurer.
For example, if your life insurance exam results show high blood pressure but your annual physical results have always been well inside the normal range, something may have just been off that day.
In the case the exam results were accurate, the medical issue will determine the appropriate next steps. As a simple rule of thumb, there are three primary paths to getting coverage through a different insurer:
|Measurements were slightly outside the insurer’s accepted range or showed you’re at risk for an illness.||If you were applying for permanent life insurance, you’ll want to reconsider term coverage given how tremendously a minor health issue can increase quotes. Then ask an independent agent for quotes from multiple insurers that accept your health measurements in their underwriting guidelines.|
|Results indicated you have (or may have) a medical condition that has moderate to low impact on your life activities (such as prediabetes).||Ask an independent agent whether any insurers offer term life insurance for people with your exam results. If not, you’ll want to apply for simplified issue life insurance, as this doesn’t require a medical exam. Depending on the insurer, you may be able to get up to $250,000 in coverage. Just note that once you’re diagnosed with a disease, this option may not be available.|
|Exam results showed you have an illness or condition that is likely to significantly impact your life activities (such as kidney disease).||Once you’ve been diagnosed with a life-impacting condition, you may be limited to guaranteed acceptance life insurance. These policies offer whole life insurance coverage but are typically limited to less than $25,000 to $50,000 in death benefit.|
No medical exam life insurance — also called simplified issue — offers coverage without a physicals, blood test or urine test. If you need insurance on short notice or have a preexisting condition that would make it hard to pass a medical exam, simplified issue life insurance can be convenient and affordable.
No medical exam policies are available for both term and whole life insurance. One key difference between term and whole life is that the death benefits for whole life coverage without an exam are typically limited to $50,000, whereas term life benefits without an exam can be twice that.
When applying for no medical exam insurance, you'll be asked several questions about your health and medical history, and your responses will be used to determine whether you qualify for coverage. Each insurer has their own list of questions, meaning you may be rejected by one company but find coverage at another.
A life insurance policy that doesn't require any medical screening and doesn't ask for responses to any health questions is called guaranteed issue or guaranteed acceptance.
Regardless of what you're asked, honesty is important. Insurers can cancel your policy during the first two years of coverage without a refund if they find that you lied or misrepresented anything. Keep in mind that even without a health exam, insurers still have ways to confirm the information you provide. Insurance companies regularly check your responses against:
If you don't qualify for fully underwritten life insurance and need more than $50,000 in coverage, your best option is a no medical exam term life policy. Term policies are among the cheapest forms of no medical exam insurance and are offered in lengths up to 30 years. They can typically be purchased until age 75, but some insurers restrict term lengths based on age.
When shopping for simplified issue term life insurance, you should make sure the policy is described as "level term" or has guaranteed level premiums for the term length. These phrases mean the life insurance quotes you receive will reflect the price you'll pay for the entire length of the policy.
Some insurers offer a no medical exam term insurance product where quotes are based on your age group (typically a five-year period, such as ages 50–54). With these renewable policies, the term length is essentially one year, and premiums increase each time you enter a new age group. This means the policy becomes incredibly expensive over the course of 15 to 20 years.
As an example, let's say you're a 45-year-old man and want $150,000 of coverage for 20 years. New York Life offers coverage according to your age, so the monthly premium would increase each time you enter a new age bracket.
Even though your initial quote was for $119, the average you would pay over the term would be $182 per month. Over 20 years, you'll have paid $43,680.
If you had a level term policy and paid $119 per month, you would pay $28,560 over the course of 20 years instead — a savings of $15,120. Level term policies are usually more affordable because premiums can vary based on factors other than age, so the insurer can better price your risk profile.
Another product you’ll want to look out for when shopping for life insurance is accidental death insurance, which is similar to term life insurance but only pays a death benefit if you die as the result of an accident. Because only about 5% of deaths are caused by accidents, premiums are cheap and coverage often requires no medical exam. However, accidental death coverage does not apply to natural causes, such as stroke or heart attack.
No medical exam whole life insurance is typically used as a form of final expense insurance, because the coverage is lifelong and death benefits are generally capped at $25,000 or $50,000. After your death, your beneficiaries may receive a payout large enough to cover your funeral, other end-of-life costs and potentially a small loan. However, it won’t be enough to pay for a mortgage or provide income replacement for an extended period.
If you want final expense insurance and do not qualify for traditional coverage, simplified issue whole life insurance will be less expensive than a guaranteed acceptance policy.
We don't recommend no-exam insurance if you would likely qualify for traditional coverage. No medical exam life insurance is more expensive than fully underwritten coverage and typically provides fewer options. For example, you usually can't increase your death benefit or convert a term policy to permanent coverage. In addition, the medical exam for traditional coverage is free, typically lasts less than 30 minutes and can take place at your home or work, so it’s a fairly easy process if you would likely qualify.
However, you should consider a no medical exam policy if:
If any of these scenarios apply to you, we recommend first looking for an insurer that offers fully underwritten coverage for your situation, as insurance companies all have different restrictions. Independent insurance agents represent multiple companies and are familiar with each insurer's underwriting requirements, so an agent may be able to help you find an insurer that accepts your health profile.
No medical exam life insurance is also useful if you need instant life insurance to secure a personal or business loan, which is a common requirement from institutional lenders. No medical exam policies often provide coverage the same day or may take up to five business days, whereas traditional policies can take several weeks for approval. In these cases, we recommend getting no medical exam coverage and then applying for a fully underwritten term policy. This way, you can satisfy the bank or other lender’s immediate requirements but minimize your long-term costs.
Guaranteed acceptance life insurance is similar to no medical exam coverage, in that you don't need to get a physical or provide blood or urine tests to apply. The main difference is that there are no health questions for guaranteed issue life insurance, so anyone who falls within a particular age range will be accepted. This makes guaranteed issue policies even more costly than no-exam insurance, but they're still a good alternative if you don’t qualify for no medical exam coverage.
Each insurer has its own standards and questions for no-exam life insurance applicants. In general, you should probably consider a guaranteed acceptance policy if:
Guaranteed issue policies are only available for whole life insurance, and coverage is typically less than $25,000. It's usually intended as final expense insurance, offering a death benefit that’s enough to cover a funeral and other costs associated with your death. There are no alternatives for term life insurance without providing some personal information.
|Typical coverage max.||$500,000||$50,000||$25,000|
|Length of coverage||Up to 35 years||Lifetime||Lifetime|
|Waiting period||None||None||2–3 years|
Because guaranteed acceptance policies offer life insurance coverage without health or medical questions, they generally have a two- to three-year waiting period, during which the insurer will not pay the full death benefit to your beneficiary. Instead, they’ll provide your beneficiary with the amount you've paid in premiums, plus interest (usually 6–10%).
No medical exam life insurance policies usually have no waiting period, but the company will investigate the circumstances of your death if it occurs within the first two years of coverage. If they find any evidence that you died from suicide or provided any misleading medical or personal information during the application process, they can deny the claim, and your beneficiaries won't receive a payout.
We scored companies based on these measurements:
Price (50% of score): We averaged the no-exam life insurance rates for males and females in excellent health at ages 30, 40 and 50 for $500,000 and $1 million and a term length of 20 years.
Maximum face amount for lowest eligible age (10% of score): Companies with higher no-exam life insurance coverage amounts for the lowest age earned more points. Note that maximum no-exam coverage can sometimes become lower if you apply at a higher age.
Age eligible for best length/amount (10% of score): Companies offering no-exam life insurance to folks over age 50 earned extra points.
Accelerated death benefit available (10% of score): This important feature lets you access part of your own death benefit in the event you develop a terminal illness
Option to convert to a permanent life insurance policy (10% of score): This is a good option to have in place if you decide you want a longer policy, especially if your health has declined and you don’t want to shop for new life insurance.
Guaranteed renewals (5% of score): This option lets you extend the coverage after your initial level term period has expired, such as at the end of 10, 20 or 30 years.
Renewal rates can be significantly higher, but renewing can provide extended coverage to someone who may no longer qualify for a new life insurance policy because of health.
Median time from application to approval (5% of score): We gave more points to companies with lower no-exam life insurance approval times.
The timeline for approval could be within seconds or a month, depending on the company and possibly even your health.
Sources: Bestow, Ethos, Fabric, Haven Life, Jenny Life, Ladder, Policygenius and Forbes Advisor research.
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