The enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique (EMIT) test is one of the most common types of drug tests for life insurance companies. It’s also the most common drug test companies use on their employees.
Also known as the EMIT test, this is just one of many drug tests in use today. Although it is the most popular. It’s also one of the most cost effective. Therefore EMIT is a favorite for the life insurance drug test.
The U.S. Center for Health Statistics reported that in 2014, as many as 10.2% of Americans 12 years and older used an illicit substance. Marijuana was the most popular substance followed by cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogens.
Currently, there are 26 states and District of Columbia that allow the sale and distribution of medical and/or recreational marijuana. More states are currently giving consideration to legalizing marijuana for medical use and possibly recreational use.
Drug Testing For Employment and Life Insurance
Whether you reside in a state where marijuana is legal or illegal, many employers employ drug screening on their employees. Even in states that allow medical marijuana there have been devastating consequences for patients as a result of marijuana screening.
Plus, all life insurance companies will test for marijuana for every life insurance policy which requires a medical exam. This applies to both term and permanent life insurance policies.
Quick Tip: If you use marijuana less than 3 times per week, view rates now by using the Instant Quotes form on this page. Enter your information; Select “NO” for smoker and “Regular Plus” for health class. Scroll down to the rate for “Prudential”. This will give you an idea of cost.
How does the Enzyme Multiplied Immunoassay Technique Test work?
The EMIT test uses either serum or urine samples to determine if a drug such as marijuana is present. Any drug will eventually become metabolized by your body. Then it is gradually expelled until it no longer exists within your body. The most common way to metabolize a drug is through urination.
Even after you stop taking the substance, it continues to reside in your body. The more of the drug you consume (plus the more frequently you use it) will cause the drug to last longer in your system.
Immunoassay is the key word in how the enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique test works. The EMIT urine assay or test detects the drug itself. It can be altered to also test for the existence of many types of other drugs.
The process involves the use of specific antibodies which binds to the substance or its metabolites. This binding is detected using enzymes, radioisotopes, or fluorescent compounds. When this occurs using the test procedure, the existence of the drug in the urine causes the sample to change color such as blue for example.
The change in color denotes the existence of the drug. However, the amount of the drug present can also be measured.
Other Types of Drug Tests
Other types of testing procedures can also be used to detect the existence of drugs. Common methods include:
• Hair Follicle Testing – When you smoke marijuana, the metabolites circulate throughout your blood and filter through the hair follicles. About 50 stands of hair are used and a liquefied sample is tested using Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry. It is a very sensitive and accurate means of testing but it is very expensive.
• Perspiration Testing – Some pharmaceutical companies offer a skin patch which detects the existence of drugs excreted through your sweat. This form of testing is usually used for those people who have placed on probation.
• Saliva Testing – This manner of testing is generally only viable in detecting recent drug use and only works when a drug has been consumed within 4-10 hours. It can only generally detect very recent consumption.
• Blood Testing – This form of testing is physically intrusive and also very expensive. Blood testing of drugs can be very accurate but the metabolite levels of cannabis falls very rapidly and may not be detectable after 22 hours.
As you can see from the other types of physical testing they have both limitations. They can also simply cost too much. The most reliable method of detecting cannabis in your systems is the Enzyme Multiplied Immunoassay Technique urine test.
Did you know there are regulations for employer testing?
Drug testing for cannabis in the workplace has strict regulations in place. SAMHSA (The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) established Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs Guidelines for employers in order to protect employees. This is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
They have set specific cut-off limits so help reduce the number of false positives that can occur. Interestingly enough, false positives for an EMIT can range from 2% – 34% which is alarming.
False Positives on the Enzyme Multiplied Immunoassay Technique Test
The Department of Health and Human Services says that companies need to double check any positive test results. Companies can confirm results using a different testing procedure such as Gas Chromatography/Mass spectrometry. This avoids the consequences of false positives.
However, these additional tests are not legally required for life insurance. So false positives can be a huge problem.
If you don’t use marijuana and are about to attend a life insurance exam then you should try to avoid any exposure. (Don’t be in a place others are hotboxing.) Otherwise, you might end up with positive test results and even a decline on your application because you answered “No” to using drugs such as marijuana.
Life insurance companies have a zero tolerance approach to anyone who lies on their application.
What Other Drugs Does the EMIT Test Look For?
The EMIT test can be either a basic test or an extended test. Most companies use the basic test. The Enzyme Multiplied Immunoassay Technique Test is also administered for medical testing in addition to drug screening.
When it comes to either the basic test or the extended test, the EMIT urine drug screening process generally tests for the following recreational drugs:
- Basic EMIT testing typically screens for the following commonly-abused drugs:
- Amphetamines (speed, meth, crank, ecstasy)
- Cannabinoids (marijuana, hash)
- Cocaine (coke, crack)
- Opiates (heroin, morphine, opium, codeine)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Extended testing might also screen for some or all of the following:
- Barbituates (phenobarbital, butabital, secobarbitol)
- Benzodiazepines (tranquilizers like Valium, Librium, Xanax)
- Ethanol (ethyl alcohol, booze)
- Hallucinogens (LSD, mushrooms, mescaline, peyote)
- Inhalants (paint, glue, hairspray)
- Anabolic Steroids (synthesized, muscle-building hormones)
How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your system?
This is difficult to answer because it depends on a variety of factors such as:
- The amount you smoke
- How often you smoke
- Your metabolism rate since it differs from person to person
- Whether you prefer smoking cannabis or edibles
- Your height and weight
Every person metabolizes cannabis at different rates. A heavy or frequent smoker will have more THC in their system so it will take longer to metabolize before your test shows as “negative.”
If you are more on the hefty side and tend toward the sedate lifestyle, the existence of marijuana in your system will take longer to evacuate from your body.
Experts agree that majority of people will test negative after a period of at least 30 days. Although the rule of thumb is to hold off for 6 weeks. A few individuals show cannabis in their system as long as 90 days from the last time they smoked.
Interesting note. People who use hemp oils face a much lower risk because these oils contain much lower amounts of THC.
What about Synthetics?
Some people are also turning to what is known as “Synthetic Cannabinoids” such as K2 and Spice. Many people believe these synthetic variations will prevent them from testing positive.
Synthetic Cannabinoids have popped up in the news quite recently because of a large number of overdoses, seizures and reports of bizarre behavior. These reports stem from products originating in unregulated home labs. So many people take something they think is safe that actually contains other toxic chemicals.
It’s also unlikely synthetics will help you pass the life insurance drug test. Unfortunately, the enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique also tests for synthetics.
Life Insurance and The Enzyme Multiplied Immunoassay Technique Test for Marijuana
Anyone who is applying for life insurance should know that there are many life insurers which still take a very negative approach when it comes to marijuana use.
However, there are a number of more progressive marijuana friendly life insurance companies. These companies recognize that smoking cannabis is not the same as smoking tobacco. So they don’t penalize you as such. You can still even get the best rating of “Preferred Plus” if you are an infrequent user and providing your enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique test for marijuana is negative.
Underwriters will generally rate people who smoke more frequently as “smokers” as well as offer a “standard” rating. This is not always the case. So go here for more tips on getting better life insurance rates if you smoke.
You will always get a better rating and much lower premiums if your EMIT test for marijuana comes back as negative. It also depends on whether you smoke recreational or medical marijuana.
For medical marijuana patients, the insurance company needs information on the treated condition. Insurance companies treat non-life threatening medical concerns (with no impact on life expectancy) much more leniently than a serious medical condition.
If you do have a serious medical condition, you may still be eligible for a “Guaranteed Issue” life insurance policy.
You also have the option of skipping the medical exam process altogether and apply for a “No Medical” life exam life insurance policy.
What about lying on your application?
Never lie about your marijuana use. That could result in the life insurance company declining your application. They may also deny a claim made by your beneficiaries if they find out that you lied.
If companies have previously declined your application, then it is especially important you don’t lie. This is because the new insurer will have access to this information through the MIB or Medical Information Bureau. All life insurers have access to this database.
The best way to get the lowest rates and best rating is stop using marijuana at least 2-3 weeks before you take the medical exam. You might want to wait longer if you are inactive, overweight and a frequent user.
Liquids and exercise a great way to metabolize the THC out of your system. But, don’t drink a lot of liquids on the day of the exam as that might negate the test.
Why Marijuana Users Should Use MJ Life Insurance
The underwriting guidelines which life insurance companies is continually evolving regarding marijuana. There are over 850 life insurers in America. Although many of these companies are still very conservative when it comes to marijuana, there are a growing number of companies which are very “marijuana friendly.”
This means that you should not worry when it comes applying for a life insurance policy should you use cannabis. Nor should you worry about the Enzyme Multiplied Immunoassay Technique Test for Marijuana.
The key in getting approval and finding low cost life insurance should you use marijuana is to always use an experienced independent agent.
Doing it on your own may result in applying to an unfriendly life insurance company. They might end up charging you an exorbitant amount of money each month. You also face the risk of companies declining you because most have zero tolerance for any form of marijuana.
The Bottom Line
Here at MJ Life Insurance, we have access to all of the most marijuana friendly life insurance companies in the industry. We will look at the individual situation and needs of each individual who wants coverage and pair you with the best company.
Call us if you have any questions as we will treat any all information you provide in the strictest of confidence. We are happy to help you in any way we can.
Use the Instant Quote tool on your left to see rates right now. (Top if you’re on mobile.) We can even start your application process today. Life insurance is a valuable financial safety net which your family needs, so don’t delay because your family is depending on you.
Contact MJ Life Insurance today at (888) 987-8447. We will help you save money on your life insurance if you smoke medical or recreational marijuana.