I recently considered buying term life through either my company plan or through a large carrier that required an exam. Since it was the same carrier, I figured this would be a good apples-to-apples comparison.
The company plan offered group coverage with no exam and payroll deduction. If I went to the carrier directly, they offered much more insurance for slightly more money.
Their highest rate was when you were going for the "simplified" that you described. It is the highest premium because they will assign you to a higher risk pool. People who go for the simplified usually have a habit or condition that makes the insurance company nervous.
You could take a test and get assigned to the "preferred" or "select preferred categories."
The couch-potato coverage was called "preferred," but with the test my spouse and I qualified for "select preferred" because our cholesterol was in a normal range, we were non-smokers, and filled out the questionnaire (which included a medical history). They also checked our DMV records.
They will sent an EMT to our house for an appointment of our choosing. For the much better rate, I would say it is worth a late breakfast, a vial of blood, a BP reading, and a urine sample. Time: about an hour. Savings: $1760 (= $176/year * 10 year level).
You may be able to get an even better rate for a multi-policy discount, if your carrier is the same as your auto and home.