Getting life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions
Just because you might have a pre-existing medical condition doesn’t mean you can’t get competitive life insurance coverage. Depending on the severity and your treatment plan, you can still get affordable rates.
Several factors go into determining the cost of your life insurance premiums, including your age and health. Usually, the younger and healthier you are, the cheaper your rates will be. Some pre-existing medical conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and depression — are more than likely to increase premiums. If severe enough, it can disqualify you from getting life insurance coverage altogether.
However, having some health issues doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get competitive rates. Every life insurance company evaluates each medical condition differently in their underwriting process, so it’s essential to shop around for an insurer that offers the best rates.
What is life insurance with pre-existing conditions?
Life insurance with pre-existing conditions is a medical diagnosis that you have when purchasing life insurance coverage. A study done at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows one in two Americans has a pre-existing condition that might affect their cost or eligibility for insurance.
Although a health condition arises after your life insurance coverage is active, it cannot influence the cost of your premiums. It would not be considered a pre-existing condition by insurers.
Can you get life insurance with a pre-existing condition?
In fact, yes, it is possible to secure life insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition. A simple disclosure may be all that the insurance company requires for a few health conditions. However, you may need to go through additional medical screenings for many illnesses or physical conditions.
What are some of the pre-existing conditons that might get covered?
A few of the more common pre-existing conditions that would get covered include: thyroid, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, cholesterol, etc.
How medical conditions affect life insurance rates
With information from the application, insurers will get information about your current health, lifestyle, basic family health history, and more information from the initial phone interview (if required). And life insurance, medical exams, and previous medical records. The carrier will use this vital information they collect about you to assign you a health classification to determine what kind of rates they’ll offer you.
Certain types of pre-existing medical conditions, family history, or some lifestyle choices may move you down a rate classification (which in turn will make your rates go up) because they indicate that you pose a much higher risk of dying while your policy is active.
Rates classes are as follows:
- Preferred Plus
- Standard Plus
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What medical conditions affect life insurance?
Life insurance companies take into consideration several types of pre-existing medical conditions in the underwriting process, including:
- Anxiety or depression
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Sleep apnea
- Digestive diseases (such as Crohn’s or celiac disease)
- Smoking or other nicotine use
However, insurance companies don’t just assign a blanket classification per medical condition. How carriers underwrite a specific pre-existing condition will depend on the severity of your diagnosis and your treatment plan.
How to get life insurance with pre-existing condition
If you have a pre-existing condition, does it mean you’ll be denied life insurance coverage? Or worse, hit with high premiums? Not at all. Every insurance carrier will have a different set of underwriting guidelines and standards for evaluating these and other medical conditions. It will depend on your treatment plan and the carrier you try to get coverage from. You may find a life insurance company that will cover your pre-existing condition and offer you an affordable premium.
For example, one company might offer cheaper rates for people with a family history of cancer, while another carrier will treat a condition like high cholesterol more favourably in their underwriting. That’s why it’s crucial to have a broker like Coach B. with comparing rates across multiple insurers, especially if you’re concerned about how your health will affect your insurance coverage cost.
However, doing your research and buying life insurance can be a daunting task, even in great health. There are plenty of insurance companies to pick through, and it’s not always easy to understand all the insurance jargon.
If you’re looking to buy life insurance with a less-than-perfect health record, these following steps might help you find better rates:
Why you should work with an independent agent or broker
One of the best and most efficient ways of finding the best insurance carrier for your specific health situation is to get the help of an independent life insurance broker like Coach B. Insurance.
A professional licensed life insurance agent at Coach B. Insurance doesn’t work with just one insurer or carrier — instead, they work with several different insurance companies. Allowing you to compare quotes from multiple carriers help guide you on the very best options for your specific health status and lifestyle. And help you apply. Coach B. agents specialize in higher-risk insurance or finding great opportunities for people with challenging health histories or lifestyles.
You can compare quotes from multiple insurance companies right now by using the free pricing tool below:
Don’t hide your condition
In the interview portion of the underwriting process, you might be tempted to fudge your answers or even lie. That is not recommended for several reasons:
One reason is that the underwriting process usually involves a medical exam and an up-close review of your medical records. The insurer will almost always find out about whatever your condition may be at some point in this process.
Second, because lying on your application is technically committing insurance fraud. Suppose down the road. The insurer finds out that you had a previous diagnosis that you didn’t disclose or that you intentionally misrepresented yourself in any way. In that case, they’ll probably cancel your policy. And if they discover you’ve committed fraud after your death, they will deny your family’s death benefits claim, and your beneficiaries won’t receive the payout.
Take advantage of your medical treatment
If you’re actively taking care of yourself and managing your health conditions, most life insurance carriers will consider that when assigning you a rating class.
Let’s say you have high blood pressure, but you take medication for it, and it’s been under control for a while. Or maybe you have diabetes, but you regularly check in with your doctor and have good lab work to show that your blood sugar levels are under control. Good documentation of effective treatment could help you get a better health rating and lower your insurance premiums.
Purchase life insurance sooner than later
Rates increase 5–10% on average each year that you put off applying for life insurance. Even though you are applying for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, you could still be able to lock in cheaper rates by applying for coverage today rather than waiting for your situation to change.
For example, in some cases, if you only recently quit smoking, it might be worth waiting a year or so to apply. But overall, it’s much cheaper to buy life insurance sooner rather than later.
Best life insurance policy for pre existing conditions
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, carriers are approaching applicants with specific health situations, such as respiratory conditions, more cautiously. However, some life insurance companies may postpone your application. Many companies are back to underwriting health conditions similar to how they would before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Finding a company that will give you a competitive, fair rate for your circumstances during this coronavirus outbreak makes shopping around for a life insurance policy all that more critical.
Declined life insurance options
Unfortunately, there are some severe medical conditions that may result in a carrier denying your life insurance application. These could include:
- Alcoholism or drug use
- Recent heart attack
- HIV or AIDS
- Kidney disease
Again, companies will consider every pre-existing condition on a case-by-case basis, so it’s worth speaking to an agent or broker to find out what type of options you have. A life insurance broker will shop around for other carriers that may offer you some coverage.
If you’re unable to get a traditional term life insurance policy because of existing health conditions, here are some life insurance options that might cover your illness:
Group life insurance
Some employers may offer free or subsidized group life insurance as a benefit for employees. One significant advantage of participating in a group life insurance plan is that your current health status won’t determine if you get coverage or not.
Although, group life insurance probably won’t provide enough coverage for you and your family — and you’ll lose the coverage if you leave or quit your job. Having some life insurance is way better than not having any coverage at all.
Guaranteed life insurance
Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of whole life insurance that requires no medical exam and, in many cases, there are no medical questions. Besides a terminal illness, getting coverage is essentially guaranteed.
The problem with guaranteed issue policies is they are much more expensive than traditional term life insurance policies and offers lower coverage amounts. For the most part, guaranteed issue life insurance should only be used only as a last resort.
About Coach B.
After starting his financial career with Phoenix Home Life Insurance Company back in 1992, Scott decided he wanted to provide people with an easier and more enjoyable way to buy life insurance. That was the start of Coach B. Life Insurance, whose mission is to be transparent, honest, and helpful to customers — without ever bugging or pushing them.
In the years since then, he has worked tirelessly to improve the process of shopping for insurance. His goal is to make sure that everyone who comes to Coach B. — whether they end up buying a policy or not — has the best possible experience.
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