Having a serious illness or medical condition can make it difficult to find affordable life insurance.
But, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t mean you can’t get life insurance altogether.
With groundbreaking medical advances, improved survival rates, and new life insurance products catering to the ill, you should never assume that you are “uninsurable”.
In fact, you might be surprised to learn that these 13 health issues don’t disqualify you from finding the life insurance coverage you need to protect your family.
High Blood Pressure/Hypertension
High blood pressure is directly linked to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, heart failure, and stroke. Luckily, there are ample medications and life changes to effectively lower your blood pressure. Life insurance companies place applicants into different rate classes – if high blood pressure is your only notable medical issue and you’re able to keep it under control, you might even be able to still slip into the highest rate class (with the lowest premiums).
High cholesterol is another contributor to heart disease. It’s also another condition that can be curbed with medication and a healthy lifestyle. More than 102 million Americans ages 20 and older have higher-than-healthy cholesterol levels, making it one of the more forgivable health problems in insurers’ books.
Some providers are more lenient than others with applicants who have asthma. Your challenge won’t be so much with getting approved, but rather with finding good rates. Across the board, insurers will assess the severity of your asthma based on how long you’ve had it, how often you have attacks, any medications you’re taking, and whether you’ve been hospitalized for asthma.
In regards to how much you will pay for life insurance, the key difference here is whether you’re overweight or obese. NerdWallet found that extra pounds cost you regardless–but men who are overweight will pay just $11 more per year than their ideal-weight counterparts, while men who are obese could pay up to twice as much than those who are at a healthy weight.
Anxiety or Depression
If you have a history of anxiety and/or depression, you can still get preferred rates on life insurance. It all comes down to your overall health, lifestyle, medication, and the severity of your illness. It’s scientifically proven that those with depression have higher mortality rates, but at the same time, mental health conditions are much more subjective than physical conditions when life insurers are quantifying their risk.
Type 2 Diabetes is often referred to as the “silent killer,” because its early symptoms are virtually non-existent as the disease becomes a ticking time bomb that can lead to heart attack, stroke, nerve damage, and more. However, the condition by no means eliminates you from life insurance contention. In fact, our independent agency has helped countless diabetics secure affordable coverage.
While some life insurance companies won’t consider applicants with Crohn’s Disease, there are several insurers that specialize in IBD (Intestinal Bowel Disease) coverage. This includes Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, and other similar disorders. If you are 6 months or more removed from your diagnosis and the condition is being managed, you’re insurable.
Epilepsy and Seizures
Seizures themselves are not usually life-threatening. It’s the accidents or injuries resulting from those seizures that are of concerns to life insurers. If the frequency and intensity of your seizures are manageable, a knowledgeable independent agent will be able to go straight to a few preferred providers that have historically accepted epileptic patients.
Insurers take sleep apnea more seriously than patients do. However, the condition is extremely common, with more than 3 million cases per year in the U.S. It’s also very treatable and–with certain providers–insurable.
Research shows that among men and women ages 50 to 64, the 5-year survival rate for various types of cancer was 39 to 68 percent higher in those diagnosed between 2005 and 2009 compared to people of the same age diagnosed between 1990 and 1994. For life insurers, vast medical advances have reduced the assessed risk of providing coverage to a previous cancer patient. For you, the earlier cancer is detected and the more conclusive the treatment, the better. Ideally, the best time to apply is after you’ve been cancer-free for at least 5 years.
There was a time when you would have had no chance at all of getting life insurance with heart disease. But that’s no longer the case, as we’re seeing more and more people being approved with serious cardiac issues including hear attacks, stents, valve replacements, and bypass surgery.
Finding affordable life insurance after a serious stroke is certainly a challenge, but it’s possible. Since one of the biggest concerns surrounding a stroke is recurrence, it’s best to apply for coverage after a full year with no further strokes. The residual effects of your stroke will also play a role in what type of coverage you are able to get.
As is the case with the conditions above, life insurance is accessible to people with hepatitis given they have received the necessary treatment, completed all follow-up visits, and adopted a healthy lifestyle.
There are dozens of different factors that contribute to whether you’re able to get life insurance with your health issue, and whether you’re able to find affordable rates. However, for the most part, there are probably options for you if:
- You’re not collecting disability benefits for your condition
- Your symptoms are moderate and in control
- Your life isn’t in imminent danger posed by your health risk
- You’re not in the hospital often
- Your treatment is proving effective
How to Find Coverage
If you have any of the health problems above, or another problem that you’re unsure about, the best way to find out if you can still qualify for life insurance is to contact an independent insurance agent. They will know which carriers are known for accepting applicants with certain conditions, and can also advise you on how to increase your odds of being approved. Read this JRC article to discover if AARP life insurance is right for you.
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