You may have even been declined for coverage!
At JRC Insurance Group, we specialize in helping individuals with pre-existing conditions including everything from diabetes, heart disease, and yes, gastrointestinal conditions as well.
How Do Reflux, IBS, IBD, etc. Affect Life Insurance Approval?
It’s important to understand that when life insurance underwriters evaluate an applicant’s medical history, they don’t penalize for minor conditions such as acid reflux, or if you saw the doctor recently for diarrhea or constipation.
Insurance companies are interested in medical conditions that can affect your life expectancy. In other words, if the disease can lead to a premature death, the insurance company may “rate” you, asking you to pay a higher rate than someone in perfect health, or could even decine you.
How JRC Helps with GI Problems
With our 50+ years of experience, we’ve learned that some companies offer better rates for people with GI than others.
For example, some companies may commonly decline conditions like Barrett’s Esophogus or Crohn’s Disease while other companies commonly make offers for these conditions.
We’ve learned the go-to companies for each condition, and will help you apply to the company that will give you the best rating, and therefore, the best deal.
Varicies esophagus – Variceal bleeding can be a life threatening issue and must be treated immediately. Even on medication, many people with varicies esophogus will experience a reoccurence of bleeding, and therefore most companies will decline coverage if you’ve ever had this condition.
There are, however, two types of coverage you may qualify for with this condition, guaranteed issue life insurance and accidental coverage. Call us for a quote at 855-247-9555 for these specialized types of life insurance.
Barrett’s Esophagus – Acid reflux results in Barrett’s Esophogus (aka intestinal metaplasia) in about 13% of cases, where the tissue in the esophogus gets damaged to the point where it looks and acts more like intestinal tissue. While that may sound very serious, from a life insurance perspective, it is usually very insurable. Some people might be able to qualify for standard ratings or better, if Barrett’s esophogus was caught early, and is under good control. In some cases, Barrett’s can lead to esophus cancer, which is why you won’t typically get preferred rates with this disease.
For an instant quote with Barrett’s Esophogus, use our free quote form and rate yourself at a “Standard” or “Regular” health rating. This is the health rating applied to those with an average life expectancy. You may qualify for this rating, but realize if you qualify for a substandard rating, your actual rate may be about 50%-150% higher than the Standard quote.
GI hemorrhage – Gastrointestinal bleeding can be caused by a variety of causes and therefore, insurance companies will treat every situation differently depending on the cause and probability for reoccurence. Many causes of bleeding are from ulcers or acid reflux, in which cases, traditional coverage may be available.
However, in more severe cases, such as due to esophogus varicies or cirhosis of the liver, coverage may be denied. In these cases, you may still qualify for accidental or guaranteed issue coverage. Call JRC Insurance to see if you qualify at 855-247-9555.
Gastric stapling/bypass – Without complications such as bleeding, you will typically qualify for a substandard rating with stapling or bypass surgery to the tune of 50% to 150% higher than the standard rate. Obviously, when you need stapling, there may be other underlying conditions such as diabetes, and of course, obesity, so those variables will also be important in determining your health rating.
For example, let’s say we have an applicant who got the surgery 3 years ago, and is now at a healthy height and weight, but prior to surgery was diagnosed with diabetes, this individual may not qualify for as good of a rating as the applicant who was never diagnosed with diabetes.
Also realize for those of you who have lost a lot of weight, the insurance companies only give half credit for weight loss in the past 12 months. In an extreme example, if you started out at 400 pounds a year ago and today are 200 lbs, if you applied for life insurance today, the insurance company would consider you as weighing 300 lbs. Therefore, you could still be penalized for your weight even if you are no longer overweight.
Note: this is also known as gastroplasty or VBG, vertical banded gastroplasty.
Gastritis – Gastritis is one of the less serious GI issues, and therefore, can be approved at standard rates, or in some cases slightly below standard. It can typically treated with diet and acid reflux medications, and therefore is not considered to substantially affect life expectancy. For a gastritis life insurance quote, use our free quote form and set the heath class to “standard”.
In some cases, you may pay a bit more than standard, or in some rare cases, be declined for gastritis.
Gastroenteritis – Similar to gastritis in life insurance underwriting, gastroenteritis is not typically a life threatening condition and may be rated at preferred or standard health class.
Gastroenteritis typically causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It primarily affects the colon or large intestine, causing it to lose fluids and should not be confused with the flu. The main culprit for this disease is usually caused by contaminated food. The main reason for this affliction is largely a result of bacterial toxins or viral infections. The primary symptoms of this disease are vomiting and diarrhea.
Crohn’s Disease – See our extensive review about getting approval for life insurance with Crohn’s disease.
The good news is you can typically be approved, but it does depend on some factors such as age of onset, and time that has elapsed since your last symptoms. You’re much better off if you’ve been symptom free for 5 to 10 years, for example, than if you’ve had flare ups in just the past few years.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and also known as Spastic Colitis mainly cause physical symptoms which affects the large intestine and can include a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms. IBS impacts as much as 15% of the American population who may incur this disease at some point in their life.
Life insurance companies prefer to see this as being diagnosed later in a person’s life. Additionally, the longer you have gone without symptoms, the better you will be viewed by insurers.
Underwriters want to note that your medication appears to have stabilized and that medication dosages haven’t changed. They will also want know about the frequency of flare-ups, and whether you have had surgery, and when you last received a colonoscopy.
Life insurance applicants who are receiving mild to moderate medications can likely be expected for a “Standard” rating. The main point is to always talk to an independent agent like the ones here at JRC because we will comparison shop the most lenient insurers for you and can almost always help you find the most affordable rates with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
A few other issues associated with the digestive system or gastrointestinal track which shouldn’t be too much of an issue with life insurance approval would be acid reflux, fistula-in-ano, and stomach and duodenal ulcers.
Hirschsprung’s Disease – the major factor with Hirschsprung’s disease will be severity and treatment. The primary treatment is to have surgery and remove the affected part of the colon which lacks the proper nerves to help pass a bowel movement. It is essentially a bypass surgery of the colon.
If you’ve received the operation, and are now recovered with no symptoms and (no problems since), it will likely not affect your life insurance rates in any way.
If you are considering the surgery or it is already scheduled, most insurance companies will postpone making an offer until after it has been performed.
If your condition is mild and you are not considering surgery, you can still be approved but may not qualify for the best rates. You may get a standard to slightly sub-standard approval.
Reasons to Contact the Agents at JRC
JRC is not only employee owned, but it is staffed by experienced and highly knowledgeable life insurance underwriting veterans. We take a different approach than many other agencies in that we take the time and put in the effort for all our clients to find you the best insurer and the most affordable rates for your particular medical condition.
Our agents NEVER use a sales script nor do we “cross sell” other types of insurance to our clients. We have access to over 45 life insurance companies and can pre-qualify almost any type of health and lifestyle condition in roughly about 15 minutes. We’ll tell you right off the bat if we can’t save you time or money.
How Do I Apply For Affordable Life Insurance?
Call JRC right now and we will take the time to listen to your life insurance needs, goals, health issues and we will make a point to find you coverage to suit your particular budget. Our service is not only free, but we can also promise you that you will find our help to be invaluable!