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Life Insurance for People with Chronic Health Conditions

life insurance for people with chronic illnessesFor people who are diagnosed with chronic health conditions, one of the first concerns that they have is being able to find affordable life insurance coverage for their family in the event of their untimely death.

Depending on the severity of your condition, and how will you manage it, pre-existing health conditions can make it difficult to find affordable life insurance coverage. But this does not mean that you are out of options completely.

We wrote this guide to help you find the best life insurance coverage for your chronic condition. In this guide you will learn:

Let’s dive right in.

What is considered a chronic condition?

A chronic condition is one that has a profound impact on health, as well as quality of life. The CDC broadly defines chronic conditions as those which last for at least one year and a) require ongoing medical care and/or b) limit activities of daily living. The most common chronic health conditions in the United States are:

    1. Cardiovascular disease
    2. Smoking related health issues
    3. Alcohol related health issues
    4. Diabetes
    5. Alzheimer’s disease
    6. Cancer
    7. Obesity
    8. Arthritis
    9. Asthma
    10. Stroke
    11. Depression
    12. Lung disease
    13. Dementia
    14. Parkinson’s disease
    15. Kidney or bladder problems

Can people with chronic illnesses get life insurance coverage?

The short answer is yes. People with a chronic illness can still get life insurance coverage, but the prices will likely be much higher compared to those with more treatable and manageable conditions.

Life insurance health classifications are typically ranked in order of preferred plus which has the lowest premiums, preferred, standard plus, and standard, which has the highest premiums. If you have particularly complex health history because of a chronic condition, you will likely be placed in a substandard category where the quote you receive is based on a table rating.

Health Ratings reflect overall risk, so the worse your rating is, the more expensive your life insurance rates will be. This can also result in some policies or coverage amounts not being offered to you. Finding affordable life insurance for people with chronic health conditions can be difficult, which is why we strongly recommend working with an independent life insurance agent who can compare dozens of rates, policies, and providers.

Looking for the best life insurance rates with a health condition? Use our free quoting tool:

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How is getting life insurance different for people with chronic health conditions?

There are some conditions that can limit your policy options. For people in these situations, the only policy option may be Guaranteed Issue life insurance, which features restricted policy amounts, and is more expensive than traditional coverage.

For people with more manageable conditions, no exam life insurance policies in the form of simplified issue policies will likely be best for you. They offer most of the same coverage options as traditional coverage, but are a bit more expensive. Some people who have control over their health condition may even qualify for preferred rates with certain companies like Prudential or Principal Life.

How Your Condition and Health Affect Rates

The severity of your chronic condition is going to dictate where you fall on the rating scale we described above. Most companies have 16 different health classes. If you fall below standard, as mentioned, you will receive a table rating.

Health Class

Cost

PremiumBest Fees
StandardSlightly higher fees
Sub-standardSee Table ratings

Almost all insurance providers will charge an additional 25% to the standard rate for each subsequent table rating. These are identified by a letter or a number. The table below shows how life insurance table ratings work.

Table Rating

Cost

Table A or 125% table rating, $125 per month
Table B or 250% table rating, $150 per month
Table D or 4100% table rating, $200 per month
Table H or 8200% table rating, $300 per month

Other Factors That Affect Rates & Policy Options

On top of your current health, there are a few other factors that influence the types of policies available to you, and the rates you’ll pay.

1. Family Health History

You might have a manageable health condition now, but your family history indicates a high risk of a secondary cancer later in life. If a family member has died of a similar health condition in the past, this can also affect rates.

2. How Well You Manage Your Condition

If your doctor’s notes indicate that you have been working very hard to manage your health condition, this can have a positive influence on your life insurance rates. However, if your doctor notes show that you haven’t visited regularly, you don’t go in for checkups and you don’t take any medications or try to manage your condition, this indicates a higher risk, and will make rates go up.

3. Severity of Your Condition

The final thing they review is the severity of your condition. Somebody with a mild form of skin cancer will likely be less at risk and experience lower rates than someone who has Stage 4 brain cancer.

What types of life insurance policies can you get with chronic health conditions?

Let’s review some of the life insurance policies that life insurance guide for people with chronic conditionsmay be available to you, depending on your health condition.

Term Life Insurance Policies

Term insurance policies are for a specific time period typically between 10 and 30 years. For people who are in good health, this is usually the most affordable type of life insurance policy.

For people with manageable chronic health conditions, this can be a very affordable option. Below is a list of chronic conditions that may qualify for traditional term life coverage:

We recommend this type of insurance policy for most of our clients. It fits into their financial needs, is affordable, and offers lots of opportunities for customization and extension of coverage.

Even for people who have less manageable conditions than the one listed above can still find affordable term life insurance coverage in the form of a no exam policy.

No Exam Life Insurance Policies

For people who have the most severe chronic conditions, no exam policies are better. There are two types of no exam coverage:

Both policies are available in term and permanent options, though most people opt for whole life coverage when it comes to guaranteed issue. Depending on your condition, one may be best for you.

Simplified Issue Life Insurance

Simplified issue policy is a simplified version of a traditional policy that typically only offers up to $25,000 in death benefits. This type of policy does not require a medical exam, but does require the applicant to answer a few health related questions to determine risk.

Chronic Conditions That May Qualify:

    • Crohn’s disease
    • Cardiovascular diseases
    • Diabetes
    • Cancer
    • Obesity
    • Stroke
    • Lung disease
    • Hepatitis
    • Parkinson’s disease

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed issue is the second option which, as the name suggests, is guaranteed coverage. No matter your situation you absolutely cannot be turned down for guaranteed issue life insurance due to your health condition. This type of coverage is also known as burial insurance or final expense insurance. There is no medical exam, and no health questions.

We only recommend this type of coverage to people with chronic conditions that are denied from all other traditional policies.

Looking to learn more about no exam life insurance for people with chronic health conditions? Here are some helpful resources:

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance policies offer an investment component and provide lifelong coverage as long as your premiums are paid. These policies are typically only good options for those who have very specific financial needs such as estate planning. For most people, this type of coverage is not recommended, because it has such high premiums.

The reason we don’t recommend this type of policy often for those with chronic conditions is because the cost can be incredibly high. In fact, for many conditions, permanent policies simply may not be available. The more severe your condition, the less likely it is that insurance companies will offer permanent policies of any kind.

However, for people who have control over their chronic condition, there are affordable permanent life insurance options available, such as Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance.

Chronic Conditions That May Qualify:

    • Obesity
    • Arthritis
    • Asthma
    • High/Low Blood Pressure
    • Diabetes
    • Other Well Managed Conditions

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost For People With Chronic Health Conditions?

So just how expensive is life insurance for people with chronic health conditions? The answers might surprise you.

The tables below show life insurance rates for people with pre-existing conditions for the following policies:

    • 20-Year Term
    • 30-Year Term
    • Whole Life
    • Simplified Issue
    • Guaranteed Issue

Keep in mind, these rates may vary with your individual condition, and other medical information.

20-Year $250,000 Term Life Rates

The table below shows monthly 20-year term life insurance rates on a $250,000 policy for people in Standard health who have been diagnosed with chronic health conditions.

Age

Male

Female

35$11$8
45$26$20
55$77$46

30-Year $250,000 Term Life Rates

The table below shows monthly 30-year term life insurance rates on a $250,000 policy for people in Standard health who have been diagnosed with chronic health conditions.

Age

Male

Female

35$19$16
45$43$34
55$134$91

$250,000 Whole Life Rates

The table below shows monthly whole life insurance rates on a $250,000 policy for people in Standard health who have been diagnosed with chronic health conditions.

Age

Male

Female

35$86$76
45$208$164
55$543$361

Simplified Issue Rates

The table below shows monthly simplified issue whole life insurance rates for men in Standard health who have been diagnosed with chronic health conditions.

Age

$5,000 

$10,000 

$15,000 

$25,000 

35$4$8$13$16
45$5$11$15$24
55$12$24$34$50
65$16$30$36$61

Guaranteed Issue Rates

The table below shows monthly guaranteed issue whole life insurance rates for men in any health who have been diagnosed with chronic health conditions.

Age

$5,000 

$10,000 

$25,000 

$40,000 

40$26$49$119$189
45$29$55$134$212
55$29$56$143$249
65$43$84$211$359

Looking to find personalized life insurance quotes for people with pre-existing health conditions? Use our FREE quoting tool below for instant rates from the best companies:

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What Are the Best Life Insurance Companies for People with Chronic Health Conditions?

There are plenty of companies that offer amazing life insurance rates for people with pre-existing health conditions. However, of these companies, there are three that really stand out above the rest:

Company

A.M. Best Rating

Customer Satisfaction

Prudential A+4.3 / 5
TransamericaA+4.2 / 5
American NationalA4.0 / 5

best life insurance companies for people with chronic health conditions prudential

1. Prudential

Prudential was founded in 1875 and they offer a wide range of term and universal life policies. They have several term options including basic and affordable options that can be approved within a few days and don’t always require a medical exam. You can receive up to $500,000 in coverage in increments of 10, 20, or 30 years. Prudential is known for providing superior risk ratings and rates to people with pre-existing conditions.

There are additional options that allow you to add minor children for coverage or options for those who are 65 or older. The return of Premium option allows you to receive your premiums back if you outlive your term. There are single annual options that allow you to purchase policies one year at a time to pay off short-term loans.

best life insurance companies for people with chronic health conditions transamerica

2. Transamerica

Transamerica offers term life insurance products in increments of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years. They have a Trendsetter Super policy that provides up to $10 million dollars in coverage. They also offer permanent life insurance policies up to three million dollars. They sell smaller whole life insurance policies designed to cover funeral costs and final expenses.

Transamerica is perhaps best known for their affordable life insurance policies for seniors and smokers. They also offer variable universal plans that offer cash value growth for those who need it. Transamerica has a Superior Financial strength rating with positive customer reviews.

best life insurance companies for people with chronic health conditions american national

3. American National

American National has been providing life insurance coverage to millions of Americans since 1905. They offer whole life, term, and universal life insurance policies across all of the United States. They have a positive Financial rating and very few customer complaints.

The available term policies they offer our 10-year, 15 year, 20 year, and 30 year options. All of these options can be converted at the end to a permanent policy. There are many convenient features available for each of these and guaranteed renewability. They also offer more simplified issue coverage than most companies, and have very affordable rates.

5 Tips for Saving Money on Life Insurance for People With Chronic Conditions

Here are a few quick and easy tips that can help you save thousands of dollars best life insurance policies for chronic illnesson your life insurance coverage over the lifetime of your policy.

1. Work With An Independent Agent

In order to save money, you should always work with an independent agent. Independent agents are not tied directly to any individual life insurance company and can help you to compare multiple companies.

At JRC Insurance Group, our agents work with dozens of the best life insurance companies on the market, and have an understanding of the different underwriting policies for various companies. This allows us to help clients find the best policies and rates for their health conditions.

2. Know the Best Companies

Similarly, knowing the best companies is important. Not all companies have the same underwriting guidelines. This applies even to chronic illnesses. Some companies are significantly more favorable in terms of their premiums. While other companies might be more favorable in terms of benefits, features, or riders that they offer to people who have chronic conditions.

3. Compare Rates

Comparing rates is essential. You should take into consideration whether the premium prices you are offered are going to increase at a specified point in time, annually or at the expiration of the policy if you choose to roll it over into a new policy.

You should also know what the cost is going to be to add certain features, or riders, if those are things that you specifically need in your policy. Comparing rates form dozens of companies has never been easier. Use our quoting tool below to find affordable life insurance rates for people with chronic health conditions:

Compare Rates from 50 Top-Rated Companies

Get your FREE instant quote online in less than a minute

4. Take the Medical Exam (If Possible)

It is in your best interest to take the life insurance medical exam, even with a pre-existing health condition. Many people are surprised to find that their health condition is covered by life insurance companies and just how affordable rates actually are.

Taking a medical exam cannot hurt, because even if it causes you to be denied coverage, you can simply look for guaranteed-issue policies. Taking your medical exam can save you thousands of dollars on a life insurance policy.

5. Manage Your Health

Manage your health to the best of your ability. Some chronic illnesses are completely out of your control. While others are easily manageable by changes in lifestyle, diet, occupation, and more.

Be sure to listen to your doctor’s advice, take any recommended medications, and seek treatment regularly for your chronic health condition. Doing all these things will help to keep your life insurance rates low.

Frequently Asked Questions About Life Insurance With Chronic Health Conditions

At JRC Insurance Group, we routinely help clients who suffer from chronic health conditions find affordable life insurance policies. While helping these individuals, we often have heard the same questions asked, so we wanted to take some time to answer some questions you may have.

Q. What medical conditions affect life insurance?

There are many medical conditions that affect your life insurance including all of the ones listed in this blog so far. Understand that your health plays a crucial role in determining your level of risk, so any medical condition is going to impact your life insurance rates.

Q. Can I get life insurance with pre existing condition?

Yes you can. There may be fewer options available to you and the premiums will be higher but there are plenty of companies that are favorable toward different pre-existing conditions.

Q. Can I buy life insurance if I have cancer?

Yes you can. Life insurance is still available to those with different types of cancer. The cost and type of insurance policy you can qualify for is going to be based upon the severity of the condition and treatment history.

Q. Does high blood pressure disqualify you from life insurance?

No. Having high blood pressure does not disqualify you from life insurance. Life insurance companies will still provide favorable premiums and a variety of policies to  individuals who have high blood pressure.

Q. Can I get life insurance with a heart condition?

Yes you can get life insurance with a heart condition. Heart conditions do not stop you from getting life insurance, they simply impact your risk classification, the prices you pay in premiums, and the available policy options you have.

Q. Can you get life insurance with a terminal illness?

Yes, you can get life insurance with a terminal illness. If no company will approve you, there are always guaranteed issue, no exam policies available which provide adequate funding to cover burial or funeral costs.

Q. Can you get life insurance without a medical exam?

Yes, you can get life insurance without a medical exam. These are referred to as no exam life insurance policies. There are simplified and guaranteed issue options. Simplified options require you to fill out a single page Health questionnaire but do not require a medical exam. Guaranteed-issue require neither.

Q. Can you be denied life insurance for high cholesterol?

No. You will likely receive very favorable ratings for high cholesterol depending on the severity of your cholesterol. Some companies may deny you but chances are they will simply offer more expensive premiums and even if they do deny your coverage there are plenty out there who wont.

Q.  Can you get life insurance with congestive heart failure?

Yes, you can get life insurance with congestive heart failure. There are plenty of companies that offer favorable rates for specific health conditions including congestive heart failure. There are plenty of companies that offer favorable rates for specific health conditions including congestive heart failure. There are always no exam options available as well.

How to Get Life Insurance Quotes for People with Chronic Conditions

Do you suffer from a chronic health condition, and are looking for affordable life insurance quotes?

At JRC, we work with over 50 of the best life insurance companies in the market to help our clients find the right solution to their needs, regardless of their health.

Contact us today to speak with one of our independent life insurance agents who can help answer any questions you may have, and help you compare the best life insurance rates from dozens of companies.

Everyone deserves to have financial protection for them and their families. Don’t let your terminal or chronic illness get in the way of having this peace of mind. Contact us today and we will be more than happy to help you find the coverage you deserve.

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Cliff Pendell

VP of Marketing at JRC Insurance Group
Cliff is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder at JRC. He has helped thousands of families of businesses with their life insurance needs since 2012 and specializes with applicants who are less than perfect health. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and the great outdoors.
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