Elevated Liver Function Tests and Over 50 Life Insurance
So you had blood work completed and the results revealed elevated liver function. Now what?
What should you expect when trying to secure an over 50 life insurance policy? Will elevated liver enzymes ultimately keep you from buying the protection your family deserves?
I won’t tell you a lie. Life insurance carriers will be curious, and somewhat concerned, about your elevated liver function. They will ask plenty of questions about your test results.
To be clear, life insurers become apprehensive about elevated liver function because of the possible underlying illness that may be causing such a result.
Serious illnesses like hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and alcoholism can each trigger elevated liver enzymes.
For some people, elevated liver function is actually caused by something benign like frequent use of ibuprofen or vigorous exercise 24 hours prior to the test.
Insurance companies want to be sure which category you fall into. The carrier will aim to clarify whether you have a chronic illness that may shorten your lifespan, or simply a daily Tylenol habit.
The better prepared you are for the application then the easier the process will go.
To get you moving in the right direction, I’ve put together a lot of useful facts for you to review. Read on for some insider information!
Common Rates After Elevated Liver Function Tests
First of all, I would recommend only applying with those life insurers that are willing to work with your particular situation.
After helping so many clients like yourself, I am very familiar with the best insurance companies for over 50 adults with elevated liver function.
Second of all, let’s make sure you understand the life insurance rating classes used by most carriers. This will give you a better idea of what your specific rating truly means.
Plus, after reviewing “Ratings with Elevated Liver Function” (below) you may be surprised to find out a Preferred or Standard Rating is possible.
Standard Ratings Reference Chart
Check out our easy-to-follow table about rating classes and how they impact your premium pricing.
|Rating||Reason For Rating||Premium Pricing|
|Preferred Plus||Healthiest, Lowest Risk Applicants||Best Pricing Possible
|Preferred||Very Healthy, Low Risk Applicants||Better than Average Pricing|
|Standard||Controlled Medical Condition||Average Pricing|
|Sub-Standard (aka Table Rating)||Chronic Illness (Moderate to Severe)||Below Average Pricing|
Insider Tip: Sub-Standard (aka “Table”) Rating covers 16 different ranks below the “Standard” class. Premiums typically increase by about 25% per level.
Obviously, these guidelines do vary slightly among different insurance companies.
Ratings – The Basics
Life insurance ratings for those individuals with elevated liver function, like yourself, also can vary quite a bit among different carriers.
Plus, the insurers are evaluating your complete health history and lifestyle — not just your elevated liver enzymes.
Although the classification method may be different, all insurance companies look at the same criteria. The difference is the value placed on each of these factors.
Here are the main points all life insurance carriers review:
- Height and weight over the years
- Family medical history
- Acute and chronic medical conditions (both past and present)
- Drug use
- Motor Vehicle Record
- Alcohol use
- Tobacco use
Insider Tip: If you’ve smoked cigarettes (even one time) in the last 12 months, then you will be assigned smoker rates. This can equal TWICE as much in premium than your non-smoking peers.
Ratings with Elevated Liver Function
So maybe an insurance company doesn’t care much about your liver test results but they do care tremendously about your history of stroke. This means your final rating will mostly be based on your stroke.
If you’d like to give me a call to discuss your specific medical history I will be able to give you a clear indication of what rate class you’d likely be approved for and the premium you’d have to pay as a result.
In the meantime, let’s go over this example of how some life insurers rate the risk of elevated liver enzymes.
Carrier Z: Elevated Liver Function Test Results Rating
Preferred to Standard Rate: If your overall health is very good, you lead a low-risk lifestyle, and
- one liver function is elevated no more than 4x normal
- two to three of the liver functions are elevated no more than 2x normal
Securing Carrier Z’s Preferred, or even Standard Rating, requires you to meet these important criteria too:
- NO concerns about alcoholism. This means NO Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges, NO alcohol rehabilitation programs, NO medical notes from a physician warning you to cut-back or eliminate drinking alcohol.
- All other lab and diagnostic testing is normal.
- No medical history of liver disease.
Life Insurance Applications & Elevated Liver Function
Insurance companies will want to figure out what caused your elevated liver function. This will help them figure out what type of risk you will be.
So the insurer will first review the actual liver test results and then ask many questions about those findings.
What Are the Elevated Liver Function Test Results?
Liver function tests check how well your liver is working by measuring enzymes and proteins in your blood.
Life insurers will review your liver function test results in their entirety. This means they will look at your enzyme levels in comparison to what’s considered “normal range”.
The elements of a liver function test which the carrier will look at are as follows:
- Alanine transaminase (ALT). ALT is a liver enzyme that helps your body metabolize protein.
- Aspartate transaminase (AST). AST is an enzyme that metabolizes the amino acid, alanine.
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP). The enzyme ALP appears in the bone, liver, and bile ducts.
- Albumin and total protein. Albumin is a protein made in your liver, mainly to fight infections.
- Bilirubin. Bilirubin is a by-product of red blood cells breaking down within your liver.
- Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) & L-lactate dehydrogenase (LD). Both GGT and LD are liver enzymes found in the blood.
- Prothrombin time (PT). PT is the amount of time it takes for your blood to clot.
Medication: A Common Reason for Elevated Liver Function
Elevated numbers in some of the above categories may be simply a benign result created by something innocent like endurance exercise (i.e. marathon runners and triathletes).
However, prescription medication is actually the most common, non-threatening cause of elevated liver function.
There are several different classifications of prescribed medicines which are often linked to the elevation of liver enzymes, especially increased AST and ALT. The medicines can vary from over-the-counter pain relievers to treatments for bipolar.
Here are some of medication categories that may inadvertently cause an increase in liver enzymes:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
- Antibiotics (Amoxicillin, Ciprofloxacin and Erythromycin)
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- Rifampin (Rifadin)
- Antiviral (Tamiflu, Relenza)
- Antidepressant (Prozac, Wellbutrin)
As we’ve already stressed, life insurance companies will review your elevated liver function test and then try to narrow down the reason for such an increase.
The application questions asked by the carrier will help them figure out if your results are caused by a serious, underlying medical situation or something far less menacing.
10 Application Questions About Elevated Liver Function
- Date you were told of elevated liver function?
- How high is your elevation compared to normal results?
- Over time, have your liver function increased, decreased, or remained stable?
- Do you know why you have elevated liver function?
- How much alcohol do you drink? How often do you drink alcohol?
- Do you currently abuse alcohol? Do you have a history of alcoholism?
- What prescription medications do you take?
- Were you tested for hepatitis? Did your doctor also perform an ultrasound or biopsy?
- Did you have a viral infection prior to having your elevated liver function test completed?
- What other chronic illnesses do you currently manage?
Give Us a Call Today for Life Insurance
Now that we’ve read plenty of info about applying for life insurance over 50 with elevated liver functions, give me a call to get an application started.
There is no better time than now to get life insurance. Remember, it is not only for you but for the financial protection of your loved ones too!
I am very familiar with the best insurance companies and most affordable insurance policies for those with elevated liver function, as well as many other commonplace conditions.
I’m happy to answer all your questions and help you select a great life insurance plan for your budget.