Individuals, especially seniors frequently imagine that they must be the perfect example of health and well-being to meet all requirements to obtain a life insurance policy. This is far from the truth. Just because you have certain ailments or pre-existing health issues does not mean you won’t qualify for a life insurance policy.
You might not qualify for the same policies as younger, healthier individuals, but you can always find a policy that works for your specific situation. Many insurance companies have about 12 rate classes that you could be approved for.
If you are a senior with some medical issue, you may be concerned about your ability to secure affordable life insurance coverage. We’re here to help you discover answers — and let you know that you may have a greater number of choices than you might suspect.
What Impacts Rates for Seniors with Pre-Existing Conditions?
Age, health, and lifestyle habits are the three most significant components life insurance providers use to decide if an individual is insurable and at what cost.
When it comes to your health and overall medical history what’s important is not only what health conditions you may have, but also other factors such as when you were diagnosed and what type of treatment you have undergone.
Even if you are a senior with a pre-existing health condition, you can still qualify for life insurance. It’s critical to understand that no life insurance company anticipates that every prospective customer will be in top physical condition and peak health.
You may be surprised to know that you can qualify for better rates than you may have thought you could qualify for. Also, it’s important to know that each insurance company has different underwriting guidelines. In simple terms, what this means to you is that you may qualify for not-so-good rates with one company but with a different company, you may qualify for a very good rate. This is why you want to work with a knowledgeable independent agent that specializes in helping seniors and people over 50 get life insurance.
Below are just a few of the common health conditions.
· Obesity – Rates you can qualify for will depend upon your build.
· High cholesterol – This is not much of an issue if it is controlled with medication
· High blood pressure – Same as above. This is also not much of an issue as long as it’s under control.
· Anxiety – This will depend on the specific condition, treatment, medications taken, and other factors.
· Cancer – This will depend greatly on the type of cancer, staging, grade, date diagnosed, and whether you are in remission or not. If you are currently battling cancer you can only qualify for guaranteed issue coverage.
· Heart Attack – This will depend greatly on the severity of the heart attack, how long ago you had it, and how well you continue to follow up with your doctor for routine checkups.
Lifestyle habits are the other big contributing factor as to the coverage you may qualify for and the rates you would have to pay.
For instance, risky habits (e.g., smoking, scuba diving, reckless driving) can increase the cost that you’d have to pay for life insurance. So, while age and health are going to factor into your overall rate, risky behaviors and other lifestyle factors can also impact the cost of your life insurance.
Would I be able to qualify for life insurance coverage with a genuine medical issue?
To put it simply, yes. It very well might be feasible for a senior to obtain life insurance with a prior ailment. Often times the most important thing is how or what you have been doing to maintain your health going forward.
For instance, let’s say you have diabetes. If you are doing what you need to do by making sure to keep your diabetes in control and are keeping your A1C level down you would have no problems getting life insurance. On the other hand, if you have uncontrolled diabetes, and you’re not taking the medication prescribed to you and if you don’t see your doctor regularly it can be very hard to secure affordable life insurance coverage.
How does my health history influence the expense of my life insurance strategy?
The short answer is that it can impact it a lot. Your overall health as mentioned above is a key component in determining the amount you will need to pay for your life insurance policy if you’re a senior with a pre-existing health condition. In addition to this are your lifestyle habits.
The other key factors include:
· How long do you need a policy
· How much coverage do you need
· Your age and sex
· Your smoking status
When you apply for a specific life insurance policy you will need to answer several health questions on the application. The insurance company will also run a prescription drug check. In addition, depending on the specific policy you apply for you may need to complete a medical exam and the insurance company may obtain your medical records.
What are basic ailments that can influence my life insurance premium?
The following is an incomplete rundown of ailments that could influence the rate you’ll pay for life insurance. Some medical issues are more normal than others. Here’s a glance at five common ailments and how a life insurance company may view them.
1. High blood pressure — You might not be instantly categorized as a high-risk applicant if you have high blood pressure, but other related diseases might warrant higher rates. Factors including the duration you have had high blood pressure, pre-existing conditions you might have, if and how you are managing it. Risk elements like drinking, smoking, dieting, and exercise can lower or increase your risk rating as well. In addition, the severity of your high blood pressure is assessed through your previous blood pressure readings, associated complications from the past, and your prescription history. As with most diseases that affect life insurance, you can pay low rates if you are able to prove to your insurer that your high blood pressure is under control.
2. High cholesterol — With high cholesterol, the chances of health issues like stroke and vascular conditions are very high. Applicants with high cholesterol pay higher premiums than normal, but upon risk assessment to determine if the disease is under control, the insurer can lower the rates. Being that diet and weight are the major culprits of high cholesterol, you can impact your insurance rates by keeping these two in check. Avoid foods attributed to the risk and manage your weight or lose a few pounds if needed.
3. Obesity — Your body mass index (BMI) plays a huge role in determining your life insurance premium rates. A healthy BMI earns you favorable rates and an unhealthy one forces you to pay more. While obesity does not directly affect your underwritten process, other ailments like heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer pose a risk to your insurer, increasing your policy rates. Generally, different weight-related conditions affect life insurance rates differently, in some instances, you might not qualify for some policies while in other instances remission is vital for qualification.
4. Anxiety — Anxiety greatly influences your day-to-day life and most significantly, it impacts both your mental and physical health. This makes it difficult to qualify for a good life insurance policy as the different and severe conditions linked to it affect your lifespan. During the underwriting process, you will be asked questions about your mental health. Should you provide false information about it, you might not qualify for coverage, on the other hand, If the condition is less intense, your application might be approved.
5. Heart diseases— Heart attack and coronary artery sum up heart disease. These are deadly and will increase the rate of your life insurance policy. An EKG test might be requested for your insurer to establish how healthy your heart is before affording you policy coverage. While heart disease is a common health condition that increases life insurance rates, a family history of the disease might also affect your premiums. Don’t withhold any information your insurer asks for, and ensure to take any tests needed to decide your risk level if you want to improve the likelihood of scoring a reliable policy.
6. Diabetes — Oftentimes, people with Type II diabetes are vulnerable to health problems like renal failure and coronary artery disease, etc, making them riskier for companies to insure. For the insurance company to consider you less-risky, you are required to prove that the disease is under your control and manageable. Type I diabetes patients diagnosed in childhood are also charged higher rates, usually more than those with manageable adult-onset diabetes.
Things to think about when purchasing life insurance for seniors with a previous condition
Purchasing a life insurance policy with a previous condition can be scary. However, it’s not impossible. Understand what prior conditions may mean for the expense of the policy before shopping to avoid overspending on your insurance.
The older you get, the more costly life insurance becomes. That is because there’s a higher probability that the insurance company should pay out the death benefit showed. So to keep away from the higher rates of applying for insurance further down the road, consider applying for extra insurance now. Doing so now can help you lock in a moderate rate for quite a long time to come.
It may be quite difficult, yet improving your general health and well-being can profit you in more ways than one. Not only can this help to decrease your cost for coverage, but it can also have an impact on the overall quality of life.
Don’t conceal your condition
The most noticeably terrible thing you can do when looking for a life insurance policy with a prior condition is to lie about its reality. Life insurance companies will evaluate your full medical history before offering insurance.
Lying about your previous condition is a big no no. Quite frankly lying on an application is fraud and you should not do it.
What do I do if I’ve been denied life insurance?
The fact is you may not be insurable.
Being denied the life insurance policy you wanted shouldn’t be the end of things. Perhaps some information is incorrect or your insurer has insufficient medical information about you. These are things you can easily be rectified with them. You have the right to appeal to the insurance company in case they sent back erroneous information to you.
That said every insurance company has different underwriting guidelines that they adhere to. Just because one company declined you for coverage doesn’t mean the next one will. If you are denied coverage it’s important to find out exactly why. Knowing this information will help you and your agent determine the best company to submit your new application to.
The bottom line: the best thing to do is to talk to an independent life insurance agent to help you navigate this.
What amount of life insurance do I require?
Depends. Everyone’s situation is different obviously. What you need to consider is if the worst happened and you didn’t wake up tomorrow morning, would your beneficiary or beneficiaries be ok financially. If so you may not need life insurance.
If not though, what would you want the life insurance to do for them?
Pay off a mortgage? Replace your income? Have money to pay for burial costs and other final expenses or medical bills?
These are just some of the important factors that will help you determine the amount of life insurance coverage you will need. However, depending on your medical condition, there might be limits to the amount of coverage you qualify for. Remember, different health and medical conditions dictate how risky an individual is to insure.
If you’re ready to pick your life insurance plan and check out your options, consider working with over50lifeinsure.com, we’re independent agents that shop around with different companies to get you the best rates at no extra cost. Contact us, and we can get the best options for you quickly!