Living with diabetes can be difficult, but obtaining life insurance does not have to be. This article is here to help educate those living with diabetes about the process of getting life insurance coverage.
We will discuss the types of policies available, how rates are determined based on your health conditions, and other important considerations such as lifestyle factors that could affect your premiums.
You will also find helpful tips and resources to make the process of obtaining life insurance coverage easier.
Life Insurance Options With Diabetes
To determine life insurance eligibility for diabetics, life insurance companies most commonly want to know three things:when you were diagnosed, if you take insulin and if you use tobacco.
On the term life insurance side, if you do not take insulin AND do not use tobacco, then you should have no problem getting approved for simplified issue term life insurance from carriers such as American Amicable and Mutual of Omaha, among many others.
On the final expense insurance side (whole life insurance), underwriting standards are much looser. Even those who take insulin and who use tobacco can still qualify for immediate coverage, at preferred rates, with certain carriers. Insulin use may disqualify you from the industry’s very lowest rates (such as those from Sons of Norway and Transamerica), but you will have no problem getting preferred coverage with carriers, such as CVS Health, and depending on your age of onset, Mutual of Omaha.
The only cases in which a diabetic may not qualify for traditional coverage is if they also have severe diabetic complications (such as retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, etc.) In these cases, guaranteed issue policies will be the best option. Guaranteed acceptance rates are significantly higher, as no medical underwriting is done, and these policies do have a 2-year waiting period, but they ensure that diabetics of all stripes at least have some form of coverage available to them.
|Term Life Insurance||Yes|
|Final Expense Insurance||Yes|
|Guaranteed Issue Insurance||Yes|
How Common is Diabetes in the United States?
Diabetes is a very common chronic condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 37 million Americans have diabetes – 1 in 10 people – and about 7.3 million of those have not been diagnosed yet.
In the United States, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death among adults and the leading cause of disability. In fact, diabetes-related medical costs account for over $327 billion each year.
Why Life Insurance Companies Care About Diabetes?
People with diabetes are at higher risk for a range of serious health complications. Cardiovascular disease, which can include stroke and heart attack, is the leading cause of death among people with diabetes.
This is because high levels of glucose in the blood can damage artery walls, leading to an increased risk for atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in the arteries. Diabetes can also cause nerve damage and lead to kidney failure, vision loss, or even amputations if circulation becomes impaired.
Diabetes often links to other conditions. For example, sleep apnea increases the risk of type 2 diabetes because it contributes to problems like glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. Sleep apnea impacts life insurance rates as well, which makes obtaining insurance for diabetes more expensive or difficult to get. People with type 1 diabetes also have an increased risk of multiple sclerosis by 3 times more than those without type 1 diabetes. Again, additional health conditions such as multiple sclerosis impact life insurance rates further
For life insurance companies, these risks are a major concern since they may lead to higher mortality rates among people with diabetes. As such, they take steps to measure and mitigate these risks when determining life insurance premiums for those with diabetes.
For example, life insurance companies may ask for additional medical information or require more frequent checkups in order to get an accurate picture of a person’s health and risk of mortality.
By mitigating these risks through careful examination, life insurance companies are able to offer more reasonable premiums to those with diabetes, which can help protect them from financial hardship if the worst were to happen.
Ultimately, life insurance companies care about diabetes because it can have a significant impact on mortality rates, and they want to ensure that their customers are adequately protected.
Common Questions Asked by Carriers[acf:plan1_age_eligibility_description]
Term Life Insurance When You have Diabetes
Term life insurance is usually the most cost-effective form of life insurance for people with diabetes, as it provides death benefit protection for a predetermined amount of time (e.g., 10, 15, 20 or 30 years).
Rates are often lower than permanent life insurance rates and the premiums remain fixed over the life of the policy.
Term Life Insurance Application Questions About Diabetes
Above, you will find Mutual of Omaha and American Amicable’s term life insurance decision criteria for diabetics.
American Amicable’s Easy Term policy approves diabetics who were diagnosed after the age of 34 as long as they do not use tobacco and do not have diabetic complications.
Mutual of Omaha’s Term Life Express policy has very similar decision criteria to that of American Amicable; however, Mutual of Omaha declines diabetics who were diagnosed before the age of 49.
Diabetic complications, such as nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy, diabetic coma, insulin shock, PVD, PAD, and amputation due to diabetes, are treated differently, however. Both American Amicable and Mutual of Omaha consider diabetic complications “high-risk” and do not approve applicants with these conditions.. In this case, guaranteed issue whole life insurance is the best option.
Guaranteed issue provides coverage for life, but at higher rates than traditional term life insurance, as no medical underwriting is done. Guaranteed issue coverage does have a 2-year waiting period, but for diabetics with complications, this option still provides some protection.
Final Expense Life Insurance when you have Diabetes
Final expense life insurance is a type of policy designed to cover funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, and other end-of-life expenses.
It is great for those with diabetes because it offers coverage without the need to go through a medical exam or fill out a health questionnaire.