Can You Get Life Insurance If You’re Sick?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Standard Life Insurance

Standard life insurance policies typically require a medical exam and health questionnaire. If you are sick, your ability to obtain standard life insurance depends on the nature and severity of your illness. Chronic or severe illnesses may lead to higher premiums or denial of coverage. However, less severe or well-managed conditions might not significantly impact your eligibility.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance is designed for those who have difficulty obtaining standard life insurance due to health issues. These policies do not require a medical exam, and acceptance is typically guaranteed. However, they often come with higher premiums, lower death benefits, and a graded death benefit period, during which the policy may pay out only a limited benefit if the insured dies.

Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance, often offered by employers, usually doesn’t require a medical exam. Coverage amounts may be limited compared to individual policies, but this can be a viable option for those with health issues. Premiums are typically lower, and pre-existing conditions are often covered.

Annuities with Enhanced Death Benefits

For those who cannot get life insurance but seek a larger death benefit, annuities with enhanced death benefits are an option. These financial products provide a death benefit that can be higher than the guaranteed issue or group life insurance. They are investment products and may come with various options for payout and death benefits.

Comparison of Life Insurance Options for Individuals with Illnesses

Insurance TypeMedical Exam RequiredCoverage AmountPremium CostBest For
Standard Life InsuranceYesVaries widelyVaries based on healthThose with manageable health conditions
Guaranteed Issue Life InsuranceNoGenerally lowerHigherThose with serious health issues
Group Life InsuranceNo (usually)Limited compared to individual policiesLowerEmployees, regardless of health status
Annuities with Enhanced Death BenefitsVariesCan be higher than life insuranceVariesThose seeking investment options with death benefits


While obtaining life insurance when you’re already sick can be challenging, there are options available. Standard life insurance policies might be accessible for less severe conditions, while guaranteed issue and group life insurance provide alternatives for those with serious health issues. Additionally, annuities with enhanced death benefits offer a way to secure a larger death benefit. Each option has its trade-offs in terms of coverage, premiums, and benefits. Contact us today for a free quote.

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Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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