Life Insurance for Diabetics

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Are you a diabetic shopping for life insurance coverage? Then, you’ve come to the right place! First, shop and compare life insurance quotes online below. Then, choose between life insurance with and without medical exams, and apply in 5 minutes.

You will want to run at a “Regular” health class as this is your best-case scenario. Premiums may be higher than the quoting results below.

If you feel your health could prevent you from being approved for a life insurance policy, contact us. Very rarely can we not find a solution for most people seeking life insurance with pre-existing medical conditions.

Find Life Insurance Coverage with No Medical Exams

Apply for affordable life insurance with no medical exams. Then, apply for same-day coverage in less than 10 minutes.

Underwriting Life Insurance Pre-Diabetes

Underwriting Life Insurance for Diabetics

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is characterized by abnormal sugar metabolism, causing hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

Chronic hyperglycemia adversely affects the body.

In the vascular system, there can be events such as strokes and heart attacks caused by atherosclerosis. There can also be renal disease, peripheral neuropathy, and blindness.

In the United States, DM is a leading cause of end-stage kidney disease, leg amputations, and blindness.

Blood sugar enters cells via insulin, which is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. Factors that contribute to hyperglycemia include:

  • Reduced insulin secretion,
  • Decreased blood sugar (glucose) usage by the body, or increased glucose production.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes, formerly called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent (IDDM), has a peak age at the onset of 12 years old. However, it is unusual to begin after age 40.

Type 1 DM is due to beta cell destruction so that no insulin is produced and must be replaced by insulin injections.

Symptoms include excessive thirst, excessive urination, and weight loss.

Rating for diabetes mellitus depends on:

  • Age at onset.
  • Years since diagnosis.
  • Control of diabetes.
  • Presence of complications.

Ratings increase with younger ages, longer times since onset, poor control, and complications.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes was formerly called adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent (NIDDM). It is characterized by:

  • Variable degrees of resistance to the action of insulin.
  • Impaired insulin secretion by the beta cells.
  • Impaired glucose production.

Type 2 DM usually develops over the age of 30, but its incidence increases in children and adolescents, especially obese.

Eighty percent of Type 2 patients are obese.

Many have excessive thirst or urination, but most have no symptoms. Type 2 Diabetes may also require insulin in the later stages.

Type 2 is initially treated with diet and exercise. If decreased calorie intake and increased exercise do not result in blood glucose control, oral medication is added.

Some oral medications include:

  • Sulfonylureas
  • Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors
  • Thiazolidinedione
  • Metformin
  • Repaglinide

Risk factors for NIDDM development are older age, obesity, positive family history, and history of gestational diabetes.

Older Age Diabetes

Older age diabetes or type II diabetes is increasingly common in older populations, affecting 18% of people ages 64-75 and 40% of people ages 80 or older. It is estimated that nearly half of elderly diabetics are currently undiagnosed.

Complications from diabetes do not appear to be any less in the elderly.

Many older age diabetics already show signs of complications (for example, retinopathy-eye changes) at the time of diagnosis because they had the disease for several years before the actual diagnosis.

Treatment for diabetes in the elderly includes diet, exercise, oral medication, and insulin.

As many as 40% of older age diabetics are obese and are instructed to follow a diet and an exercise weight loss program.

For those who fail diet therapy, oral medication is started.

Insulin is reserved only for those people with diabetes whose blood sugars cannot be controlled by oral medication and diet.

Secondary Diabetes

Secondary diabetes can result from pancreatic disease, hormonal syndromes (Cushing’s syndrome), drug-induced disease (thiazide diuretics, steroids, phenytoin), or those associated with syndromes such as hemochromatosis and acromegaly.

Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) & Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG)

Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) are also termed subclinical or borderline diabetes. Patients generally have no symptoms. However, many go on to develop diabetes. There is also an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is diagnosed when glucose intolerance is discovered during pregnancy. It is associated with increased perinatal complications.

Risk factors for the development of gestational diabetes are:

  • Older Age
  • Overweight
  • Previous Large or Stillborn Babies
  • Positive Family History of Diabetes.

Women with a history of gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (as high as 50% within 10 years and 70% within 20 years).

Diabetes Control

Diabetes Control is important because Diabetes is a progressive disease that can be slowed by meticulous control of blood sugar, weight control, and exercise.

Diabetes control is monitored by testing glycosylated hemoglobin in the blood and by home monitoring of blood sugar.

Normal glycosylated hemoglobin is a value of <6 (though the range of normal varies among testing laboratories). The goal for known diabetes is ≤7. Glycosylated hemoglobin over 8 is evidence of poor control.

Life Insurance Coverage with Diabetes

Not everyone that has diabetes will be denied coverage or pay high life insurance premiums. However, like any other health issue, obtaining life insurance coverage if you have diabetes involves different factors that insurers consider when considering you for coverage, depending on how serious your condition is and how well you’re managing it.

Some examples of factors that are considered when applying for life insurance as a person with diabetes:

Are you insulin-dependent?

Many people can control their blood glucose levels through a combination of careful meal planning and exercise. As a result, people with diabetes who are not insulin-dependent may pay less in premiums than those who are.

Is your blood sugar well controlled?

You may have an easier time getting coverage if you can prove that your blood sugar is under control. As part of your life insurance medical exam, lab testing will be performed on your blood sample that typically includes glucose measurement. These results, along with your medical records, will be considered to determine the control level of your diabetes.

How long have you been diagnosed?

Believe it or not, someone who has had diabetes for several years may be considered less of a risk factor than someone who has been newly diagnosed. If you have lived with diabetes for years, it can demonstrate that you have learned to manage and control your disease.

Are you a smoker?

Being a smoker isn’t good for your health and generally means you’ll pay a lot more for life insurance. However, the price you’ll pay for coverage will likely be even greater if you’re a smoker and a person with diabetes, simply because you are at a greater risk for a multitude of serious health issues.

Types of Diabetic Life Insurance

There are many different types of life insurance products because everyone has different needs. If you have diabetes, having a few different choices is a good thing! For example, simplified or guaranteed issue policies often cover people with pre-existing conditions and certain illnesses. These policies may be two options for getting the coverage you need if you have diabetes.

Underwriting Factors

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Type of diabetes
  • Age of the applicant
  • Age at diagnosis
  • Blood sugar and glycohemoglobin levels (HbA1C)
  • Compliance with treatment
  • Kidney function test and urinalysis results
  • tobacco use
  • Presence of other health concerns, including cerebrovascular disease, coronary artery disease, neuropathy, retinopathy, nephropathy, obesity, and peripheral vascular disease.

Guidelines for Coverage

Type 1 Diabetes

  • For adults with Type 1 diabetes that are effectively treated and managed, no diabetic complications with favorable blood sugar levels can be considered.
  • If significantly overweight, diagnosed at a young age, tobacco use within the last 12 months, sub-optimal blood sugar levels, or other comorbidity factors are present; there could be a decline in some cases.

Type 2 Diabetes

  • For adults with Type 2 diabetes that are effectively treated and managed, no diabetic complications with favorable blood sugar levels can be considered.
  • If significantly overweight, diagnosed at a young age, tobacco use within the last 12 months, sub-optimal blood sugar levels, or other comorbidity factors are present; there could be a decline in some cases.

Gestational Diabetes

  • Applicants that are pregnant must wait until after giving birth.
  • Applicants that are post-delivery and gestational diabetes is solved can be considered for coverage.
  • If diabetes continues after delivery, refer to Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetic Life Insurance Quotes

Find Life Insurance Coverage with No Medical Exams

Apply for affordable life insurance with no medical exams. Then, apply for same-day coverage in less than 10 minutes.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

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

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