Life Insurance with Pre-Existing Conditions

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Researching how to get life insurance coverage for pre-existing medical conditions? In this guide, we’ll go over what you need to know to get coverage, then work with you directly to shop life insurance quotes with no medical exam and get you insured at the lowest cost possible.

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 conditions.

Below are some common pre-existing medical conditions guidelines to consider when passing medical exams and blood tests.

I’ve listed factors that the underwriting team and guidelines will consider to get coverage.

Pre-existing Medical Conditions

Anemia

Factors in the Decision Process

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Iron deficient anemia that is fully investigated with no underlining cause with a favorable CBC can be considered for life insurance coverage.
  • Other types of anemia may be considered for coverage, but may be declined too.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Size and stability of the aneurysm
  • Treatment
  • Compliance with routine surveillance testing

Guidelines for Coverage

  • A small stable aortic aneurysm that is well-monitored and does not require surgery can be considered for coverage.
  • Aortic aneurysm requiring surgery can be considered after six months from recovery.

Asthma

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Age of the applicant
  • Frequency and severity of asthma attacks
  • Treatment
  • Tobacco use
  • Hospitalization

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Mild to moderate asthma will be considered for life insurance coverage.
  • Severe asthma with continual symptoms can be considered, but also declined depending on the severity.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) including Emphysema or Chronic Bronchitis

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Severity and progression of the COPD, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis
  • Treatment
  • Pulmonary function test results
  • tobacco use
  • Hospitalization

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Minimal, mild, and moderate COPD can be considered for life insurance coverage.
  • Severe COPD is typically a decline for coverage.
  • If supplemental oxygen is required, coverage is typically declined.

Chronic Pain

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Applicant’s age
  • Cause of the chronic pain
  • treatment
  • Degree of physical impairment
  • Presence or history of substance abuse
  • History of other mood disorder

Guidelines for Coverage

Crohn’s Disease

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Age of the applicant
  • Severity of symptoms and frequency of flare-ups
  • Treatment including surgeries
  • Stability of weight
  • Compliance with routine surveillance testing

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Crohn’s disease that is effectively treated and managed can be considered for life insurance coverage.
  • If you’ve had surgery, you will need to wait 6 months to apply for coverage.
  • Underweight applicants could be declined.
  • Applicants using corticosteroid or immunosuppressant type medication could cause the coverage to be more expensive.
  • A lack of follow-ups or a current colonoscopy could cause a delay in coverage.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Factors in the Decision Process

  • The date of DVT
  • Number of episodes
  • Cause of the DVT
  • Treatment

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Single or multiple episodes can be considered for life insurance coverage.
  • Coverage will be determined on frequency and the time since last episode.
  • Known coagulation disorders could be considered for coverage, but could be declined.

Epilepsy and Seizures

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Age of the applicant
  • Type of seizures
  • Treatment
  • Cause of the seizures if known
  • Date of the last seizure and frequency
  • Neurological evaluation
  • Driving record

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Grand Mal Seizures that are effectively treated and managed can be considered for life insurance coverage.
  • Petit Mal Seizures that are effectively treated and managed can be considered for life insurance coverage.
  • If there is a status epilepticus, alcohol misuse, any non-compliance with treatment, seizures that are hard to control, or multiple seizure types that exist, it will be difficult to get coverage or even declined.

Hypertension and High Blood Pressure

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Blood pressure readings over the last 2 years
  • Number and type of medications
  • Compliance with treatment

Guidelines for Coverage

Organ Donors and Recipients

Factors in the Decision Process

  • For kidney donors, the function of the remaining kidney
  • For organ recipients, current age, reason for the transplant, and other medical conditions

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Kidney donors with normal kidney functions can be considered for life insurance coverage.
  • Kidney transplant recipients are rarely considered for coverage, and often declined.
  • Recipients of heart, lung, or liver transplants are often declined.

Paralysis, Paraplegia, and Quadriplegia

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Age of the applicant
  • Cause of the paralysis
  • Extent of the physical limitations
  • Degree of self-suffeciency
  • Bladder or bowel function limitations
  • Adjustment to the condition
  • Presence of any other medical concerns related to the paralysis

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Paraplegic applicants can be considered for life insurance coverage.
  • Quadriplegic applicants are often declined.
  • Frequent infections, neurogenic bladder, skin ulcers, or impaired kidney functions are often declined.

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) and Peripheral Arterial Disease

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Age of the applicant
  • The extent of the PVD
  • Treatment
  • tobacco Use
  • Presence of other health concerns including diabetes, coronary artery disease, or cerebrosvacular disease

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Mild to moderate PVD will be considered for life insurance coverage.
  • Severe PVD typically is declined.
  • Applicants that also have diabetes, coronary artery disease, or cerebrosvacular disease additionally will often be declined.

Pulmonary Embolism

Factors in the Decision Process

  • The date of the pulmonary embolism
  • The number of pulmonary embolisms
  • Cause of the pulmonary embolism
  • Treatment

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Life insurance coverage is considered based on the number of episodes, and the time since the last episode.
  • Any known coagulation disorders can often lead to a decline.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Severity and progression of symptoms
  • treatment
  • level of interference with daily activities

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Minimal to mild rheumatoid arthritis can be considered for life insurance coverage.
  • Severe rheumatoid arthritis that is causing significant physical limitations, multiple joint deformities, or the need for assistance with daily living activities (ADL) often are declined.
  • Rapidly progressing RA or with organ involvement is often declined as well.

Systemic Lupus Erythematous (Lupus)

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Age of the applicant
  • severity of the lupus
  • treatment
  • Involvement of organs

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Mild to moderate lupus are considered for life insurance coverage.
  • Severe lupus is often declined.
  • If lupus nephritis (kidney involvement) is present, life insurance coverage is often declined.

Ulcerative Colitis

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Severity of symptoms
  • Frequency of flare-ups
  • Extent and duration of the disease
  • Length in remission
  • Treatment including surgeries
  • Compliance with routine surveillance testing
  • Stability of weight

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Asymptomatic ulcerative colitis not requiring any treatment can be considered for coverage.
  • Mild to moderate ulcerative colitis that is effectively treated and managed can be considered for coverage.
  • Severe ulcerative colitis is often declined.
  • Surgery could postpone coverage for 6 months.
  • Underweight applicants are often declined.
  • Applicants with significantly elevated liver function tests are often declined.
  • Lack of follow-ups could postpone coverage.

Weight Loss Surgery

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Pre-surgery weight and current weight
  • Tpye of weight loss surgery
  • date of the surgery
  • Complications from the surgery

Guidelines for Coverage

  • For restrictive surgery, life insurance coverage can be considered after 3 months.
  • For gastric bypass surgery, life insurance coverage can be considered after 6 months.

Related Reading

*This material is intended for insurance informational purposes only and is not personal medical advice for clients.  Rates and availability will vary based on the satisfaction of the underwriting criteria.

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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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