November is American Diabetes Month (ADM). The American Diabetes Association campaign is aimed at raising awareness of this disease by focusing attention on the many issues surrounding diabetes. Of course, diabetes continues to be a national epidemic. Nearly 26 million people in the U.S. have the disease. And a staggering 79 million Americans have some form of pre-diabetes and are at risk of developing the disease. The ADA estimates the total national cost of diabetes to be around $174 billion.
Because diabetes has become so widespread, it remains an area of focus for life insurance companies as they review applicants for term life insurance. The good news is you can qualify for a new policy if you have diabetes. In fact, it’s one of the most common ailments we see among applicants who have medical conditions.
For people with a confirmed diagnosis, the company will be concerned about length and types of treatment, as well as consistent checkups with a physician. If the diabetes is well-controlled with regular follow ups and a treatment plan, it’s possible to get a new policy at a Standard rating class or even better. If the disease is not well-controlled or the diagnosis is new, the likelihood of getting a policy at a Standard rating class decreases. However, we do see people get new policies every day at rating classes below Standard. The premiums are higher, but at least they are able to secure coverage.
We often see people apply who may not know they are at risk of or even have pre-diabetes. Usually this is something that comes out of the paramed exam, and comes as a surprise to many. In these situations, the life insurance company may postpone a decision until the applicant sees a physician or until a treatment plan is in place for a period of time.
In worst-case situations, we do see applicants declined for coverage. This is often the result of poorly-controlled diabetes, poor diet and exercise regimen, lack of follow up with a physician or other factors. People with Type I diabetes tend to have a more difficult time getting coverage, and many of the declines we see are for Type I.
Life insurance companies will also consider the presence of other medical conditions as well as a person’s other health factors, such as height/weight, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, etc. Some of the life insurance companies we see giving the best rating classes for Type II diabetes are Transamerica Life, Pruco Life (Prudential) and Protective Life. For example, here is a best-case scenario for a person applying with Prudential:
- 67-yeay old female
- Type II diabetes
- Onset at age 64
- Currently on oral medication
- Excellent control; A1C reading of 6.9
- Good overall health
This individual is a ‘model’ diabetic applicant and could qualify for a Non-Smoker Plus (Standard Plus) rating class!
Contact us if you have diabetes and would like to see what you may qualify for. We’ll shop with several life insurance companies to find the best rate for you!
Source: American Diabetes Association