Can You Get Life Insurance If You Have Diabetes? Some Important Facts You Should Know.
Diabetes is a serious medical condition impacting more than 34 million Americans nationwide. It requires careful management and treatment in order to avoid serious health complications, including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and diabetic nerve damage.
If you’ve been diagnosed with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, there’s another consideration – the fact that your disease is a pre-existing condition that will impact insurance coverage, including life insurance.
In this post, we’ll examine some of the facts you need to know regarding diabetes and life insurance.
First off, the answer is YES.
Yes, you can get life insurance if you have diabetes. However, procuring your policy is not going to be as simple as it would be for someone without the disease. It’s probably also going to cost a considerable amount more than if you weren’t diabetic. There’s also the fact that everyone’s diabetes is unique, therefore, everyone’s risk is unique, as well. So, while one person might find it easy to get coverage another might find it more difficult. The good news is, with a little determination and a willingness to shop around, you should be able to find a policy to protect those you love.
How insurance costs are measured
Insurance costs are measured by the estimated risk of each policy holder. When it comes to life insurance, this risk is based on your projected longevity. Because preexisting conditions, such as diabetes, can shorten life expectancy, the risk to a life insurance provider is elevated. This generally translates into added costs for policy holders with diabetes. However, there are some differences depending on which type of diabetes you’re managing.
Life insurance for Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune form of the disease that’s most often diagnosed in childhood years, which means it has more time to impact the body and lead to other health complications. For this reason, premiums often cost more. However, those with Type 1 diabetes also have less tendency toward other risk-increasing health factors, such as obesity, than those with Type 2 diabetes.
Most likely, the insurance company will ask you to undergo a medical exam prior to granting coverage. You’ll also likely be asked to provide recent A1C results, which measure average blood sugar over a three-month period. This will give the insurance company pretty solid proof that your diabetes is well managed with regular blood sugar testing and proper insulin treatment.
Chances are, you won’t get an answer on the spot, but if your blood sugar is well-controlled, you should be able to find a policy that works for you.
Life insurance for Type 2 diabetes
Unlike Type 1 diabetes, there are a number of contributing factors to the development of Type 2 diabetes that can provide added challenges when trying to get life insurance. These include having a high Body Mass Index, a measurement that determines healthy weight and is calculated by dividing your weight against the square of your height.
On the plus side, type 2 diabetes also tends to happen later in life and is highly impacted by lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. You might be asked to provide recent blood sugar readings and BMI numbers. However, if you can show that your blood sugar is under control and you are making efforts to further manage your diabetes through lifestyle choices, you may be able to reduce your premiums.
There’s another aspect to consider with Type 2 diabetes. Since it happens later in life, you might already have a life insurance policy in place when you develop the disease. If so, you should be covered for the term of your policy and premiums should remain the same. It’s still a good idea to inform your life insurance provider that you have developed Type 2 diabetes. They can’t change your coverage, but it might help your loved ones avoid questions should you pass away, and they need to make a claim.
Types of Insurance
There are two basic types of life insurance. Term Life, which covers a specific period of time and has no cash value once the policy ends, and Whole Life, which build cash value you can eventually use for medical expenses or to supplement your retirement.
Term life is usually the most affordable option, particularly for those with diabetes. The younger you are when you procure it, the lower your premiums.
Whole life can be more expensive because you build equity, and it lasts for the balance of your life. However, it also has the added benefit of not ending after a given time period.
Which option works best for you is something to discuss with both your doctor and financial planner. However, it’s always better to purchase as much life insurance as you can afford sooner than later. The longer you wait, the older you become and the more time your diabetes has to progress. Later in life, you will certainly be looking at added costs.
Do I have to tell my insurance provider about my diabetes?
Yes, yes, and yes! Your insurance application will ask specific questions related to your health. Plus, many providers require you to take a medical exam and grant access to your medical records. So, if you have diabetes, or are even at risk for developing the disease, they’ll find out about it. Additionally, if you do withhold the truth and are one day found out, it will certainly impact and probably negate your coverage, leaving your beneficiaries with nothing should you pass. Yes, life insurance for a diabetic will cost more, but it will protect those you love, and there’s no point in taking chances with that protection.
Can I do anything to lower life insurance costs?
There are ways you can improve your coverage options and reduce costs, especially if you have Type 2 diabetes.
- Maintain blood sugar control. Test regularly using a glucose meter and test strips, or a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device, and follow your doctor-prescribed plan for insulin and other medications. If you can show your diabetes is well-managed, it can lead to better insurance opportunities.
- Exercise. Not only will it help you control blood sugar, it can help you lose weight and manage blood pressure, two factors that elevate insurance costs.
- Quit smoking. This is a post about life insurance and there’s no better way to prolong yours than to stop smoking. Plus, if you can say you’re a non-smoker when you apply for coverage, your chances at affordable options go way up.
- Group coverage. Ask your employer to see if you can get life insurance coverage on their group plan. It will likely be your most affordable option, however, the amount and types of coverage will also likely be limited.
Could I be declined life insurance?
While most people with diabetes can qualify for some form of life insurance, there is a chance of being declined coverage if you’re blood sugar is out of control based on A1C scores, you’re greatly overweight, or you’ve already experienced diabetes-related complications such as heart disease or a stroke. This is why it’s so important to manage your diabetes properly. You’ll live better, live longer, and avoid complications far more serious than trying to find insurance.
Talk to your diabetic physician.
If you haven’t procured life insurance yet and are interested in getting it, talk to your diabetes physician and care team about your individual treatment plan. They may be able to offer insights about your condition that can help lead to more life insurance options and lower premiums.
We hope you found this post informative and helpful. At Diabetic Warehouse, we committed to helping those with diabetes improve blood sugar control conveniently and affordably with a complete selection of diabetic supplies and equipment at prices up to 65% less than you’ll find at pharmacies and other suppliers.
Diabetic Warehouse is a trusted supplier of diabetes care products and accessories. For more information and to explore a complete range of products, including glucose meters and test strips, insulin syringes, pen needles, continuous glucose monitoring systems, and more, visit www.diabeticwarehouse.org.