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Can I Still Buy Life Insurance if I Have Chronic Health Conditions?

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If you have chronic health conditions, there are still several avenues you can take to get coverage.

Getting life insurance is an important step to protect your loved ones in the future — no matter what the future holds. Because life insurance is such an important part of financial planning, it is essential that everyone who has dependents or any outstanding debts purchases a life insurance policy. However, there are a lot of people out there that assume they can’t get life insurance or they will be unable to afford life insurance due to a chronic health condition. 

This is an unfortunate assumption because there are a lot of ways to get affordable life insurance if you have a chronic health condition. Today, we’re going over how you can get the right type of life insurance at the best price even if you have a chronic illness. Plus, we’ll be talking about the different types of insurance that you can explore to get the best possible monthly premium. Let’s get started!

Why Do Chronic Illnesses Affect Life Insurance?

The two most important factors when it comes to life insurance are your age and your health.

diabetes life insurance chronic illness
Having a chronic illness affects your insurance risk class.

When you apply for a life insurance policy, the insurance company will evaluate every aspect of your application to determine your monthly premium. This process is called underwriting. In general, the younger and healthier you are, the easier it will be to get affordable life insurance coverage. If you are older and have a chronic illness, things get a little bit more complicated. When you apply for life insurance, you will likely be required to submit a questionnaire, your complete medical records, and undergo a medical exam. Of course, there are options to get life insurance with no medical exam, but we’ll discuss those in the next section.

Once your application is evaluated, you will be placed in an insurance risk class. Your risk class will determine how much you will pay for your monthly premium. There is also always the possibility that your application could be denied. 

To give you a better idea of how the different types of insurance work when it comes to chronic illnesses, we’re going to be breaking down the most common types of insurance and chronic illness will affect your ability to get coverage.

How Do Chronic Illnesses Affect Different Types of Life Insurance?

When you begin searching for life insurance, you will likely encounter these 4 major types.

taking pills - life insurance chronic illness

Whether you have a chronic illness or not, you will likely encounter these major types of insurance while you are shopping for the best policy. In this section, we’re going to be discussing each insurance type and how chronic illness will affect your ability to get coverage. Let’s take a look!

  1. Term Life Insurance – Term life insurance is a good place to start looking if you have a chronic illness. Term life insurance tends to be one of the less expensive options and will protect you for the designated term. Since you have a chronic illness, expect to pay a relatively high premium. Your monthly payment will depend on the amount of coverage you purchased and the duration of your term. If you are denied coverage based on your chronic illness, then you will want to move on to one of the remaining options.
  2. Permanent Life Insurance – Permanent life insurance is a type of life insurance that never expires. While permanent life insurance is an option for people with chronic illness, they will pay a higher premium than term life insurance for the same amount of coverage.
  3. No Medical Exam Life Insurance – No medical exam life insurance is a great option for those with chronic illnesses. Not only can you avoid the medical exam, you will have a better chance of approval. When you get life insurance with no medical exam, the approval process is faster and will give you a slightly better chance of approval. Even with no medical exam insurance, you still need to submit your health records. So, the insurance company will still know about your chronic illness, they will just be able to approve you without the medical exam. 
  4. Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance – This type of life insurance is only for people who are diagnosed with an incurable illness, are living in a nursing home, or require in-home medical care. Guaranteed life insurance is expensive for the amount of coverage provided. The amount of coverage offered through a guaranteed life insurance policy is relatively little compared to other policies — usually not more than $25,000. This type of policy is designed to pay off remaining debts or provide funds for end-of-life expenses

Now that we know more about the different types of coverage you can apply for, let’s get into what you can expect from the application process.

What Should I Expect From the Life Insurance Application Process?

Find out how you can get the coverage you need no matter your health status.

insurance policy
Depending on your health status, some types of insurance will be more likely to approve your application.

When you have a chronic illness, the insurance application process can be nerve wracking. To eliminate some of the surprises associated with the process, we’re going over everything you can expect when you apply for life insurance. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Getting a Life Insurance Quote

The easiest step when it comes to getting life insurance is getting a quote. Getting a life insurance quote only takes a few minutes and doesn’t require your full medical records. In fact, there are some sites that will give you a term life insurance quote in seconds. A quote is an estimate of how much you can expect to pay for your monthly premium, but it is not a guarantee. Once you have your quote, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Make Sure You Have All The Information You Need to Apply

This next step is a bit more difficult. In order to apply for life insurance, you need to gather all of the relevant information. For example, you will need proof of identity like a drivers license or a birth certificate, medical records, proof of income, and proof of residence. Once you have all of these documents, you can move on to the next step of the application process

Step 3: Fill Out the Complete Life Insurance Application

Now that you have all of the necessary documentation, you can begin filling out the application for a life insurance policy. In this form, you’ll be asked about many aspects of your life including your hobbies and your occupation. In some cases, your lifestyle will impact your ability to secure life insurance. This is especially true for people who smoke, as using tobacco products significantly impacts your health.

Step 4: Undergo a Medical Exam

This is only a relevant step if you have chosen a regular term life insurance policy or a permanent life insurance policy. If you have chosen no medical exam life insurance or guaranteed issue life insurance then this step does not apply. 

If you choose to undergo a medical exam, you can expect the appointment to last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. During the exam, you will undergo a blood draw, be measured for your height and weight, have your blood pressure recorded, and provide a urine sample. In many cases, the medical exam can be arranged to take place in your home.

What Happens if I Am Denied Life Insurance? 

Don’t be discouraged if your life insurance application is rejected, there are still ways you can get coverage!

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If you have been initially denied coverage, don’t give up!

When you apply for life insurance and you have a chronic illness, there is always a chance that your application could be denied. In the case that you are not approved by the insurance company, there are a few steps you can still take to get life insurance coverage. 

The first thing you need to do if your application is denied is to find out exactly why you were denied. It could be due to your chronic illness or other factors that have caused the insurance company to deny your application. For example, if you smoke or have a high risk profession, your application could have been denied for those reasons. 

Next, you should review your application and come up with a new game plan to apply. This could mean doing your research and applying to a different insurance company or applying for a different type of policy. From there, you can apply again with greater confidence. If you were denied, you might consider making some lifestyle changes as well. To use our previous example, it may be beneficial to quit smoking or change careers before applying for life insurance a second time.

If you are truly stumped as to how to get life insurance with a chronic illness, you will want to reach out to an expert. An insurance agent can help you plan to get the best possible coverage. Remember, it is always better to have some coverage then none at all. When you purchase life insurance, you are providing for your family’s future and giving yourself peace of mind.