Life insurance is a key component of most any complete financial plan. This is because life insurance proceeds – which are received free of income taxation by the beneficiary – can be used for a wide variety of different needs. These can include the continuation of ongoing income, the payoff of large debts, and / or the payment of the insured’s funeral and other final expenses.
In order to be approved for life insurance coverage, it is typically necessary to be in fairly good health. For those who are not, or even sometimes those who have non-life threatening conditions, may still find some challenges in finding the life insurance protection that they need. This could be the case if you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
How Having Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Affect Your Life Insurance Application
Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system – which will typically work to protect its health by attacking foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria – will mistakenly attack its own joints instead.
There are several symptoms that can be associated with having rheumatoid arthritis, such as inflammation of the joints, as well as fatigue, low-grade fever, and the loss of appetite. Because rheumatoid arthritis is a type of systematic disease, it can also affect the organs and / or the systems in the body.
At this time, medical professionals are not entirely sure of what causes rheumatoid arthritis. However, doctors do know that one of the key reasons that people suffer from this condition is due to an abnormal response of the immune system. Because of this, joint inflammation and damage can occur.
Should this inflammation go untreated, especially for longer periods of time, it can damage cartilage – which is the elastic tissue that covers the ends of the bones in a joint, as well as the bones themselves.
Over time, when there is a loss of cartilage, the spacing between bones may become smaller. When this occurs, joints may become loose, unstable, and painful. They can also start to lose their mobility, and possibly even become deformed. This type of damage cannot be reversed. And, because it can occur early in the stages of rheumatoid arthritis, it is essential to obtain treatment as early as possible in one’s diagnosis.
Today, it is estimated that roughly 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from rheumatoid arthritis – and the majority of these individuals are women. This condition commonly occurs between the age of 30 and 60.
While most people who have rheumatoid arthritis can obtain traditional, medically underwritten life insurance, it can take some research – and some time – to find the life insurance carriers who are more apt to work with these individuals. With this in mind, going through an independent life insurance brokerage or agency can oftentimes be your best bet.
This is because these types of agencies will work with several life insurance carriers – and therefore, they can help you to quickly and more easily find the coverage, and the premium quote, that can work the best for you.
What Will The Insurance Company Want To Know?
The first step in applying for life insurance coverage is to complete an application for coverage. This will ask you for more information regarding your:
- Marital status
- Occupation and income
- Smoking status and / or tobacco usage
- Alcohol consumption and frequency
- Medications taken
- Health history
- Family health history
- Foreign travel frequency
- Risky hobbies or habits
- Other life insurance coverage in force – and the total amount of that coverage
Because of your rheumatoid arthritis, you will likely also be asked some additional, condition related questions. These may include some or all of the following:
- When were you initially diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis?
- Do you have any type of bone or joint deformity at this time?
- How are you currently managing and / or controlling your rheumatoid arthritis?
- Do you currently take any medication for your condition? If so, what medication(s) do you take and what is / are the dosage(s)?
- Do you regularly visit your doctor regarding your rheumatoid arthritis?
- Over the past 12 months, have you had any type of relevant laboratory testing performed, such as MRIs or x-rays?
In addition to the application and additional questions, it is likely that you will also need to undergo a medical examination as a part of the underwriting process. This exam, which will be conducted by a paramedical professional (paramed) either in your home or another convenient location, will take approximately 30 minutes. During this time, the paramed will take from you a heart rate and a blood pressure reading, as well as a blood and a urine sample. These samples will be tested by the insurance carrier for various types of health-related risk factors.
It is also possible that the insurance company’s underwriters will want to review your medical records. These may be obtained either from your primary care doctor, any specialists that you may see – or from all.
After all of your information has been received by the insurance company, the underwriters will be able to more thoroughly review it, and from there, they will be able to make a more accurate determination regarding your life insurance coverage, as well as a premium quote.
How Much Will Life Insurance Cost If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis?
There are several different criteria that will come into play when determining the cost of a life insurance policy. In most cases, the age and the gender of the insured will be key, as will the amount of coverage and the type of life insurance policy that you are purchasing.
In many instances, if someone is applying for life insurance with rheumatoid arthritis, their overall health condition will be reviewed. In this case, if you are otherwise in good health, it is possible that you could be qualified for a Standard rated life insurance policy. This means that the premium you are charged will be in line with other policyholders who are in “average” health, and who are also of your same age and gender.
If, however, it is determined by the life insurance underwriters that your health is not as good as an average policyholder, then you may still qualify for the insurance coverage. However, in this case, the premium that you are charged will likely be more than that of an average policy holder of your same gender and age category.
What To Do If You Do Not Qualify For Medically Underwritten Life Insurance
If you have rheumatoid arthritis and you do not qualify for a traditional, medically underwritten life insurance policy, it does not by any means require that you go without life insurance coverage altogether.
In this case, you may still have several viable coverage options that are open to you. One such option may be to apply for a no medical exam life insurance policy. As the name implies, a no medical exam life insurance policy will not require you to take a medical examination as a part of the underwriting process. This means that you will not need to meet with the paramedical professional and provide a blood or a urine sample.
Because no medical exam life insurance policies do not require these additional medical-related qualification criteria, it means that someone who may have certain health issues can still qualify for life insurance. And, while the premium that is charged for no medical exam coverage is typically higher than a comparable traditional plan, it can provide you with the coverage, and the peace of mind, that you and your loved ones deserve.
Where To Get The Best Rates On Life Insurance Protection
If you have rheumatoid arthritis and you are seeking a life insurance policy, we can help. We work with many of the top life insurance companies in the industry today, and we can assist you with obtaining all of the pertinent details that you will need for making a well-informed purchasing decision. If you are ready to move forward with the process, then all you have to do is just simply fill out the form on this page.
Should you find that you still have any additional questions regarding getting approved for life insurance with rheumatoid arthritis – or, even if, you just have a general question about life insurance – then please feel to call us directly. We can be reached toll-free by dialing 800-277-3098.
We understand that the purchase of life insurance can be somewhat overwhelming. This is especially the case if you have a health condition that may concern you with regard to your approval chances. But, the good news is that today, you may still have many possibilities that are open to you when it comes to the purchase of life insurance. So, contact us today – we’re here to help.