Sickle Cell Disease vs Sickle Cell Trait and Life Insurance.
In this article, we wanted to take a moment and try and answer some of the most common questions we get from folks applying for life insurance after having been diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease and explain how this is different than just been diagnosed with the Sickle Cell trait.
Questions that will be addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with the Sickle Cell Trait or Sickle Cell Disease?
- What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What “rate” can I qualify for?
- What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease and/or Sickle Cell Trait?
Yes, individuals who have been diagnosed with either Sickle Cell Disease or Sickle Cell trait can and often will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. In fact, many may even be able to qualify for a Preferred rate!
That said however…
It’s important to understand that having the “trait” for Sickle cell and actually being diagnosed with the disease are two totally separate things. And will be treated completely differently by the life insurance industry which is why it’s important to understand why a life insurance company is going to be “interested” in the fact that you’ve been diagnosed with either of these two pre-existing medical conditions.
Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with the Sickle Cell Trait or Sickle Cell Disease?
Life insurance companies “care” if an individual has been diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease because simply put, Sickle Cell disease is a sever hereditary form of anemia which causes one’s blood cells to become distorted into a crescent shape.
As a result…
Patients with Sickle Cell will often experience episodes of:
- Systemic pain,
- Swelling of the hands and feet,
- Frequent infections,
- Failure to thrive (slow growth rates in children),
As well as the possibility of vision problems as well.
The problem is…
These relatively minor symptoms can then lead to bigger issues such as:
- An increased risk of stroke,
- Acute chest syndrome,
- Pulmonary hypertension,
- Organ damage,
Which is why it’s pretty understandable why a life insurance company would be a bit “hesitant” about wanting to insure someone that has been diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease.
It has been determined that the Sickle Cell Disease is a hereditary disease that is linked to a recessive gene found on the 11th chromosome meaning that only individual who inherit the Sickle Cell “trait” from both of their parents will develop this condition.
Which means that…
Carriers of only one recessive gene will be considered “carriers” of the Sickle Cell trait but will not actually be diagnosed with the disease. Which makes a lot of sense because for the vast majority of individuals diagnosed with Sickle Cell trait won’t actually experience any symptoms of their genetic mutation.
The problem is…
That a lot of times folks will get a bit “confused” when talking about this disease which is why, prior to making any kind of decisions about your life insurance application, most (if not all) life insurance companies are going to want to ask you a series of medical questions first designed to learn which disorder you have and then how “severe” your situation is.
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
Common questions you’ll likely be asked may include:
- What have you been diagnosed with?
- Sickle Cell Disease?
- Or Sickle Cell Trait?
- When did you receive this diagnosis?
- Who diagnosed your condition? A general practitioner or a specialist?
- What symptoms (if any) led to your diagnosis?
- Are you current suffering from any symptoms now?
- What treatment options (if any) are you pursuing?
- Do you require regular blood transfusions?
- Are you currently taking any prescription medications?
- If so, have any of those medications chanced in any way in the past 12 months?
- In the past 2 years have you been admitted into a hospital for any reason?
- How often do you see your current doctor?
- Are you currently working now?
- In the past 12 months, have you applied for or received any form of disability benefits?
Now at this point…
We just want to take a moment and remind all of our readers that nobody here at IBUSA is a medical professional, and we’re certainly not doctors! All we are is a bunch of life insurance agents who just happen to be really passionate about helping folks with pre-existing medical conditions find and qualify for the life insurance that they’re looking for.
Which means that…
If you’re currently looking for help treating your condition, or advice on how to treat your condition, we’re sorry to tell you this but you’ve come to the wrong place. That said however, if you’re looking for help finding the “best” life insurance policy that you can qualify for, well then, you’re in luck because we can certainly help out with that!
What “rate” can I qualify for?
As a life insurance agent, it’s essential to understand that there is a huge difference between being diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease and being a carrier for the Sickle Cell Trait. Especially when trying to determine what kind of “rate” an individual might be able to qualify for.
This is because…
As someone who is just a “carrier” of the Sickle Cell Trait and not an actually “affected” individual, in theory, you should still be able to qualify for a Preferred Plus life insurance rate provided that you meet all of the other prerequisite requirements.
Or in other words…
Having tested positive for having the Sickle Cell Trait should not have any affect on the outcome of your life insurance application provided that it’s not causing you to suffer from any kind of significant kinds of symptoms or consequences.
Quite the opposite of what you will find for those who have actually been diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease. You see, for folks that have actually been diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease, being able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy is going to be much more difficult.
The good news is…
That some folks will still be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policies albeit at an “sub-standard” or “high-risk” rate, provided that they’re Sickle Cell Disease hasn’t caused the applicant to begin suffering from some of the more “serious” symptom associated with this disease. This is why, it’s pretty much impossible to know for sure what “kind” of a rate that an individual might be able to qualify for after having been diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease without first speaking with them directly.
The good news is…
That regardless of your situation, we here at IBUSA can help because we have tons of experience helping folks with all sorts of pre-existing medical conditions like yours and are committed to helping all of our clients find the “best” life insurance policy that they can qualify for. Which brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment and discuss which is…
What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
In our experience here at IBUSA. what we have found that usually the folks who seem to find the “best” life insurance policy for them are those that:
- Take their time reviewing their options.
- Ask a lot of questions.
And seek out those life insurance agents who not only have experience working with individuals who have been diagnosed with a wide variety of pre-existing medical conditions, but also have access to dozens of different life insurance companies so that when it comes time to helping a more “challenging” case, they don’t have to rely on a…
“One size fits all approach!”
The good news is that this is exactly what you’re going to find here at IBUSA!