In this article, we wanted to take a moment to answer some of the most common questions we get from folks applying for life insurance after they have been diagnosed with ascites.
Questions that will be directly addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance after I’ve been diagnosed with ascites?
- What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What rate (or price) 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’ dive right in!
Can I qualify for life insurance after I’ve been diagnosed with ascites?
Unfortunately, being diagnosed with ascites will usually mean that you will not be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. This is mainly because one won’t consider ascites a medical “condition” on its own in most cases. Rather it is usually considered a “symptom” resulting from some other pre-existing medical condition such as:
- Heart failure,
- Kidney disease,
- Liver disease,
- Or an underactive thyroid.
Ascites is defined as the abnormal buildup of fluid within the abdomen.
Common symptoms will likely include:
- Unexplained weight gain,
- Shortness of breath,
- Abnormal swelling of the abdomen,
- Sense of feeling bloated,
- Changes to one’s belly button.
Now we should mention…
That anyone that is CURRENTLY suffering from ascites will not be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, however, because some “causes” of ascites are treatable, simply having suffered “from” and being diagnosed “with” will not cause someone to always be DENIED coverage.
Each individual case of ascites will need to be looked at and examined individually before any grand assumptions can be made!
For this reason…
Here at IBUSA, even when we are approached by a client who is currently suffering from ascites, we’ll usually like to understand “why” this is occurring so that we can give them a better idea of what kind of life insurance policies that they can currently qualify for as well as what “types” of life insurance policies they might be able to qualify for in the future.
One thing that we can say…
For sure is that even if you may someday be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy, it’s probably best to avoid applying for a term life insurance policy without a medical exam, because these “types” of polices can be a bit more difficult to qualify for particularly if you’ve been previously diagnosed with ascites.
What kind of information will the insurance companies be interested in?
Now since we’ve already covered the fact that individuals who are currently suffering from ascites won’t be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy, the only real questions that a life insurance company might have for you is:
- Why are you suffering from ascites?
- Or why did you suffer from ascites?
This way, they can get a better understanding of whether or not you will one day be “potentially” be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy or if you’ve simply been diagnosed with a pre-existing condition that will forever keep you from being able to qualify!
Now here is where…
We always like to remind folks that we here at IBUAS are not doctors, nor are we medical professionals in any way.
All we are…
Is a bunch of life insurance agents who just happen to be really good at helping folks with all sorts of different pre-existing medical conditions find and qualify for the coverage that they’re looking for.
This is why…
We always tell folks that if you’re looking for any medical advice, you’ve come to the WRONG place. But, if you’re looking for someone to help you qualify for a life insurance policy, you’re in good luck because that’s the only thing that we know how to do well!
What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
When we talk about “rates” on can qualify for, we are assuming that you will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy, which simply isn’t the case with someone who is currently suffering from ascites.
Were we to suppose that you were currently eligible for coverage because you no longer suffer from ascites, the truth is, in cases like these, the main determinant for what kind of “rate” you might be able to qualify for wouldn’t be the fact that you had at one time suffered from ascites, it would be that at one point you suffered from a condition which caused you to develop Ascites!
This is why…
It’s almost impossible to know what kind of “rate” you might qualify for or even if you can even qualify for coverage at all without first speaking with you directly.
That said however…
What we can tell you is that if you currently suffer from ascites, and you’re still committed to purchasing a life insurance policy immediately, you’re only going to have two “potential” options. You could purchase a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, or you could decide to purchase an accidental death policy.
Options that may be available to those who have been diagnosed with Ascites:
Options #1. A Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policy.
Guaranteed issue life insurance policies can be a great option for someone who is simply looking to purchase a relatively small amount of life insurance coverage (think $25,000 or less) because they will not require someone to have to be able to “medically” qualify for coverage.
There really are only three requirements one must meet in order to be able to qualify for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy which are:
- One must be a US citizen.
- One must reside in a state where these “types” of life insurance policies are offered.
- And one must meet the minimum age requirements, which usually means that an applicant must be at least 50 years of age (sometimes younger) and not older than 85.
“Which is great!”
Before you get too excited, we should point out that these “types” of life insurance policies do have some pretty significant disadvantages. The first being that they will only provide around $25,000 dollars in coverage, so if you’re looking for more than that, this might not be the right fit for you.
The second major disadvantage…
With guaranteed issue life insurance policies is that these “types” of life insurance policies are going to contain a Graded Death Benefit. Now the problem with that is, a Graded Death Benefit is a “clause” written into the life insurance policy, which states that it will not provide true life insurance coverage to an individual until a certain “waiting period” has expired.
The problem is…
That this “waiting period” usually lasts 2 or 3 years, which can be a pretty long time for someone who is suffering from a serious illness. Now during this time, the guaranteed issue life insurance policy will provide coverage to someone who may die from an “accidental” cause of death like a:
- Motor vehicle accident,
- Slip and fall accident,
- Natural disaster,
- Victim of crime,
But will not provide coverage for a “natural” cause of death like the one which might be associated with having ascites! Now at this point, you may be thinking…
“What a ripoff!”
But you need to remember that because the life insurance company didn’t require you to answer any medical questions and didn’t require you to take a medical exam, this is the only way they can protect themselves from insuring someone who may be really, really sick and just hours away from dying!
The last issue…
We feel that we should mention about guaranteed issue life insurance policies is the price. Now, with this “disadvantage”, we don’t want to give you the impression that guaranteed issue life insurance policies are super expensive, it’s just that “dollar for dollar” these types of life insurance policies tend to cost more than a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
Options #1. An Accidental Death Policy.
Accidental death policies can also be a potential way for an individual to provide some coverage for their family; however, it’s very important to understand that these “types” of policies are NOT true life insurance policies. They are only “accident policies”, which means that they will never provide coverage if you die from a natural cause of death!
Now the good news…
Is that these “types” of policies will allow you to purchase more than 25,000 dollars in coverage and that they are relatively inexpensive; however, if you die from:
- A heart attack,
- A stroke,
Or some kind of symptom related to your ascites, these “types” of policies are not going to provide you with any kind of death benefit.
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?
Probably the “best” thing that an individual can do to help ensure that they find the “best life insurance” for them is to be sure to take their time when initially shopping for insurance and to be sure that right from the beginning that they are completely honest with their life insurance agent!
This means that…
Before you just decide to apply for a life insurance policy, you should fully understand what your life insurance needs are. You should also have a good idea about what options may be available to you, and you should be sure that your agent is not only experienced with helping folks with a pre-existing medical condition like your find coverage, he or she should also have access to a wide variety of different life insurance products so that they aren’t forced to apply a…
“one size fits all approach”.
To your needs.
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and see what we can do for you!