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 being diagnosed with Biliary Cirrhosis, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) or Primary Biliary Cholangitis.
Questions that will be directly addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance after I’ve been diagnosed with Biliary Cirrhosis?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with Biliary Cirrhosis?
- What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What “kind” of life insurance 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 Biliary Cirrhosis?
Unfortunately, being diagnosed with Biliary Cirrhosis will typically mean that an individual will automatically be declined for any “traditional” term or whole life insurance policy. This would also include any term life insurance policy without a medical exam as well.
This means that if an individual is determined to find some way to purchase insurance coverage, they will need to seek out some type of “alternative” product, which won’t require them to have to “medically” qualify.
Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with Biliary Cirrhosis?
To understand why a life insurance company is going to “care” if an individual has been diagnosed with Biliary Cirrhosis, it makes sense to first take a look at exactly what Biliary Cirrhosis is and understand what it’s likely going to mean to be diagnosed with it!
Biliary Cirrhosis Defined:
Biliary Cirrhosis or Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) is a chronic disease of the liver caused by the buildup of bile within the liver (cholestasis). This “bile”, which is used to aid ones digestion and help get rid of cholesterol as well as worn-out red blood cells, is essential to normal liver function; however, too much stored up in the liver can lead to permanent scarring and ultimately cirrhosis.
Symptoms may include:
- Jaundice or yellowing of one’s skin,
- And sometimes itching
The problem is…
That a lot of folks who suffer from this condition won’t know that they have it until significant damage has occurred. This is why the typical survival rate once an individual has been diagnosed is only about ten years. The good news is that while this pre-existing medical condition isn’t curable yet, the damage that is caused by this disease can be slowed done with the proper medical treatment. Which is a good thing, but not good enough for most (if not all) life insurance companies to want to take the risk of actually approving individual with PBC for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
Since being diagnosed with Biliary Cirrhosis is going to cause most (if not all) life insurance companies to automatically deny your “traditional” term or whole life insurance application, there aren’t all that many questions that they’re going to need to ask other than…
“Have you ever been diagnosed with Biliary Cirrhosis?”
Then once you answer…
“Yes, I have!”
That’s pretty much going to end your application process with that particular life insurance company. And you’re not going to get asked any more questions.
That’s not really how it works here at IBUSA. You see, here at IBUSA we understand that not everyone is going to be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy but that doesn’t mean that they might not be able to qualify for some other “kind” of life insurance policy.
Some of these “alternative” products might not be the “Greatest” options out there, for those who aren’t able to qualify for a “traditional” option, having something that they might be able to qualify for can be a GOOD thing.
For this reason…
We wanted to take a moment to discuss some of these “alternative” options that might be available to you and encourage you to give us a call or visit one of our other articles that discusses these options in greater detail should you have any questions ever.
Which leads us to our next topic which is…
What “kind” of insurance can I qualify for?
Because most (if not all) best-rated life insurance companies are going to “automatically” decline someone who has been diagnosed with Biliary Cirrhosis, individuals with this pre-existing medical condition are going to need to seek out “alternative” products should they still want to be able to purchase some kind of protection for their family.
These “alternative” products…
Are going to be ones that won’t require an applicant to have to answer any medical questions or take a medical exam. In other words, these “alternative” products would need to be ones that would not require you to have to be able to “medically” qualify.
This good news is…
That there are two such types of products out there. The bad news is that neither one of them is perfect. This is why we want to take a moment and briefly discuss both options for you.
Options that may be available to those who have been diagnosed with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis:
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 are only three requirements one must meet 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 be to 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 Biliary Cirrhosis! 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 be 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, in the event that you die from (a):
Or some symptom related to your Biliary Cirrhosis, these “types” of policies are not going to provide you with any death benefit.
This 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, if you’re ready to see what you might be able to qualify for, just give us a call!