Life Insurance while receiving Dialysis.
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 who are currently receiving Dialysis (whether it be Hemodialysis or Peritoneal Dialysis) to treat a variety of different conditions including:
- Kidney failure,
- Renal failure,
Questions that will be directly addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance while currently on Dialysis?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I’m on Dialysis?
- What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What options might be available to me?
- 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 while currently on Dialysis?
Individuals who are currently receiving Dialysis or have been diagnosed with End Stage Kidney Failure or End Stage Renal Failure will not be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. For this reason, individuals who still wish to purchase a life insurance policy will need to look towards an “alternative” product such as a guaranteed issue life insurance policy or an accidental death policy.
Why do life insurance companies care if I’m on Dialysis?
The main reason why a life insurance company is going to “care” if you’re currently on Dialysis is because the only real reason why someone would be receiving Dialysis is because they are suffering form some pretty serious kidney issues!
The term “dialysis” refers to the process whereby one uses a dialysis machine to filter one’s blood so that any excess water and waste products can be removed from one’s blood because their kidneys are no longer able to perform this task on their own. Dialysis also allows one to keep certain chemicals such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate at a safe level while also helping one to maintain a safe and health blood pressure level.
Common reasons why…
Someone might suffer from kidney failure and thereby need to receive Dialysis may include:
- Heart attack or heart disease,
- Illicit drug use/abuse,
- Poor blood flow to the kidneys,
- Kidney infections,
The problem is if your kidneys have failed, you will need to receive Dialysis treatments for you whole life or until which point you are able to receive a kidney transplant.
As a result…
We should mention that there will be those who may be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy after they have received a kidney transplant and no longer need to receive Dialysis, but as you can imagine qualifying for such coverage can and often will be quite challenging particularly if the reason why you suffered from kidney failure in the first place was a serious pre-existing medical condition which you may still be at risk of in the future (ie: heart disease, drug use, infections).
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
What you’re generally going to find is that once a life insurance company determines that you’re currently receiving dialysis to help you treat your end stage kidney failure there really isn’t a whole lot more they are going to need to know before denying your life insurance application.
Understanding “why” you are suffering from kidney failure isn’t really going to change all that much on their end. For this reason, what you’ll likely going to find when looking to purchase a life insurance policy while on Dialysis is that a lot of life insurance companies and/or agents aren’t going to be all that helpful.
This is mainly because…
They probably don’t have all that many options for you, or they simply don’t have access to any “alternative” products that won’t require you to either take a medical exam or answer any health-related question.
Here at IBUSA, we do offer a wide variety of these “types” of products which is why once we learn that an applicant is currently receiving dialysis we like to ask 3 important questions:
#1. Are you a US Citizen?
#2. Are you between the ages of 40 and 85?
#3. What state do you live in?
This is because…
There is a chance that you might be able to qualify for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy or purchase an accidental death policy.
What options might be available to me?
Now before anyone get’s too excited about the fact that there may be a few options available to you despite the fact that you’ve been diagnosed with end stage kidney failure and are currently receiving dialysis, we want to make it perfectly clear that there are some very real disadvantages to some of the products that we’re about to discuss.
Which is why…
After reading what we’re about to discuss we would invite you to then give us a call or visit one of our other articles that will go into greater detail about these “alternative products” so that you’ll know exactly what you are “getting” should you decide to ultimately purchase one of these “types” of products.
Accidental Death and Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policies Defined
Accidental Death Policies
We want to start off by first describing what an Accidental Death Policy is because out of the two options that might be available to you, these are definitely the easier ones to understand and ironically the one’s that people most often get confused about!
We’re going to attempt to describe what these “kinds” of products are in the worst and least flattering way so that that there shouldn’t be any kind of “misunderstanding” about what these types of polices will and won’t cover.
Accidental death policies are NOT TRUE LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES. This is why you don’t need be a licensed life insurance agent to sell them and why they aren’t going to provide you with any coverage in the event that you die of a “natural” cause of death.
Natural cause of death we’re referring to an “illness-based” death like you would experience as a result of:
- Heart disease,
Or from some kind of complication that one might experience as a result of kidney failure!
These types of products…
Are only going to provide a death benefit to your family in the event that you die from an accidental cause or any cause of death that isn’t “illness based”. Examples that would typically qualify would include:
- A motor vehicle accident,
- A slip and fall accident
- A natural disaster,
- Victim of crime,
Which is nice…
But typically, isn’t what someone is looking for after they have been diagnosed with end stage kidney failure. On the plus side, these “types” of products are generally pretty affordable and will allow someone to purchase a large amount of ACCIDENT insurance for a relatively small amount of money.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Guaranteed issue life insurance policies on the other hand ARE TRUE LIFE INSURANCE PRODUCTS. Which means that you do need to be a licensed life insurance agent to sell them and “ultimately” they will provide an individual true-life insurance coverage.
But there’s a catch…
And in our experience here at IBUSA we’ve found that the best way to discuss these types of life insurance policies is by analyzing the three major disadvantages that these “types” of life insurance policies have aside form the fact that you generally have to be over the age of 50 and live in a state where these “types” of life insurance policies are available.
So, let’s dive right in…
Guaranteed issue life insurance policies will only provide a limited amount of life insurance coverage and will usually “cap out” right around $25,000 dollars in coverage. Which means that if you need more than $25,000 dollars in coverage a guaranteed issue life insurance policy might not be right for you!
(Yes, individual’s can purchase several different guaranteed issue life insurance policies from several different companies but as we will now discuss, this can get really expensive).
Dollar for dollar, guaranteed issue life insurance policies tend to cost more than other “traditional” life insurance policy options. Now we don’t want to imply that these “types” of life insurance policies are going to cost a fortune, its just that if you can qualify for another “kind” of life insurance policy, that coverage will usually cost less dollar for dollar than a guaranteed issue life insurance policy will.
Guaranteed issue life insurance policies contain a clause known as a Graded Death Benefit.
Graded Death Benefit Defined:
Graded Death Benefits are “clauses” written into most (if not all) guaranteed issue life insurance policies which state that a guaranteed issue life insurance policy won’t begin to cover an individual from “natural causes” of death until a certain waiting period has elapsed. This “waiting period” will usually last 2 to 3 years and is designed to make sure that someone who knows that they are very close to death from being able to purchase these “types” of life insurance policies.
This may seem extremely unfair, it’s important to remember that a guaranteed issue life insurance policy isn’t going to require you to take a medical exam or answer any health-related questions. So, at the end of the day, it’s only this “clause” that’s going to allow the insurance companies to protect themselves from unnecessary risk.
The good news is…
That while you may have to wait 2 to 3 years for one a Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance policy to provide you true life insurance protection, these “types” of life insurance policies will provide immediate coverage for any “accidental causes” of death and may will also provide some kind of “return of premium” to the beneficiaries a insured applicants who do end up dying from natural causes prior to their Graded Death Benefit expiring.
So, have we confused you yet?
If so, don’t fret we the purpose of this article wasn’t to try to make you an insurance expert, it was just to give you an idea of what questions you’ll want to pursue prior to making any decisions. Which brings us to our last topic that we wanted to discuss here in this article 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 works best for folks who have been diagnosed with a pre-existing medical condition where the “severity” of the condition is often “subjective” is for the applicant to make sure that they first find a true-life insurance profession who will work as an advocate for you.
Such an agent…
Will not only help guide you through the application process but also be perfectly “frank” with you about what options may or may not be possible for you.
You’ll also want to make sure that the very same agent you have chosen has access to dozens of different life insurance companies because after all, it really doesn’t matter how “great” of a life insurance agent you might have if they don’t have access to the “best” life insurance policy for you! Now does it?
You’ll want to make sure that you’re completely honest with your life insurance agent prior to applying for coverage. By doing so, you will be helping him or her narrow down what options might be the “best”
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and see what we can do for you!