Life Insurance with Arthritis (Osteo or Rheumatoid).
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 Arthritis, or more specifically been diagnosed with either Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Questions that will be addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with either Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with an Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- 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 Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Yes, individuals who have been diagnosed with Arthritis can and often will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. In fact, some may even be able to qualify some of a Top Rated No Medical Exam Life Insurance Policy at a Preferred rate!
The only problem is…
That in the “world of life insurance” there really isn’t a pre-existing medical condition known as Arthritis.
When it comes to how the best life insurance companies view “arthritis” you have either been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, in which case most life insurance companies aren’t go to spend a whole lot of time questioning you, or you’ve been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in which case it will probably become much more difficult for you to be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy (if not impossible)!
Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with an Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis?
The main reason why a life insurance company is going to “care” if an individual has been diagnosed with “arthritis” is because only knowing that someone has been diagnosed with “arthritis” isn’t going to tell the insurance company what they really want to know.
“Have you been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis?”
While most life insurance companies are going to want to know about any” kind” of pre-existing medical condition you may or may not have been diagnosed with, for the most part, being diagnosed with Osteoarthritis isn’t going to play a significant role in determining what “kind” of life insurance policy you may or may not be able to qualify for or what price you may have to pay while being diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis certainly will.
For this reason…
It only makes sense for us to briefly discuss each of these conditions so that we can get a better understanding of “why” a life insurance company will view and treat each of these conditions quite differently.
Osteoarthritis of OA is considered a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the flexible tissue at the end of one’s bones begins to wear down.
This “kind” of arthritis…
Is very common with nearly 3 million new cases within the United States alone. In fact, this condition is so common that a lot of folks just consider this kind of “arthritis” as a normal part of aging and not an actual disease or pre-existing medical condition.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis may include:
- Aching pain in one’s joints including: hands, knee’s hips, lower back, and neck.
- Swelling of the joints.
- Joint deformity.
As well as a sensitivity to weather changes…
“My left knee always like to let me know when it’s about to rain!”
There isn’t any kind of “cure” for Osteoarthritis, however many folks can benefit by losing weight, staying active and utilizing a variety of different physical therapy techniques designed to allow one to maintain range of motion and flexibility. Anti-inflammatory and pain medications can also be useful when administered by a physician.
The good news…
Is that only in rare occasions will one’s Osteoarthritis cause one to become “disabled” in which case having been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis could play a major role in the outcome of one’s life insurance applicant.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Defined.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a pre-existing medical condition which is defined as a chronic inflammatory disorder whereby one’s own immune system actively attack one’s own tissues. In most cases, this damage will be confined to one’s joints causing swelling, bone erosion and joint deformity.
That said however…
In extreme cases, some individuals may even suffer from internal organ damage which is just another reason why life insurance companies will tend to be quite nervous about insuring those who have been diagnosed with this “type” of arthritis.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis may include:
- Pain and swelling in one’s joints, back and muscle tissue.
- Overall stiffness, fatigue and/or malaise,
As well as physical deformities caused by the actual swelling of one’s joints or due to the physical “toll” taken out on its patients.
Like Osteoarthritis, there isn’t a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis meaning that all treatment options will simply focus around reducing the progression of the disease and minimizing any pain that one might experience as a result of this disease.
That said however…
It should be noted that Rheumatoid Arthritis has been shown to be able to reduce an individual’s life expectancy by as much as 10 to 15 years which is why most life insurance companies are going to want to ask a wide variety of questions about an individuals case prior to making any kind of decision about his or her life insurance application.
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
Common questions you’ll likely be asked may include:
- When were your first diagnosed with Arthritis?
- Who diagnosed your Arthritis? A general practitioner or a specialist?
- What “kind” of Arthritis have you been diagnosed with?
- What symptoms led to your diagnosis?
- What treatment options are you pursuing?
- Have you been prescribed any prescription medications?
- Have any of those medications changed in any way over the past 12 months?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other pre-existing medical conditions?
- Have you noticed a change you’re your condition over the past 12 months?
- How would you “rate” your Arthritis? Mild, moderate or severe?
- Have you been hospitalized of any reason with in the past 2 years?
- 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 usually like to take a moment and remind folks that nobody here at IBUSA has any kind of medical training and we’re certainly not doctors. All we are is a bunch of life insurance agents who just happen to be really good at helping folks with pre-existing medical conditions like arthritis, find and qualify for the life insurance coverage that they are looking for. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what kind of rates an individual who has been diagnosed arthritis might be able to qualify for!
What “rate” can I qualify for?
What you’re generally going to find is that if you have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, while most life insurance companies will tend to ask you a few questions about it, most companies won’t consider it a major factor when determining what kind of “rate” you may be able to qualify for.
Unless you Osteoarthritis is causing you significant pain and preventing you from being able to life a “normal” life, chances are whatever rate you would have been able to qualify for PRIOR to being diagnosed with Osteoarthritis will be the same rate that you will be able to qualify for AFTER having been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. This explains how some individuals who have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis may be able to qualify for a Preferred Plus rate.
Now as for…
Those who have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, what you’re generally going to find is that you may still be eligible for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy, only now because your arthritis isn’t going to be viewed as a “normal” part of aging most (if not all) life insurance companies are going to automatically rate you as a “high risk” applicant.
They’re also going to…
Take a close look at what medications you are taking as well as try to get an accurate idea about how “progressive” you condition is so that they can get a better idea of just how “severe” you condition is. Also, in cases like these, it’s quite common for a life insurance company to order one’s medical records for review before they will be willing to make any kind of decision about your application.
This is why…
It’s pretty much impossible to know for sure what kind of rate you might be able to qualify for without first actually speaking with you. 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!
Now will we be able to help out everyone who has been previously diagnosed with Arthritis?
No, probably not. But what we can tell you is that in addition to offering a wide variety of different term and whole life insurance policies, IBUSA has also worked very hard to establish relationships with many of the Best Burial Life Insurance Companies as well so that in the event that someone isn’t able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, chances are there may be some other “type” of product that you CAN qualify for.
So, if you’re ready to see what options might be available to you, just give us a call!