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 having been diagnosed with Buerger’s Disease or Thromboangiitis Obliterans.
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Buerger’s Disease?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Buerger’s 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 Buerger’s Disease?
Yes, individuals who have been diagnosed with Buerger’s Disease can and often will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. The only problem is, that because Buerger’s Disease can have some serious consequences to those suffering from it, most (if not all) life insurance companies are going automatically consider anyone who has been diagnosed with this condition a “higher risk” applicant.
For this reason…
What you’ll typically find is that most applicants looking to purchase a term life insurance policy will generally have more success when applying if they choose to apply for a fully underwritten term life insurance policy (exam required) vs. a no medical exam life insurance policy simply because fully underwritten policies tend to be less difficult to qualify for when dealing with a pre-existing medical condition like Buerger’s Disease.
Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Buerger’s Disease?
To understand why a life insurance company is likely to “care” if an individual has been diagnosed with Buerger’s Disease, it’s probably best to take a moment and briefly examine exactly what Buerger’s Disease is as well as take a look at some of the complications that can arise as a result of this disease.
Buerger’s Disease Defined:
Buerger’s Disease is a rare disease that affects both the arteries and veins in one’s extremities. Individuals with this disease will develop inflammation within their blood vessels, causing them to become blocked with “thrombi” or blood clots.
Symptoms of Buerger’s Disease may include:
- Numbness or tingling of the hands and feet.
- Discoloration of the hands and feet. Colors may include a pale pallor, reddish coloration, or a blue hue.
- Radiating pain in one’s limbs, particularly when not in use.
- Open sores, and an increased propensity for infection.
- A susceptibility to experiencing Raynaud’s Syndrome, which is a condition where one’s fingers or toes turn pale when exposed to cold temperatures.
The exact “cause” of Buerger’s Disease is unknown, but it is abundantly clear that tobacco use does seem to play a significant role in its development. For this reason, most life insurance companies will “automatically” deny any traditional term or whole life insurance application form someone who has been diagnosed with Buerger’s Disease and is still using nicotine or tobacco.
The only “true” treatment one can pursue when dealing with Buerger’s Disease is the complete 100% abstinence of all tobacco or nicotine products!
Complications of Buerger’s Disease:
At the end of the day, the main reason why most life insurance companies are going to be nervous about insuring anyone who has been diagnosed with Buerger’s Disease is because of the serious complications that can result from someone who is unwilling or unable to quit using any and all forms of tobacco or nicotine.
- Decreased blood flow to one’s extremities leading to gangrene,
- Increased risk of infections,
- Need to have a finger, a toe, or even limbs amputated.
Many of these horrible consequences can be avoided once Buerger’s Disease has been diagnosed, and an individual has chosen to stop using all forms of tobacco or nicotine. This is why once a life insurance underwriter has been able to document the fact that you have been tobacco-free for a minimum of one year, it may be possible for you to still be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy. That is, of course, after you’ve been asked a long list of medical questions!
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 you first diagnosed with Buerger’s Disease?
- Who diagnosed your Buerger’s Disease? A general practitioner or a specialist?
- What symptoms (if any) led to your diagnosis?
- Are you currently suffering from any symptoms of your disease now?
- In the past 12 months, have used any tobacco or nicotine products?
- In the past two years, have you been hospitalized for any reason?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other pre-existing medical conditions?
- Have you been diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes?
- Have you ever suffered from a heart attack or stroke?
- What is your current height and weight?
- Are you currently working now?
- In the past 12 months, have you received any kind of disability insurance?
“Which brings us to an important point that we think we ought to mention.”
If you think you have a medical issue, don’t use the internet to try and diagnose yourself. After all, if you do and your correct, you’re still going to need to see the doctor, and if you’re wrong, the time you spend being you’re on doctor could really cause great harm to yourself!
Nobody here at IBUSA is medically trained, and we’re certainly not doctors. All we ware is a bunch of life insurance agents who just happened to be really good at helping individuals find and qualify for the life insurance that they’re looking for. So please don’t mistake any of the medical information that we talk about as medical advice because it’s not!
Trying to “prep” you for what it might be like to apply for a life insurance policy after you have been diagnosed with Buerger’s Disease… that’s it! Which brings us to our next topic, which is…
What “rate” can I qualify for?
One of the nice things about working with an individual who has been diagnosed with Buerger’s Disease is that from a life insurance perspective, knowing what kind of “rate” an individual might be able to qualify for isn’t all that difficult to determine.
This is mainly because…
If the applicant in question is still using any form of tobacco or nicotine or has just recently quit using some kind of tobacco or nicotine (less than 1 year) he or she isn’t going to be considered eligible for a traditional life insurance policy. This means that they will either need to wait a minimum of one year, or they will need to pursue some kind of “alternative” product such as a guaranteed issue life insurance policy or an accidental death policy.
Now, as for those…
Who have actually quit smoking for at least one year, it’s “possible” that you may be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, but it’s important to remember that having been diagnosed with Buerger’s Disease is not something that most life insurance companies is going to take lightly which is why even if you are approved for coverage, it will most likely only be at a “high-risk” category.
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!