Questions such as:
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
- 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’s dive right in!
Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Yes, individuals who have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can and often will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. In fact, many may even be able to qualify for a no medical exam term life insurance policy at a Preferred rate!
This is mainly because…
At the end of the day, while it is true that IBS can cause someone to suffer from a lot of uncomfortable symptoms, there aren’t all that many long-term complications associated with the disease that would make most of the best life insurance companies all that nervous.
The problem is…
That because Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can commonly be mistaken for or “lumped together” with many other types of gastrointestinal diseases. This is why most life insurance companies are going to want to make sure that you have only been diagnosed with IBS and that you don’t suffer from a more “serious” pre-existing medical condition.
Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
When it comes to applying for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy after you’ve been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, what you’re usually going to find is that most (if not all) life insurance companies aren’t going to be all that worried about your IBS.
You haven’t been simultaneously diagnosed with some other “kind” of gastrointestinal disease. So, lets not just take a moment and briefly define what IBS is so that we can gain a better understanding about why a life insurance company is going to be concerned about it.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). It can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel movements (diarrhea or constipation).
There are three main subtypes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS):
- IBS with constipation (IBS-C): This type is characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, and infrequent bowel movements that are hard or difficult to pass.
- IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D): This type is characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, and frequent, loose, watery stools.
- Mixed IBS (IBS-M): This type is characterized by a mix of constipation and diarrhea.
Causes or contribution factors that can lead one to devlop IBS may include:
The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to a combination of factors, including:
- Abnormalities in the muscles of the intestine: In people with IBS, the muscles of the intestine may contract more or less forcefully than normal, leading to changes in bowel movements.
- Nervous system abnormalities: IBS may be caused by an abnormal communication between the brain and the intestine, leading to changes in motility (movement) and sensitivity.
- Inflammation in the intestine: Some people with IBS may have inflammation in the intestine, which can contribute to symptoms.
- Changes in the balance of bacteria in the intestine: The intestine contains a complex community of bacteria that play a role in digestion and overall health. An imbalance of these bacteria (known as dysbiosis) has been linked to IBS.
- Psychological factors: Stress, anxiety, and depression are common in people with IBS and may contribute to or exacerbate symptoms.
Symptoms of IBS:
The most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are:
- Abdominal pain or cramping: This is often relieved by having a bowel movement.
- Changes in bowel movements: People with IBS may experience constipation, diarrhea, or both.
- Bloating: This can cause the abdomen to feel swollen or full.
- Excess gas: This can cause discomfort and flatulence.
- Urgency: This is the feeling that you need to have a bowel movement right away.
It is important to note that the severity and frequency of these symptoms can vary widely among individuals with IBS. Some people may experience only mild symptoms, while others may have more severe and frequent symptoms that can significantly impact their daily life.
Treatment of IBS:
The treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) depends on the individual and the severity of their symptoms. Some common treatment options include:
- Lifestyle changes: Making changes to your diet, exercise routine, and stress management techniques may help reduce IBS symptoms. This may include eating a high-fiber diet, staying hydrated, and getting regular exercise.
- Medications: There are several medications that may be helpful in managing IBS symptoms, including antispasmodics (to relax the muscles of the intestine), laxatives (to relieve constipation), and antidiarrheals (to reduce diarrhea). Your doctor can help you determine the best medication for your needs.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This type of therapy can help you identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that may be contributing to your IBS symptoms.
- Psychological therapies: Stress and other psychological factors can play a role in IBS, and therapies such as hypnotherapy and psychotherapy may be helpful in managing symptoms.
- Gut-directed hypnotherapy: This type of therapy uses hypnosis to target specific areas of the gut, and may be effective in reducing IBS symptoms.
Only a small number of people suffering from IBS will experience severe symptoms such as these, which is why many folks will be able to “self-treat” their condition through lifestyle changes and a healthy diet. As for those who do end up developing more “severe” cases, not all hope is lost because there are several medications on the market now that do seem to help folks minimize their discomfort.
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
If you are applying for life insurance and have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the insurance company will likely ask for detailed information about your medical history, including:
- Your diagnosis: The insurance company will want to know when you were diagnosed with IBS, and how it was diagnosed (e.g. through medical tests or symptoms).
- Your symptoms: The insurance company will want to know about the specific symptoms you experience, such as abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel movements. They may also ask about the frequency and severity of these symptoms.
- Your treatment: The insurance company will want to know about any medications or therapies you are using to manage your IBS, including any over-the-counter or prescription medications, as well as any lifestyle changes you have made (e.g. diet changes, exercise).
- Your prognosis: The insurance company will want to know about the long-term outlook for your IBS, including any potential complications or co-occurring conditions.
What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
If Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the “only” pre-existing medical condition that you have been diagnosed with, what you’re usually going to find is that once a life insurance company is able to determine they’re going to want to move on from questions that might determine “if” you’ll be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy to “what” price you might qualify for.
This is why…
After it has been determined that you don’t suffer from any kind of “serious” gastrointestinal disease, most life insurance underwriters will shift gears and start asking questions that will be more designed to learn what “price” or “rate” you might be able to qualify for. These questions will typically look something like this:
- What are your current height and weight?
- In the past 12 months, have you used any tobacco or nicotine products?
- Have any of your immediate family members ever been diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, stroke, or diabetes?
- Have any of your immediate family members ever suffered from a heart attack or stroke?
- Do you have any issues with your driving record? Issues such as multiple moving violations, a DUI, or a suspended license?
- Do you have any set plans to travel outside the United States in the next year or so?
- Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?
- Do you actively participate or plan on participating in any dangerous hobbies or activities?
Knowing what kind of “rate” you might be able to qualify for without first speaking with you pretty much impossible. That said, however, what we can say for sure is that if you have only been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and you don’t seem to be suffering from symptom preventing you from living a “normal” life (whatever that is), it’s reasonable to assume that whatever rate you would have been able to qualify for PRIOR to being diagnosed with IBS should be the same rate that you would be able to qualify for AFTER being diagnosed with IBS.
This brings us to the 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 professional 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 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!
Now, will we be able to help out everyone who has been previously diagnosed with an Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
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 Final Expense 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.