Life Insurance with Sleep Apnea.
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 with Sleep Apnea.
Questions that will be addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea?
- 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’ve been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea?
Yes, individuals who have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea 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 for a Preferred rate!
The only problem is…
That simply knowing that someone has been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea isn’t going to be enough information for a life insurance underwriter to be able to make his or her decision about your life insurance application. Because the truth is, Sleep Apnea can be a very serious medical condition that can vary significantly from one patient to the next.
Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea?
There are two main reasons why a life insurance company is going to “care” if you have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. The first reason is because suffering from Sleep Apnea is often a symptom that you may be at risk of developing any number of other serious pre-existing medical conditions which a life insurance company may be concerned about.
The second reason why…
A life insurance company is going to “care” if you have bene diagnosed with Sleep Apnea is because suffering form it can cause someone to develop any number of other “complications” associated with this disease which can then become quite serious on their own.
For this reason…
We wanted to take a moment and discuss exactly what Sleep Apnea is as well as highlight some of the most common symptoms, complications and causes of this disease so that we might gain a better understanding of what a life insurance underwriter will be looking for when making his or her decision about your life insurance application.
Sleep Apnea Defined:
- Sleep Apnea is a potentially serious sleeping disorder whereby an individual’s breathing will stop and start repeatedly throughout one’s sleep. The two main “types” of Sleep Apnea are obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA is the most common form of sleep apnea and occurs when the throat muscles begin to relax during sleep allowing them to then block one’s airway.
Central Sleep Apnea occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to one’s muscles that controls one’s breathing during sleep.
Common symptoms of both may include:
- Waking up with a very sore or dry throat,
- Loud snoring,
- Waking up gasping for air,
- Daytime fatigue,
- Morning headaches,
- Restless sleep,
Serious complications may include an increased risk of:
Potential causes may include:
- Heart disease,
Once diagnosed properly, Sleep Apnea is a medical condition that can be treated by both addressing the possible cause of one’s Sleep Apnea (think obesity, hypertension, etc) as well as by utilizing a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device often referred to as a CPAP machine.
“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 your own 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 individual 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 Sleep Apnea… that’s it! Which brings us to our next topic which is…
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- When were you diagnosed with Sleep Apnea?
- Who diagnosed your Sleep Apnea? A genera practitioner? A specialist? Yourself? Your partner?
- How was your Sleep Apnea diagnosed? Did you take a Nocturnal polysomnography? Or did you simply take a home test?
- Did you receive a “score” at the time of your diagnosis?
- If so:
- What was that score?
- Have you re-taken the test recently? If so, what was your new score?
- What is your current height and weight?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other pre-existing medical conditions?
- Are you currently taking any prescription medications?
- Are you currently using a CPAP? If so, do you use it every night?
- In the past 2 years, have you been admitted into a hospital for any reason?
- Are you currently working now?
- In the past 12 months, have you applied for or received any form of disability benefits?
- If so:
What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
As you can see, there are a lot of variables that can come into play when trying to determine what kind of “rate” an individual who has been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. This is why it’s pretty much impossible to know what kind of “rate” you might be able to qualify for without first speaking with you directly.
That said however…
Most individuals who have bene diagnosed with Sleep Apnea will usually fall into one of three different categories that we can make some “assumptions” about that will generally hold true.
The first group of folks that we’ll commonly encounter with Sleep Apnea will be those who typically became diagnosed because their snoring was driving their partner crazy and they wanted to make him or her happy. These folks will be the one’s who generally don’t have any other “serious” pre-existing medical conditions and either have aggressively “attacked” whatever was causing them to suffer from Sleep Apnea or religiously wear their CPAP device each and every night so that their Sleep Apnea isn’t really an issue for them anymore.
In case like these…
What we’ll usually find is that most of these “types” of folks will be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy and many of them will be able to qualify for a Standard or Better rate. In fact, these will be the “types” of individuals who may even be able to qualify for a Preferred rate if they are really healthy.
The second group of folks that we’ll run into will still be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy however regardless of how hard they try to treat their Sleep Apnea, most (if not all) life insurance companies are still going to consider them ineligible for a Standard or Better rate. Which means that they will most likely only be able to qualify for a Table Rate, usually ranging between Table A-H.
Are life insurance rates that are typically reserved for “higher risk” applicants and range from Table A, which would be considered the “best” or least expensive table rate, all the way to Table J which would be considered the “worst” or most expensive table rate.
The most common reason for this will usually be because in addition to being diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, these “types” of applicants will also have been diagnosed with some other “type” of pre-existing medical condition. Fortunately for them though, because they are properly treating their Sleep Apnea, they still will be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy in most cases.
The last group that we’ll commonly encounter will be those who have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and for whatever the reason may be, have chosen not to treat their condition. In cases like these, what we’ll typically find is that these applicants will either have to pay significantly more for their coverage than they normally would have to, or they may simply be denied coverage all together.
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!