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 they have been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease or any one of the other names that it goes by including:
- Granulomatous Colitis,
- Crohn’s enteritis,
- Granulomatous Enteritis,
- Regional Enteritis,
- Or Ileitis.
Questions that will be directly addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance after I’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease?
- 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’ dive right in!
Can I qualify for life insurance after I’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease?
Yes, individuals can and often will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy after having been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. In fact, many may even be able to qualify for a term life insurance policy without a medical exam at a Preferred rate!
The problem is…
That simply being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease doesn’t really tell a person (or a life insurance underwriter) all that much about how “severe” or “mild” your condition may be. This is why prior to making any definitive decisions about your life insurance application most of the best insurance companies (if not all) are going to want to ask you a series of questions about your Crohn’s Disease so that they can get a better understanding of what kind of “risk” you may pose to them should they decide to approve your life insurance application.
Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease?
Life insurance companies care if you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease because it is considered a pre-existing medical condition that can impact your life expectancy As a result, life insurance companies may view individuals with Crohn’s Disease as higher risk and may charge higher premiums or offer modified policies with limited coverage.
This decision will be made during the underwriting process which is why we want to take a moment and discuss what it means to “have” Crohn’s Disease so that we can gain a better understanding of what a life insurance underwriter will be looking for when trying to make their determination about your life insurance application.
Crohn’s Disease Defined:
Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. The inflammation can occur anywhere in the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus, but it most commonly affects the small intestine and colon.
There are several types of Crohn’s disease, including:
- ileitis: This type affects the ileum, the lower part of the small intestine.
- ileocolitis: This type affects the ileum and the colon.
- gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease: This type affects the stomach and the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).
- jejunoileitis: This type affects the jejunum (the middle part of the small intestine) and the ileum.
- Crohn’s colitis: This type affects the colon only.
- Crohn’s ileocolitis: This type affects the ileum and the colon.
The symptoms of Crohn’s disease can vary widely from person to person, and may vary over time in the same individual. Common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Weight loss and malnutrition
- Blood in the stool
- Rectal bleeding
- Mouth sores
- Anal fissures (tears in the skin around the anus)
- Inflammation outside of the digestive tract (such as in the eyes, skin, or joints)
There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but it can be managed with medications and other treatments. The specific treatment plan will depend on the individual and the severity of their symptoms. Common treatments for Crohn’s disease include:
- Medications: There are several medications that can help reduce inflammation and manage Crohn’s disease symptoms. These include aminosalicylates (such as mesalamine), corticosteroids (such as prednisone), immunomodulators (such as azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine), and biologics (such as infliximab or adalimumab).
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged parts of the intestine or to create a bypass around a narrowed or blocked section of the intestine.
- Nutrition therapy: People with Crohn’s disease may need to follow a special diet or take nutritional supplements to help manage their symptoms and prevent malnutrition.
- Lifestyle changes: Making changes to your diet, exercise routine, and stress management techniques may help reduce Crohn’s disease symptoms.
This lack of cure…
Is also why some individuals may find that because they suffer from frequent “attacks” or “flareups” caused by their Crohn’s Disease that some life insurance companies may ultimately consider them a “higher-risk” applicant which is why most life insurance companies will want to ask a lot of questions about one’s Crohn’s Disease before making any kind of decisions about their life insurance application.
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
If you are applying for life insurance and have Crohn’s disease, 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 Crohn’s disease, 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, diarrhea, and weight loss. 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 Crohn’s disease, 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 Crohn’s disease, including any potential complications or co-occurring conditions.
What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
The rate or price you can qualify for after being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease will depend on several factors, including the severity of your condition, the treatment you are receiving, and your overall health. Generally, if your Crohn’s Disease is well-managed and under control, you may be able to qualify for a standard or slightly higher rate.
However, if your condition is severe and you have complications, you may be classified as a higher risk and may be charged a higher premium or offered a modified policy with limited coverage. The best way to determine what rate you can qualify for is to work with a licensed life insurance agent who can help you navigate the underwriting process and find the best policy for your needs.
That being said…
There are a few “assumptions” that we can make about folks who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease that will generally hold true that may give you at least a “basic” idea about what kind of rate that you might be able to qualify for.
If you are one of those who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease because on “occasion” you seemed to suffer from some gastric discomfort but have never really found your situation to be too severe, you might be able to qualify for a Preferred rate. People like these are usually those who may have been diagnosed with a mild case of Crohn’s Disease but have never really sought out much treatment for it because it has never caused them too much distress.
“If only everyone was so lucky!”
For everyone else, what you’re generally going to find is that most folks will usually be looking at being able to qualify for a Standard or Standard Plus, assuming that their symptoms aren’t too severe.
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?
To ensure that you get the best life insurance policy after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, you can follow these tips:
- Work with an experienced life insurance agent who specializes in high-risk cases. They can help you navigate the underwriting process and find the best policy options for your specific needs.
- Be upfront and honest about your medical history and current health condition. Providing accurate information will help the underwriter determine the appropriate policy and coverage amounts.
- Provide documentation of your treatment and medication history. This can help demonstrate to the underwriter that you are managing your condition effectively and taking steps to maintain your health.
- Consider applying for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. These policies do not require a medical exam and are designed for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions.
- Improve your overall health and lifestyle. This can include quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and following a healthy diet. Improving your health can help lower your rates and increase your chances of being approved for coverage.
Now will we be able to help out everyone who has been previously diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease?
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 Final Expense 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!