Life Insurance approvals for those with COPD.
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 being diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Questions that will be directly answered will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Chronic Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Chronic Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?
- 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 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?
Yes, individuals who have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can and often will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
The only problem is that COPD is an “umbrella” term that is often used to describe a wide variety of different progressive lung diseases which is why most of best life insurance companies (in our humble opinion) won’t be able to simply used a “COPD diagnosis” as enough information in order to make their underwriting decisions.
It’s also why…
You may want to consider avoiding applying for a no medical exam term life insurance policy as well seeing how these policies tend to be more difficult to qualify for after someone has been diagnosed with a pre-existing medical condition like COPD.
Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Chronic Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?
The reason why a life insurance company is going to “care” if an individual has been diagnosed with Chronic Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is because at the end of the day, statistics show that the five year life expectancy rate for an individual who has been diagnosed with COPD can range from 40 to 70%!
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Defined:
COPD is a medical term that is used to describe a variety of different progressive lung diseases which will include:
Each of which are characterized by breathing difficulties and will often “share” similar symptoms which may include:
- Shortness of breath,
- “Tight” chest,
- Chronic mucus development,
- Difficulty breathing during exercising,
- Discolored mucus development,
COPD is not considered a “curable” disease which means that all current “treatment” options will usually center around minimizing the symptoms of these individual pre-existing medical conditions and trying to improve the overall health of an individual.
Treatment options may include:
- Medications including bronchodilators and/or steroid use.
- Oxygen therapy,
- Diet and exercise,
- Quitting smoking,
- Avoiding certain environmental “triggers”
The good news is…
That by adopting many of these treatment options, many individuals will be able to significantly improve their condition which is why despite the fact that COPD is considered a chronic and progressive disease, many life insurance companies will still consider and individual eligible for coverage despite being diagnosed with COPD. Provided that their condition isn’t deemed too “serious”.
This is why…
Prior to being approved coverage, most (if not all) life insurance companies are going to want to ask you a series of medical questions all designed to learn just how serious your condition is and whether or not you would be considered an “acceptable” risk to them.
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 Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?
- Who diagnosed your Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?
- Have you been given a more “specific” diagnosis such as:
- Chronic bronchitis,
- and (non-reversible) Asthma.
- What symptoms led to your diagnosis?
- How are you currently treating your COPD?
- In the past 12 months, have any of your treatment methods changed in any way?
- Have your symptoms improved, worsened, or remained stable within the past 12 months?
- Have you had to visit a hospital for any reason within the past 12 months?
- Do you know what might have caused you to develop COPD?
- Have you ever considered yourself a smoker?
- In the past 12 months, have you used any tobacco or nicotine products?
- Are you currently working right 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?
As you can see from the aforementioned questions that we listed above, there are quite a few factors that can come into play when trying to determine what kind of “rate” an individual might be able to qualify for after they have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. 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 for a few moments.
That said however…
There are a few “assumptions” that we can make that will generally hold true especially if you have been diagnosed with COPD and you continue to smoke. This is because if you have been diagnosed with COPD and you do smoke, it’s pretty much a given that you will not be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
The good news is…
That if you have been diagnosed with COPD, and you have been “smoke free” for at least 12 months, there is a chance that you may be able to qualify for coverage, only now it’s pretty safe to say that you will be considered a “high-risk” applicant which will mean that we’ll definitely want to be more “selective” with which life insurance companies we do choose to recommend.
Which brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment and discuss with you 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 profession 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 really 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?
What are you waiting for? Just 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 COPD?
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.
So, if you’re ready to see what options might be available to you, just give us a call!