Are you ready to buy life insurance? Worried that your rheumatoid arthritis (RA) might hinder your ability to do so?
Purchasing affordable life insurance coverage when you have rheumatoid arthritis isn’t just a walk in the park. It’s more like geocaching in the park, and the satellite keeps glitching.
Let’s breakdown the quiz and learn the ins and outs of rheumatoid arthritis and life insurance.
What Is Term Life Insurance?
Essentially, term life insurance is a type of life insurance that pays a benefit in event of the death of the insured for a specified period of time.
The length of the term varies, depending on your needs and your budget. Most term life insurance polices last between 5 – 30 years. Twenty year term life insurance is the most common.
One of the biggest advantages of term insurance is its lower initial cost in comparison to permanent insurance. Why is it cheaper when initially purchased?
Because with term insurance, you’re generally just paying for the death benefit, the lump sum payment your beneficiaries will receive if you die during the term of the policy. – Life Happens, a nonprofit life insurance awareness organization
Term life insurance is an excellent option for most families. It provides financial protection during the time when you would need it most.
When the policy expires, it’s likely your family’s financial needs are not nearly as great.
What Is Whole Life Insurance?
Whole life insurance, on the other hand, is life insurance that pays a benefit on the death of the insured and also accumulates a cash value. It’s one type of permanent insurance.
Whole life offers lifelong protection. Premiums are considerably higher compared to term life insurance. However, depending on your goals and wants, there are benefits to this type of policy.
For example, it’s possible to take out loans or help finance your retirement with whole life insurance.
Whole life or permanent insurance pays a death benefit whenever you die—even if you live to 100! – Insurance Information Institute, Inc.
What Can Life Insurance Proceeds Pay For?
Chances are, you need life insurance. If you have someone depending on you, life insurance is a must.
No one wants to think about it, but if tragedy happens, life insurance proceeds can be a miracle for dependents. Money from life insurance company can pay for:
- Funeral Expenses
- Existing Debt (i.e. mortgage, student loans, credit cards)
- Future Needs (i.e. college tuition)
- Living Costs (i.e. food, utilities, rent)
- Family Business
Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Life Insurance Rates?
Yes. That’s the short answer. The long answer requires us to examine different aspects of rheumatoid arthritis and how it has impacted your life:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Factors That Affect Life Insurance:
- Date of Diagnosis: because RA is considered a chronic condition, insurance companies want to know how long you have been treating RA. Their concern is the longterm effects drugs used for RA management has on the body.
- Duration and Frequency Of Flareups: the more often you have flareups, and how long they last, increases your risk for joint and tissue damage.
- Deformity from RA: insurance companies want to know if you have (and what type) a deformity. For example, a mild deformity of the wrists or fingers or a major deformity of the knees or hips.
- Disability from RA: the inability to live independently and perform the daily activities of living, due to a disability, negatively affects your life insurance rating.
- Parts of the Body Affected by RA: areas of the body, and to what degree affected by RA. For example, mild wrist pain or lung and kidney damage.
- Medications Used to Treat RA: how often and what type of drugs used in your treatment plan.
The more your rheumatoid arthritis negatively affects your life, the more life insurance companies will likely want to charge you for your life insurance policy.
Life insurance companies companies assess risk, absorb risk, and charge you according to how much risk you pose. How rheumatoid arthritis is impacting your life will decide the risk a life insurance companies assigns to it. Not all life insurance carriers view risks in the same light.
Are There Other Types Of Life Insurance If I’m Declined Traditional Insurance?
Yes! It’s important to remember that there are always life insurance options available to you. If you have been declined traditional life insurance due to a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, the first step is to reevaluate the decline.
It’s possible to be approved, depending on you circumstances, even after a decline. By working with an agent who has expertise in rheumatoid arthritis, we can determine whether traditional life insurance is an option for you.
It’s worth taking a second glance at because traditional life insurance is more affordable.
If fully-underwritten life insurance is not an option, don’t despair! A Graded Benefit Life Insurance Policy (GBLI) can be an excellent alternative.
Even though GBLIs cost more, they are a lifesaver for those who cannot qualify for traditional life insurance.
GBLIs don’t require a medical exam. They do require a brief interview. You’ll want that interview because it can be cost-saving.
What Is The Best Rate A Person With Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Qualify For?
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, the best case scenario is a Standard rating, meaning that you qualify for medically underwritten life insurance at regular pricing rates.
To qualify for Standard, your rheumatoid arthritis needs to be easily managed with a minimal impacts on your life. Consider the following examples:
- Phoebe was diagnosed with RA six months ago. She has had one flareup in her finger joints. Phoebe uses NSAIDS to control periodic pain. She takes no other medications. Phoebe does not have a deformity or disability. She leads an active lifestyle. Phoebe would likely qualify for Standard life insurance rates. Phoebe pays regularly priced premiums.
- Rachel was diagnosed with RA five years ago. She has flareups twice a year. Rachel takes Methotrexate regularly to control inflammation. Rachel has a mild deformity in one finger joint. She has no disability. Rachel maintains a full-time job. Rachel would likely qualify for Rated life insurance. This means she still qualifies for traditional life insurance. Rachel pays a surcharge of somewhere between 20-200% on her premiums.
- Monica was diagnosed with RA 10 years ago. She has flareups monthly. Monica takes Prednisone, Methotrexate, and Humira regularly for inflammation. She is disabled due to deformities in her toe and finger joints. Monica is unable to walk or stand for extended periods of time. She is unable to work due to her disability. Monica’s RA has affected her lungs and heart. She has been diagnosed with lung nodules and atherosclerosis. Monica would likely receive a Decline for life insurance. Monica shouldn’t despair, though. There are always life insurance options including Graded Benefit Life Insurance or Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance.
Who Should Buy Life Insurance?
Simply put, if someone depends on you, you need life insurance
If someone will suffer financially when you die, chances are you need life insurance because it provides cash to your family after your death. – Life Happens
The death benefit provides a safety net should something happen to you. Keep in mind that stay-at-home parents need life insurance, too. The amount and term length depend on your needs.
Generally, agents will recommend you purchase around 10 times the amount of your annual salary. For at-home parents, Salary states their work is equivalent to over $140,000!
Everyone’s situation is unique. Agents usually advise the length of your policy term to cover the span of your working years.
If you determine that you need life insurance, and most do, keep the following questions in mind to help you determine how much, and what length, of life insurance makes sense for you:
- How much debt do you have?
- How much money do you spend every month?
- What are your longterm financial goals?
We specialize in working with clients with rheumatoid arthritis find the highest quality protection at the best prices available. If you have RA and are seeking out life insurance, it’s crucial to collaborate with an agent with a deep understanding of RA. We will help you to process your life insurance application.
I hope this gives you a good idea of how life insurance carriers classify people with rheumatoid arthritis. They will also consider your Medical history when reviewing your life insurance application.
At Rheumatoid Life Insurance, our job is to be your advocate. As an independent life insurance agency, we will cross-reference the top-rated life insurance companies to find the best rate for which you can be approved.
To get started, fill out our Instant Quote form.