5 Things To Know About RA And Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Written by Heidi Mertlich

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. -Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a godsend for some. It’s not a great option for many.

Guaranteed issue life insurance: A type of financial-protection policy that provides cash to a named beneficiary upon the insured’s death, which an insurance company will offer to an applicant regardless of health. Guaranteed issue life insurance tends to be a last resort for individuals who can’t qualify for life insurance because of their current or past health problems and who don’t have the option to purchase life insurance coverage as a benefit through their employer.  – Amy Fontinelle, Forbes contributor

Let’s deconstruct the key features of guaranteed issue life insurance to decide whether we see a rose or a thorn:

guaranteed issue life insurance rheumatoid arthritis

Guaranteed Issue Should Not Be Your First Stop

Guaranteed issue is often defined as life insurance for the uninsurable. Not a warm and fuzzy description, yet accurate in that it’s best for those who have exhausted all other life insurance options.

Life insurance comes in all different types and sizes. Even if you don’t qualify for traditional, fully-underwritten life insurance, there are other policies to consider before purchasing guaranteed issue.

For example, graded benefit life insurance might work for you if you can answer, “No”, to the following:

  1. Do you smoke? (Important – this particular question may not prevent you from purchasing a graded benefit policy.)
  2. Do you have HIV or AIDS?
  3. Is your residence a long-term care facility or hospital?
  4. Have you been declared terminally ill by a physician?

Guaranteed Issue Is A Guaranteed Yes

Guaranteed issue is aptly named. Not too many things in life are guaranteed, but this policy is.

Regardless of your health, you can qualify. No one should have to go without financial protection for their loved ones. Guaranteed issue is an excellent solution if you’ve been declined on all other forms of life insurance.

One Requirement: You Pay Your Premiums

Unlike other forms of life insurance companies, you only need to pay your premiums in order to purchase guaranteed issue.

What you DON’T have to do:

  1. Take a medical exam
  2. Answer health questions

A true guaranteed issue life insurance policy will not require you to answer any health questions.

Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Might Make Guaranteed Issue Appealing

It’s common for those with severe rheumatoid arthritis to consider guaranteed issue as a life insurance option.

What does severe RA look like? 

Mark Borigini, M.D.  practices medicine as a rheumatologist and describes severe RA as:

  • Significant joint destruction is seen in medical imaging (X-ray)
  • Profound fatigue
  • Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
  • Significant anemia
  • Pain and swelling involving most of the joints
  • Significant weight loss
  • Unresponsive to traditional RA drugs, such as methotrexate
  • Organ inflammation (heart, lungs)
  • Circulatory system inflammation

Often, severe rheumatoid arthritis will prevent a person from working and he or she will be considered disabled.

If you have severe rheumatoid arthritis and have already looked into graded benefit life insurance, your best option is likely guaranteed issue. Collaborating with an expert agent is the preferred way to work through the complexities of life insurance options.

Understand The Limitations Of Guaranteed Issue

Guaranteed issue life insurance carriers limitations are many. In most cases you will find:

  1. Your benefits are graded.
    1. This means there will be a 2-3 year waiting period before your full benefits are paid out.
    2. Accidental deaths are excluded from the waiting period. Accidental death includes:
      1. Motor vehicle accidents
      2. Falls
      3. Drowning
      4. Fire
    3. If you die (besides accidental death) during the waiting period, your beneficiaries will receive either:
      1. A refund of your premium payments, plus interest
      2. A percentage of the amount of your policy benefits
  2. Your premiums are higher.
    1. The amount you pay for guaranteed life insurance is more expensive than other types of life insurance.
    2. Because everyone can purchase this type of policy, carriers agree to absorb more risk and must set premium amounts accordingly.
  3. Your benefits are limited.
    1. Typically, policy amounts for guaranteed issue range from $5,000 – $50,000

What To Think About

There are two primary questions to ask yourself to decide whether or not guaranteed issue life insurance is a good fit for you:

  1. Does my rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and overall health prevent me from buying a different type of life insurance policy?
    1. Is your RA severe?
    2. Do you have additional serious health complications?
    3. Have you attempted to purchase traditional life insurance and have been declined?
  2. What do I want to accomplish with my life insurance?
    1. Life insurance proceeds can accomplish many goals:
      1. Funeral expenses
      2. Debt payoff
      3. Childcare
      4. Living needs (food, rent, utilities)
      5. College tuition
      6. Family business
    2. Guaranteed issue may not be able to meet all of the goals you’ve set for your life insurance proceeds. That’s common. However, some life insurance is better than none.

You might be like Jane:

guaranteed issue life insurance rheumatoid arthritis

The path to purchasing guaranteed life insurance tends to be full of twists and bumps.

For example, here’s how Jane found out that guaranteed life was the best fit for her:

  1. Jane had originally applied for traditional life insurance. During the underwriting process, she disclosed her medical history and underwent a paramedical exam. Her application was then declined.
  2. Jane requested the results of her application and underwriting. She wanted to understand why she was declined. The life insurance carrier had concluded that Jane was declined because:
    1. Jane’s rheumatoid arthritis has caused –
      1. Severe fatigue
      2. Disability (unable to work)
      3. Deformity of fingers and toes
      4. Depression
      5. Inflammation of heart and lungs
    2. Jane is unable to live independently and resides in a longterm care facility.
  3. Instead of feeling defeated, Jane collaborated with Rheumatoid Arthritis Life Insurance to find out what next steps she should take.
    1. Her needs, wants, and options were assessed.
    2. Jane discovered that a guaranteed issue life insurance policy is best.
  4. Jane applied for and was issued a guaranteed issue life insurance policy for $40,000. She’s thrilled knowing that her loved ones are financially protected.

Next Step: Partner Up With An Independent Agent

An independent life insurance agent is not held captive to a particular carrier. This is crucial. Independent agents have access to the top-rated life insurance companies and have your best interest at heart.

Not all life insurance carriers view risks in the same light. Your rheumatoid arthritis might be approved with one company, even though it was declined with another. They look at several factors when analyzing a life insurance application.

By partnering with an independent agent who has authoritative knowledge of RA, you will be offered the best policy you qualify for at the most competitive price.

To get started, fill out our Instant Quote form

About Rheumatoid Arthritis Life Insurance
About Rheumatoid Arthritis Life Insurance

We work with individuals across the nation to secure the best life insurance rates.

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