8 Facts About Non Med Life Insurance With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Written by Heidi Mertlich

Here’s the truth: if you have loved ones who depend on you financially, or if the contributions you make would cost money to be replace (think at-home parent), you need life insurance. Not for you. But, for the ones you care about.

And, it may be easier than you think to secure life insurance when you have rheumatoid arthritis. Some can qualify for non med (no exam) life insurance. It won’t be a good fit for others. Either way, there are always life insurance options available.

Non Medical insurance – life insurance issued without a medical examination of the applicant.

Let’s breakdown the basics on how RA and non med life insurance relate to one another.

Table of Contents

  1. Cost
  2. Mild RA
  3. No Exam
  4. Medicine Cabinet
  5. Health
  6. Coverage Limit
  7. How Does It Work?
  8. Independent Agent
  9. Apply 

It’s Now Affordable

Less than 10 years ago, many life insurance agents would have recommended against purchasing a non med life insurance policy. It used to be cost-prohibitive.

Not the case anymore.

Competition among life insurance carriers have brought non med prices down. They’re also more lenient on approval rates than in the past.

Keep in mind that a Standard approval is the best rate you can qualify for with RA.

Works Best For Mild RA

Non med life insurance works best if you have mild, or moderate at most, rheumatoid arthritis.

What does mild RA look like?

  • Flareups occur only occasionally and can be managed with self-care.
  • NSAIDS are used now and then to control pain and swelling.
  • No disability as a result of RA.
  • No deformity as a result of RA.
  • Organs, such as your heart and lungs, are not affected.

What does moderate RA look like?

  • Flareups are predictable and manageable.
  • Medications, such as low-dose methotrexate, are used to achieve low-disease activity.
  • No disability as a result of RA.
  • Minimal deformity, such as a finger joint, as a result of RA.
  • Organs, such as your heart and lungs, are not affected.

At times, it can be difficult to distinguish if you have mild, moderate, or severe rheumatoid arthritis.

In Moderate to Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (sometimes called Progressive RA or Aggressive RA), many joints, or every joint in some cases, becomes painfully stiff, weakened, or swollen.

Mild RA is distinguished from those cases since fewer joints, such as hand or feet joints only, are usually involved. –Kelly O’Neill Young, RA Warrior


Here’s what the life insurance interviewer will ask you about your rheumatoid arthritis:

  1. Date of diagnosis
  2. RA flareups – how often and how severe?
  3. Any deformity as a result of RA?
  4. Any disability as a result of RA?
  5. What RA medications do you take?
  6. What parts of the body are affected by RA?

Your answers to these questions will help the life insurance carrier determine if a non med policy will work well for you.

No Needles, No Nurses

It may seem like not a big selling point for someone who sees a rheumatologist regularly, but for some of us, one less needle poke means a lot. You’ll also avoid providing, ahem, a bathroom sample.

Additionally, the turnaround time on the application process is much faster when you avoid a paramedical exam. It can easily shave weeks off processing. If you are in need of a policy in a hurry, no exam is an excellent option.

Check Your Medicine Cabinet

There are three rheumatoid arthritis medications that non med life insurance carriers consider red flags. Recognized as a subset of DMARDs (disease-modifying anti rheumatic drugs), Enbrel, Humira, and Remicade are biologics and are on the non med underwriter’s watchlist. Biologics are genetically-engineered proteins that inhibit the immune system from producing an inflammatory response in the body.

  1. Enbrel (etanercept) – a biologic that targets pain and inflammation by targeting a protein called TNF, or tumor necrosis factor. TNF is associated with the breakdown of joint cartilage and bone.  Enbrel is primarily used to treat moderate to severe RA, psoriatic arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
  2. Humira (adalimumab) – another biologic that targets the TNF protein. Humira is prescribed for different types of moderate to severe arthritis, Chron’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
  3. Remicade (infliximab) – this biologic is similar to Enbrel and Humira in that it targets the TNF. Remicade is also prescribed for different types of moderate to severe arthritis, Chron’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

Enbrel, Humira, and Remicade are often prescribed for moderate to severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis. While they have a history of successful RA treatment, their immunosuppressive qualities place patients at a higher risk for other health complications, such as infection. It’s important to keep in mind that your rheumatologist prescribed the medication, knowing that the benefits outweighed the risks.

How’s Your Health?

A common misconception surrounding non med life insurance is that your health is not of concern since you’re skipping the medical exam.

Not the case.

In fact, aside from your RA, it’s important to be in overall satisfactory health in order to qualify for this type of policy.

Think of this list as a general guideline.  An accumulation of multiple health (and lifestyle) concerns can make it difficult to secure no exam life insurance. Some are more difficult to underwrite than others.

Speak to an expert independent life insurance agent about your unique situation.

Warning Signs To Life Insurance Carriers

  • Overweight or obese
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • AIDS or HIV
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer or other major illness
  • Other autoimmune conditions (multiple sclerosis)
  • Hazardous hobbies (skydiving, scuba diving)
  • Hazardous occupation (roofer, logging worker, fisher)
  • Financial difficulty (bankruptcy)

Note: If you have multiple health or lifestyle concerns in addition to your rheumatoid arthritis, you absolutely still have options. Graded benefit, guaranteed issue, and final expense life insurance policies are all options for someone who would have a difficult time securing traditional no exam life insurance.

Coverage Amount Limit

No exam life insurance works best when you need a moderate amount of coverage. Typically, non med companies will offer up to about $500,000. Some max out at a lesser amount.

Analyze the following when deciding on a policy amount that fits your needs. Keep in mind that some coverage is better than no coverage.

  • Funeral expenses
  • Mortgage
  • Debt (student loans, credit card)
  • Family business
  • Future needs (tuition, car)

How Does It Work?

non med life insurance rheumatoid arthritis

  1. Partner Up – It’s crucial to collaborate with a life insurance agent. Independent agents have access to all life insurance carriers and their policies. Captive agents do not. Your best interest is at heart and they are able to find the best policy to fit your needs at the most competitive price.
  2. Apply – The application process for non med life insurance is simplified. By skipping the medical exam, you can shave weeks off the turnaround time. Expect about a 20 minute phone interview after your agent submits your application. Your medical records will likely be ordered if you have rheumatoid arthritis.
  3. Signatures – Your agent will help you finalize your contract paperwork with signatures.
  4. Yes! – You just did something super responsible. Congratulations! Your loved ones are financially protected, regardless of what life brings.

Independent Agent Is A Must

An independent life insurance agent has your best interest at heart.

  • Choice – because they are not held captive to a particular life insurance carrier, independent agents are able to shop for the best policy at the lowest price.
  • Expert – if you have a specific need or condition, like rheumatoid arthritis, it’s essential to partner with an agent who has a comprehensive understanding of how your unique situation affects life insurance.
  • Advocate – your agent will guide you through the life insurance application process, answering your questions and concerns along the way. Think of an independent agent as a safety net, acting on your behalf and securing the best policy you qualify for.

Apply For Non Med Life Insurance Policy

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 company, it’s crucial to collaborate with an agent with a deep understanding of RA.

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

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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