At least there are a few good things about sleep apnea. First, who needs a doctor when your spouse can diagnosis it for you? Second, and a little more seriously, once diagnosed it is very treatable.

Sleep apnea is a challenging underwriting task for life insurance. Like health issues such as type 2 diabetes, the actual disease or problem may not carry that high a mortality risk, but when combined with all the collateral health issues it becomes much more complicated.

Take for instance the fact that a person with sleep apnea is four times more likely to have a stroke. About half of all people with sleep apnea also suffer from high blood pressure. Most men with sleep apnea have been beaten by their wives on multiple occasions until they have agreed to see a doctor.

Bottom line. Life insurance is all about determining mortality risk. When sleep apnea is out of control the mortality risk is substantially elevated due to collateral issues. When it is well controlled, providing all other risk factors are good, preferred rates are not out of the question.