When you blow past that 50 mark in your life it seems that the aches and pains are more frequent and often show up without any good reason. I remember when I was younger playing 36 holes of golf (carrying my bag) and while I was tired, sore was not a problem. Now at 55, well, let’s just say that Ibuprofen is my friend.

This stiffness along with the aches and pains are a normal part of aging as we lose some of the flexibility and youthful resilience to bounce back from everyday things like golf or working in the garden. For many with arthritis, whether osteoarthritis
or rheumatoid, it isn’t a matter of bouncing back from activities, but rather the ability to do the activity being compromised.

Life insurance underwriting of arthritis is a rather complicated issue but I will try to break it down into some basic guidelines that underwriters look for. First, there is a profound difference in underwriting between the two primary types of arthritis. One reason is a very real and substantial difference in the severity of the disease and complications. Not to make light of osteoarthritis. It is painful and debilitating. A measure of its’ ability to impact your life would pale in comparison to the impact of rheumatoid arthritis.

From an underwriting standpoint the starkest difference often lies not directly with the disease, but with the treatment. While osteoarthritis can often be controlled with over the counter or prescribed anti inflammatory medications, the battle with rheumatoid arthritis is often fought with steroids and medications that can be nearly as tough on a person as some chemotherapy treatments for cancer. In fact the term “remission” is a common term used for both cancer and rheumatoid arthritis when they are being held at bay.

While the medications
can be effective in treating the disease, the side affects can be significant. It is often the known risk of the treatment that drives life insurance underwriting as much as the disease.

With osteoarthritis a person can expect that life insurance rates will generally be available at standard or better rates. Preferred rates are not out of the question depending on the degree of disability in each case. With rheumatoid arthritis a standard rate would be a best case outcome. It is not unusual to see, depending on the treatment, for policies to be rated and some even declined.

Bottom line. Helping you find the best rates on life insurance if you have arthritis is a job for a knowledgeable independent agent. Don’t expect positive outcomes from your friendly car insurance agent down the street. It takes the right agent with access to the right companies to get the job done with a satisfactory outcome.