Were You Denied Life Insurance Because Of A “High Risk” Medical Condition?

Being declined for anything just feels wrong, right? Being denied a car loan when you know you can make the payments is kind of a personal affront. I mean the ads on TV are practically begging to give you a car loan, especially now during the Covid 19 pandemic.

Being declined for life insurance is even worse in a lot of ways. You want and need the family protection and a company is telling you that you don’t qualify. That sets off all kinds of thoughts. If a life insurance company won’t accept you as a risk then there must be something really wrong with you. Maybe you’re dying and your doctor forgot to tell you!! Not getting a car loan is a real drag. Being turned down for life insurance can be downright scary.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’ve been declined, or even highly rated (price went up) when you applied for life insurance. 1. There actually are some medical issues that no company will cover and 2. Not all companies may have the same take on that medical issue, so a decline (or high price) from one company may not be a decline (or high price) with another company. FYI. Don’t just keep trying new companies based on #2. Let an independent agent like me shop it for you.

What Conditions Can Get You Declined With Every Company?

Let me insert ** here. **You can always get guaranteed issue life insurance even if no one else will insure you. That’s the good news. The bad news is there are a lot of restrictions.

The following list has two important categories that determine if you will be denied or approved. Those categories are “controlled” and “cured”.

  1. Life insurance can be approved for some kinds of cancer if they are “cured”. Being in remission is not cured.
  2. Life insurance can be approved for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes if the condition is well “controlled”. Control with diabetes is mainly measure by your A1c and a lack of collateral health issues. Not controlled
  3. Mood disorders such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder can be approved if the condition is well “controlled”. Control with mood disorders is measured by the absence of recent suicidal thoughts and/or hospitalizations and the presence of job and social stability and compliance with treatment. If those are current problems that is not controlled.
  4. Epilepsy and seizure disorders can be approved if they are well “controlled”. Control is measured by seizures either being absent or at least made very infrequent due to being compliant with treatment. If you are having frequent seizures or particularly severe seizures that isn’t well controlled.
  5. If you have HIV you can be approved if it is well controlled by ART. Control with HIV is measured by an undetectable viral load and a CD4 over 500 for at least two years. There is a short list of criteria that must be met to be approved and prices can be high.
  6. Heart issues such as Atrial Fib or coronary artery disease can be approved if well controlled, consistently followed and you are compliant with all treatment and followup up. Some exceptions that could end up denied are if you have a heart attack prior to age 40, have multiple heart attacks (chronic CAD) or have an exacerbating combination such as diabetes and CAD. Those situations may be out of your hands but are not well controlled.
  7. Lab results on an insurance exam can lead to a decline in some cases. These are often a surprise to you and not something you would have known to control or cure. If you are denied life insurance due to lab results, you should get a copy of the labs (the company or agent will let you know how). Once you have those seek out an independent agent with access to a lot of companies. Not unlike what I described above, the company that denied you may have a completely different take on that lab result than a company I would shop it to.

What Medical Conditions Rarely Get A Denial.

I recently did a search for the top reasons for life insurance declines and was amazed at the misinformation and/or vague information I found. Some of the insurance agencies you find at the top of almost all life insurance searches were shoveling poo in this query. The following medical conditions will only end up in a denial if they are completely out of control and if you are aware of them and being treated, they are likely controlled well enough to be approved. Numbers 5 and 6 are policies I get approved on a regular basis. The following list came from an agency that wants to sell you guaranteed issue life insurance even when you don’t need it, a scare tactic that is aimed at people over 50 years old.

  1. High cholesterol
  2. High blood pressure
  3. High blood sugar
  4. Obesity
  5. Dangerous occupations
  6. Dangerous hobbies
  7. Heart disease
  8. Recreational drug use
  9. Mental Health
  10. Insufficient income

Bottom Line

If you have been denied life insurance or have been offered life insurance at a rate that seems out of proportion to the reason cited, in most cases the situation can be fixed. If you would like to discuss your bad experience and get things on on track for an approval, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.