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Following quickly on the heels of the obesity epidemic has been the type 2 diabetes epidemic that is sweeping the country. With $billions being thrown around like dimes these days I was surprised that a headline with $billions even caught my attention. The estimated annual cost of type 2 diabetes in our country is $218 billion.

I would like to throw out a little different view of that staggering figure. Type 2 diabetes and all of it’s associated collateral health issues such as heart disease produce a substantial mortality experience in our country. I think someone would have to bury their head in the sand pretty seriously to not understand that diabetes and its’ complications are responsible for an astounding number of deaths each year.

When you consider that in the context of the number of people who are uninsured or under-insured, when those deaths occur families are going to be left with health care debt that will bankrupt many of them. Life insurance may be the only thing that will prevent that financial disaster from occurring.

The good news is that for many with type 2 diabetes life insurance is very affordable. The key of course is to get insurance while the diabetes is well controlled or in the early stages and hasn’t yet caused any other health issues. Here is just a quick review of the points that an underwriter looks at when reviewing a diabetes file for insurance.

Age of onset is part of the equation. After age 50 is optimal. Before age 50 will cost more, but the higher rate class is often offset by the lower cost for age. Control of the diabetes as measured by a blood test of glycated hemoglobin, the hbA1c, is critical. Well controlled diabetes tends to be less detrimental to the body. An A1c of less than 7 is good, less than 6.5 is optimal. Finally, whether their are related health issues, a measure of how far the diabetes has progressed is taken into account.

Bottom line. With $200 billion plus being racked up each year in costs associated with diabetes, the financial fallout for the families can be a terrible cost. You know me and my belief that if you have a family you should have had life insurance in force all along, but if you don’t and you have diabetes, apply for life insurance now.