How many times have you heard it from me (and I’m still young…sorta)? Life insurance underwriters look at diabetes through a set of glasses with CONTROL written on the lenses.

On a life insurance exam glucose levels, for someone without diabetes, over 109 would be considered out of normal, or high. An hbA1c over 6.0 would be abnormal. For someone who has diabetes, in order to qualify for better than standard rates, a fasting glucose under 120 and an hbA1c of 6.5 or under will get the job done in the absence of other risk factors.

There was an interesting comparison done on dLife between the ADA recommended levels and the AACE recommended levels for people with diabetes.

It seems the endocrinologists have a little more aggressive idea of control and it seems to be more in line with the life insurance underwriters who are using mortality tables for assumptive purposes. I’m not saying one is right and one is wrong, but from a purely life insurance standpoint, the AACE guidelines will get you better rates.

Bottom line. Everyone with diabetes would like to have complete control and wonderful numbers, but the truth is, you do the best you can. Glucose control, especially long term, has an impact on collateral health issues and therefore life insurance rates as well. Those who can achieve and maintain good control and avoid other risk factors should have a great chance at purchasing life insurance at competitive rates.