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There’s really never been bad news when it comes to life insurance underwriting of type 2 diabetes. Would people with diabetes like to pay less for life insurance? Of course they would, which puts them in the same boat with all of us who don’t have diabetes.

Are they paying too much? You know, I would have to answer that question with a resounding no. Life insurance these days, especially term insurance, is such a bargain that really the limiting factor is usually what rate class a person is approved at, but rather are they willing to budget the money for life insurance.

I have frequently compared the underwriting of diabetes to underwriting bipolar disorder or any of the maladies that really do take an aggressive commitment to treatment and control. With diabetes, lack of control can lead to other health issues, and the further down that road a person slips, the less likely they are to find affordable life insurance.

We’ve covered these criteria before, but it never hurts to revisit exactly what life insurance underwriters are looking for. Age of diagnosis is important. That is one of the tough things with type 1 diabetes. Age of onset is generally fairly early in life and the truth is that the longer your body has to cope with diabetes and the potential risk factors, the more likely a person is to fall into collateral health issues. With type 2 diabetes there is an underwriting difference between onset before 40, 40-50, and after 50. The older the onset the more favorable the underwriting. It remains to be seen how underwriting will handle the coming wave of early (teens-30’s) onset.

Control is another big factor. Generally this is measured by the hbA1c, a long term measure of glucose levels. While life insurance underwriters are generally a little more stringent than the ADA recommendations, the ADA isn’t in the insurance business. The truth is that the ADA fails to address life insurance at all for all their claims to be diabetes advocates, but that’s for another post on another day.

Lastly, the underwriters want to see compliance. Nothing bugs an underwriter toward higher rates than reading medical records of someone who isn’t consistent with their prescribed treatment. Only taking medication when you feel like you need it is almost always taking it too late.

Bottom line. There are very competitive rates available to people with diabetes. At least for those who have accepted the challenge and are meeting it.