I don’t think I would be overstating the subject at all if I said that at least once a week I have a client who, for the first time, discovers they have a health issue because the life insurance exam lab results bring it to light. Some of the most frequent revelations that come from those lab results are high cholesterol often coupled with low HDL (good cholesterol), elevated liver functions, elevated PSA (prostate specific antigen) and very often elevated glucose accompanied by an elevated A1C, a measure of long term glucose averages.
While life insurance agents shouldn’t practice medicine, the next step should be to encourage their clients to see a doctor and get a professional opinion. After they’ve done that, a good independent agent can give them guidance as to the steps that are necessary to get them back on the path toward competitive life insurance quotes.
There is especially good news for a person whose labs indicate undiagnosed borderline diabetes. That is to say that they have an A1C of 6.5 or less. If all other risk factors are favorable, an independent agent has access to rates for that person that are as good as Superman can get, provided Superman’s labs are normal also.
For those that have already been diagnosed with diabetes, there is more good news. Provided they have good control, an A1C of 7.0 or less with all other risk factors being favorable, better than standard rates are very attainable. It is not unrealistic for a type 1 diabetic that does all the right things and whose labs show well controlled glucose levels, and no collateral health issues, to be able to get preferred rates. It is completely reasonable to expect a type 2 diabetic who is prudently taking care of their overall health to get preferred or standard plus rates. These are good rates folks. There are plenty of us who are happy to get those rates without the challenge of diabetes.
In summary, the way to life insurance rates for either a type 1 or type 2 diabetic is control. An A1C (and please, if you don’t know yours, call your doctor) of 7.0 or less is good, 6.5 or less is great. Between 7 and 8 is still in the running for good rates as long as the other risk factors are in control. I’ve mentioned the other risk factors a few times. What underwriters want to see is, if there is hypertension (high blood pressure) that it is well controlled. If you are overweight and your medical records show that you are doing something about it, that is a real plus. They want to see compliance with your physician. Stated another way, do everything and exactly what the doctor says religiously. They want to see people who are consistent about self monitoring and about doctor followups.
Checking your glucose occasionally and going to the doctor once a year is not the way to good health or good life insurance rates.
This post is somewhat dated. Life insurance underwriting is changing and evolving continually. For more updated information check out some of the key word links. If you have a specific question or topic you need information for do a search. If you don’t find the answers you need contact me and we’ll make sure you get the information that is important to you.