Often a person that is extremely overweight resorts to gastric bypass surgery to get everything under control. Gastric bypass, in a nutshell, sews off most of the stomach, leaving the person with a stomach that is easily filled with a minimal portion compared to what they used to eat. Life insurance companies welcome that weight loss….cautiously.
First of all, life insurance underwriters treat gastric bypass weight loss the same way they treat any other rapid weight loss. There is an assumption that the instant success won’t last and if a person really wants to eat, they will keep working at it until the can stretch their new, smaller stomach to accommodate more food.
I recently worked with a client that had kept their weight down in the 240# range for two years after coming down from 370#. We started talking about life insurance and by the time he actually did his insurance exam, he was up to 259#. We still got a good rate, but not as good as if he had kept his weight down. There is real concern when it starts climbing again.
Underwriters want to see at least one year after a person’s weight has leveled off post bypass. Some would rather see two years. Once they have reached these thresholds, they can get rates based on their current weight.
I just read a post on thediabetesblog.com by Diane Rixon that layed out a compelling case for being able to solve weight induced diabetes through gastric bypass. Killing two birds with one stone.
Bottom line. Gastric bypass may not be for everyone, but chances are very good, at extreme weights, that it may be better than the alternatives and may well save your life.