Not everything that goes on in our medical lives is memorable. If our blood pressure is always in the normal range more than likely we are going to remember our last blood pressure reading. Unless I was deathly ill there is no way that I would remember what my temperature was the last time a nurse took it. But I have this thing called Raynauds and I remember nearly 30 years ago when the doctor showed me the test results of my ANA (anti nuclear antibody titer) which had a normal range of like 0-300. Mine was 22,000. I had it retested about 5 years ago and they had changed the normal range to 0-400 and mine was now 18,000+.
I remember in 2005, about six months after surgery for a broken leg, just getting sicker and sicker. I went to the hospital and they ran blood tests to check for an infection and told me my white blood cell count was still normal so that didn’t seem to be the problem. I went home and 12 hours later with a temperature of 104 went back and they retested and said my wbc count was over 15,000 or something like that and that I needed to be in a hospital 2 hours away as quick as I could get there because my leg was now swollen and red where the surgical incisions had been and it was apparent that I had a staph infection.
Those two numbers that I’ve remembered for so long were just impressive to me. They aren’t significant medical information to life insurance underwriting, and I am alive and well so they really aren’t significant in my life, but let me throw out some things that I run into all the time that are significant that people don’t remember.
This is more prevalent with type 2 diabetes than type 1 diabetes, but there is a blood test that they have done every three months and it is significant, called HbA1c or A1c. While monitoring glucose daily, preferably several times daily, is important in your day to day control, the A1c gives a three month average of all of your glucose readings, including those you never take. So, if you have diabetes and wake up every morning and check your glucose and it is 90 or 100 so you just get on with your day and check it again the next morning, you are missing all of those post meal readings. The A1c doesn’t miss anything. If it is 7.5 that means your average is 169. If that’s true then you may be 90 in the morning but you have been mixing in 250-300 readings that aren’t falling in your checking average. I would consider this one of those things that I would want to know about every three months. Not knowing your A1c if you’re diabetic doesn’t make sense and won’t help you get an accurate life insurance quote.
In the same vein if you’ve had cancer and don’t remember the stage and grade, well, to me that’s shocking. I’m not anal about remembering everything but if you’ve had cancer that’s a major life thing. I can see at some point not remembering, but I talk to people all the time who have to get a pathology report from their doctor to remember what the stage and grade was two years ago. Just like that ANA titer reading stuck in my head because it was so far out of normal, a stage and grade is way out of normal compared to not having cancer. I emailed a guy I am working with the other day and asked if he knew the stage and grade of his melanoma and he emailed back within 30 seconds and answered T1aNOMO, Breslow 1.03, Clarks level 3. This is everything I need to tell and underwriter to get quotes.
Bottom line. I know we’re all wired differently, but if you’re looking for the best rates for impaired risk life insurance then you need to brush up on your health challenges and know about or at least be willing to learn about it if you’re asked for the information. If you didn’t get the rate you hoped for because an agent didn’t ask more about your impairment, shame on the agent. If you want to know how to succeed, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.