Up until a few years ago sleep apnea, even well controlled with a cpap, was just one of those health issues that you could expect wouldn’t get much better than a standard plus approval from the best of life insurance underwriters.
The same could be said of situational depression and minor treated anxiety. But along with bipolar disorder that I talk about so often, underwriting has really focused, especially in these areas, on becoming kinder and gentler. The truth is that mortality risk with these issues truly only comes when they are not well controlled and a patient is no compliant with their treatment.
If the patient takes these things seriously and is motivated to stay healthy, a life insurance underwriter isn’t going out on much of a limb to approve these issues at preferred and even preferred plus.
Sleep apnea for instance, left unchecked can have serious health consequences that range from the problems that arise out of insufficient sleep, to high blood pressure and even an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Taken seriously, well controlled sleep apnea has virtually no health risks because use of a cpap stops the incidence of apnea. Well controlled sleep apnea has also been known to save marriages as the freight train equivalent snoring stops.
Just one quick caveat. Obesity is one of the leading causes of sleep apnea. If you control the sleep apnea and ignore the obesity, don’t expect preferred rates.
Bottom line. There are companies out there that understand, believe in and underwrite control. If you have sleep apnea, talk to a knowledgeable independent agent today and see how affordable life insurance can be.
My experience has been just the opposite. I was given a big increase in premium I have to pay because I use a CPAP for hypopnea. While the CPAP machine certainly helps and eliminates the snoring problem, I wouldn’t have these much higher insurance costs if I didn’t use one.
You haven’t given me a lot to work with. All I know is that you are apparently paying higher rates now than you did in the past. I’m guessing from what you wrote that you were told it was because you use a cpap.
If that was the reason given I would have to conjecture that you applied with the wrong agent or the wrong company. Use of a cpap, compliant use, is a positive thing from the view of most underwriters.
You may be paying a higher rate because your doctor has diagnosed you with obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS), which usually falls into the severe apnea realm versus mild or moderate. It can lead to higher rates, but if well controlled (as shown by a sleep study on the cpap), preferred rates may still be available (with the right company).
All of that is said assuming there are no other risk factors or collateral health issues.