I have tried for years to get the American Diabetes Association to allow me to help them rewrite their “Life Insurance Information” page on their website. I will put this as bluntly as it needs to be. The ADA doesn’t have a clue about what it takes to get type 1 diabetes life insurance or type 2 diabetes life insurance. To make matters worse, in spite of their claim to advocacy, they really don’t care if they get accurate information out.
Adults with diabetes are no different from the average spouse or parent. They have a need for life insurance to protect their family. The difference is that unless they happen upon the right agent who knows something about diabetes and knows how to successfully get approvals for those with diabetes, they’re sunk. Most of my clients who have diabetes came to me after being declined or approved at a rate that was truly absurd.
The ADA has one page on their website devoted to this subject. It hasn’t changed in years, and certainly not since the last time I wrote a post about it. That was in early 2009. I’ve been jousting with them about this for many years before that. At one point they refused to allow me to comment on their forum with helpful hints on how to find life insurance.
We are almost to 2011 and the ADA still has the same information about life insurance on their website that they had in 1995. It starts out with the most ridiculous statements imaginable concerning diabetes life insurance, “Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, life insurance policies sold within the United States can become unaffordable or unavailable. This is because life insurance policies are allowed by state and federal law to “rate” or charge a premium based upon an applicant’s health status. In addition, a plan can choose to not provide a policy based upon an applicant’s health status.” What the heck does that even mean? It kind of asserts that maybe there is something outside the US available. That’s really not the case! Federal law has absolutely nothing to say about how life insurance companies charge and state law doesn’t dictate anything about how a company rates or declines clients. The ADA has had the same word salad available for their followers for sixteen years now. And they “will not outsource a rewrite of the information”.
How about putting out something like the following criteria for finding the best rates if you have type 1 diabetes.
1. If adult onset, more than a year since diagnosis and A1c’s consistently below 7.
2. If juvenile onset, current age above 30 and A1c’s consistently below 7 (last 5 years).
3. No hospitalization for diabetic emergencies or diabetes related complications.
4. Compliance with doctor recommended testing, both at home and quarterly blood workups.
5. No onset of diabetes related complications.
Of you have type 2 diabetes.
1. Onset after age 50 (after 60 can bring preferred plus rates)
2. A1c’s consistently below 7.5
3. Compliance with treatment and followup with doctor
4. No other risk factors present such as obesity or heart disease.
5. No related complications such as peripheral neuropathy or diabetic retinopathy.
These are guidelines for the best rates available with diabetes. If you are outside of these guidelines it doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. It may or may not even mean higher rates.
Bottom line. There are fair and affordable diabetes life insurance rates available. Just don’t depend on the ADA to help you find them. They’re too busy raising money to keep the ADA going.