Insider Guide to Qualifying for Life Insurance with Medical Conditions

Written by ChoiceLifeQuote

The process of applying for life insurance can be confusing enough without the complication of trying to get approved for life insurance with medical conditions or various health issues. Since insurance companies consider your health and medical history in evaluating an application for coverage certain preexisting conditions may cause your rates to increase or coverage to be declined all together.

However, just because you have a history of medical issues does not mean that you are uninsurable. 

life insurance with medical conditions

By understanding a few insider secrets to life insurance with medical conditions you can significantly improve your chances of getting the coverage you need at the best possible rate. The following article, Insider Guide to Qualifying for Life Insurance with Medical Conditions, provides information related to qualifying for life insurance with medical conditions, as well as a list of health conditions that may affect rates and/or policy approval.

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How Medical Conditions Affect Premium Rates

As a part of the underwriting process life insurance companies routinely evaluate an applicant’s health and medical history. The company’s underwriting decision involves policy approval or denial, and assigning premium rates based on the individual applicant’s determined level of risk. Given this process, a person’s health can have a significant impact on qualifying for life insurance with medical conditions and associated premium rates. Minor conditions controlled through diet and/or medication may not have an impact on rates, while more serious or uncontrolled conditions may cause rates to increase significantly or coverage to be declined. Given the potential impact of medical conditions on your life insurance policy approval and rates it is important to put your best foot forward when applying for coverage.

According to AIG, "your health is one of several factors taken into consideration when you apply for life insurance. Even though it can play a significant role in the rate you pay for a policy, it’s unlikely that you’ll be disqualified as a result of a pre-existing medical condition."

Fully Underwritten vs. No Exam Life Policies

Should applicants with health conditions apply for no exam life insurance rather than a fully underwritten policy?

If you are fairly healthy and need coverage quickly, or have not been to the doctor in a few years, a no exam life insurance policy can be a great option. However, these plans may automatically decline certain health conditions due to a lack of detailed medical information, lab results, etc.

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If you have a history of medical issues a fully underwritten policy may be a better choice for obtaining life insurance with medical conditions. Fully underwritten policies allow the insurance company to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your health and medical conditions, then assign an appropriate underwriting class. The best policy option whether fully underwritten or no exam coverage will ultimately depend of your individual situation and history. If you have been denied covered based on medical considerations and have been found to be uninsurable there are additional policy options in the form of guaranteed issue plans. Though more expensive than traditional coverage, these plans provide for guaranteed approval and coverage.

Qualifying for Life Insurance with Medical Conditions

There are three essential keys to qualifying for life insurance with medical conditions. It is important that you work with an experienced independent agent, choose the right insurance company, and provide complete and accurate information about your medical conditions and health history.

1

Work with an Experienced Independent Agent

Not all life insurance agents are created equal. Working with an experienced independent agent gives you a significant advantage in navigating the application process. Insurance companies often have varying standards when considering different medical conditions, an agent’s understanding of these underwriting “niches” can significantly work to your benefit. An independent agent has access to potentially dozens of insurance companies, and can help to match you with the insurer that best fits your individual situation. This process of “shopping” your application to several companies can ensure that you get the best value, and is traditionally only available through an independent agent or broker.

2

Choose the Right Life Insurance Company

For life insurance applicants with high risk medical conditions choosing the right insurance company can literally make the difference between getting affordable coverage or potentially being declined. As mentioned above, insurance companies often have different underwriting standards when evaluating certain health and medical issues. For example, Protective will offer a “preferred best” underwriting class to an applicant being successfully treated for high blood pressure, while Prudential will not. However, Prudential traditionally offers better underwriting classes for smokeless tobacco, sleep apnea, and medical marijuana. It is important to consider these underwriting “niches,” as well as company ratings, when choosing an insurance company.

3

Provide Complete and Accurate Medical Information

When applying for life insurance with medical conditions it is extremely important to provide complete and accurate information related to your health conditions and medical history. Requested information may include diagnosis, treatment dates, plan of care, medications, prognosis, and other relevant data. Insurance companies often have a standard underwriting questionnaire for common medical conditions which outline specific information needed. Providing complete and accurate information allows the underwriter to accurately assess your condition, and make decisions based on your individual situation. It may also be helpful to submit a cover letter to the insurance company addressing your condition and highlighting any positive health and/or lifestyle considerations. Your agent can assist in putting together a cover letter for the insurance company’s underwriting team.

Common Medical Conditions Affecting Life Insurance Rates

Can you qualify for life insurance with medical conditions?

How will certain health and/or medical conditions affect your life insurance rates?

Qualifying for life insurance with medical conditions, even moderate to severe issues, is more common than you would think. The fact is that most life insurance applicants are not necessarily in perfect health.

common conditions life insurance with medical conditions

The key, as mentioned above, is to work with an experienced independent agent, choose the right insurance company, and provide complete and accurate health information when applying. Insurance companies understand that each applicant has their own health profile, and will evaluate each individual applicant for coverage assigning an appropriate underwriting class and/or rating. The following provides examples on how common medical conditions are viewed by insurers and can potentially affect premium rates.   

Alcohol Abuse

According to the Mayo Clinic, alcohol use disorder (which includes a level that's sometimes called alcoholism) is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as alcohol use disorder can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, reformed alcoholism may result in a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, while continued alcohol use may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: Alcohol Use Disorder


Alzheimer's Disease

According to the Mayo Clinic, Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. This disease is the most common cause of dementia, a group of brain disorders that cause the loss of intellectual and social skills. In Alzheimer's, the brain cells degenerate and die, causing a steady decline in memory and mental function.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or other related conditions can impact premium rates and/or approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, progressive Alzheimer's may result in a significant table rating or decline of coverage.

Learn more: ​Alzheimer's Disease​​​


Anemia

According to the Mayo Clinic, anemia is a condition in which you don't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body's tissues. Having anemia may make you tired and weak. There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe. Treatments for anemia range from taking supplements to undergoing medical procedures.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as anemia can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, recovered anemia may qualify for a preferred underwriting class. Whereas, sickle cell disease and other severe forms of anemia may result in a Table D or greater rating increasing rates by 200% or more above standard, or a complete decline of coverage.

Learn more: ​Anemia​​​


Aneurysm

According to the Mayo Clinic, aneurysm is an abnormal bulge or ballooning in the wall of a blood vessel. An aneurysm can burst (rupture), causing internal bleeding and often leading to death. Aneurysms usually don't cause symptoms, so you might not know you have an aneurysm even if it's large. Aneurysms can develop in several parts of your body, including the aorta, brain, and other parts of the body, such as your legs, groin or neck.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as an aneurysm can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, an unrepaired aneurysm may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: Aneurysm


Anorexia Nervosa

According to the Mayo Clinic,anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of weight. People with anorexia place a high value on controlling their weight and shape, using extreme efforts that tend to significantly interfere with their lives.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as anorexia can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, recovered anorexia stable for at least one year may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, while current anorexia issues may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: Anorexia Nervosa


Anxiety Disorders

According to the Mayo Clinic, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks). These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, and are out of proportion to the actual danger.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as anxiety disorder can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, mild or well-controlled anxiety disorders may qualify for a preferred underwriting class, while more severe disorders may result in a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard.

Learn more: Anxiety Disorders


Arrhythmia

According to the Mayo Clinic,heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) occur when the electrical impulses that coordinate your heart beats don't work properly, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly. Arrhythmias may be harmless. However, some arrhythmias may cause bothersome, sometimes even life-threatening, signs and symptoms.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as an arrhythmia can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, a few premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) may qualify for a standard underwriting class, while many PVCs or other arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation may result in a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard.

Learn more: Arrhythmia


Asthma

According to the Mayo Clinic, asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extramucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life threatening asthma attack.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as asthma can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, mild asthma requiring no medications may qualify for a preferred underwriting class, while more severe cases of asthma may result in a standard or greater rating.

Learn more: ​Asthma​​​


Build (Obesity)

According to the ​Mayo Clinic, obesity is a complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn't just a cosmetic concern. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Being extremely obese means you are especially likely to have health problems related to your weight.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as obesity can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, underwriting classes based on height/weight can range from preferred plus (best class), to table ratings increasing rates significantly, or a decline of coverage all together. The following chart provides an example of height/weight ratios and associated underwriting classes. 

male height weight chart life insurance with medical conditions
male height weight chart life insurance with medical conditions 2
female height weight chart life insurance with medical conditions
female height weight chart life insurance with medical conditions 2

Bulimia Nervosa

According to the Mayo Clinic, bulimia is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder. People with bulimia may secretly binge, eating large amounts of food with a loss of control over the eating and then purge, trying to get rid of the extra calories in an unhealthy way. To get rid of calories and prevent weight gain, people with bulimia may use different methods such as self-induce vomiting, misuse of laxatives, weight-loss supplements, or diuretics.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as bulimia can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, uncontrolled bulimia may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: Bulimia


Cancer

According to the Mayo Clinic, cancer refers to any one of a large number of diseases characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue. Cancer is the second leading cause of death inthe United States. But survival rates are improving for many types of cancer, thanks to improvements in cancer screening and cancer treatment.

cancer life insurance with medical conditions

Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as cancer can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, cancer may result in underwriting classes ranging from preferred to a complete decline of coverage based on cancer type,treatment, prognosis, time in remission, and other factors. As examples, fully recovered basal cell carcinoma may qualify for a preferred class, while fully recovered breast cancer, colon cancer, melanoma, or prostate cancer greater than 10 years ago may qualify for a standard underwriting class. Recent cancer diagnosis, ongoing treatment, or other complications may result in a decline of coverage.     

Learn more: ​Life Insurance for Cancer Patients and Survivors (Coverage Option)


Cardiomegaly

According to the Mayo Clinic, an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly) isn't a disease, but rather a sign of another condition. You may develop an enlarged heart because of a stress on your body, or a medical condition, such as the weakening of the heart muscle, coronary artery disease, heart valve problems or abnormal heart rhythms. This condition may be treatable by correcting the cause.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions associated with an enlarged heart can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, an enlarged heart may result in a standard or greater underwriting class, to include a decline of coverage, based on the underlying condition.

Learn more: Enlarged Heart (Cardiomegaly)


Carotid Artery Disease

According to the Mayo Clinic, carotid artery disease occurs when fatty deposits (plaques) clog the blood vessels that deliver blood to your brain and head (carotid arteries). The blockage increases your risk of stroke, a medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or seriously reduced. Stroke is the most common cause of death and the leading cause of permanent disability in the United States.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as carotid artery disease or history of a stroke can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, a single stroke, fully recovered with no paralysis, may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, while multiple strokes, paralysis, or other complications may result in a decline of coverage.     

Learn more: ​Carotid Artery Disease


Congenital Heart Disease

According to the Mayo Clinic, congenital heart disease (congenital heart defect) is one or more abnormalities in your heart's structure that you're born with. This most common of birth defects can alter the way blood flows through your heart. Defects range from simple, which might cause no problems, to complex, which can cause life threatening complications.

heart disease life insurance with medical conditions

Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as congenital heart disease can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, minor heart defects may qualify a standard or greater rating, while more severe cardiac issues may result in a decline of coverage.     

Learn more: ​Congenital Heart Disease


COPD

According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, mucus (sputum) production and wheezing. It's caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke.

copd life insurance with medical conditions

Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as COPD can impact life insurance premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, mild COPD may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, moderate COPD may qualify for a Table D or greater rating increasing rates by 200% or more above standard, and severe COPD may result in a decline of coverage.     

Learn more: COPD


Coronary Artery Disease

According to the Mayo Clinic, coronary artery disease develops when the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients (coronary arteries) become damaged or diseased. Eventually, the decreased blood flow may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or other coronary artery disease signs and symptoms. A complete blockage can cause a heart attack.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as coronary artery disease can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, mild coronary artery disease and/or a single stent may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more, while more serious coronary artery disease and/or multiple stents may qualify for a Table D or greater rating increasing rates by 200% or more above standard, and severe disease, a heart attack under age 40, or other complication may result in a decline of coverage.     

Learn more: Coronary Artery Disease


Crohn's Disease

According to the Crohn's Disease, Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes inflammation of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Crohn's disease can be both painful and debilitating, and sometimes may lead to life threatening complications.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as Crohn's disease can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, mild to moderate Crohn's disease may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, while more serious Crohn's disease and/or complications may result in a decline of coverage.     

Learn more: Crohn's Disease


Depression

According to the Mayo Clinic, depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Those diagnosed with this disorder may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes feel as if life isn't worth living.

depression life insurance medical conditions

Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as depression can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, mild depression and/or controlled with one medication may qualify for a preferred underwriting class, multiple medications and/or psychiatric involvement may qualify standard, while severe bi-polar disorder or SSI disability may result in a decline of coverage.    

Learn more: Depression


Diabetes Mellitus

According to the Mayo Clinic, diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). The underlying cause of diabetes varies by type, but essentially can lead to excess sugar in your blood. Chronic diabetes conditions include Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes, while gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and may resolve after delivery.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as diabetes can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, Type 1 diabetes may qualify for a range of underwriting classes ranging from Table D or greater rating increasing rates by 200% or more above standard, through a complete decline of coverage based on age of diagnosis, insulin use, tobacco history, and other considerations. While, Type 2 diabetes may qualify for underwriting classes ranging from Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, through a complete decline of coverage based on age of diagnosis, level of control (A1C), insulin use, tobacco history, and other considerations. 

Learn more: ​Life Insurance for Diabetics: 7 Tips to Qualifying for Affordable Coverage


Diverticulosis / Diverticulitis

According to the Mayo Clinic, diverticulosis occurs when small, bulging pouches (diverticula) develop in your digestive tract. When one or more of these pouches become inflamed or infected, the condition is called diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can cause severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea and a marked change in your bowel habits. Mild diverticulitis can be treated with rest, changes in your diet and antibiotics. Severe or recurring diverticulitis may require surgery.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as diverticulosis or diverticulitis can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, diverticulosis may qualify for a preferred underwriting class, mild to moderate diverticulitis (infection) may qualify for a standard or greater underwriting class, while severe recurring diverticulitis and/or associated complications may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: ​Diverticulosis / Diverticulitis


Drug Addiction

According to the Mayo Clinic, drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person's brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. Drug addiction can start with experimental use of a recreational drug in social situations, and, for some people, the drug use becomes more frequent.

drug addiction life insurance with medical conditions

Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as drug addiction can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, drug addition recovered over three years may qualify for a Table D or greater rating increasing rates by 200% or more above standard, while current or more recent drug addiction may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: ​Drug Addiction


EKG Abnormalities

According to the Mayo Clinic, an electrocardiogram (EKG) records the electrical signals in your heart. It's a common test used to detect heart problems and monitor the heart's status in many situations. Each beat of your heart is triggered by an electrical impulse normally generated from special cells in the upper right chamber of your heart (pacemaker cells). An electrocardiogram records the timing and strength of these signals as they travel through your heart.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions associated with an abnormal EKG can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, abnormal EKG findings may result in a standard or greater underwriting class, to include a decline of coverage, based on the underlying condition.

Learn more: ​EKG Abnormalities​​​


Epilepsy / Seizures

According to the Mayo Clinic, epilepsy is a central nervous system (neurological) disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness. Seizure symptoms can vary widely. Some people with epilepsy simply stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure, while others repeatedly twitch their arms or legs.

epilepsy life insurance with medical conditions

Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as epilepsy can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, Petit Mal seizures with minimal residual affects may qualify for a Preferred underwriting class, Grand Mal seizures greater than 6 months and employed may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, or chronic Grand Mal seizures involving disability may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: Epilepsy / Seizures


Fatty Liver

According to the Mayo Clinic, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is an umbrella term for a range of liver conditions affecting people who drink little to no alcohol. Steatohepatitis, a potentially serious form of the disease, is marked by liver inflammation, which may progress to scarring and irreversible damage. At its most severe, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis can progress to cirrhosis and liver failure.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as fatty liver can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, fatty liver may qualify for a standard or greater underwriting class.

Learn more: ​Fatty Liver​​​


Fibrocystic Breasts

According to the Mayo Clinic, fibrocystic breasts are composed of tissue that feels lumpy or rope like in texture. Doctors call this nodular or glandular breast tissue. Although many women with fibrocystic breasts don't have symptoms, some women experience breast pain, tenderness and lumpiness. Breast symptoms tend to be most bothersome just before menstruation. Simple self-care measures can usually relieve discomfort associated with fibrocystic breasts.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as fibrocystic breasts can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, fibrocystic breasts may qualify for a preferred or greater underwriting class.

Learn more: ​Fibrocystic Breasts​​​


Gastroesophageal Reflux

According to the Mayo Clinic, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of your esophagus. Most people can manage the discomfort of GERD with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. But some people with GERD may need stronger medications or surgery to ease symptoms.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as GERD can impact rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, GERD with or without treatment may qualify for a preferred or greater underwriting class.

Learn more: ​Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease​​​  


Gilbert's Syndrome

Gilbert's syndrome is a common, harmless liver condition in which the liver doesn't properly process bilirubin. Bilirubin is produced by the breakdown of red blood cells. You might not know you have the condition until it's discovered by accident, such as when a blood test shows elevated bilirubin levels. Gilbert's syndrome requires no treatment.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as Gilbert's Syndrome can impact rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, Gilbert's Syndrome may qualify for a Preferred or greater underwriting class.

Learn more: ​Gilbert's Syndrome​​​


Glomerulonephritis

According to the Mayo Clinic, glomerulonephritis, or Bright's Disease, is inflammation of the tiny filters in your kidneys (glomeruli). Glomerulonephritis can come on suddenly (acute) or gradually (chronic), and may occur on its own or as part of another disease, such as lupus or diabetes. Severe or prolonged inflammation associated with glomerulonephritis can damage your kidneys.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as glomerulonephritis can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, acute recovered glomerulonephritis may qualify for a standard or greater underwriting class, chronic glomerulonephritis with good renal function may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by up to 150% or more above standard, or chronic glomerulonephritis with poor renal function may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: ​Glomerulonephritis​​​ 


Heart Murmur

According to the Mayo Clinic, heart murmurs are sounds during your heartbeat cycle made by turbulent blood in or near your heart. Heart murmurs can be present at birth (congenital) or develop later in life. A heart murmur isn't a disease but murmurs may indicate an underlying heart problem. They are often harmless not requiring treatment. Some heart murmurs may require follow-up tests to rule out a serious underlying heart condition. Treatment, if needed, is directed at the cause of your heart murmur.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions associated with a heart murmur can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, heart murmurs may result in a standard or greater underwriting class, to include a decline of coverage, based on the underlying condition.

Learn more: Heart Murmur


Hemochromatosis

According to the Mayo Clinic, hemochromatosis causes your body to absorb too much iron from the food you eat. Excess iron is stored in your organs, especially your liver, heart and pancreas. Too much iron can lead to life-threatening conditions, such as liver disease, heart problems and diabetes. Treatment can include removing blood from the body. Because much of the body's iron is contained in red blood cells, this treatment lowers iron levels.

hemochromatosis life insurance with medical conditions

Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as hemochromatosis can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, hemochromatosis may qualify for a Table D or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, while severe complications or associated conditions may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: ​Hemochromatosis​​​


Hepatitis

According to the Mayo Clinic, hepatitis a liver condition classified as type A, B, or C based on the underlying virus. Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus, causing inflammation and affecting liver function. Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), increasing the risk of liver failure, liver cancer, or cirrhosis. Hepatitis C is a viral infection caused by the hepatitis C virus, resulting in liver inflammation and can lead to serious liver damage.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as hepatitis can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, fully recovered Hepatitis A may qualify for a preferred or greater underwriting class, hepatitis B or C longer than 2 years with normal liver function may qualify for a Table D or greater rating increasing rates by 200% or more above standard, while hepatitis with abnormal liver function or current symptom may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: ​Hepatitis​​​


Hypertension

According to the Mayo Clinic, hypertension is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough to potentially cause health problems, such as heart disease. You can have high blood pressure for years without symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and your heart continues. High blood pressure increases your risk of health problems such as a heart attack or stroke.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as hypertension can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, well controlled high blood pressure may qualify for a preferred or greater underwriting class, moderately controlled high blood pressure may qualify for a standard or greater underwriting class, and poorly controlled high blood pressure may qualify for a Table B or greater underwriting class increasing rates 150% or more above standard.

Learn more: ​Life Insurance with High Blood Pressure: 5 Frequently Asked Questions


Kidney Disease

According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic kidney disease, also called chronic kidney failure, describes the gradual loss of kidney function. In the early stages of chronic kidney disease, you may have few signs or symptoms. Chronic kidney disease may not become apparent until your kidney function is significantly impaired.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as kidney disease can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, chronic kidney disease may result in a significant Table rating, or a decline of coverage.

Learn more: ​Kidney Disease​​​


Lupus

According to the Mayo Clinic, lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body's immune system attacks your own organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect different body systems including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. It can be difficult to diagnose because the signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. While there's no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as lupus can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, lupus discoid (skin) without complications may qualify for a preferred or greater underwriting class, lupus erythematosus (internal) with no complications for two years may qualify for a Table D or greater rating increasing rates by 200% or more above standard, while lupus erythematosus with complications or lupus nephritis (kidney) may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more:  Lupus


Mitral Value Prolapse

According to the Mayo Clinic, mitral valve prolapse (MVP) occurs when the leaflets of the mitral valve bulge (prolapse) into the heart's left upper chamber (left atrium) like a parachute during the heart's contraction. In most people, mitral valve prolapse isn't life-threatening and doesn't require treatment or changes in lifestyle. Some people with mitral valve prolapse, however, require treatment.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as mitral value prolapse can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, uncomplicated mitral value prolapse may qualify for a preferred or greater underwriting class, while complicated mitral value prolapse may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard. 

Learn more: Mitral Value Prolapse


Multiple Sclerosis

According to the Mayo Clinic, multiple sclerosis is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spine. The immune system attacks the protective sheath that covers nerve fibers causing communication problems between the brain and body. This disease can cause nerves to deteriorate becoming permanently damaged. There is no cure for multiple sclerosis. However, treatments can help speed recovery from attacks and manage symptoms.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, multiple sclerosis stable for one year may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, while multiple sclerosis involving instability or complications may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: ​Multiple Sclerosis​​​


Muscular Dystrophy

According to the Mayo Clinic, muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. In muscular dystrophy, abnormal genes (mutations) interfere with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscle. There's no cure for muscular dystrophy. But medications and therapy can help manage symptoms and slow the course of the disease.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as muscular dystrophy can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, localized muscular dystrophy may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, while severe muscular dystrophy may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: Muscular Dystrophy


Osteoporosis

According to the Mayo Clinic, osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle, so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis affects men and women of all races, but white and Asian women are at highest risk. Medications, healthy diet and weight-bearing exercise can help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as osteoporosis can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, osteoporosis may qualify for a preferred or greater underwriting class.

Learn more: Osteoporosis


Paraplegia / Quadriplegia

According to the Mayo Clinic, a spinal cord injury, damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves, often causes permanent changes in strength, sensation and other body functions. The ability to control your limbs after a spinal cord injury depends on the location and severity of the injury. Paraplegia means that all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are affected, while quadriplegia means the arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are affected.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as paraplegia or quadriplegia can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, paraplegia over age 60 may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, paraplegia under age 60 may qualify for a Table D or greater rating increasing rates by 200% or more above standard, while quadriplegia may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: Paraplegia / Quadriplegia


Parkinson's Disease

According to the Mayo Clinic, Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. While tremors are the most well-known sign of the disease, it also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. Parkinson's disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time. Although the disease can't be cured, medications may improve your symptoms.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as Parkinson's disease can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, non-progressive Parkinson's may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, slowly progressive Parkinson's may qualify for a Table D or greater rating increasing rates by 200% or more above standard, while more severe cases may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: Parkinson's Disease


Peptic Ulcer

According to the Mayo Clinic, peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of your stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine. The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is stomach pain. The most common causes of peptic ulcers are infection with H. pylori and long-term use of aspirin and other painkillers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as peptic ulcers can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, stomach ulcers may qualify for a preferred or greater underwriting class, while duodenal ulcers may qualify for a standard or greater underwriting class.

Learn more: ​Peptic Ulcer​​​


Peripheral Artery Disease

According to the Mayo Clinic, peripheral artery disease is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking (claudication). Peripheral artery disease can often successfully be treated by quitting tobacco, exercising and eating a healthy diet.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as peripheral artery disease can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, a non-smoker with peripheral artery disease may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, while a smoker with peripheral artery disease may qualify for a Table D or greater rating increasing rates by 200% or more above standard.

Learn more: ​Peripheral Artery Disease​​​


Polycystic Kidney Disease

According to the ​Mayo Clinicpolycystic kidney disease is an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop primarily within your kidneys, causing your kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time. Having many cysts or large cysts can damage your kidneys. The disease can cause serious complications, including high blood pressure and kidney failure.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as polycystic kidney disease can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, polycystic disease with normal renal function may qualify for a Table D or greater rating increasing rates by 200% or more above standard, while polycystic disease with impaired renal function may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: Polycystic Kidney Disease


Rheumatoid Arthritis

According to the Mayo Clinic, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints. In some cases, the condition also can damage a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels. An autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body's tissues.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, controlled rheumatoid arthritis may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more, while rheumatoid arthritis involving disability may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more​: Rheumatoid Arthritis


Sleep Apnea

According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. The main types of sleep apnea are obstructive sleep apnea which occurs when throat muscles relax, central sleep apnea which occurs when your brain doesn't send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing, and complex sleep apnea syndrome which occurs when someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as sleep apnea can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, sleep apnea corrected by surgery may qualify for a preferred or greater underwriting class, while sleep apnea successfully treated with CPAP may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard.

Learn more: Qualifying for Life Insurance with Sleep Apnea (Including Underwriting Questions)


Stroke

According to the Mayo Clinic, a stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. A stroke is a medical emergency. Prompt treatment is crucial. Early action can minimize brain damage and potential complications. The good news is that strokes can be treated and prevented.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as a stroke can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, a single stroke with full recovery and no paralysis may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more, while multiple strokes and/or paralysis may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn moreStroke


Suicide Attempt

According to the Mayo Clinic, suicide, or taking your own life, is a tragic reaction to stressful life situations, and all the more tragic because suicide can be prevented. Whether an individual is considering suicide or knows someone who feels suicidal, learning suicide warning signs and how to reach out for immediate help and professional treatment may save a life.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as a suicide attempt can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, a single suicide attempt after one year may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard, while multiple suicide attempts may result in a decline of coverage.

Learn more: Life Insurance and Suicide: 5 Important Policy Considerations


According to the Mayo Clinic, a transient ischemic attack (TIA) is like a stroke, producing similar symptoms, but usually lasting only a few minutes and causing no permanent damage. Often called a ministroke, a transient ischemic attack may be a warning. About 1 in 3 people who have a transient ischemic attack will eventually have a stroke, with about half occurring within a year.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as a transient ischemic attack can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, a transient ischemic attack may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard.

Learn moreTransient Ischemic Attack


Ulcerative Colitis

According to the Mayo Clinic, ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in your digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. Ulcerative colitis can be debilitating and can sometimes lead to life-threatening complications. While it has no known cure, treatment can greatly reduce signs and symptoms of the disease.

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Applying for life insurance with medical conditions such as ulcerative colitis can impact premium rates and/or policy approval. Though underwriting standards vary by insurance company, ulcerative colitis may qualify for a Table B or greater rating increasing rates by 150% or more above standard.

Learn moreUlcerative Colitis​​​


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