Affordable Life Insurance Rates with Sleep Apnea Guide

Life Insurance With Sleep Apnea 


Impact on  Underwriting Class:

Significant 

Preferred Rates Possible

Rate impact based on severity

detected by sleep study, CPAP

compliance, follow up  and ​

levels of medication required 

Can I be approved for life insurance with sleep apnea?

What information will life insurance companies want to know?

Will I need to take an exam for sleep apnea life insurance?

How much will my life insurance cost and how exactly are my rates affected by my sleep apnea diagnosis?

How accurate are the quotes I get from your quote tool? 

What are the best life insurance companies for sleep apnea sufferers? 

What is the application process for life insurance sleep apnea?

How can i improve my underwriting rating and lower my life insurance cost?

Term Life Insurance with Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)  is eligible for term insurance depending on the severity of the case.

Generally, life insurance is available for lengths ranging from 5 years to 30 years with 20-year terms being the most popular. Term policies usually have a minimum face amount of $50000, and the policies terminate at the end of the term period or can be renewed annually at a vastly increased rate.

Possible Term Underwriting Ratings with OSA

Because Life insurance applications are evaluated on a case by case basis, your story matters.That is to say two people with the same age and condition may get vastly different offers from the same carrier-based on the age of diagnosis and patient compliance.

Because each case is different, the following pricing scenarios are the best estimates for life insurance with sleep apnea based on experience.

Best Case – If OSA is under excellent control demonstrated by a follow-up sleep study, some (rare) cases have a chance for a preferred rating.

Mid Level –If your OSA is under control via CPAP compliance and lifestyle changes. You may qualify for a standard rate. Rated Case- If your sleep apnea is being treated using a CPAP, but you have made no lifestyle changes, or you have correlated issues such as obesity, you will likely get a table rated policy. Tables usually run between 2/B and 8/H.

Learn more about how table rated offers work.

Decline– An applicant that has severe and uncontrolled sleep apnea may be declined for traditional term coverage. If this happens you will be eligible for a smaller face amount policy. These policies are referred to as simplified issue ‘final expense" or Guaranteed issue. If you have been declined please contact us.

Term life Insurance Pricing with Sleep Apnea

The basic mechanics of term life insurance are pretty straightforward. As long as the policy premium is paid by (or for) the insured, and the policy is in force, the beneficiary will receive the death benefit upon the insured's death. 

Some Sample Non-Smoker Monthly Term Rates for Sleep Apnea

     

Male Monthly Rates

$500000 20 Year Term

Age

standard

Table  B

Table D

25

$37.24

$43.73

$56.57

30

$37.82

$46.78

$60.90

35

$38.74

$50.95

$66.09

40

$59.60

$74.36

$97.42

45

$94.63

$119.68

$157.85

$100000 10 Year Term

Age

standard

Table B

Table D

50

$23.017

$31.46

$39.90

55

33.08

$46.55

$60.03

60

50.57

$73.01

$95.63

65

78.75

$115.06

$151.38

70

146.46

$204.35

$270.75

Female Monthly Rates

$250000 10 Year Term

Age

standard

Table  B

Table D

25

$1392

$17.045

$21.00

30

$14.53

$17.04

$21.00

35

$14.19

$18.92

$23.55

40

$18.92

$22.90

$28.81

45

$26.25

$33.29

$42.67

$200000 20 Year Term

Age

standard

Table  B

Table D

50

$48.88

$70.045

$91.19

55

$71.31

$100.57

$132.38

60

$116.085

$163.05

$215.68

65

$206.76

$291.3175

$386.70

70

$431.29

$541.3229

$719.51

confused

The trickiest part of term life insurance with a health condition like sleep apnea is finding the best deal. This is because different carriers have differing appetites for certain kinds of risks. As a result 

navigating this process is not as easy as using a quote tool and picking the lowest price. This is discussed in detail in the case study below.

How Term Life Insurance Works.....

Exam

Although the term life insurance market is quickly adopting accelerated underwriting programs that do not require a medical exam as part of the application process, this option will not be available if you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.

You will be required to take a pare-medical exam. The exam is a 15-20 minute meeting with a  nurse. Your exam will consist of a blood draw, a urine sample, and height and weight recorded.

The medical exam is discussed in detail here.  

Phone Interview

Most term carriers will have the underwriting department do a telephone interview with you. The conversation will be wide-ranging and last about 20 minutes.

 The purpose of the interview will be to flesh out the information that it has from your exam, medical information, and driving history. Questions will often revolve around lifestyle. Answer as honestly as possible, but never "offer" unrequested information.

Riders

In addition to the period of insurance, it is essential to understand the available policy riders. Riders are additional benefits that, often for an additional cost, are included in your policy.

The five most prominent riders are listed below with links to in-depth descriptions.

  • Waiver of Premium          
  • Living Benefits      
  • Conversion Privilege    
  • Child Rider  
  • Additional Purchase Option

Contestability

While there is no waiting period for the insurance to go into effect, the insurance company has a two-year window from the policy start in which they can contest a benefit for material misrepresentation on the initial application. So, honesty is the best policy.

You can dive deep into the ins and outs of term life insurance, learning about available term lengths, riders, financial ratings, and rates. The Life Insurance Help Desk works with almost all of the top term life insurance carriers.

Sleep Apnea Life insurance Underwriting & What Term Life Insurance Underwriters Will Take Into Consideration

When seeking term life insurance with Sleep Apnea or any other condition, term life insurance underwriters will usually be interested in a few fundamental questions that spur more specific questions.

The basics:

  • Do you fit into the usual risk factors for the condition
  • What are/were your symptoms  
  • What was the Diagnosis & Treatment          
  • What is the aftercare (follow up & compliance)    
  • What is your health like apart from the condition/history in question                                 

While the outline above is general in form, the questions will require specific answers. These answers will be gathered from your application, a telephone interview, the Medical Information Bureau, a Script Check, and an Attending Physician's Statement (APS).

Let's take a look how each of these questions concerning obstructive sleep apnea.

Do you "fit" into the usual risk factors for Sleep Apnea

While children can suffer from sleep apnea, the risk profile overwhelmingly points to overweight adults.

Obesity- People who are overweight appear to be at higher risk of developing sleep apnea, this is mainly the case in men diagnosed with the disease when they were 50 or older.

What are/were your sleep Apnea Symptoms

Term Underwriters will want to know the symptoms you had (if any) and how long you had them before the sleep study diagnosis.

The symptoms of sleep apnea are numerous and varied. The Mayo Clinic is a great resource for more symptom information.

Your Sleep Apnea  Diagnosis and Treatment

Term life insurance underwriters will want to know the date of first diagnosis, treatments, and of any subsequent complications. Underwriting will also want to know what your sleep study showed and any lifestyle change/CPAP you have been prescribed for your sleep apnea.

Your Overall Health (and any related conditions)

While any application for life insurance will take into consideration your overall health including conditions like high cholesterol and gout, term underwriters in sleep apnea cases will specifically look for certain related conditions such as:

 Obtaining Term Life Insurance with Sleep Apnea

With a couple of caveats, the process of obtaining term life insurance is essentially the same for everyone regardless of health.

The primary caveats with sleep apnea are that no exam or so-called "non-med" policies will not be available, and attending physician's statement (APS) will be requested.

The APS can slow the process as doctors are in no hurry to respond to requests from life insurance companies

Case Study of life Insurance with OSA

Gender: Male age 50  $500000 20 Year Term                                             Tobacco: No                                                                                               Moderate OSA.                                                                                           Positive lifestyle changes but sporadic CPAP compliance due to mask discomfort.                                                                                                 Diagnosed Age 47

  • Standard Rates
  • Table 2/B Rates
  • Table 4/D Rates

Life Insurance Company

Monthly Payment

$ 128.62

$ 150.50

$ 154.20

$ 172.55

$ 193.12

This table which shows only a few of the major life insurance companies available illustrates the difference in rates. For standard rates, Prudential is 20% more expensive than Lincoln.

On its' face this seems like a pretty straightforward choice, and if underwriting grades between carriers are the same, it really can be that simple.This kind of easy price shopping is particularly useful for younger folks in good health and demonstrates why you want to use an independent Agent with multiple carrier options.

For people who suffer from OSA or any other serious diagnosis, the process is more complicated.

Because life insurers manage their appetite for various risks by being more lenient or more strict with underwriting scores, you need to know which company will grade you a preferred plus risk and which ones will grade you as standard.

In the case above, Prudential (the most expensive standard rate), is likely to be the best deal because the more competitively priced carriers will likely rate the risk Table 2 while Pru might well issue a  standard rate class.

This is something you can't know by simply looking at the lowest price. In this case, using an independent agent could save you 50% (the difference between Prudential @ Standard and Lincoln @ Table 2 ($170.29).

 That's more than $22,000 over the life of the policy.

Not exactly couch cushion change!

* Note that while overfunded ‘investment grade" permanent policies are excluded from this review, such policies generally follow the term life insurance guidelines.

It's worth noting that a few of the prominent carriers that offer these products have "healthy lifestyle" credits that "table shave" ratings by as much as 2 tables.

For example, a sleep apnea case that was rated table 2/B could be "table shaved" back to a standard rating. Table shaves are not offered on term products.

Process for Term Life Application with Sleep apnea

Now that you know the information you will need to receive the most accurate term life insurance quote possible, it's time to begin the application process. The term process is outlined  "step by step for you in the Life Insurance Buying Guide.

The Help Desk is committed to transparent pricing (we'll even share our computer screen with you if you'd like) and making the application process as painless as possible.

Final Expense Insurance with Sleep Apnea

Approved!That was Easy.

As a rule, final expense underwriting is not concerned with sleep apnea. In fact, they  won't even ding you for using CPAP oxygen. These no-exam needed policies are the next best choice for anyone who will not get through traditional underwriting.

The "final expense" market serves differing consumer needs. There is the need that is made obvious by the name "final expense". This term refers to a funeral, burial and miscellaneous cost tied to the rituals surrounding life's end.

Many of the buyers of these policies simply want to remove any financial burden their funeral and burial would cause to their loved ones, while others want to leave a legacy.

Alternatively, the simplified issue marketplace serves as a safe harbor for people who need some life insurance, but cannot qualify for traditional term underwriting. The lenient underwriting standards of this market allow for people with severe sleep apnea to get coverage.

How the policy works will be dictated by the type of final expense or burial policy it is:

  • First-day Coverage  
  • Graded Coverage

How Final Expense Life Insurance Works with Sleep Apnea

With death benefit face amounts that top range from $5000-$100000, simplified issue or "final expense " life insurance is almost exclusively whole life insurance.However, the calculation of the death benefit depends on if the policy is first-day coverage or graded​

First day policies are straightforward, and provide a full death benefit from day 1 of the policy.

Graded policies use a two or three year period in which the benefit increases to the face amount over the contractual time period.

These policies commonly pay premiums plus interest if you die in the first year of the policy; 50% if you die after one year but before two; and full face amount after two years.

The carriers offer graded policies based on the applicant's health. These provisions are a way for the carriers to provide coverage while limiting their risk.

 Graded or not, a whole life policy has a fixed premium that cannot increase and the policy stays in force until the premiums stop being paid or the insured dies.

Pricing for Burial Insurance with Sleep Apnea

n addition to different underwriting standards, final expense pricing is complicated by the fact that  a lot of providers only operate in certain states. 

As a result the samples below are of limited value. You should use the final expense quote tool found here.

Male      

$25000  "Final Expense" Whole Life   1st Day Coverage 

Age

$ Mo.

Age

$ Mo.

40

$40.89

65

$ 115.18

45

$ 50.87

70

$ 149.13

50

$ 56.25

75

$ 204.66

55

$ 65.56

80

$ 297.86

60

$ 85.66

85

$414.57

$15000 Final Expense" Whole Life Graded Coverage

Age

$ Mo.

Age

$ Mo.

40

$40.89

65

$ 115.18

45

$ 50.87

70

$ 149.13

50

$ 56.25

75

$ 204.66

55

$ 65.56

80

$ 297.86

60

$ 85.66

85

$414.57

Female    

$15000  "Final Expense" Whole Life  1st Day Coverage 

Age

$ Mo.

Age

$ Mo.

40

$ 23.49

65

$41.27

45

$ 28.56

70

$ 56.77

50

$ 23.69

75

$ 90.38

55

$ 27.83

80

$ 131.260

60

$ 31.95

85

$ 202.25

$10000 "Final Expense" Whole Life Graded Coverage

Age

$ Mo.

Age

$ Mo.

40

$ 21.06

65

$28.967

45

$ 25.18

70

$ 39.30

50

$ 17.249

75

$ 89.618

55

$ 20.003

80

$ 117.89

60

$ 22.755

85

$ 179.22

No Exam, but possibly a phone interview

Many burial policy insurers will have 10-15 minute home office interviews using the telephone. They are looking for the use of prescriptions that do not come up on their prescription check and assessing cognitive function.Be alert!

Final Expense Policy Features

There are fewer riders associated with simplified issue policies than traditional term, but living benefits such as the accelerated benefit for terminal illness, and chronic illness are fairly common. Additionally, some final expense policies have a small cash component and have loan provisions.

Contestability

The contestability laws are the same for all types of life insurance policies. That is, the carrier has two years from the origination of the policy to contest the benefit payout on policy where the application contained material misstatements.

What Final Expense  Life Insurers Will Take Into Consideration with Sleep Apnea

As stated before, simplified underwriting is seldom concerned with sleep apnea. Unlike traditional underwriting that grades on a scale, "final expense" is a yes or no proposition.

Note that "yes" is divided into first-day coverage and "graded" categories. Sleep apnea offers are generally not "graded". So, full coverage would begin on day 1.

Final expense policies contain "knockout" questions and prescriptions.Since sleep apnea is not a question on these policies, the only way to get ‘knocked out" is if you answer yes to a different "knockout" question.

Knockout questions tend to revolve around heart attack, stroke, cognitive function, insulin use, amputations and some of the heavy drugs these conditions require for treatment.

Next Step For Final Expense with Sleep Apnea

Because most final expense underwriting rules differ wildly, it's unusual that you can just go to the final expense quote tool and start.However, unless you have other conditions, that is exactly how to start.​

Because sleep apnea by itself will not cause a "knockout", best price wins.Remember to use the quote tool on the "final expense" page.  The quote tool on this page is limited to term quotes.

Upon receiving your quote request, we will be in touch as soon as possible (often in minutes), and we will help you through the process. The whole process shouldn't take more than 30-40 minutes.

We are committed to a transparent pricing process and are happy to share a computer screen with you or send a video of the method used to get your rate. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Guaranteed life insurance for Sleep Apnea

As a stand-alone condition, sleep apnea does not require the use of guaranteed life insurance.  The only time that an applicant would need to go the guaranteed route is if the sleep apnea was paired with a condition that could not qualify for graded a final expense policy.

 If this describes your situation, keep reading.

Pricing for Guaranteed Issue policies  

Guaranteed policies should only be used as a last resort. In addition to the benefit grading provisions that make the policies toothless during the two or three year grading period, they are the most expensive policies sold.

Guaranteed Issue      Monthly Rates for Males

Guaranteed Issue   Monthly Rates for Females

Age

$10000

$25000

50

$44.097

$108.856

55

56.50

$138.24

60

63.17

$154.92

65

73.09

$179.73

70

93.14

$229.85

Age

$10000

$25000

50

$34.47

$84.79

55

$39.86

$96.64

60

$45.14

$109.84

65

$54.51

$133.27

70

$70.41

$173.03

How Guaranteed  Life Insurance Works

With only the requirement of age (40) and citizenship, guaranteed issue life insurance policies have a death benefit that ranges from $5000-$50000. Such plans are exclusively whole life insurance.

However, all guaranteed issue policies are "graded".  Generally, the grading represents a 2 or 3 year period that the policy must be in force before a full death benefit will be paid.

 Like "final expense" policies, guaranteed policies use a two or three year period in which the benefit increases to the face amount over the contractual time period. These policies commonly pay premiums plus interest if you die if you die after one year but before two; and full face amount after two years.

Also, like the "final expense" write up says, these provisions are a way for the carriers to provide coverage while limiting their risk.

No Exam Required on guaranteed policies

There is no exam for guaranteed life insurance. After all, it's guaranteed to be issued regardless of your health.

Contestability on Guaranteed issue policies

Although the contestability laws are the same as other policies, beyond age and citizenship, it's difficult to see where contestability may arise in a guaranteed issue case.

Next steps for guaranteed Issue Policy with Sleep Apnea

The guaranteed issue process is lightning fast and can be handled over the telephone in a matter of minutes. Give us a call or email us.

Why You Should Use an Independent Agent when Shopping for Life Insurance with Sleep Apnea

In addition to reassuring you that life insurance is attainable with sleep apnea, this article pointed out that insurance companies have different pricing and underwriting standards from one another.

Furthermore, these underwriting differences are a reflection of the company's appetite for a specific health risk.For example, Prudential Financial may have more of an appetite for the risk that OSA presents than say, Banner.

In this case, the underwriting grade will reflect this increased appetite.So, if your Agent only represented one carrier and you found out later that you could have gotten a rate 35% or 45% better, how would you feel?You'd probably be sad like the puppy or mad at the agent or yourself or both.

So it's crucial that your Agent represent multiple carriers. In fact, most good independent agents will have access to over 40 or 50 carriers. This ensures the best chance at the best rate.

Thank you for choosing the Life Insurance Help Desk to research life insurance with sleep apnea. We are committed to a totally transparent process (we'll even share our computer screen with you if you'd like), and making the application process as painless as possible.

Should you have any question, please do not hesitate to give us a call or contact us via email.

Fast Facts on Sleep Apnea 

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of sleep apnea and is suffered by 4 percent of the middle aged male population. Middle aged women suffer sleep apnea at about half the rate as men. most sleep apnea conditions are never treated.

life insurance with sleep apnea


Sleep apnea is a condition that causes the stopping of breathing repeatedly during sleep. This happens because the airway collapses, causing a disruption in sleep patterns and daytime sleepiness.

Sleep apnea is not easily diagnosed with a simple doctors visit or blood test. If sleep apnea is suspected, an overnight sleep study is required.

If the results of sleep study are positive, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure)machine is recommended.  

While using a CPAP machine ( and mask) is inconvenient, the risks of not treating sleep apnea are worse. Sleep apnea is correlated with constant tiredness, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. 

Several well known celebrities have suffered from sleep apnea  over the years. Among them are Basketball star Shaq O'neal, comedienne  Rosie O'donnell , musician Quincy Jones, and Texas Governor Rick Perry






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James Tobin, CFP
 

Jim Tobin is the owner of Life Insurance Help Desk, a Fairfield County, CT. life insurance agency. You can find him on Google + and Facebook. Over the past 10 years, Jim has used his CFP-financial planning designation to help individuals with their life insurance needs. In addition to working with life insurance clients, Jim teaches ESL classes in his spare time. He resides with his beautiful wife Nicole and the 3 cats that rule their lives..