Life Insurance With Sleep Apnea
Impact on Underwriting Class:
Preferred Rates Possible
Rate impact based on severity
detected by sleep study, CPAP
compliance, follow up and
levels of medication required
Every applicant for life insurance with sleep apnea can be approved for a policy.
However, the type of policy that can be approved, and the rates charged, will depend on the nature of your sleep apnea, how long ago it was diagnosed, the severity, and your overall health.
Because the underwriting standards are different for each type of policy, this review of life insurance options with sleep apnea is broken into three sections: (click link to go directly to section)
In order to underwrite your application life insurance carriers will need to know the symptoms that you have experienced, the treatment undergone, including sleep study, any prescription drugs used, and any medical follow up. For a more exhaustive discussion of the underwriting of stroke applications please scroll to What Insurers Will Want to Know
In order to get the best rates possible you may need to take an exam. Very well controlled cases of sleep apnea may be eligible for no-exam underwriting. However, applications seen as more serious cases will require an exam.
The exam is a para=medical exam that collects blood and urine samples. The exam is administered at no cost by a travelling nurse and can be done at your choice of location.
If it turns out that simplified issue or guaranteed issue policies are the best fit for your application, no exam will be required. Click here for more on the exam.
The rates you pay for tem insurance are dependent on the underwriting class you are graded by the carrier. Lupus applications are generally going to be rated as standard (rare) or lower. This issue is discussed using rating guides and pricing samples. Sample pricing for simplified issue and guaranteed issue policies is provided in the corresponding links.
The quotes you receive from the quote tool on this site are 100% accurate for the information inputted. That is to say, if you get the rate class correct- your rate will be correct. The problem with online tools is that people generally think they are inn better or worse shape than is reality.
If you are unsure about rate class you should choose a range and hope to be pleasantly surprised. Alternatively, you can fill out the customized quote form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
Life insurance companies have differing appetites for specific risks. These appetites are reflected in underwriting and ultimately pricing. Simplified issue carriers will be state dependent and three of the better known term carriers for dealing with Lupus are Prudential, American General (AIG), and Banner.
However, risk appetite can, and does, change and the only way to guarantee the best possible deal is to work with an experienced independent agent. see the case study here to get a clear understanding.
Regardless of your pre existing condition, the application process is largely the same. The life insurance application process is an eight step process that includes choosing your terms, picking a carrier, submitting to the exam, and signing documents (digital signatures accepted). The entire 8 step process is laid out for you here.
The most effective ways to improve your life insurance rating are to use an agent that has access to the companies that will view you most favorably and to take care of your health.
See Why to use Independent Agent when Shopping for Life Insurance with Lupus to better understand the reason to use an independent agent.
As far as lifestyle goes, if you take diet and exercise seriously along with limiting alcohol and quitting smoking (if you smoke), it should be reflected in your blood markers.
If you have a auto immune medical condition like Lupus, documenting compliance with medical advise and any medications is very important. Obtaining Having a physicians letter stating that you have been compliant and improving is helpful.
Do these things and you can't help but improve your health and your life insurance rating.
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.
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.
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.
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
$100000 10 Year Term
Female Monthly Rates
$250000 10 Year Term
$200000 20 Year Term
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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
Life Insurance Company
Life Insurance Company
Life Insurance Company
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
$25000 "Final Expense" Whole Life 1st Day Coverage
$15000 Final Expense" Whole Life Graded Coverage
$15000 "Final Expense" Whole Life 1st Day Coverage
$10000 "Final Expense" Whole Life Graded Coverage
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
There is no exam for guaranteed life insurance. After all, it's guaranteed to be issued regardless of your health.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keywords & Related Queries for lifw Insurance Coverage with Sleep Apnea
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..
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