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Attacks from pancreatitis sure can be painful.
But finding affordable life insurance with your condition doesn't have to be.
Although buying life insurance when you are being treated for an illness may be challenging, it certainly doesn’t make it less important. In fact, many people put off buying life insurance until a serious diagnosis snaps them back into reality.
Even when you've been turned down for life insurance in the past, there is no reason for believing that affordable insurance cannot be found now. You just simply need to learn the best way to go about it.
Fortunately, for Americans with health issues, many life insurers are now willing to take a chance on people with diseases like pancreatitis. First things first, you should become educated about your disease and understand how underwriters will view it.
Here is what we'll cover:
- Types of Pancreatitis
- How insurance carriers view Pancreatitis
- What questions you will be asked
- Expected cost of premiums
- What happens if not approved?
Your pancreas is a rather large gland that is behind the stomach and next to your large intestine. Your pancreas does two very important things:
- Your pancreas releases the digestive enzymes needed by the small intestine to aid in the digestion of food.
- It also releases important hormones, insulin, and glucagon into your bloodstream. These important hormones help your body to control how it uses food for energy.
There are two kinds of pancreatitis: acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis.
Acute pancreatitis, a sudden inflammation that lasts for a brief time, may range from mild discomfort to a very severe and life-threatening illness. Almost everyone with acute pancreatitis recovers quickly and completely after getting the appropriate treatment.
In many severe cases, acute pancreatitis typically results in bleeding into the gland, serious tissue damage, dangerous infection, and the formation of cysts. Severe pancreatitis can also negatively affect other vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Typical symptoms of acute pancreatitis typically include:
- Upper abdominal pain that can be aggravated by eating fatty foods. In most cases, the pain will radiate into the back.
- Swelling and tenderness of the abdomen.
- Nausea accompanied by vomiting
- Mid to high-grade fever
- An increase in heart rate
Inflammation in your pancreas from chronic pancreatitis lasts longer and typically is a result of an episode of acute pancreatitis. Reports have also established that considerable alcohol consumption is another cause of chronic pancreatitis. Although symptoms may take many years to show up, the affected person may suddenly develop symptoms that are severe.
Once you’ve decided that you can no longer put off purchasing life insurance, your first step should be to contact an independent insurance agent that specializes in high-risk health issues and will be more likely to understand which insurance companies would be most receptive to your specific needs.
Independent agents add value to the insurance shopping process because they represent many carriers and are more likely to find an insurer that will deliver a solution that will meet your individual needs and budget.
Independent agents are also committed to their clients and prospective clients first, and the needs of the insurer are secondary.
Once you make your underwriter aware that you are being treated for pancreatitis, they are going to ask for additional information about your condition. It’s important for you and the underwriter to understand exactly the extent of your condition and the method of treatment.
The underwriter will likely order attending physician statements from your doctor, specialist, and any facilities where you received treatment. Their purpose is to determine how your pancreatitis is affecting you and whether you are implementing the treatment prescribed by your doctor. They will have additional questions that may or may not be found in your application such as:
- The date of your original diagnosis?
- Is your pancreatitis acute or has it become chronic?
- What lifestyle changes, if any, have you made since your diagnosis?
- Are you missing work because of your pancreatitis?
- Has your pancreatitis resulted in other health issues such as diabetes?
Along with your application questions and a possible telephone interview with your underwriter, the insurer is likely to require a life insurance medical exam as well as a blood and urine sample. This medical exam is for measuring your height and weight, blood pressure, pulse, and in some cases, an EKG.
How Much Will My Life Insurance Cost?
With life insurance, your costs are predicated on the classification you qualify for. Individuals with pancreatitis are unlikely to be offered a Preferred classification unless you've had very few acute attacks.
Depending on your overall health and if you are a non-smoker, it’s very possible to achieve Standard rates. It's important that your body and organs not show any damage as a result of the attacks. If damage is present, this will need to be taken into account and will likely increase your rate depending on where and how much damage has occurred.
For those people with chronic pancreatitis, underwriting will be more concerned with the cause of WHY you have these attacks than the frequency of the attacks themselves. The underlying health condition will be examined and your rate will be based primarily off of that reason.
Once a decision is made, the information will be forwarded to your agent so that he or she can make a final offer for your coverage. In some cases, the company may decide to approve your application with a "table" rating to proceed, and in some cases, your application may be declined.
What If I'm Not Approved?
If your application is not approved, your independent agent is likely to offer you a “guaranteed issue” policy. This type of policy does not take into consideration any health issues and is generally always approved by the insurer.
A guaranteed issue policy will cost more since the insurer is taking on a non-underwritten risk and is, therefore, issuing a policy on a very high-risk basis. The policy will also have a waiting period of two or three years where the full death benefit is not paid if you die as a result of natural causes. They will, however, pay your beneficiary an amount equal to the premiums you've paid in, and in some cases, an additional percentage of the total is added.
Taking the First Step
If you ready to put coverage in place to protect your loved ones, we can help every step of the way.
We specialize in only life insurance so it's our business to know this stuff inside and out. Life insurance premiums are fixed by law so you don't save any money going direct to the billion dollar insurance companies, you just don't have anyone representing you.