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Dealing with ulcers can be really painful but finding cheap life insurance shouldn't be.
Can it be done?
If you follow good advice, it IS possible to secure affordable life insurance even if suffer from ulcers.
After this article, you’ll know exactly what to do. Here is what we’ll cover:
- Ulcer types, symptoms, and treatment
- How your life insurance is affected by ulcers
- What premiums you can expect to pay
- How to find the best company for your situation
Although ulcers are fairly common and known to most people, there are four types of ulcers that may or may not be serious, but all can cause a lot of pain to the person inflicted.
- Gastric Ulcers - These are ulcers that develop inside your stomach.
- Esophageal Ulcers - These ulcers develop inside the esophagus.
- Duodenal Ulcers - Duodenal ulcers develop in the upper portion of the small intestines.
According to HealthLine.com, peptic ulcers are considered to be sores that develop in the lining of your stomach, small intestine, or esophagus usually as a result of inflammation that is caused by bacteria H. pylori and from erosion from stomach acids. They can also result from frequent use of pain meds like aspirin and ibuprofen, anti-inflammatory drugs, smoking, drinking alcohol, radiation therapy, and stomach cancer.
The most common symptoms of an ulcer is burning pain in the area the ulcer is located. Other issues that may result from an ulcer are nausea, bloody or dark stools, significant unexplained weight loss, constant indigestion, frequent vomiting, and severe chest pain. Some of these same symptoms may be caused by heartburn or acid reflux.
When these symptoms are presented, most doctors will order an upper endoscopy and an upper GI. Since the bacteria H. pylori is also a common cause of peptic ulcers, the doctor will also likely run a test to check for this infection in your stomach.
The treatment will always depend on the cause. If your doctor believes that H. pylori is the culprit, he or she will prescribe a combination of antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to reduce the stomach acid. In most cases, these medications will be prescribed to take for two weeks.
If your doctor feels that your ulcer is not caused by the bacteria, he or she will likely recommend you take an over the counter drug like Prilosec or Prevacid for up to eight weeks so that your stomach acid will be reduced and allow your ulcer to heal. Zantac and Pepcid can also reduce stomach acid and the resulting pain. These are available by prescription and over the counter at a reduced dosage.
If your ulcer remains untreated, it is likely to get worse over time and could lead to more serious issues such as:
- Perforation - Perforation is when a hole develops in the lining of your stomach or small intestine and leads to infection. You’ll know this is happening when you experience sudden pain that can be very severe.
- Bleeding - When an ulcer begins to bleed, it will result in substantial blood loss, and typically you'll be hospitalized. A bleeding ulcer is indicated when having issues such as lightheadedness, black stools, and frequent dizziness.
- Scar Tissue - This is thick tissue that develops after an injury caused by your ulcer. The thick tissue will make it difficult for your food to pass through your digestive track. Typical symptoms include vomiting and unintentional weight loss.
Can I Buy Life Insurance When I have an Ulcer?
Yes, you can buy life insurance with an ulcer. If you are looking for the cheapest rates, you’ll usually need to apply with an insurer that fully underwrites the applicant. This means that you will have to undergo a medical exam and a blood/urine analysis.
We do however work with some aggressive no exam carriers so it's worth seeing if you can qualify to skip the exam and still pay a low rate.
The underwriter will also want information concerning when you were diagnosed, what medications you are taking, if you have any gastrointestinal bleeding, and whether your ulcer is healing, staying the same, or getting worse. Typically, your underwriter will request reports from your doctor to determine the exact situation you are in with your ulcer.
Will I have to pay More?
In most cases, if your ulcer has healed or is healing, you’ll qualify for a preferred rate class provided that you have no other health issues and you are a non-smoker. If you smoke, you will always be rated as a smoker.
If, however, you are still taking medications and managing your ulcer but is under control, you will probably qualify for a standard rate as long as there are no other health issues and you are a non-smoker.
What is the Process if I decide to Purchase?
Unless you are going the no exam route, after answering every question on the application, and providing the contact information for your health care providers and health facilities, your agent or insurer will schedule a medical exam. The medical exam is actually a mini-exam. Normally it is done by a nurse or other medical technician and can be done in your home or at work.
The exam consists of questions from the technician, measuring your height and weight, and then getting a blood and urine sample for analysis. Typically, at the same time, the underwriter will check the medical information bureau and a prescription database like ExpressScripts.
Once the exam and blood/urine analysis is complete, your doctor’s reports have been reviewed, and the MIB and prescription database reports are complete, your underwriter will review all the data to make a determination of what class you qualify for and notify your agent, so your quote can be confirmed. All of this is typically completed within a week.
After this has been completed your agent will contact you with a firm insurance quote and then submit your request to bind coverage to the company.
What if other Health Issues are Discovered?
If your blood or urine test indicates other health issues, the insurer will send the test results to your doctor. If the issue is significant and the underwriter cannot offer insurance or must use a table rating, the underwriter will notify your agent so that you can continue with the purchase or consider other options. The good news is that no matter what your health issues might be, your independent agent can offer you a guaranteed issue policy if necessary.
A guaranteed issue life policy requires no health underwriting. As long as you are alive, you can purchase a policy. These policies are priced higher than traditional life insurance since the insurer is accepting an unknown health risk. There is typically a two-year waiting period before the company will pay the full death benefit if you die from natural causes, but death by accidental cause is covered from day one.
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