It's not news that living with Rheumatoid Arthritis can be painful.
But shopping for life insurance doesn't have to be.
In this article we'll explain:
How Prudential Looks at Rheumatoid Arthritis
Prudential will judge RA in order to determine life expectancy and make the right decision to offer or decline life insurance. They do this for all medical conditions.
Why Do They Care About RA?
Arthritis itself isn't the big deal.
But studies have shown that RA can lead to disease complications that result in an increased risk of premature death due to mainly to cardiovascular or respiratory problems. Infection and gastrointestinal bleeding can also cause problems.
What Will Prudential Look At?
Date of diagnosis
More recent is better. RA symptoms typically progress over time. Prudential will need to know the date of diagnosis as well as how long it's been treated.
Presence of deformities will negatively impact the rate you pay. Underwriters will need to know what body parts are affected and how severe the deformities are.
Flare-ups are important because they increase the chance of joint damage. Frequency and duration of the flare-ups will be looked at.
The type of drugs, dosage, and frequency will all be important when considering your life insurance application.
Drugs that normally do NOT affect life insurance rates at Prudential:
Drugs that probably WILL impact your premium payment:
Body parts affected
Which joints are affected? Is your rheumatoid arthritis affecting any major organs?
If you are disabled or unable to perform the activities of daily living independently, this will impact your life insurance rates at Prudential.
What Health Class Will I Be In?
After reviewing your medical history, Prudential underwriters will assign you a health class. Along with your age and gender, this is what determines how much you pay for life insurance.
If you don't qualify for Standard rates, you can still be approved at what are known as table ratings. You will pay more but it's still a life insurance approval. Many people with rheumatoid arthritis will receive table rated offers.
- No evidence of joint damage on x-rays
- No loss of bone density or bone destruction
- Slight fatigue without anemia
- Simple medication, no DMARDs
Life insurance applicants with mild rheumatoid arthritis at Prudential can expect to receive standard rates.
- Evidence of loss of bone density
- Lengthy morning stiffness
- Elevated sedimentation rate
- Slight weight loss
- Significant swelling involving multiple joints
- Bony erosions due to destructive inflammation
Those who suffer from moderate rheumatoid arthritis are looking at table B,C, or D.
- Disease has moved beyond the joints and impacting organs
- Confined to a wheelchair
- Significant joint destruction
- Advanced anemia
- Extreme fatigue, trouble getting out of bed
Severe rheumatoid arthritis will likely receive a low table rating as best case scenario and often times, a decline. In this case, you need to look at guaranteed life insurance policies.
Sample Case Studies and Quotes
44-year-old woman. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 3 years ago. Mild joint discomfort and one flare-up. Does not take medication for RA and able to control with aspirin.
RA classification: Mild
Likely health class: Standard
Life insurance payment at Prudential: $55.04/month for $200,000 policy on a 20-year-term.
55-year-old man. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 50. Experiencing moderate joint pain. Taking methotrexate to control stiffness.
RA classification: Moderate
Likely health class: Table B
Life insurance payment at Prudential: $177.38/month for $300,000 policy on a 10-year-term.
32-year-old man. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 20. Regular flare-ups and deformities on both toes and fingers. Undergone joint replacement surgery. Unable to perform the daily activities of living without occasional assistance. Recently determined that RA is beginning to affect the lungs. Using Prednisone and Methotrexate.
RA classification: Severe
Likely health class: Decline
Will need to investigate guaranteed issue policies.
About Rheumatoid Arthritis
RA affects 1% of Americans and is more common in women than men. The inflammation in the joints causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and in extreme cases, bone deformities.
Most people begin to experience symptoms in middle age. Symptoms include fatigue, morning stiffness, and pain in the joints such as hands, wrists, and knees.
For some, it will be short-lived and mild. For others, the symptoms of RA will become increasingly debilitating leading to problems holding employment and sometimes a classification of disabled.
What Causes RA?
The cause is unknown but results from the immune system attacking the joints and in serious cases, other organs. There is some evidence that people are genetically dispositioned to be more susceptible to the disease.
Medications can be prescribed for RA and these range from basic anti-inflammatory's like aspirin or ibuprofen up to strong narcotic pain relievers. Advanced cases may require disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These work to block the immune system's attacks on the joints.
Prudential is one of our favorite carriers for approving high-risk health conditions. They go out of their way to understand the risks of many different diseases and ailments and work with us to get clients approved for life insurance.
As a company, Prudential is one of the first names that come to mind when the average person thinks of life insurance. Founded in 1875, PRU is one of the largest carriers in terms of dollars of premium currently in force.
Across the board, financial rating agencies that judge the solvency of insurance companies rate Prudential very highly. You can be confident that they'll be around many years in the future and able to pay out death claims for your beneficiaries.
Prudential offers term, variable, and guaranteed universal life insurance. They also have a portfolio of real estate services, mutual funds, retirement plans, and annuities. PRU aims to be a one-stop shop for all your financial needs.
Is Prudential the Best Company for RA?
For some people, YES!
For other people, NO.
I'm not trying to be vague or difficult here but the reality is that every case and individual is different.
If you have mild RA and were only recently diagnosed, we have a certain company in mind. If you have more advanced RA and are taking drugs like Prednisone or Methotextrate, we'll pivot to a couple different options to increase your chance for approval at the lowest possible rate.
Our only job is to stay on top of the life insurance market and understand how underwriters work at the different companies. Armed with this knowledge, we are able to help our clients.
We work with more than 50 different insurance companies and are not married to any one of them. If you'd like help, please fill out the quote form on our site and we'll be in touch. There is no cost for quotes and no fee to use our advice.