Having liver disease can be a long, hard road with many questions and unknowns. One of those unknowns might be whether or not you can qualify for any kind of life insurance with liver disease.
If life insurance companies consider your liver disease to be high risk, you are right to be concerned.
Since no case of liver disease is clear-cut or has a certain outcome, life insurance carriers do not immediately decline applications. An underwriter will consider each case individually.
Choosing the best life insurance company is tricky, but we can help. We know the ins and outs of applying for life insurance when you have liver disease or liver failure, and can make sure you get the best options, at affordable rates.
Cheaper Life Insurance With Liver Disease or Liver Failure
Liver disease is a progressive illness causing damage to one of the most vital organs in the body. A poorly functioning liver means your body is not getting rid of harmful bodily waste and toxins.
There are over 100 different types of liver disease, all of which have significant health risks associated with them. According to the American Liver Foundation, liver disease is the fourth leading cause of death for U.S. adults aged 45 to 54, and cases of liver disease are on the rise. One in ten Americans have some form of liver disease.
There are numerous causes or illnesses which can lead to liver disease, including:
- Hepatitis A, B, and C
- Liver Cancer
- Genetic Disorders or Diseases (e.g. hemochromatosis, or Wilson’s disease)
- Overuse/Abuse of Alcohol
- Accumulation of Fat in the Liver (known as “nonalcoholic fatty liver disease”)
People who use injection drugs, have unprotected sex, have been exposed to certain chemicals and toxins, or who are obese, have high risks of developing liver disease.
Some symptoms of liver disease include:
- Yellowish Skin (known as jaundice)
- Loss of Appetite
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Dark Drine and Pale Stool
- Unexplained or Easy Bruising
- Swelling in the Abdomen, Legs, and Ankles
Prolonged damage to the liver, often over the course of years, can cause scarring to liver tissue, which is known as cirrhosis, or cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis can lead to liver failure, which is a serious illness and can lead to death.
Cirrhosis and other types of liver cancer are often diagnosed in late stages, as many people do not experience symptoms they recognize as being related to the liver.
Liver disease is diagnosed by blood tests, in which the doctor will look for signs a liver is not functioning properly. Doctors may also order scans or a biopsy in order to determine the severity of the liver damage.
Each type of liver disease, and each stage of the disease, is treated differently. If your liver disease is caused by environmental or lifestyle hazards (like chemical exposure or drinking), eliminating these hazards may help stall the progression of your illness. Other types of liver disease may be treated with medications or surgery, and your doctor will want to monitor your liver function on a regular basis.
Approximately 15,000 people in the United States die from hepatitis related liver cancer or chronic liver disease every year, so life insurance companies are cautious when reviewing applications for individuals with liver disease. Here’s how they will interpret your application.
What to Expect When Applying for Insurance
Even if you disclose your liver disease during the application process for life insurance, you will still be required to undergo liver tests as part of a medical examination. The underwriter will want to know the results of your liver enzyme tests, which determine the current function of your liver.
An underwriter will also ask for the following information:
- The date of your original diagnosis
- Treatments you are currently receiving
- Previous treatments you received
- If you have problems with any other major organs
- Whether or not you have or have had hepatitis
You can also expect the life insurance company to review your current doctor’s or specialist’s notes, or notes from any other doctors you have seen for liver disease, hepatitis (if applicable), or other major medical conditions. The underwriter will likely ask for confirmation of the information you have provided, and want to know if you are following the treatment plans and going for regular check-ups.
If you have not been vigilant about sticking to your treatment plan and visiting your doctor, it will be more difficult for you to obtain life insurance coverage.
Ratings You Can Achieve
If you are in generally good health, and your liver disease has been treated and has not progressed much in the last few years, you stand a very good chance of getting a Standard health class rating from a life insurance company. You will be offered a policy with base premiums. If your liver disease was caused by hepatitis A or is genetic, but has been under control, you may fall into this category.
For individuals who contracted liver disease via hepatitis B or C, or from other lifestyle hazards, you can expect a Medium Sub-Standard or, potentially even a Mild Sub-Standard rating.
To receive this rating, you must be able to demonstrate you and your doctor have succeeded in slowing the progress of your liver disease, and you are living a healthy lifestyle free of alcohol, tobacco use, and risky behavior. Premiums for your life insurance policy will be more expensive than other policies, and will depend on your specific health and test results.
If your liver disease is severe, meaning it has progressed to cirrhosis and/or you experience liver-related symptoms on a regular basis, you can expect to receive a Severe Sub-Standard rating which will have the most expensive premiums.
Depending on your prognosis, your application could alsobe declined.
Because liver disease is a progressive disease, delaying your life insurance application could result in a decline. If your liver function tests have been good for the last six to twelve months, and you are in otherwise good health, applying for life insurance soon is your best option.
Even if you aren’t in perfect health and are experiencing some complications from liver disease, you may qualify for life insurance.
Let us help you through the process. Our experience, and relationships with many different life insurance companies, could result in a life insurance policy which will put your mind at ease.