The name says it all – proteinuria is simply a condition characterized by abnormal levels of protein in the urine.
What does this mean for those searching for life insurance? Since proteinuria is often a sign of a more serious condition like kidney damage or diabetes, it makes finding traditional life insurance more difficult.
In fact, it’s one of the first conditions life insurance companies notice. The medical exam which is required for traditional coverage consists of a blood and urine test. That means proteinuria can be pinpointed by life insurance companies, even if you were previously unaware of the condition.
Luckily, proteinuria doesn’t immediately disqualify you from traditional coverage. The vast majority of those with the condition still qualify. It’s only a very small group, those with the highest levels of protein in their urine, who are denied outright.
So without further ado, here’s what you need to know to find the best rates for life insurance with proteinuria.
Buying Life Insurance with Proteinuria Or Similar Conditions
Proteinuria, sometimes called albuminuria or urine albumin, is detected when there is an abnormal amount of protein in the urine.
Normally, there is only a very small amount of protein in the urine. Proteinuria becomes a problem when a higher-than-normal amount is detected. The excess protein enters the urine in the form of blood.
Properly functioning kidneys filter out protein from urine. It’s only when the kidneys are damaged when an excess amount of protein finds its way through their filters.
Proteinuria often points to chronic kidney disease. Also known as CKD, this condition has a number of causes including diabetes, high blood pressure, and inflammation of the kidneys.
Because proteinuria is so important to detect early, these urine tests have become routine. Visit the doctor and you’ll likely be asked for a urine test. Catching proteinuria early can help you receive treatment to stop CKD before it progresses.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases states those most at risk for developing proteinuria are those with diabetes and hyperextension. A family background of proteinuria is another warning sign.
Unfortunately, proteinuria has no early symptoms. Those with the early stages of proteinuria won’t notice anything is wrong. This is why it’s essential to have your urine tested on a regular basis.
When left unchecked and untreated, proteinuria can cause more severe symptoms in its advanced stages. This includes foamy urine as well as swelling in the hands, feet, and face. It’s even more important for those at greater risk for CKD to receive regular urine tests to catch proteinuria before it becomes a problem.
There are a lot of things you can do to increase your chances of receiving a low rate when searching for life insurance coverage with proteinuria. Chief among them is making lifestyle changes. Test your blood glucose often, eat as healthy as possible, and exercise on a regular basis. Certain medications might also be recommended.
Understanding the application process is an essential part of finding the best life insurance with proteinuria.
It starts with applying to the right companies. Depending upon the level of protein in your urine, it’s essential to apply to companies who insure high risk customers. We can help since we know exactly which companies offer insurance to those with proteinuria.
The next step is taking a medical exam. All traditional life insurance companies require applicants to do this. The exam is simply a way for insurance underwriters to better assess your medical condition.
The medical exam and your application are used to assess your overall risk. The lower your risk of premature death, the better your life insurance rates.
Here are a few of the top factors underwriters look at during the life insurance application process:
Overall Health – You must be healthy aside from proteinuria to achieve the best rates.
Diet, Exercise, Lifestyle – A good diet and regular exercise don’t just improve your overall health, they also improve many of the conditions which commonly cause proteinuria. Non-smokers also achieve much better rates than smokers.
Date of Diagnosis – When were you diagnosed with proteinuria?
Urine Protein Levels – How high is the protein level in your urine? The lower the amount, the better the rate you’ll receive.
Underlying Condition – What’s the cause of proteinuria? More serious conditions, such as CKD, might disqualify you from traditional coverage altogether.
Condition History – What symptoms related to proteinuria have you experienced? How severe were they? How long ago did they last occur?
Treatments – What are you doing to improve your urine protein levels? What are you doing to treat the disease or condition which is causing proteinuria? The more you’re doing to effectively treat the condition, the better the rates you’ll receive.
It’s important to remember proteinuria is almost always a symptom. It’s rarely a disease in and of itself.
Proteinuria itself isn’t taken into much consideration by life insurance companies. Instead, it’s a sign further investigation is needed. You can count on a thorough check of your medical health to catch the underlying condition. You might even be asked for follow-up lab work to help find an answer.
In short, your life insurance eligibility and the rate you’ll receive depends on the condition causing your proteinuria. It makes it all but impossible to offer an estimate on the rate you’ll receive.
However, a very vague estimate on the rate can be given based off the level of protein in your urine. These estimates are most accurate if you’re one of the rare people which has proteinuria with no known cause.
A protein level of 5-20 mg/dL is normal and doesn’t require an increase premium. Even levels of 20-30 mg/dL may be eligible for Standard for most companies. Levels higher than 30 mg/dL and up to 100 mg/dL will place you at a Sub-Standard rating. Those with levels higher than 100 mg/dL might be declined outright.
What to Do Next
Every life insurance company has a different process of assessing applicants. That’s why it’s so important to apply to the right ones. We can help you apply to those most likely to give the lowest life insurance rates to those with proteinuria.