When it comes to buying life insurance, it’s important to consider any medical conditions you might have.
Sarcoidosis, for example, can greatly affect your life insurance rates depending upon a number of factors. The inflammatory disease can even effect your eligibility for traditional coverage.
That’s why it’s so important to look at the relationship between sarcoidosis and life insurance before starting the application process.
A thorough understanding of how the disease affects your coverage rating increases your chances of finding the lowest rates.
Use an independent life insurance agent, like us, to find those companies willing to offer coverage to those with sarcoidosis.
Here’s what you need to know about finding the best policy.
Getting Approved For Life Insurance With Sarcoidosis
It’s estimated sarcoidosis affects roughly 1 in every 10,000 people in the United States. Around 200,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease each year.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, sarcoidosis is a disease leading to inflammation, usually in your lungs, skin, or lymph nodes. Tiny groups of inflammatory cells, known as granulomas, grow in these areas, causing a variety of symptoms.
The organization lists the most common symptoms of sarcoidosis as:
- Shortness of Breath
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- Blurred Vision
- Skin Rash
- Night Sweats
Many people with sarcoidosis don’t experience any symptoms at all. The symptoms you experience depend on the specific organs affected.
Though anyone can develop sarcoidosis, it’s most prevalent in those between the ages of 20 and 50. Women and those of African and Northern European descent are also at a greater risk.
There’s no cure for sarcoidosis but a number of effective treatments can help manage the disease. The most common is a mixture of steroids and immunosuppressive medications. In many cases, the disease and its symptoms clear up on their own.
The effectiveness of sarcoidosis treatments and the fact the disease often disappears by itself means it doesn’t seriously affect your life insurance eligibility, except in the most severe cases.
Our Application Process
Your life insurance application is reviewed by an underwriter at each company you apply to.
The job of the underwriter is to assess the risk of each applicant. In addition to your application, you must take a medical exam. The underwriter uses the application and exam to judge your life expectancy.
Life insurance companies are hesitant to extend coverage to those with medical conditions which could lower their life expectancy. Those who are labeled high risk often have to pay higher rates or are denied altogether.
So how does an underwriter view sarcoidosis? The main factors they’ll look at in your application include:
Overall Health – What is your health like aside from sarcoidosis? Those with few or no other health problems will receive the highest rates.
Diet and Exercise – Poor diet and lack of exercise statistically lead to a lower life expectancy. If you eat well and exercise regularly, you’ll likely receive better rates, despite your sarcoidosis.
Lifestyle – Smoking and drinking are two lifestyle factors all life insurance underwriters look at. Smokers are judged harshly. You’ll likely pay two to three times the normal rate if you smoke. Moderate drinking on the other is often a non-issue. Drinking more than average, however, will likely net you a higher overall rate.
Date of Diagnosis – When were you first diagnosed with sarcoidosis? How long has it been since then? An early diagnosis often makes treatments much more successful.
Condition History – Give a detailed account of your history with sarcoidosis. List the symptoms you’ve experienced, their frequency, and their severity. It’s important to list the specific organs which are/were affected and whether your diagnosis is initial or recurring.
Treatments – What medications or other treatments have you used to manage your sarcoidosis? Is the condition under control? Have symptoms disappeared?
Diagnostic Testing – Regular diagnostic testing is essential for those with an initial sarcoidosis diagnosis. Even if the symptoms have disappeared, regular doctor visits can help nip a flare up in the bud. Life insurance underwriters highly value those who are proactive about managing their sarcoidosis.
Every life insurance company judges these factors differently. As an independent life insurance agent, we can direct you to those who judge sarcoidosis most favorably.
Common Results for Most Applicants
Sarcoidosis is almost never a serious medical condition. It usually goes away on its own. When treatment is needed, it’s minimal and consists only of taking a handful of medications as prescribed.
Because of its treatability, most life insurance companies consider those with sarcoidosis low risk. You’ll almost always qualify for traditional coverage of some type.
If you have no other health problems, you have a very good chance of qualifying for a Preferred rating. You must show your sarcoidosis symptoms went away on their own or with minimal treatment. You must also lead a healthy lifestyle (good diet, regular exercise, no smoking).
The bulk of those applying for life insurance with sarcoidosis will receive a Standard rating. This is given to those who have their sarcoidosis symptoms under control but still have symptoms of granuloma.
Patients with more severe symptoms, or complications arising from sarcoidosis, will be given a Sub-Standard rating. This is also the rating you’ll likely receive if your sarcoidosis is under control but you have another health problem.
It’s quite rare to be declined from traditional coverage for sarcoidosis. You generally must have serious complications to be declined altogether.
Those declined from traditional coverage still have options. Life insurance alternatives like a graded death benefit policy are a good choice for many people.
What to Do Next
The key to finding the best life insurance with sarcoidosis, or any other health condition, is to work with an independent life insurance agent.
We work directly with the top-rated life insurance companies in the country. We know exactly which ones have a history of insuring those with sarcoidosis. This helps you find the best coverage at the lowest premium in the shortest time possible.