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Life Insurance Basics

Can I buy life insurance if I have health issues?

There are a multitude of factors that determine whether you are 'insurable' or not, and they vary by insurance company. Just because you have a health issue, doesn't necessarily mean you can't get insurance coverage.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition you might assume that you can't buy life insurance. In many cases, however, it may be possible for you to find the coverage you need.
Your insurability depends on a multitude of factors that include your diagnosis, associated health issues, and how well your condition is being controlled and monitored. Medical progress and the availability of preventive programs now allow many people with chronic conditions to live long and productive lives. In step with that, many insurance companies are offering coverage to those whose health conditions are managed and stable.
The fact is, every insurer underwrites differently, and there are always going to be certain health problems that are likely to preclude you from getting life insurance. However, recent medical advances and treatments that at one time might have discouraged you from considering life insurance may no longer be a barrier to buying a policy today.

Life insurance and common health conditions

According to the LIFE Foundation, people with pre-existing conditions often make the mistake of thinking they can't get life insurance or affordable life insurance quotes. The truth is, if you've been diagnosed with a common health issue such as anxiety, asthma, depression, high cholesterol, hypertension, weight problems, or sleep apnea, you may still be able to find the life insurance you need - especially if your condition is well-controlled.

For example, if you're a diabetic whose weight is under control and diet is well-managed, your chances of securing a life policy increase. The same is true if your hypertension issues aren't coupled with any additional health-related problems or habits such as smoking.

More serious pre-existing conditions and life insurance

If you've suffered from cancer and it was caught at an early stage, you may still be able to find insurance, although the life insurance company might have you wait a certain amount of time after surgery or completing your necessary course of treatment before considering you for coverage. Since every insurer is different, there could be additional eligibility requirements, such as the type of cancer and at what stage it was diagnosed. Learn about the steps for how to get life insurance.
Heart disease and heart attack are also subject to stringent underwriting guidelines, much like cancer. However, many times an insurer will have you wait a year or more before considering you for coverage, to see how your recovery progresses and if you continue to lead a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, diet, weight loss, no tobacco usage, and regular checkups.
Shopping for life insurance with a pre-existing condition and comparing life insurance quotes can be a challenge. There are many health conditions that are put under a microscope, as well as some that are simply deemed uninsurable. What you need to know is that every insurance company is different, and having a pre-existing condition doesn't necessarily mean you can't obtain insurance. Just keep in mind that there are certain conditions that are ineligible based on the company's guidelines, you could face a waiting period, you'll be subject to a health exam, your plan choices may be limited, and you'll be looking at paying higher than normal premiums (which is a good reason to buy as much life insurance as you can at an early age, and before you find yourself facing health issues).


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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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