Life insurance is important for everyone, as it protects your loved ones financially if you pass away. Unfortunately, health conditions can make it more difficult to get life insurance, as someone with health issues poses a statistically higher risk of death than a healthy person. A common health condition that can affect your ability to get life insurance is kidney disease. If you have kidney disease, you can still get life insurance, but the process will likely be more challenging. Here’s what you need to know about getting life insurance with kidney disease.
What Is Kidney Disease?
Kidney disease is a very common condition that can ultimately cause renal failure. It develops over time, and many people do not know they have it until they are tested for it. Your kidneys perform a number of important functions in your body, most notably filtering out liquid waste. They are also very important for regulating your nutrient and hormone balance, as well as maintaining red blood cell production.
When you have kidney disease, your kidneys will slowly start to lose function. People with diabetes and high blood pressure are at the highest risk for developing kidney disease. In the beginning, patients likely won’t notice any symptoms, but as the condition develops, patients may require dialysis. Symptoms like swelling throughout the body, decreased urine output, fatigue, and insomnia can be indications of kidney disease.
There are two types of kidney disease – acute and chronic. Acute kidney disease happens as a result of a specific event. Chronic kidney disease usually happens as a result of long-term health conditions or general decline. Acute kidney disease is typically easier to treat than chronic kidney disease.
How Do Life Insurance Companies Assess People with Kidney Disease?
When life insurance companies calculate your premiums, they look at a wide range of different factors, including your health and lifestyle choices. Many life insurance policies require you to take a health examination in order to get coverage. They use this information to assess how much of a financial risk you pose to the company. The more statistically likely you are to do, the higher your financial premiums will be.
Kidney disease progresses through five stages, and your life insurance company will look at your health records to get a better idea of your overall condition. If you are on dialysis or are in stage five, you will likely be denied coverage. You may also be denied coverage if you are in an earlier stage, but have experienced a rapid decline. If you have received a kidney transplant after kidney failure, you will likely be able to get coverage, but you’ll need to wait until after the transplant has fully healed.
If your kidney disease is in the early stages and is under control, you will likely still be able to get life insurance. However, your premiums will be higher than those of a healthy person. When assessing you for an insurance policy, insurers will give you ratings, which help them calculate premiums more easily. Kidney disease will automatically put you in a substandard rating tier. There are normally 10 substandard rating tiers, and depending on your condition, you could pay anywhere from 25 to 250 percent more for your life insurance than someone in a standard tier.
What Are My Life Insurance Coverage Options If I Have Kidney Failure?
If you have kidney disease and don’t qualify for traditional life insurance, your best option will be final expense insurance. Final expense insurance is usually a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, and it is designed to cover your funeral costs and other immediate end-of-life expenses. Final expense insurance has a much lower death benefit than a traditional life insurance policy, so it likely won’t be enough to pay down debt or support your family. However, it will pay for a funeral, and you don’t need a medical examination to get it. In fact, most final expense policies only require you to answer a few questions.
How Can I Save Money on Life Insurance with a Chronic Health Condition?
If you have a chronic health condition like kidney disease, it’s important to shop around when looking for a life insurance policy. Prices can vary dramatically between insurers, so getting quotes from several different places will help you determine which provider is right for your needs. Make it clear that you are shopping around, as agents want to make sales and may be willing to negotiate on your behalf in order to close a deal.
It’s also important to maintain healthy lifestyle choices, as this is another factor that life insurance companies will assess when determining your premiums. Avoid heavy drinking, smoking, and drug use, as these are all things that can affect your liver. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, and be sure to follow the advice your doctor gives you. All of these factors can help you keep your kidney disease under control, and they may also prevent your life insurance premiums from skyrocketing.
Final Word – Life Insurance and Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is challenging, but maintaining healthy habits and seeing your doctor regularly can prevent it from getting worse. By getting regular checkups, you can get tested for kidney disease and catch it early if it does happen. If you do have kidney disease, you’ll need to prepare to pay more for life insurance, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t qualify for a policy.