Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Top 10 Most Expensive Health Conditions

Life insurance rates are determined by many factors including age, gender, and lifestyle. Life insurance underwriters put applicants in risk classes based on the likelihood of death before policy maturity. The higher the risk, the higher the rate class, and the more expensive a policy will be.

These are the top 10 health conditions that are most likely to affect your life insurance rate class:

1.) Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

• High blood pressure that is not well controlled is a concern to underwriters because it can lead to a lot of vascular complications
• However, the industry takes individuals who have well-controlled and well-managed high blood pressure into consideration and often underwrites them very favorably

2.) Type 2 Diabetes (Adult Onset)

• The potential complications that can result from diabetes affect risk class
• Youth does not work in favor of the Type 2 applicant. The younger a person is when they are diagnosed, the higher the risk for a life insurance company as the person gets older
• The important factor in getting affordable life insurance coverage with diabetes is good control and management

3.) Sleep Apnea or Narcolepsy

• Severe sleep apnea can be associated with high blood pressure and coronary artery disease
• If sleep apnea is well controlled and well managed, applicants can still get a good underwriter rating

4.) Heart Disease

• Heart disease encompasses a wide range of diseases and conditions from atherosclerosis to a prolapsed mitral valve
• Underwriters consider family history in heart disease assessments…they look at immediate family members- father, mother, brother, sister- who may have developed heart disease or had a stroke

5.) Asthma

• With asthma, underwriters are concerned about the severity of the condition and how well it is managed
• An individual with well-controlled asthma should be able to be favorably underwritten

6.) Cancer

• The word “cancer” will flag any life insurance underwriter but its ultimate effect on an applicant's rate class can vary from negligible to substantial
• Just as each cancer is individual, every insurance company will underwrite it differently

7.) Obesity

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics indicate that more than 1/3 of adult Americans are overweight and another 1/3 are clinically obese
• Insurance companies calculate an applicant’s BMI when determining their risk class
• Most carriers have build tables to determine which weights can qualify for each rating

8.) Organ Transplants

• Insurance companies treat organ transplants on a case-by-case basis
• Kidney transplants are the most common and can be insurable but liver and heart transplants are rarely insurable

9.) Depression

• The rating for individuals with depression depends on the degree, the severity, and how well it is managed

10.) High Cholesterol

• Life Insurance companies are concerned with high cholesterol because it is a risk factor for the development of a lot of vascular conditions, including coronary artery disease, stroke and other atherosclerotic kinds of disease
• Underwriters tend to treat high cholesterol like they treat high blood pressure…favorable ratings can exist if it is controlled and well-managed

-From “Top 10 Health Hazards for Life Insurers”

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