Affordable Life Insurance and Chronic Conditions

May 4, 2011

It’s a common myth that that certain conditions prevent you from getting life insurance. These conditions include:

  • heavy smoking
  • alcoholism
  • asthma
  • mental illness (including clinical depression)
  • cancer
  • a heart condition

The reality is that there are life insurance programs that will sell you coverage with any of these conditions, but you’ll have to do your research before you apply. Of course, you’ll probably pay a higher premium, as well.

So how do you get affordable life insurance when you have a chronic condition?

The trick is in proving that you are managing your situation. For example, if you have a drinking problem but can prove that you are an active participant in AA, that will help reduce the cost of your coverage. If you’re suffering from mental illness and can demonstrate regular therapy appointments, that, too may help reduce what you pay in life insurance premiums. The same goes for asthma – if it’s well managed, it won’t force you to be excluded from coverage.

But what about heart disease? What about cancer? While it’s true that these are “red flag” issues to insurance underwriters, they don’t always mean that you can’t be covered, or can only be covered for a lot of money. If you’re taking the recommended steps to treat your heart disease, you can still be insured for a standard rate. As for cancer, it depends on the type, stage, and treatment method, as well as the size and location of your tumor. While it’s true that some insurers won’t touch you, many will still offer coverage at a reasonable price if your cancer is treatable, and has a high survivor rate.

Bottom line? Never assume that having a chronic condition knocks you out of life insurance eligibility. Instead, use the internet to do research, ask questions, and make sure you stick to whatever medical or mental health treatments are recommended.