One morning, Bob rolled out of bed and with his first step his feet ached. He thought through his activity for the prior day, but couldn’t think of anything that would cause soreness in his feet. 6 months prior, he had turned 40 and just figured this was the start of middle age aches and pain. Throughout the day, the pain never stopped even though he popped ibuprofen throughout the day.
The next day it was the same, then the next, then the next. It was odd enough he started worrying, and schedule a trip to his doctor. The doc noticed some swelling in his feet, and the symptoms were enough to schedule a handful of tests.
The result came back and he had early signs of rheumatoid arthritis. The thought didn’t both him at first. Arthritis was going to hit sooner or later, but then the doc explained this wasn’t normal osteoarthritis. He had an auto-immune disease.
He was anxious, but thankfully, the diagnosis was early and treatment would help. But he couldn’t help worrying about health insurance. Bob had planned on getting life insurance and now was really concerned none would be available.
That’s one fear that could be put to rest.
Life insurance is available for anyone suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, but there are facts you need to know to find the most competitive products in the market.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is not your normal irritated joints common with osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease.
The body attacks its own joints and connective tissues. Swelling and deformities in the joint can occur, and if untreated major organs can be affected.
RA usually attacks the small joints in the wrists, hands, and feet. Untreated RA can cause damage in the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Early symptoms can be confused general soreness and swelling we all experience, especially from heavy exercise. Here are common symptoms that should alert you to check with your doctor:
RA can be difficult to diagnosis in the early stages. Because it tends to mimic other diseases, most doctors will use imaging technology and blood tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Levels of Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are three basic levels or stages of RA. Each stage will determine the types of coverage and rating a life insurance company will consider.
1. Mild Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. Moderate Rheumatoid Arthritis
3. Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are no known specific causes. Many studies point to smoking as a factor that may increase risk, primarily due to unusual immune responses. Exposure to silica and asbestos may increase risk. Obesity in women prior to age 55 is another potential contributor.
Treatment for RA is best managed by multiple strategies. Pharmaceutical options should always accompany lifestyle changes, therapy, and even alternative treatments.
The alternatives treatments range from supplementing with fish oil, following a stretching routine, using heating pads, and practicing tai chi. In some cases, surgery may be needed to repair joints or even remove diseased synovial tissue.
What do Insurance Companies look for When Evaluating Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Life insurance underwriters evaluate a wide variety of symptoms when evaluating an RA patient.
Here are the factors life companies use:
How Do You Prepare for a Life Application?
The number one tip we recommended is to use an agent. Not just any agent either. Use an independent broker, not tied to one specific company, but with access to multiple companies. They can help you sort through the maze of multiple companies and guidelines.
Even though we will give you the best possible life insurance companies for RA patients, every company has slightly different underwriting rules and guidelines. Finding the best one that fits you is a research task. A great agent takes hours and weeks of research off your hands.
What Kind of Life Policy Can You Buy Once You’ve Been Diagnosed?
It depends. I know that’s not encouraging and to be honest is a typical insurance response, but it’s true.
When you have rheumatoid arthritis, there are at least three different actions a life company will take when they examine your application.
- Standard Rated Policy
- Table Rated Policy
Most life policies have multiple classifications based on health data. The classes are preferred plus, preferred, standard plus, and standard. Standard represents the average American health condition.
Mild RA will qualify for standard rating for both term and permanent coverage.
Moderate RA will qualify for the standard classification, but be table rated. Table rated refers to levels of the surcharge the company will add to the base standard premium. You can expect an increase anywhere from 25% to 200% of the standard rate on a table rated policy.
Severe RA will cause a decline for most companies. However, this does not mean you won’t be able to obtain coverage.
If a doctor diagnoses you with severe RA, and it has begun to affect any major organs, you will only have one option–a guaranteed issue policy. Guaranteed issue policies are typically lower coverage, and more expensive than average. However, there are no medical questions and exams.
Life Insurance Rates for Those with Rheumatoid Arthritis
The rates below assume standard rates. Most people with rheumatoid arthritis will fall into this category.
These are monthly rates as well for both term and permanent policies.
|Age||Policy Type||$100,000 Male||$100,000 Female||$500,000 Male||$500,000 Female||$1,000,000 Male||$1,000,000 Female|
|30||30 Year Term||$39||$31||$111||$96||$209||$180|
|40||30 Year Term||$49||$40||$187||$140||$322||$244|
|50||30 Year Term||$94||$75||$289||$209||$542||$406|
|60||20 Year Term||$105||$74||$445||$304||$861||$566|
|70||10 Year Term||$171||$130||$710||$430||$1,323||$796|
|70||20 Year Term||$311||$255||$1,296||$1,056||$2,585||$2,032|
Best Life Insurance Companies
The following companies are perfect for people with any serious health issues whether that be cancer, diabetes, or strokes.
These companies provide more lenient underwriting and competitive rates for health issues. Look for financially healthy companies as well. You can determine the financial health of a carrier by their AM Best rating.
Those ratings are provided below.
|Company||A.M. Best Rating||Customer Satisfaction Rating|
|Lincoln||A+||4.1 / 5|
|John Hancock||A+||4.1 / 5|
|MetLife||A+||4.2 / 5|
|Banner Life||A+||4.3 / 5|
|AIG||A||4.0 / 5|
|Protective||A+||4.2 / 5|
|Pacific Life||A+||4.0 / 5|
|Prudential||A+||4.1 / 5|
|Mutual of Omaha||A+||4.1 / 5|
|Transamerica||A+||4.2 / 5|
Finding the Best Life Insurance Coverage for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Having rheumatoid arthritis may complicate the life insurance process, but with the right agency, you can access plenty of life products and carriers willing to insure.
Make sure you talk with an agent to help you sort out all the options.
Use our quick quote form to get a ballpark rate, and then talk with one of our agents to customize coverage for your unique needs.