Are you living with rheumatoid arthritis and concerned about qualifying for life insurance? Worry not!
There are many great options available to ensure you and your loved ones are financially protected. In this informative read, we'll delve into the impact of rheumatoid arthritis on your life insurance choices and guide you in finding the perfect policy tailored to your specific needs.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the joints of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the body. It can cause pain, stiffness, fatigue, and swelling in the joints of the body.
Apart from this, rheumatoid arthritis can even have serious psychological implications. While the rheumatic process interacts with each person differently and symptoms may vary in intensity and presentation over time, common RA symptoms include joint pain and tenderness, swelling, morning stiffness that lasts at least one hour after waking up, loss of range of motion in joints and muscles, and more. If any of these issues persist it is important to visit your physician for a proper diagnosis.
While many insurers consider someone with arthritis as a more risky individual, there are many affordable and guaranteed life insurance options available. For this reason, one should be open and honest with their insurer in regards to their rheumatoid arthritis so they can find a coverage plan that works perfectly for them!
What are the causes and risk factors of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
It is not uncommon for those applying for life insurance to be checked for rheumatoid arthritis during a medical exam. This is because rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that attacks healthy tissue and joints, causing pain, disability, and in some cases deformity. Unfortunately, the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis isn't known. However, research suggests that certain environmental factors and family history plays a role in determining whether an individual may develop rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore it's important to be aware of any relatives with rheumatoid arthritis before applying for life insurance.
What are ways to get a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
A proper and swift diagnosis is key when dealing with the daily challenges of rheumatoid arthritis. One of the most effective ways to deal with arthritis is to visit a rheumatologist, an expert in diagnosing and treating joint and soft tissue disorders. Furthermore, blood tests, imaging studies like x-rays or MRIs, and even RF tests to detect specific antibodies can also help identify rheumatoid arthritis. Getting a precise diagnosis can also yield significant financial benefits as most life insurance companies consider rheumatoid arthritis as an "unexplained cause" when determining health ratings and premiums.
Can I get approval despite a RA diagnosis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis is not a fatal condition, so it is not likely to come in your way of securing adequate life insurance protection. The severity of your arthritis (and overall health) will determine your ability to take out a fully-underwritten policy and the cost of insurance.
People with severe RA will likely pay a considerably higher rate than someone who does not have arthritis. In the worst-case scenario, severe arthritis might make you ineligible for a traditional plan, which means you would have to settle for a no-medical policy.
If you apply for a fully-underwritten life insurance policy with RA, there are three possible outcomes.
- Standard Approval – If you have been recently diagnosed with RA and/or your condition is well-controlled with mild drugs, such as NSAIDs, you can reasonably expect a standard rating. Well-controlled rheumatoid arthritis means minimal arthritis flares, no disability, and no evidence of other organs (like the heart, lungs, kidneys, etc.) being affected by RA.
- Rated Approval – If you have had RA for some years now and are taking medications like DMARDS and steroids, you are likely to receive a rated approval. A rated policy is typically 25% to 200% more expensive than a standard policy. People with mild or moderate RA and having a mild disability or deformity tend to get a rated rating, which goes to show that they have a lower life expectancy than the average person of the same age and gender.
- Decline – People with severe RA may get declined for a medically-underwritten life insurance policy. If one or more primary organs have been impacted by RA, you have a major deformity, and/or you need help to perform one or more activities of daily living, you may not qualify for a standard policy. In that case, a no-medical plan may be your only option.
What are the treatment options for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Each person's journey with rheumatoid arthritis is unique, and so too are the treatment options available to them. From traditional approaches such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy to more targeted biological medications, the goal is always the same: to slow down the autoimmune process and alleviate the symptoms associated with the condition. However, it's important to remember that finding the right treatment plan is a highly individualized process, and working with your healthcare provider to create a plan tailored to your specific needs is crucial, not just for managing the disease, but also for protecting your future with life insurance.
How medication affects your life insurance policy?
Navigating the world of life insurance can be tricky when you have a chronic health condition like rheumatoid arthritis. The medications you take to manage your symptoms can have a big impact on your policy, and it's important to understand how they may be taken into account during the underwriting process. If you are on certain medications, some insurers may automatically assign you a particular health classification. That is because some drugs have stronger side effects and carry greater risks.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Using NSAIDs for arthritis is not likely to impact your health rating. These drugs are usually part of the first-line treatment for RA, which focuses on relieving pain and decreasing inflammation.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
Besides NSAIDs, DMARDs — which work by blocking inflammation — are a group of medications commonly used for managing arthritis. If you are taking DMARDs, it is not likely to affect your health rating.
Anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF)
These drugs are typically used only if conventional treatments do not work. Anti-TNF drugs can have serious side effects, particularly in the initial stages of the treatment. Given this, you will likely receive a lower rating (and a higher premium rate) if you are taking them.
From higher premiums to restricted coverage, the way your RA is treated can affect your policy in various ways. But don't let that deter you! By being transparent with your insurer about your condition and the medications you take, you can work together to create a policy that fits your unique needs and keeps you protected.
How is Rheumatoid Arthritis categorized?
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a tricky beast. It's a chronic condition that's classified as an autoimmune disorder, which means your immune system is attacking your own body. It's a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects connective tissue, such as muscles and bones, leading to inflammation. The good news is, there are ways to manage it.
Life insurance companies often classify RA into mild, moderate, or severe categories to determine the level of risk when evaluating applicants for coverage. People with RA tend to have elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rates (ESR). Depending on your ESR rating, your condition is categorized as mild, moderate, or severe.
Mild – ESR not greater than 30 mm/hr
Moderate – ESR not greater than 55 mm/hr
Severe – ESR more than 55 mm/hr
What are the types of life insurance for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
When seeking life insurance, it is important to consider rheumatoid arthritis and the various types of policies available. Traditional types of life insurance such as whole life, universal life, and term life are all options for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Additionally, there has been an evolution in recent years toward policies designed more specifically for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. These include no exam policies, which require no medical examination, and offer accelerated death benefit riders, which can provide access to finances prior to death should rheumatoid arthritis cause financial hardship or a shortened life expectancy. While deciding on the best type of policy can be overwhelming, it is important to stay informed about rheumatoid arthritis and its implications for purchasing a life insurance policy.
What factors impact your insurance premium?
Your rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis can affect the rate of your life insurance premiums. Many insurance companies consider rheumatoid arthritis a pre-existing condition, so it is important to understand the many other factors that can play into what your specific rates will look like.
There are several elements such as your age when you purchase coverage, benefit amounts, length of time the policy is in effect, and pre-existing conditions that all have an impact on the total cost you will be required to pay. Your rheumatoid arthritis may also factor into any underwriting decisions, so it is important to discuss this with your insurance provider so you can truly understand how these diagnoses receive factoring into your premium.
Can I be approved for life insurance for arthritis?
Securing life insurance for rheumatoid arthritis can pose a challenge, but it is possible to be approved. While life insurance companies consider pre-existing conditions like arthritis when determining risk, policies are still available to those affected. It's important to note that life insurers take a number of factors into account when evaluating an application, including lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise. Those with rheumatoid arthritis who practice healthy living may find more favorable rates than others with less healthy habits. As always, it's recommended to compare life insurance policy options before making a purchase.
How can I save money on life insurance with arthritis?
Reducing your insurance premium can be a great way to save money. One simple tip is to do regular self-checkups and ensure any medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are well managed. By actively taking care of your health, you can reduce the amount you pay on life insurance premiums by receiving a lower risk rating from the insurer.
Shopping around for quotes is also an easy way to find competitive prices; it's worth comparing different policies from various providers in order to get the best possible deal (an independent life insurance broker like Dundas Life can assist here). Finally, a well-organized budget and financial plan can go a long way toward cutting back on insurance costs and putting more money back in your pocket.
Why should you get life insurance with Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Life insurance is a vital safety net that can secure the future for you and your loved ones. And for those with rheumatoid arthritis, it's an essential consideration. RA is a chronic condition that can have long-term impacts on health and earning potential. By getting life insurance, you can shield yourself and your family against the costs associated with RA such as costly treatments and medication, dependents' care, doctor visit travel expenses and premature death. And depending on the policy, it can also cover debts and other obligations in the event of death. With a wide range of options available, choosing the right type of life insurance for your rheumatoid arthritis can be a wise investment for your future and your family's.
How to apply for life insurance for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Applying for life insurance when you have Rheumatoid Arthritis may seem daunting but it doesn't have to be. It's important to keep in mind that insurance companies take a variety of factors into consideration when deciding whether they will insure someone with rheumatoid arthritis. They want to know in detail about your general health and medical history including details about the rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis and medication, not just the results from one or two lab tests. Be sure to be prepared with all the necessary information for both you and your doctor before submitting an application as this can help make sure that the entire process goes as smoothly as possible.
Is life insurance right for me?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an unpredictable and debilitating autoimmune disease that can strike at any age.While managing rheumatoid arthritis can come with added costs, such as medication and treatments, it doesn't have to put a strain on your finances. With life insurance, you can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of should the worst happen.
With Dundas Life, securing coverage is easy and affordable. Contact one of our brokers today and explore your options for protecting your future.