Dealing with Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. However, it shouldn’t get in the way of getting the life insurance coverage you need.
Although there are some extra steps involved, it is still possible to get a life insurance policy if you have GERD.
In this article, we'll provide background information on how GERD affects your eligibility for life insurance. You’ll be able to make an informed decision about protecting yourself and your family.
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as GERD, is a condition that causes stomach acid to back up into the esophagus, leading to irritation and pain. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn, a burning sensation in the chest that often occurs after eating or at night when lying down. Other symptoms include regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, coughing, hoarseness, and chest pain.
GERD can be caused by a weakened lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a ring of muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus and helps prevent acid from backing up into the esophagus. Factors that can weaken the LES include obesity, smoking, pregnancy, certain medications, and certain foods.
If left untreated or mismanaged, GERD can lead to significant medical complications and possibly even a further weakened esophageal sphincter. Although getting diagnosed with GERD may present an obstacle in obtaining life insurance coverage, an insurance advisor can help you find appropriate options that can help protect you and your family.
How do companies underwrite applicants with Acid Reflux or GERD?
Life insurance companies consider multiple factors when evaluating an applicant's eligibility for GERD coverage. Some of these factors include medical history, sex, and age of the applicant.
In cases with pre-existing conditions like GERD, insurance companies may look at the severity of the condition, the frequency and intensity of symptoms, and the individual's medical history and treatment plan. Applicants with GERD who have a history of hospitalizations or frequent doctor visits related to their condition may be viewed as higher risk. This either causes in slightly higher premiums or, in the worst-case situation, coverage refusal. Companies will typically look at how long an applicant has been managing their condition and their overall health stability.
The good news is that life insurance is obtainable despite having this condition. Applicants with GERD or acid reflux should carefully review the policy terms and coverage options to ensure that their condition is covered and that they are comfortable with the premium and out-of-pocket costs.
Can you get Life Insurance coverage and have GERD or Acid Reflux?
You will be glad to know that GERD and/or Acid Reflux diagnosis does not automatically prevent you from qualifying for life insurance coverage. However, the premiums and coverage offered may be affected depending on the severity and frequency of your symptoms.
When applying for insurance, you will typically be asked about your medical history and any pre-existing conditions, including GERD or acid reflux. The insurance company may request medical records or additional information from your healthcare provider to assess the risk associated with your illness. It is important to note that you should be completely honest when answering these questions. If it is later discovered that you lied on your application, your life insurance coverage could be canceled.
It's important to note that life insurance policies vary between insurance companies, and the underwriting process can be complex. If you have GERD or acid reflux and are considering purchasing life insurance coverage, it's recommended that you speak with an insurance agent or broker who can help you navigate the application process and find a policy that meets your needs.
Why do insurance companies care if you have an Acid Reflux or GERD diagnosis?
Life insurance companies take acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease diagnoses into consideration when assessing eligibility for life insurance. In some cases, GERD can be a symptom of a more serious underlying issue. Companies determine pricing and eligibility to accurately calculate the cost of insuring an individual.
Acid reflux and GERD can lead to some complications, such as inflammation, ulcers, and strictures in the esophagus. These complications may require medical treatment, including prescription medication, endoscopy, or surgery. The cost of treatment and management of these conditions can be significant, and insurance companies consider this when assessing the risk associated with an individual's medical history.
In summary, insurance companies care if you have an acid reflux or GERD diagnosis because it is a pre-existing condition that may affect the underwriting decisions, coverage, and premium rates offered to an individual.
However, being diagnosed with Acid Reflux or GERD should not prevent them from securing life insurance coverage; many companies are perfectly prepared to offer reasonable rates regardless of the diagnosis.
How to save money on life insurance with GERD?
If you have GERD and are looking to save money on life insurance premiums, there are a few things you can do to help reduce your insurance costs:
Improve your overall health: Insurance companies often base their premium rates on an individual's overall health. By taking steps to improve your health, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, and adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine, you demonstrate to the insurance company that you are taking proactive steps to manage your GERD and other related medical issues.
Shop around: Insurance premiums can vary between insurance companies. By shopping around and comparing policy options, you may be able to find a policy with more affordable premiums and suitable coverage that meets your needs.
Work with an independent agent or broker: An independent agent or broker can help you navigate the application process and find policies that are tailored to your specific needs and medical history. They can also help you compare policy options and rates from different insurance companies, potentially helping you to find more affordable coverage.
Consider term life insurance: Term life insurance policies are typically less expensive than permanent life insurance policies, and they can provide coverage for a specific period, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. If you are looking to save money on life insurance, a term life insurance policy is a more affordable option to consider.
Consider a smaller policy: If you do not need a large amount of life insurance coverage, consider purchasing a policy with less coverage. The premium rates for smaller policies are typically lower than larger policies, and you may be able to find a policy that provides the coverage you need at a more affordable price.
Before deciding on a life insurance policy, consider factors such as how long the policy term would last and how much coverage the policy offers. Ultimately, shopping around for a policy tailored to your needs can help lower your premiums to get the coverage you need at a more affordable price.
Types of life insurance available to people with GERD
People with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can access a range of life insurance policies that are tailored to their particular situation. While those with mild cases may be able to get coverage without any additional qualifications, more severe conditions may require more life insurance coverage and sometimes higher premiums for the coverage.
In general, people with GERD have access to the same types of life insurance policies as those without GERD. The types of life insurance policies available include:
Term life insurance: Term life insurance provides coverage for a specified period, usually between 10 to 30 years. It is typically less expensive than permanent life insurance. If you are looking for affordable coverage for a specific period, a term life insurance policy may be a good option.
Whole life insurance: Whole life insurance provides coverage for the entirety of the insured's life and offers a guaranteed death benefit. It can also include a cash value component that grows over time and can be accessed by the policyholder. Whole life insurance is typically more expensive than term life insurance, but it provides lifelong coverage and has a cash value component.
Universal life insurance: Universal life insurance provides flexible premiums and a flexible death benefit. It also includes a cash value component that grows over time and can be accessed by the policyholder. Universal life insurance is more flexible than whole life insurance and can be a good option for those who want lifelong coverage but also want flexibility in their premiums and death benefit.
Variable life insurance: Variable life insurance offers a death benefit and a cash value component that can be invested in a variety of investment options, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. It provides the potential for higher returns but also carries more risk. Variable life insurance is typically more expensive than other types of life insurance policies.
Fortunately, there is an array of policy options available for people with GERD. Whichever route you choose, understand your options and how they best fit your needs and budget.
It is important to consider an insurer’s eligibility criteria when looking for life insurance coverage with GERD. Different types of policies, terms, and limits apply when determining if you are eligible for coverage, depending on how deep the diagnosis goes.
Just because one company denies coverage does not mean all companies will do the same; shop around to find a cost-effective policy that meets your needs and budget. If you have additional questions regarding eligibility or pricing with GERD or Acid Reflux related life insurance policies, contact a Dundas Life licensed advisor today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do life insurance companies cover individuals with GERD?
Yes, many life insurance companies do offer coverage for individuals with GERD as it is a pre-existing condition. However, the availability and cost of coverage can vary depending on the severity of the condition, the frequency and intensity of symptoms, and other factors such as age, overall health, and lifestyle habits.
Not all insurance policies are built the same, so it is important to shop around and consider all your options before purchasing an insurance policy.
Will life insurance cost more if I have GERD?
The cost of life insurance will depend on the severity of your condition and how well it is managed. Conditions that are better managed may be offered lower premiums. Note that the cost of life insurance premiums can vary significantly between insurance companies, so be sure to shop around and compare policy options from different insurers.
What rate will I qualify for if I have GERD?
The rate someone will qualify for if they have GERD will change on a case-by-case basis. The rate that you may qualify for with GERD can vary depending on various factors, such as the severity of your condition, how well you manage the illness, and your overall health. Insurance companies will typically review your medical history, including any previous diagnoses, treatments, medications related to GERD, and any other relevant medical conditions.
If I manage my GERD, can the diagnosis be changed in the future?
If your GERD is well-managed with medication or lifestyle changes, and you have not experienced significant complications or related health issues, you may qualify for standard or preferred rates for life insurance. However, each insurance company has its own underwriting guidelines, so the impact of successful GERD management on your eligibility for coverage can vary.
Can I get life insurance if I have Barrett's esophagus?
Barrett's esophagus is a condition in which the lining of the esophagus is damaged, usually as a result of long-term acid reflux. It can be more difficult to get life insurance with this condition since it is generally more severe than GERD. If you get life insurance while having Barrett’s esophagus, it could have higher premiums and more exclusions.