When I think of our home state skiing and rafting pop into my head, not diabetes. For those of us who don’t have type 2 diabetes it’s a little hard to get your head wrapped around all the challenges it brings with for those that do.
By now over 5% of our friends and neighbors have type 2 diabetes. While that may be an impressive figure compared to some parts of the country, for the 5% it can change a lot of parts of your life. One you don’t even think about until you get there is what it can do to your chances or being approved for life insurance and the cost if you are approved. Fortunately life insurance underwriters are being helped by new treatment and monitoring systems as well as public education about diabetes so people are more and more being diagnosed early enough that no damage has been done.
The good news for those in need of diabetes life insurance in Colorado is that the line at my door isn’t as long as it is around the country. The other good news is that I’ve been helping people with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2 get life insurance at affordable prices all over the country for 14 years now. It really comes down to just a few underwriting guidelines for the most part. Compliance and control are the keys to beating the odds with life insurance rates. Are you truly compliant with your testing, your treatment and your regular doctor follow up. If you are faithful to that then controlled as measured by your hbA1c should be good. That isn’t to say that all diabetes is easily controlled, but it is saying that the best chance of having diabetes and keeping your A1c below 7 is by being dedicated to your treatment.
Underwriters look at A1c carefully and just to simplify how they perceive it as a measure of control, it would go something like this with the best companies. Under 6.0 is excellent. You have essentially knocked the wind out of you health problem. 6-6.5 is very good control and 6.5-7 would be good control. Most doctors would agree that maintaining an A1c below 7 is a good and mostly achievable goal. 7-8.5 would be fair control and over 8.5 would be poorly controlled. Anything over 9 would be consider not controlled. Underwriters will decline when the A1c reaches the 9-10 range no matter what offsetting factors there might be. I had a client who applied some years ago not knowing that he had diabetes and his A1c on the life insurance exam was 11.4 and he was declined.
That man is now a client of mine. He took that news seriously and sought treatment. He lost weight, changed his diet and was as compliant with treatment as a guy can be. Within a year his A1c was down to 8.5 and we were able to get him approved. He kept on working at it and we got him another policy at a much lower rate when his A1c went below 7. With good control it isn’t out of the question to be approved at rates of standard or better. While you’re not likely to make it to preferred rates, standard is very affordable for most.
Type 1 diabetes has made huge headway in recent years largely due to better understanding and improved insulin pumps. While we haven’t yet been able to get approvals for children with type 1 diabetes, we have been successful with adult onset type 1 and juvenile onset type 1 when people have reached age 30 with good control and no complications. Still working on those kids.
Gestational diabetes is a bit of an underwriting football right now. I’ll just make this simple. If you’re in preferred plus health and had gestational diabetes you should still get preferred plus rates. Any agent that tells you differently hasn’t done their homework.
Bottom line. Diabetes doesn’t have to be a life show stopper and there’s no reason it should be a show stopper in your quest for fair life insurance rates. Whether you are in Ft Collins and have access to the best endocrinologists in the state or you live in Fairplay and your local doctor gets advice from those guys in Ft Collins, we all have a chance at great treatment with a great outcome. If you have any questions or have applied for life insurance and run into problems with diabetes, call or email me directly. Let’s talk.