The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that about 30 million Americans have diabetes with another 86 million with pre-diabetes. Insurance companies are well aware of its costs.
According to the ADA, the shared economic burden is about $700 per person, annually. If you have diabetes, a no medical exam life insurance policy can assure you get coverage.
Can Diabetics Get No Exam Life Insurance?
Diabetes is among the top 10 leading causes of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Over 76,000 people died as a result of diabetes or its complications in 2015. It is, therefore, of interest to insurance companies. If you wanted a fully underwritten life insurance policy, your medical exam would include several tests to assess your risk.
The American Diabetes Association estimated the total economic costs of diabetes at $245 billion in 2012, up over 40 percent from 2007, the last time it was accessed. The association estimated the direct medical costs at $176 billion, making it comparable to the costs of smoking. You’re likely aware of the influence of smoking on insurance costs.
The association broke down the medical costs as related to insurance. They amounted to about 43 percent for inpatient care, 30 percent for medications and supplies, and the balance in doctor visits and other care. Diabetics average $13,700 per year in medical expenses which is 2.3 higher than non-diabetics. That translate to 1 in 5 health care dollars going toward diabetes care.
These factors may affect an insurance company’s investment if you are taking out loans against your policy to cover medical costs or lost income. The other risk comes from paid claims that can, in turn, impact an insurer’s financial analysis ratings. The American Diabetes Association estimated the cost of lost productivity, and thus, payout by insurance companies at $18.5 billion.
Risk Factors for Diabetes Carriers Review
There are several risk factors for diabetes which are evident even without a medical examination. They include things such as:
Other intangibles also play a role such as family history, race, and occurrence of polycystic ovary syndrome in women. It’s essential to remember that these conditions affect risk and are not diagnostic of themselves.
Any time there is a medical condition, especially one like diabetes, several other medical conditions can occur, too. When more than one is present, premiums can compound, and a decline can become more probable.
Tests that Determine a Risk or Presence of Diabetes
If you don’t have to get a medical exam, your insurance company or underwriter will not request the test that could confirm a diagnosis. Several of these tests are part of a routine physical your doctor may order anyway. The difference is the access an underwriter would gets when assessing your insurability for coverage and premium determination.
The tests include a fasting blood glucose test which means your blood sugar after an eight-hour fast. It is not definitive since other factors can influence a one-off reading. Thus, some insurers tset your A1C instead or in addition to this test. It will measure your average blood glucose levels for the past two or three months. It is a more comprehensive test.
Kidney Function and Heart Disease Risk
Because diabetes can affect your kidneys, other tests may also raise a red flag about your diabetes risk. These include tests for fructosamine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine clearance. But kidney function isn’t the only risk factor. High blood pressure is another risk factor for diabetes too. And heart disease is another area of concern that also includes blood work.
Many of the primary risk factors for heart disease mirror those of diabetes, so tests run for that criterion will also check this one. In addition, an underwriter will likely request a cholesterol panel. The test results will include your:
- total cholesterol
High levels of any of these except HDL can increase your chances of developing diabetes.
Details On Skipping The Medical
The foremost benefit of life insurance without a medical exam is you can be guaranteed coverage, depending on the insurer’s terms, or simply get covered fast.
You can safely plan for your family’s future without fear of leaving them with a financial burden after you’ve passed. Conditions vary with the insurance company. The lack of a medical examination is the one thing that links them.
Medical Examination Requirement
Some insurers will forgo a medical exam if the policy is written for a smaller amount. For some, that will mean coverage up to $150,000. With others, the threshold might be as large as $500,000 to a million. Considering the medical costs of diabetes, it makes sense to get the most coverage you can afford to cover your direct and indirect expenses.
Most insurance companies will cap the amount of coverage you can secure, typically, under $500,000. That is where you need to do your homework. To determine if this life insurance is right for you, you’ll need to approximate how much coverage you’ll need to adequately replace your income and cover any medical expenses or other short-term debt.
You should begin with the amount that your spouse and family will need to continue in their present lifestyle. Be sure to take into account other monies that may contribute to their income such as retirement funds and other investments. Then, take the amount that they will need annually and multiply it by 10.
Medical History Requirement
Even though you may not need a physical, the insurance company or underwriter may request medical records from your primary care doctor. If you’re being treated or are at risk, this information may come to light regardless of any other requirement. Some insurers will not require any of this information and may not even ask whether or not you have diabetes.
However, an underwriter may request other types of personal history. For example, if your insurer requests your prescription history, again, they will know if you are being treated for this chronic condition if your doctor has placed you on medication.
In addition, an underwriter may conduct a MIB search which would reveal a history of diabetes if you’ve had a policy before.
Other Background History Requirements
Even if a medical exam is not required, you may have to agree to other background checks. Some insurance companies may require that you have a job. Others may do a search on your motor vehicle department records, credit history, and background.
As a rule, you’ll likely have to consent to some type of history search even if a medical examination is not a requirement.
You may find that you can get life insurance coverage right away even if you have diabetes. More often than not, an underwriter will still review your application. You’ll then receive a decision regarding insurability a few days to a few weeks afterward. These policies are for term life insurance with the same guarantees you’d have with standard coverage.
However, you should take the same precautions with no medical exam life insurance for diabetics as you would with any other policy. Be sure and check the financial strength of a company by its independent ratings. Look for its rating from the Big Three including AM Best, Moody’s and Fitch. A guaranteed policy is of little good if the insurer isn’t financially stable.
Having diabetes doesn’t have to prevent you from getting life insurance. A no medical exam policy can help you provide for your family even after you are gone. While your coverage may be limited, you’ll still have the peace of mind that your family will be secure financially. And that is priceless.