Purchasing life insurance if you have lupus is challenging but not impossible. The type of lupus you have along with prescription usage and how it’s controlled will be a few of the questions the underwriter will ask. While lupus isn’t considered a life-threatening disease, the side effects on the organs and the coronary artery walls can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
Buying life insurance with pre-existing conditions will increase the likelihood that you will pay higher premiums because of the elevated risk you pose to the insurance company.
In this article, you will learn the process and questions the underwriter will ask, the rate class you can qualify based on the severity of lupus, and sample rates to get an overall idea of how much it will cost.
What Is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease which attacks your own tissues and organs. The inflammation can affect many parts of the body including the skin, joints, kidney, brain, heart, and lungs. It’s hard to diagnosed lupus because the signs and symptoms resemble other ailments. A unique sign of lupus is a facial rash that looks like a butterfly on both cheeks.
The sign of lupus may develop gradually over time or abruptly appear. It can also be mild or severe and might become a permanent condition. The most common signs are fatigue, fever, joint pain, and skin rashes among many others.
What Are the Insurance Companies Looking for When Insuring Individuals with Lupus?
As mentioned above, diseases impact your mortality rate and similarly pose an elevated risk to the insurance company. Each condition calls for a unique set of questions that you will need to answer so the underwriter can assess whether to insure you. Let’s take a look at the questions and the why behind them.
Related: Impaired risk life insurance
1. Date of First Diagnosis
The underwriter knows that the first five years with lupus carry the highest risks for life-threatening complications as a result of lupus. The longer you have had it, preferably more than five years and over the age of 40, the better rate you can get.
Here are two more points you should know: If you had lupus less than a year, your application would be denied. Secondly, if you are 20 years old or younger and have lupus, your application would also be rejected.
2. Type of Lupus
There are three types of lupus. Each will have a different bearing on the rates:
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is the most common and severe type of lupus. It can affect many parts of the body such as the kidneys, heart, brain, and skin among many others. The symptoms aren’t consistent with all patients and can change suddenly. Lupus follows an unpredictable pattern of flares and remissions.
- Discoid (Cutaneous) is a type of lupus that only attacks the skin and cause rashes. The rashes may appear anywhere on the body but usually shows on the face, neck, and scalp.
- Drug-induced Lupus (DIL) happens after an individual takes a particular type of medication. The symptoms are similar to SLE, but they usually disappear once the drug is stopped. The signs are often gone within six months.
Takeaway: From the insurance’s standpoint, having Discoid or Drug-induced lupus is a better case scenario and can qualify for more favorable rates. Discoid lupus, within a year, will be non-rated, and once the drug-induced lupus is resolved, it wouldn’t be rated either.
3. Which Type of Medications Are You On?
As the assessment of your condition continues, a question about your medication usage is a vital one. Lupus medications include corticosteroids, antimalarials, immunosuppressive medications, and anticoagulants among a few others.
Each prescription has a specific symptom it’s trying to manage. By collecting the names and dosages of your medications, the underwriter can get an insight on how severe the disease is and how well it’s managed.
Make sure you follow your doctor’s orders and take the prescriptions accordingly. Failing to do so will get your application denied as your peril is too high to issue your coverage.
4. What Is the State of Lupus?
There are two states in which lupus is found to be. It can either be in remission or currently present. From the underwriter’s point of view, anytime it’s in remission is good news, the more time since remission, the better. You can still qualify for coverage if it’s present, however, your age, severity, and complications will dictate the charges.
5. Are There Any Complications?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect many parts of your body. Therefore, anytime you face low blood count, neurological disorder, renal failure, or anything else, the underwriter will want to know. These additional lupus complications may hinder your chances of getting a conventional policy, and you may need to opt for guaranteed issue life insurance.
What Other Questions Will the Underwriter Ask?
Lupus isn’t the only health issue you would be asked about. Your overall health, family history, profession, and driving records are just the tip of the iceberg. The insurance company will also order an APS (attending physician statement) to confirm your answers on the application. Here are a few other questions you will need to answer:
- Current age
- State of residence
- Height and weight
- Income and liabilities
- High-risk hobbies (if any)
- Current and past health history
- Family history
- Foreign travel
- Smoking habits
- Alcohol habits
- Driving history
- Criminal history
- Prescription usage
What Rate Class Can I Qualify for If I Have Lupus?
This is where it gets interesting. Why? Every life insurance carrier on the market has a distinct way in which they review your application, and therefore, each will treat your condition differently. They all have different underwriting guidelines and risks they are willing to take when insuring you.
Knowing which company to place you with based on your health condition calls for a savvy broker. The following health class ratings are for those who only have lupus as their health ailment, which is seldom the case. In other words, if you have any other health issues like being overweight, having diabetes, or depression, expect even higher charges. Here are a few scenarios:
- If your lupus is present and you are over the age of 40, you can expect the followings outcome:
- Within one year of diagnosis—Declined
- 2nd to 3rd years—Table G
- 4th to 5th years—Table E
- After five years—Table C
- If your lupus is in remission and no medication usage, you can expect:
- Within one year of remission—Table D
- 2nd to 3rd years—Table B
- After three years—Preferred plus
- Ages 20 and younger will result in a declined application.
- Discoid lupus will be rated table B if present within the first year. Any time after the first year, you may be eligible for preferred.
- Drug-induced lupus will not call for higher rates as long as it’s resolved.
Life Insurance with with a History of Lupus Sample Monthly Rates
40-Year-Old Male Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
40-Year-Old Female Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
50-Year-Old Male Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
50-Year-Old Female Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
60-Year-Old Male Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
60-Year-Old Female Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
Finding the best life insurance rates if you have had lupus or any pre-existing condition isn’t something you should do yourself. Underwriting guidelines differ from one company to another. This makes it an impossible task to achieve unless you are a broker in the insurance industry.
The good news is that working with a broker costs you nothing because we get paid by the carrier. We, at Effortless Insurance, work with more than 50 companies and promise to present all the options without acting like an annoying salesperson over the phone. Run the quotes on this page.