Ron Attias is a licensed insurance broker. He has no particular loyalty to any one insurance company, so he is able to shop all major insurance carriers. This means that you always get the BEST plan at the LOWEST price. Each plan can be customized to fit your specific healthcare needs and budget.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insur...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jul 9, 2019

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Finding life insurance with rheumatoid arthritis is possible, but the type of policy, the coverage amounts, and the actual charges is another story. Obtaining an affordable life insurance policy with any health condition is determined by a few factors: How acute the disorder is, the type of prescription drugs you are taking, and if you are following your physician’s treatment recommendations.

Due to the fact that every insurance carrier will look differently at your specific circumstance, it is advisable to get in touch with an insurance broker instead of evaluating the insurance quotes on your own. If your rheumatoid arthritis is mild and well controlled without the use of steroidal drugs, you could receive a standard rate, and you can proceed to use the quoter on the right-hand side.

Be sure to choose “regular health class” from the drop-down box.  Any arthritis that affects your day-to-day living or is disabling will result in a rejected application, and you will probably need to opt for a guaranteed issue coverage. Purchasing life insurance with rheumatoid arthritis demands that you use an experienced broker.

Related: Life insurance with pre-existing conditions.

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes stiffness, pain, and swelling, and limits the function of many joints in the body. It affects more than 1.3 million Americans, of which 75% are women. In fact, 1 out of 3 women may get rheumatoid arthritis in their lifetime, according to American College of Rheumatology.

The cause of RA is unknown, however, the belief is that certain cells in your body don’t work properly and attack the healthy cells, creating pain and discomfort in the joints and tissues. In severe cases, it attacks organs.

Treatment is available through physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications. For the more severe cases, there are other types of drugs called antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS).

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What Type of Arthritis Do You Have?

This will be the first question your broker will ask. Let’s look at few major types of arthritis and the differences between them:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) – the defensive cartilage in the joint breaks down. This makes a movement of affected joints more challenging and painful.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) – the immune system is attacking the healthy cells and organs.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) – chronic arthritis less severe than RA.
  • Fibromyalgia – a chronic condition that is associated with pain in the muscles and bones.
  • Gout – pain, and inflammation take place when excess uric acid crystallizes and builds up in the joints.

What Rate Class Can an Arthritis Sufferer Get?

A side note: whenever you submit an application for life insurance coverage, arthritis won’t be the sole disorder they will consider. Your overall health and weight, along with your daily habits such as tobacco use, will contribute significantly to your final premium costs. The greater risk you present to the company, the more you will fork out.

The degree of rheumatoid arthritis and the medications you take, along with any complications you have had are the leading factors to the table classes you can get. The insurance companies have about 16 class ratings. The substandard category has 12 tables, and each one has a 25% increase. Let’s examine a few examples:

  • In the absence of any other impairment, such as being overweight or other health issues, a very mild RA which is treated with anti-inflammatory drugs only can get a preferred rate (the lowest rate).
  • Moderate RA with steroid treatment will typically get you between table B to D range.
  • Severe RA in the organs or that affects your daily living or disability will be declined.

Life Insurance With Arthritis Sample Monthly Rates

40-Year-Old Male Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term

 Health Class $100,000 $250,000 $500,000
 Preferred $13.03 $21.66 $37.63
 Standard  $18.23 $32.59 $59.94
 Table B $23.49 $41.67 $75.60
 Table D $29.57 $53.81 $98.96
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40-Year-Old Female Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term

 Health Class $100,000 $250,000 $500,000
 Preferred $11.43 $18.81 $32.38
 Standard  $16.10 $28.87 $51.93
 Table B  $20.34 $34.41 $62.63
 Table D $25.37 $44.03 $81.66
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50-Year-Old Male Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term

 Health Class $100,000 $250,000 $500,000
 Preferred $26.53 $49.44 $91.18
 Standard  $37.36 $77.31 $143.59
 Table B $49.22 $98.11 $187.19
 Table D $63.87 $129.06 $247.74
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50-Year-Old Female Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term

 Health Class $100,000 $250,000 $500,000
 Preferred $19.92 $37.80 $69.08
 Standard $29.05 $58.36 $110.95
 Table B $38.98 $73.17 $137.23
 Table D $50.22 $94.63 $181.13
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60-Year-Old Male Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term

 Health Class $100,000 $250,000 $500,000
 Preferred $64.79 $127.83 $243.38
 Standard $91.85 $204.70 $392.71
 Table B $126.00 $251.41 $492.75
 Table D $166.25 $333.37 $655.15
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60-Year-Old Female Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term

 Health Class $100,000 $250,000 $500,000
 Preferred $42.96 $92.97 $170.12
 Standard $65.62 $143.50 $273.89
 Table B $86.10 $175.83 $337.70
 Table D $113.05 $232.60 $448.42
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What the Underwriter Will Ask

  • The date of first diagnosis.
  • Are you on any type of medications?
  • Which joints are involved? Any organs?
  • What is your functional ability? Fully, partially, wheelchair.
  • Have you ever been hospitalized due to your condition?
  • Are you a tobacco user?
  • Do you have any other health issues?

Life Insurance with Rheumatoid Arthritis Best Tips

  • Abide by your doctor’s recommendations from A-Z. You’d be astonished to learn how many people don’t take their medications or appear for routine screening exams, etc. Insurance providers perceive this as a serious risk to them, and may even turn down your application. Keep in mind that with rheumatoid arthritis, they will order medical records so they can become familiar with you and all your health conditions.
  • Do your very best to remain healthy in the areas you are able to manage, for example, excess weight, or physical exercise along with healthy eating. This alone may possibly alleviate the discomfort from arthritis and could get you better overall health, which usually contributes to lower rates.

Related: 5 surprising ways to save money on life insurance. 

Why Should You Use a Broker?

There are many reasons you should, but let me ask this first: It costs you absolutely nothing, so what do you have to lose? Here are some reasons to use a broker if you are looking for life insurance with rheumatoid arthritis:

  • A broker represents many different insurance companies, and recognizes which one has the highest possible chance for an application approval with the lower rate, and therefore can help you save time and agony to attempt this by yourself.
  • If you apply by yourself and get declined by the carrier, this opens the door for others to follow suit. Applying for the right carrier from the start could save you this pitfall.
  • Don’t assume that your health circumstances will get you rejected. Let a broker evaluate your specific life insurance requirements in addition to the health challenges you are dealing with to provide you with some possibilities. It would also be much better to communicate with one person about this, instead of repeating this to 50 different carriers.

Every insurance company has their own underwriting criteria and processes, and the broker’s task is to match you up with the carrier that has the greatest possibility for an approval. A few carriers may deny your application, while others will offer you a table rating.

Opting out from life insurance altogether is probably not a wise decision. For those who have family members who are depending on them financially, you want to have life insurance coverage.