Pre-existing Conditions Are Not Always A Barrier to Life Insurance

Too many Americans have taken themselves out of the market for life insurance because of outdated assumptions about pre-existing conditions and insurability, according to a Genworth study. Dr. Marjorie Keymer, vice president, medical director at Genworth said that Americans need to know that, by having well-controlled medical conditions, they may very well be eligible for preferred rates on life insurance.

Thirty-nine percent to 54% of Americans from 18 to 64 with common, self-reported pre-existing conditions have no life insurance. Doubts over insurability prevent many potential candidates from applying for coverage, according to the study. However, medical advances and wellness programs have made it possible for many Americans to manage chronic conditions while the insurance industry has developed increasingly sophisticated underwriting practices to provide preferred rates to those that have well-managed conditions such as asthma, anxiety, and high blood pressure.

Many people with seven self-reported conditions, such as anxiety, asthma, depression, high cholesterol, hypertension, weight problems and sleep apnea, have no life insurance. Uninsured sufferers of anxiety, asthma and depression account for more than half of all those who reported the condition while 40% of people with hypertension, 44% of those with weight problems and 42% of those with sleep apnea have no life insurance. Thirty-nine percent of Americans with high cholesterol remain uninsured. “We need to redefine the word ‘healthy’ in the context of life insurance eligibility For adults with conditions such as anxiety, asthma, depression, high cholesterol and sleep apnea, life insurance can still be an affordable part of their overall financial plan, especially if they are actively taking steps to manage their condition,” said Janet Deskins, Genworth senior vice president for product development.

Last Updated 8/2/2017

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