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Life Insurance with Arthritis

Reviewed By: Rob Pinner

Rob PinnerRob Pinner is the founder and CEO of Pinner Financial Services servicing all 50 states. Rob started his insurance career in 2002. Full Bio >

Checked By: Holly Mitchell

Holly Mitchell’s background in life insurance insurance goes back to 1985 when she worked for her father who was a New York Life agent. Holly has a marketing degree from Auburn University and has had a life insurance license since 2008. In addition to advising life insurance for customers all around the country, Holly is our website fact checker.
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Last Updated: February 22nd, 2020

If arthritis has become part of your everyday life, you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control, osteoarthritis affects about 27 million people in the United States. An additional 30 million Americans suffer from the pain and lack of mobility associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis and Life Insurance

Arthritis can affect your ability to work, limit your ability to handle household chores, and even impair your sleep. In some cases, it can also affect your ability to obtain affordable life insurance coverage.

Fortunately, having arthritis will rarely disqualify you from life insurance coverage unless you have rheumatoid arthritis that has caused damage to your central nervous system, lungs, or heart.

Depending on your situation, though, life insurance with arthritis premiums may be difficult to manage. There are several factors that can affect your premium costs:

Types Of Arthritis and Life Insurance

Osteoarthritis sufferers can typically obtain life insurance coverage at standard rates.

If you have a mild form of osteoarthritis, you might even be able to secure coverage at preferred rates. Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, conversely, typically do not have access to preferred rates.

When a life insurance underwriter evaluates your application, she will assign you to a standard or “rated” tier, depending on the severity of your condition and other factors.

Severity Of Arthritis

How your arthritis affects your health and your ability to handle everyday tasks plays a role in your life insurance rates. If your arthritis has not affected your major organs and can be managed with medications, you have a better than average chance of securing life insurance coverage at standard or even preferred rates. Hands Of Woman Deformed From Rheumatoid Arthritis. Pain

On the other hand, if your arthritis has affected your heart, lungs, or other organs, you will likely pay more in life insurance premiums. Similarly, it can be difficult to obtain affordable life insurance if you are disabled because of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

It is important to understand that the type and severity of your condition can affect your rates within standard coverage plans. Moderate joint deformity, stiffness, and ongoing arthritis pain might result in Table 2 rates, which are on the lower end of standard rating tables. If you are disabled because of your condition and deal with severe pain, you will likely be assigned higher Table 4 rates.

Your arthritis diagnosis isn’t going to be the only factor that the insurance company reviews before they accept your application for coverage.

Our agents can help you get the best plan to fit your needs from the best life insurance companies and give you the coverage that your family deserves.

Tips For Obtaining Life Insurance With Arthritis

Although arthritis might limit your ability to obtain affordable life insurance coverage and put you in a high-risk life insurance category, there are strategies you can use to improve your chances of obtaining life insurance at a price you can live with:

Opt For Term Life Insurance Instead Of Permanent Life Coverage

If you anticipate that your beneficiary’s financial needs will only last a certain number of years, you can opt for term coverage. For example, suppose that 20 years from now, your mortgage will be paid off and your children will have started their own careers.

You could purchase a 20 year term policy to provide protection when your family needs it without maintaining coverage for your entire life. Because term life coverage costs a fraction of what you would pay for permanent coverage, opting for term life can help offset higher rates caused by your condition.

Consider A “Graded Death Benefit” Policy

A graded policy features a death benefit that gradually increases in the first two or three years of the policy. If you die shortly after policy initiation your beneficiary will only receive a small benefit, however, if you outlive the first few years of the policy will pay the full death benefit to your beneficiary. A graded death benefit policy might be appropriate if degenerative rheumatoid arthritis prevents you from obtaining a level death benefit policy.

Consider Working With An Independent Broker if You Have Arthritis

Independent agents, like us, represent multiple insurers and can take care of comparing rates and evaluating policies for you. This can benefit you because each insurance carrier has its own underwriting guidelines.

One carrier might place you in a non-standard tier while another might offer coverage at standard rates. Also, most states allow insurers to develop their own rating structures. Standard rates for identical coverages can vary by 50 percent or more among competing carriers. By obtaining and comparing rates for you, we can help you find the coverage you need at the lowest possible price.

Although securing life insurance coverage with arthritis can be challenging, a bit of time and effort can help you find coverage at rates that won’t strain your budget. With an experienced broker on your side, you have the best chance possible of obtaining the affordable coverage you and your family need.

You can compare rates using the quote form on this page, or call us at 1-800-712-8519 to get a life insurance quote or apply for life insurance coverage.

Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU

Doug Mitchell, CLU holds a BA degree in Finance from Auburn University as well as having obtained a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in Bryn Mahr, PA. Doug has spent close to 30 years in the life insurance and financial planning industry and has held licenses to sell securities, long-term care insurance, health. Some other notable items about Doug: Top of the Table Million Dollar Round Table member (MDRT). (MDRT is a global, independent association of the world’s leading life insurance advisors) | Premier Partner with Lincoln Financial and Cabinet Member | Served two years as President of the Auburn/Opelika Association of Financial Advisors | Life Millionaire status at Horace Mann Insurance Company and was awarded the Life Agent of the Year Award | New York Life, Executive Council Member | Currently serves as President of Ogletree Financial, a life insurance General Agency. | Doug is also a financial blogger addressing the topics of life insurance, annuities and retirement income planning.

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