In order to be eligible for individual life insurance, the burden is on you to prove that you are healthy enough. This analysis is performed by an insurance agency and is referred to in the industry as “medical underwriting”.
Multiple factors are considered during this process.
The end goal determines your level of health so that the insurance agency can make an informed decision on whether or not they would like to accept the risk.
Underwriters who review eligibility for life insurance applications are predominantly concerned with life expectancy, as opposed to medical bills that may come in the future. For this reason life insurance can be obtained by people with Hepatitis C. The premium on these policies is obviously higher than on a standard insurance policy.
The name that is given to a policy of someone with Hepatitis C is referred to as a “rated” policy whereas ones labeled “impaired risk” or “standard” are not related to critical diseases. Seeking an agent with these credentials is advisable when trying to obtain insurance other than standard.
What Life Insurance Underwriter’s are Looking For
Underwriting for people with Hepatitis C comes down to a few key factors. The first consideration to take into account is whether or not the disease is in remission. Next it is important to determine how much damage, if any, has been done to the liver. Remission is the end goal for anyone suffering from Hepatitis, and reaching it goes a long way when trying to obtain insurance.
When a person is medically tested for Hepatitis by insurance, the medical examiner is trying to determine at what level the liver is functioning. This, however, is no easy process and is painstakingly long. Generally, depending on the progression of the hepatitis, the treatment and testing will take two to five years. This is the basis for which most life insurance companies even begin to consider extending a policy. On the other hand, if these levels of health are not concluded, insurance will either decline the policy or over them at a premium.
The additional factor that is considered is a liver biopsy. Biopsies are performed in order to get an in depth diagnosis of the condition of the liver. Liver damage is extremely costly to treat and leads to other health problems so it is important for insurance companies to consider. The good news is that if liver damage is minor or nonexistent, a person has a good chance of receiving a standard insurance policy. Most cases are reviewed by a medical director in order to make a case by case decision.
Other Factors of Getting Approved with Hepatitis
In addition to the medical testing, an underwriting considers several other factors. The younger the applicant is with Hepatitis C, the more strictly their records will be reviewed. Younger applicants are more likely to be denied coverage than older ones who have a medical history to review. Lifestyle is also considered in the underwriter’s analysis. Applicants with Hepatitis C who smoke or drink alcohol are almost always denied.
The time since diagnosis is also a factor that is looked at. Having a long history of medical information is what an underwriter needs in order to make a decision on the health of the applicant. If the diagnosis is relatively new, insurance agents will sometimes postpone the review of your file until they have more of a medical history to look at.
An acute case of hepatitis applies to someone who has an extensive history of treatment that would be considered successful to a medical examiner. This person must also be experiencing no symptoms of Hepatitis. These people may be able to acquire insurance on a Table 2 or higher rate. This means that the insurance rate would be 50% higher than the standard rate.
Having the help of an impaired risk specialist will help you in your chances of obtaining insurance at the lowest possible table. That’s where we can help.
Medical Questionnaire with Hepatitis
If you’re seeking life insurance coverage and currently have hepatitis, the following information is what we’ll need to know how to best approach getting you the most affordable term policy.
1. Please provide date of diagnosis.
2. Has the hepatitis been diagnosed as:
- a. Acute viral hepatitis A resolved.
- b. Acute viral hepatitis B resolved.
- c. Acute viral hepatitis C.
- d. Hepatitis A unresolved.
- e. Chronic, persistent hepatitis B unresolved.
- f. Chronic, active hepatitis B unresolved.
- g. Chronic, persistent hepatitis C.
- h. Chronic, active hepatitis C.
- i. Other hepatitis:
3. What are the most current liver enzyme levels?
4. Which studies have been undertaken to diagnose/treat the condition?
- a. Liver ultrasound, CT scan or MRI.
- b. Liver biopsy.
- c. Other.
- d. Studies recommended/pending.
5. Does the proposed insured use any medications such as alpha interferon or Ribavarin? If so, please list name of medication, dates used, quantity taken and frequency taken.
6. Does the proposed insured consume any alcohol? Yes or No.
7. How frequently does the physician monitor liver functions?
- a. Quarterly.
- b. Semiannually.
- c. Annually.
- d. Other.
8. If infected with hepatitis C, is the proposed insured vaccinated against hepatitis A or hepatitis B?
9. Please advise on any additional information that may help us provide you with a more accurate preliminary assessment.
People with chronic Hepatitis C will obviously have a much more difficult time receiving insurance. It is sometimes a flat out denial before any testing is done if this information is known. There are rare cases where coverage will be offered if the applicant can show a history of successful treatment. A biopsy is usually needed if you suffer from chronic Hepatitis.
Getting the Coverage You Need
Regardless of how severe the case of Hepatitis is, it is worth effort and research to explore the options and know what is available to you. An independent agent is the best bet for doing so and will be able to speedily locate insurance that is the best for your particular case. It is advised to seek the help of an agent who is an impaired risk specialist. These people will know the details of your disease and be able to assist you in obtaining the best insurance for your needs.
We have years of experience working with different kinds of high-risk clients and we can help connect you with the perfect insurance plan at an affordable price.