Yes, you CAN get life insurance if you have Crohn’s disease.
We’ve gotten dozens approved.
There is both good news and I’m afraid some bad news. Here’s how it works.
The Scoop on Life Insurance and Crohn’s Disease
Let me clear the air right off the bat. Quite a few life insurance companies won’t even look at you if you have Crohn’s. They simply don’t cover it. Don’t fret!
There are also plenty of insurance companies who do provide life insurance for Crohn’s disease. These companies specialize in covering in what’s called IBD (Intestinal Bowl Disease).
IBD includes Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and other intestinal disorders. These are the only companies you want to focus on.
One of the biggest concerns among insurance companies is the higher mortality rate of patients with Crohn’s. The good news is that new medical treatments have made strides in reducing and controlling Crohn’s.
This is even better news for people who have Crohn’s and are applying for life insurance.
Will I qualify if I Have Crohn’s Disease?
Here’s what life insurance companies look at if you have Crohn’s Disease. The key to coverage is going to depend on the severity of the disease. That’s it in a nutshell.
It breaks down like this;
1. None of the companies will consider you until at least six months have passed after being first diagnosed. This is the minimal time needed to get some idea on getting properly diagnosed. Equally important is the prognosis.
2. The longer you’ve gone without a flare-up, the easier it is to get approved. Even more encouraging – the longer you’ve gone without a flare-up, the better your rating. A better rating means cheaper premiums.
The disease is rated roughly from mild to severe.
The following is a guideline only. How an insurance company will view you will depend a lot on your medical history, your treatment, doctor’s reports and other health factors.
Age of Diagnosis – (Sometimes older is better)
Your age may also be another factor the company considers. Some companies use 40 years of age as the cut off, but some will go as high as 45 years of age.
If you’ve been diagnosed before age 40/45 years of age, you will get coverage but at higher rates. If diagnosed older than 40/45 years of age, rates tend to lower.
It goes roughly like this (May vary from company to company).
Mild Form of Crohn’s (Single Flare-Up)
This means you’ve only had a single flare-up of the disease since your initial episode and diagnosis. It also means you also don’t have other symptoms, and have not needed any additional treatment. The longer this time frame, the less your rates.
This means you haven’t had surgery, and only have milder symptoms.
The symptoms include mild forms of diarrhea, bleeding or abdominal pain. It may also mean you’ve had 2 severe flare-ups in the previous year or 3 flare-ups in the 2 previous years. Any steroids prescribed will have only been for a short time period.
Again, the rates you get assessed will be dependent on your medical history.
Here it gets a little dicey. Insurance coverage tends to be on a case by case basis. Don’t despair, because you can still be eligible.
Severe forms of Crohn’s disease would include several or more times being hospitalized. You will have had frequent bouts of diarrhea and/or internal bleeding. It also includes multiple surgeries and the frequent or regular prescription of steroids.
You would also possibly fall into this category if have had a weight loss of more than 10%. Additionally you also have inflammation of other internal organs such as your liver or kidneys, or inflammation of the joints or skin.
You can still get coverage but the premiums are most definitely going to be higher.
Can you be Denied Coverage?
Unfortunately, that’s a bit tricky to answer – there are some very severe forms of Crohn’s disease that most insurance company won’t cover, except under very special conditions.
These forms of Crohn’s include:
- Dysplasia – This is usually uncovered after a biopsy has been performed. (Means any form of abnormal growth or development – particularly your internal organs)
- Sclerosing Cholangitis – (Chronis liver disease from inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts.
Having Crohn’s doesn’t preclude you from getting life insurance, or even finding a company that will give you cheaper rates.
The secret is not to apply to just any insurance company, or an insurance agent. They may only represent one company.
Only use an independent agent to apply for coverage. An independent agent can scope out those companies that cover Crohn’s and find you the best rates.*Written by Chris Huntley. Huntley Wealth Insurance and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.