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What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood sugar is too high. Our life insurance expertise with endocrine disorders such as type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes will help you find your best life insurance rate.
- Do you have Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes?
- How old were you when diagnosed?
- What type of treatment do you receive to control diabetes?
- What is your history of control? HbA1c, Fasting Blood Glucose, Protein, Microalbumin/Creatinine, etc.
- What are your average blood pressure and cholesterol readings?
- Do you follow your doctor’s orders?
- Do you visit your doctor on a regular basis?
- Do you have any diabetes related complications? Neuropathy, Retinopathy…
- Do you have any other health problems?
- What are your diet and exercise habits like?
A great resource for diabetes information is the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Check out our diabetes life insurance updates for recent underwriting cases, updates from companies and more.
Diabetic Life Insurance for Type 1 vs. Type 2 Diabetes
Life insurance for diabetics tends to be more expensive for type 1 vs. type 2 diabetes. The reason why is due to the progressive nature of diabetes.
Your age at the time of diagnosis plus the amount of time that has passed since being diagnosed weigh heavily on the pricing of insurance for diabetes. Assuming all other factors are equal, type 1 diabetes life insurance rates will be approximately 25 – 50% more expensive than type 2 diabetes life insurance rates.
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The general rule when it comes to underwriting gestational diabetes is that if your lab results return to normal levels after pregnancy, it is a minor issue at best with life insurance underwriters.
How Does Control Affect Diabetes Life Insurance Underwriting?
Better control means better life insurance rates. Life insurance underwriters look at:
Your A1c, (aka HbA1c) is an indicator of diabetes control over a 3 month period of time and is the single most important lab result that underwriters look at. While each company has its own guidelines, the following rules apply to A1c.
- Less Than 7 is considered to be Optimal Control
- 7.1 – 8.5 is considered to be Average Control
- 8.6 – 10.0 is considered to be Poor Control
- Greater Than 10 is considered to be Uncontrolled Diabetes
In fact, your A1c may cause your life insurance application to be rated, postponed or worse case scenario….declined!
Life Insurance rates are based on the type of diabetes you have, the length of time you have had diabetes, diabetes control over time, and whether or not you have had any complications related to diabetes.
While many factors affect life insurance rates, the purpose today is to share how HbA1c impacts life insurance rates.
When your HbA1c is 10 or more, underwriters consider your diabetes as being out of control. Most companies will postpone offering you life insurance until this improves. We have some companies that offer final expense, guaranteed issue types of life insurance, and this may be an option.
Estimated Average Glucose – eAG
The American Diabetes Association has been promoting the estimated Average Glucose – eAG reading as it provides a similar understanding of long term control as the HbA1c reading, but with less confusion as the eAG numbers closely resemble blood glucose readings.
Estimated Average Glucose or eAG is a newer term used by medical professionals to indicate your level of diabetic control. Easier to understand than HbA1c readings, the American Diabetes Association is making a push for medical professionals to use eAG readings.
estimated Average Glucose – eAG is a measurement of your average diabetic control. The American Diabetes Association recommends the use of estimated Average Glucose readings as they are easier to understand for most diabetics when compared to the HbA1c.
A1c Conversion to eAG for Life Insurance Underwriting
Currently, most life insurance companies make reference to the HbA1c level in their underwriting manual, but not the eAG. Regardless of how your diabetic control is expressed, there is a conversion formula that will convert your HbA1c readings to eAG, and vice versa.
At LifeInsuranceAdvisors.com, our expertise is life insurance underwriting…Finding you the best rates available based on your unique health history. We work with multiple companies to ensure that you receive the best rate possible. There is never any risk of obligation with our service.
How To Convert Your A1c to eAG
We’ll use an A1c reading of 7.0 for this example
Step 1 – Multiply your HbA1c x 28.7
Step 2 – Take your answer from Step 1 and subtract 46.7
Ex. HbA1c of 7.0 x 28.7 = 200.9 – 46.7 = 154.2 = Your eAG – estimated Average Glucose
How To Convert Your eAG to A1c
Step 1 – Add your eAG reading to 46.7
Step 2 – Take your answer from Step 1 and divide it by 28.7 to obtain your HbA1c
Ex. eAG of 154.2 + 46.7 = 200.9/28.7 = 7.0 HbA1c
A1c to eAG Conversion Chart
HbA1c = 6 is equal to eAG of 12
HbA1c = 6.5 is equal to eAG of 140
HbA1c = 7 is equal to eAG of 154
HbA1c = 7.5 is equal to eAG of 169
HbA1c = 8 is equal to eAG of 183
HbA1c = 8.5 is equal to eAG of 197
HbA1c = 9.0 is equal to eAG of 212
HbA1c = 9.5 is equal to eAG of 226
HbA1c = 10 is equal to eAG of 240
Life Insurance Underwriting Based on Your estimated Average Glucose
Keep in mind that there are many medical factors involved when underwriting diabetes and all will have an impact on life insurance rates. These guidelines will give you a general idea of how life insurance underwriters view your diabetic control based on your estimated Average Glucose – eAG
eAG Levels of 154 or less will receive the most favorable diabetic life insurance underwriting.
eAG Levels of 155-197 will typically receive an increase of 50-100% above standard rates.
eAG Levels of 196 – 226 become difficult to insure with increases of 150 – 200% if coverage is available.
eAG Levels above 226 will be declined for life insurance. Guaranteed issue life insurance may be available.
Fasting Blood Glucose
Fasting blood glucose gives a snapshot of current diabetes control. A fasting blood glucose greater than 125 mg/dl is an indicator of diabetes. If the fasting blood glucose is between 110 – 125 mg/dl is considered to be impaired fasting glucose.
Fructosamine provides underwriters with an indication of blood sugar control over a 3 week period of time. Less than 1.9 mg/dl is considered to be good, less than 1.7 mg/dl is considered to be excellent.
Fructosamine testing is not as widely used as HbgA1c testing by life insurance companies.
Urine Microalbumin/Creatinine Ratio
The Urine Microalbumin/Creatinine ratio, aka ACR test may provide an indication of kidney related problems. Life insurance underwriters are looking for a Urine Microalbumin/Creatinine ratio of 0 – 0.010 mg/mg…basically this number should be a zero on lab testing.
Do You Follow Your Doctor’s Orders?
Following your doctors orders is critical for underwriting success. Underwriters hate to see medical files where the insured does not take their doctor’s orders seriously. You will pay a lot more for life insurance if your records indicate poor control, lack of follow-up with doctors, etc.
Having good medical records with consistent follow-up is important, and is absolutely critical when applying for no exam life insurance policies for diabetics.
Are you taking your medications as prescribed to you?
It’s important to follow your doctor’s advice and to take medications as directed.
Do you visit your doctor on a regular basis for follow-ups?
Underwriters want to see that you check in with your doctor on a regular basis.
Ready for a quote? There is never any pressure or obligation with our service!
Do other health issues affect life insurance for diabetics?
Whenever other health issues are present, underwriters will look at those conditions to determine if they are caused by diabetes, create additional underwriting complications, or present other areas of concern.
Cardiac related health issues are a primary underwriting concern. When heart issues and diabetes are present, life insurance underwriting becomes much more complicated, and may result in higher pricing.
Kidney health problems are of great concern to underwriters. If you have a history of lab results with protein in urine, underwriters will be looking more closely for potential kidney health issues.
Retinopathy & Neuropathy – Severe problems with either will increase life insurance rates, or may be cause for a decline, but the majority of retinopathy and neuropathy related issues are covered.
Insulin Shock/Diabetic Coma – If you have experienced insulin shock or a diabetic coma, the availability of life insurance depends on when it happened, what caused the insulin shock/diabetic coma, and how much time has passed since this occurred.
Diabetes Life Insurance Underwriting FAQs
Can diabetics get life insurance?
Yes! You can get life insurance with diabetes as long as you go to the right life insurance company. Affordable life insurance for diabetics type 1 and type 2 is available.
I was just diagnosed with diabetes, am I able to buy life insurance today?
Yes and No. The most competitive companies will make you wait for 3-6 months after diagnosis in order to evaluate your control. Guaranteed issue life insurance may be available now. Rates may improve even more once you have demonstrated diabetic control for 12-24 months.
I was declined for life insurance due to my A1c test on my paramed exam…What do I do now?
The first thing to do is to request a copy of the lab results from the life insurance company. Once available, you will need to visit your doctor for a full evaluation.
If it turns out that you have diabetes, it will take some time with your doctor to gain control, begin medications, etc..before shopping for life insurance again. We usually recommend that we begin working with you about 3 months after diagnosis.
If one company offers me a rated policy, will all companies offer the same rate class?
Definitely not! Each life insurance company has its own set of guidelines, and some companies do a better job underwriting life insurance for diabetics than other companies. Let us know who you applied to and we’ll let you know if other more favorable options exist for you.
How Often Can I Re-Shop for a better life insurance deal?
You may shop for life insurance coverage as often as you like….For many of our clients, they come to us after having worked with another agent. You may feel that the existing life insurance you have may not be the best price available…you may be right.
There is no obligation or pressure with our life insurance service. We’ll tell you during our conversation if we think it’s possible to do better than what you currently have…If we think it’s possible, we’ll go through underwriting and upon approval you may accept the new policy if better and cancel the old. If it turns out that your old policy offers the best pricing, simply keep it.
What else can I do to improve my chances?
Improving your health, taking medications and following doctors orders are the best things that you can do. If you are not currently exercising, begin a routine under your doctor’s supervision. Weight loss and improved fitness will help with underwriters.
If you smoke, quit….Smoking and diabetes is a huge concern as both contribute to the hardening of your arteries, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Sometimes traditional life insurance is not available due to health problems or maybe due to the policy need being small. In those cases, a guaranteed issue whole life insurance policies for diabetics may be the best option. Compare the options we offer to companies like Colonial Penn or AARP life insurance policies. In many cases, it makes sense to first shop for a traditional life insurance policy, and then switch to guaranteed issue life insurance policies if no other options exist.
No medical exam life insurance products are available and may be worth considering if you are looking for convenience or do not want to give a blood and urine sample.
Keep in mind that no exam life insurance policies still involve underwriting, and in order to qualify for life insurance with no exam, you’ll need medical records showing a history of compliance and control.
Top 5 Life Insurance Tips for Diabetics
Our top 5 life insurance tips for diabetics is going to help you save money on your life insurance. There are companies that specialize in diabetes life insurance underwriting, and will offer you better rates than companies that do not understand diabetes. Take a look at these great tips.
Diabetic Underwriting Tip # 1 – Control
The single most important factor from an underwriting point of view is your diabetic control. The better your control, the more favorable the underwriting outcome.
Diabetic Underwriting Tip # 2 – Compliance
Following your doctor’s orders is critical. Do you visit your physician for regularly scheduled checkups? Do you take your medication as prescribed?
Have you made improvements to your diet and exercise programs since being diagnosed?
Diabetic Underwriting Tip # 3 – Complete Medical History
It is important for us to know about your entire diabetic history. Remember that we work for you and want to help you find the best rate available based on your diabetic history.
We need to know about your history of diabetic control, any complications you may have had, improvements to your health as well as declining health information.
If you have other medical issues now or in the past, let us know so we may help you.
Diabetic Underwriting Tip # 4 – Common Sense
In the world of life insurance underwriting, consumers who understand the serious nature of their diabetes make better candidates for life insurance companies.
You will do much better in underwriting when your medical history and records show that you understand your condition, and that you are taking as many positive steps as possible to control your diabetes.
Diabetic Underwriting Tip # 5 – Underwriting Expertise
Work with an expert who understands life insurance underwriting for diabetics. Each company has its own set of underwriting guidelines. Some companies are better with type 2 diabetes, others are better with type 1 diabetes.
The life insurance agent helping you should know what questions to ask you about your diabetic history in order to effectively shop for life insurance offers.
Whether it’s non-medical life insurance for diabetics or fully underwritten life insurance for diabetics, we’ll show you the options available so you may decide which company and policy is best for you.