If you have ulcerative colitis, this guide [updated for 2018] will help you find affordable life insurance.
Quick Reference Guide to this Article:
- Can I get life insurance if I have ulcerative colitis?
- How much does life insurance cost when you have ulcerative colitis?
- What do life insurance companies look for when underwriting ulcerative colitis?
- Which life insurance companies are best for ulcerative colitis?
What is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) of the large intestine.
The 4 Types of Ulcerative Colitis:
- Ulcerative Proctitis – Affects the rectum
- Proctosigmoiditis – Affects the rectum and lower colon.
- Left Sided Colitis – Affects from the rectum to the bend in the colon.
- Pan-Ulcerative Colitis – Affects the entire colon
According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, more than 900,000 people in the United States are affected by ulcerative colitis.
With ulcerative colitis, symptoms for many people will vary over the course of time, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe.
Can I get life insurance if I have ulcerative colitis?
Yes, the vast majority of people with ulcerative colitis will get approved for a life insurance policy.
If you were just diagnosed, most companies will postpone offering coverage to you for 3-6 months from the date of diagnosis.
After that, the availability of life insurance with ulcerative colitis is based on the severity of your IBD.
Ulcerative Colitis Severity
The severity of ulcerative colitis is classified as mild, moderate or severe.
The underwriting concern for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease is the increased risk of developing colon cancer.
Most people with irritable bowel disease will not develop colon cancer, but there is an increased risk when compared to insureds without IBD.
Mild Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms
- Adult onset for most cases.
- Mild inflamation limited to left side of colon.
- Infrequent flare-ups.
- Intermittent rectal bleeding, intermittent diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
- Medications limited to sulfasalazine, Mesalamine, Asacol, Rowasa enemas, cortenemas, and over the counter drugs like Imodium.
- Medical marijuana use.
- Limited used of oral steroids during flare-ups.
- No Anemia.
- No skin, arthritis or eye related problems.
- Good medical records and consistent follow-up with physician.
Moderate Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms
Moderate ulcerative colitis follows the same symptoms as mild ulcerative colitis symptoms, but may also include the following:
- Mostly adult onset.
- May be left sided or pancolitis (entire colon).
- More frequent flare-ups with shorter duration between flare-ups.
- More severe symptoms of bleeding and diarrhea, as well as abdominal pain.
- Medications may include infusions such as Entyvio or injections with medications such as Humira.
- More frequent use of oral steroids such as prednisone.
- May have had hospitalizations.
- Good medical records and follow-ups with physicians.
Severe Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms
Severe ulcerative colitis medical histories include the following:
- Childhood onset is common
- Frequent episodes
- Heavy bleeding
- Hospitalization & surgical treatment.
- Continued symptoms after surgery.
- Unfavorable colonoscopy results indicating dysplasia.
- Weight loss greater than 10% of normal body weight.
- Continuous use of steroids based medications.
- Severe inflamation of colon.
- Significant Anemia
Indications of sclerosing cholangitis or pericholangitis are a decline except for guaranteed issue life insurance when available.
Which life insurance companies are best for ulcerative colitis?
The carriers that specialize in ulcerative colitis life insurance underwriting vary depending on the severity.
It’s common for mild ulcerative colitis cases to receive a “standard” or “standard plus” rating from the right companies.
If your last flare-up was 4-5 years ago, it is sometimes possible to obtain a preferred rating.
With moderate colitis, underwriting offers typically range from “standard” to “standard table 4” rates.
Each table rating adds approximately 25% to a standard rate, so a table 4 rating would add approximately 100% to a standard rate. Learn about table ratings.
Severe ulcerative colitis underwriting is case by case, with common underwriting offers in the “standard table 4” to “standard table 6” range.
Depending on your IBD history, some life insurers may decline you.
Keep in mind that if you go to the wrong life insurance company, you will be declined.
We’ll get you to the right life insurance company based on your individual health information.
What do life insurance companies look for when underwriting ulcerative colitis?
- Date and age at diagnosis of ulcerative colitis?
- How many flare-ups or episodes of ulcerative colitis have you had in the past 6 months, 12 months, 24 months and past 5 years?
- Have you been hospitalized for ulcerative colitis?
- Do you take any medications for ulcerative colitis?
- If yes, what do you take and what dosage?
- If you took steroids for a flare, indicate date you last took steroids, the dosage, and date you finished taking steroids?
- Have you had surgery or has surgery been recommended?
- When was your last colonoscopy performed and what were the results?
- If you’re part of a clinical trial, underwriting will look for any history of side effects, including impact if any on your immune response or blood tests.
We then use this information to shop out to multiple companies using a quick quote process.
A quick quote allows us to reach out to carriers quickly to receive a likely underwriting rate based on your medical history.
It’s a much simpler process than completing applications for each company that may underwrite you.
Once we have the underwriting feedback (typically 3 days or less), we’ll let you know what each life insurer has indicated, and what to expect in terms of pricing.
What other information would you like to see about ulcerative colitis?
Leave us your comments and we’ll respond to your questions. Thank you.