If you have sleep apnea and apply to the wrong term life insurance company, you will pay more than you need to for your life insurance…..You can avoid paying too much for life insurance by working with us.
As experts in life insurance for respiratory diseases and disorders such as sleep apnea, we know what life insurance underwriters are looking for when you need life insurance.
How does sleep apnea affect life insurance rates?
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea and the main focus of our life insurance underwriting.
Sleep Apnea is defined as the cessation of breathing.
What Do Underwriters Look for When Underwriting Sleep Apnea?
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, life insurance underwriters want to review your Polysomnogram, aka your sleep study test.
It is estimated that more than 12 million Americans have sleep apnea and that number is increasing.
The diagnosis of Sleep Apnea and ultimately the life insurance price you will pay for life insurance is based on your Polysomnogram test results. A sleep apnea test evaluates:
Chest Muscle Activity
How Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affect Life Insurance Rates?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea and the only type of sleep apnea that is generally insurable with life insurance companies.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is caused by a complete obstruction of the airway or by a partial obstruction called Obstructive Hypopnea.
The obstruction occurs when the muscles in the upper part of the airway relax to the point where the airway collapses.
From a life insurance underwriting standpoint, life insurance companies tend to offer their standard life insurance rates, but there are occasions when it is possible to receive a better life insurance rate than “standard”.
Life Insurance Underwriting for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
A number of our life insurance companies available will do a good job underwriting you based on your obstructive sleep apnea history and polysomnogram results.
The best case underwriting scenario for most people with obstructive sleep apnea are “standard” life insurance rates, although there are a few companies that will consider better rates if everything else about you meets their guidelines.
Underwriting Questions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The Basics of Life Insurance with Sleep Apnea:
- Your age at time of diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea?
- How is your Sleep Apnea being treated? Observation, CPAP machine, Weight Loss, Surgery, other?
- Are you taking any medications for your obstructive sleep apnea?
- What is your height & weight?
- What is your blood pressure?
- Do you suffer from depression?
- Do you smoke?
- Have you had any other health problems?
If you can get us a copy of your sleep study, we will shop your sleep study out to numerous life insurance companies for underwriting offers.
Please note that if your medical records indicate that you should have a sleep study performed and that has not occurred, or your records indicate that you do not use your CPAP, many companies will postpone you, and others will add an additional rating expense to the price.
Sleep Apnea Underwriting Specifics
The Apnea Index – AI. The Apnea Index is a commonly used measure of the severity of the obstructive sleep apnea during a sleep study.
The apnea index is calculated by dividing the total number of apneic events by the number of hours of sleep. The higher the number, the more you will be charged for insurance.
Oxygen Saturation. Oxygen saturation is measured by a skin sensor. Normal levels are greater than 90%.
Levels less than 90% for a prolonged period of time typically indicate sleep apnea.
Chest Activity – The sleep study measures heart rate and patterns while sleeping.
What to Expect from Life Insurance Underwriting
Keep in mind that not all life insurance companies will be competitive with underwriting obstructive sleep apnea.
We know which life insurance companies tend to be the most aggressive based on your specific obstructive sleep apnea circumstances.
Life insurance underwriters want to know what your Apnea Index is and what your Oxygen Saturation Levels are. In addition, it is critical that you are compliant with your doctor’s orders.
Any additional medical factors that you can control such as your build, weight, smoking, alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, etc.. will affect your life insurance rates.
If your medical records indicate that you have taken the steps to improve these areas, this will help you from a life insurance underwriting standpoint.
How Apnea Index Affects Your Insurance Rate
Apnea Index of:
0-10 – typically no additional life insurance cost
- 11-20 – 50% table rating increase over standard life insurance rates
- 21-30 – 100% table rating increase over standard life insurance rates
- 31-40 – 150% table rating increase over standard life insurance rates
- Above 40 – decline.
This assumes Oxygenation Levels in 90% range. Typically for every 10% decrease in oxygenation levels, life insurance companies will add a 25% table rating to the life insurance rates.
Table ratings typically increase the rate you pay 25% for each table assessed to your rate.
Mild, Moderate and Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea:
Your doctor may have referred to your obstructive sleep apnea as mild obstructive sleep apnea, moderate obstructive sleep apnea, or severe obstructive sleep apnea.
Some possible life insurance ratings for your obstructive sleep apnea:
Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Doesn’t require treatment. Most likely scenario is a standard life insurance rate from life insurance companies, with a possibility of preferred life insurance rates from some life insurance companies.
Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Requires use of a CPAP machine. If you are compliant with doctor orders, the most likely scenario is “standard” to standard plus a 50% table rating increase.
If you are not compliant with doctors orders, the most likely scenario is a 50% table rating increase over standard rate to possible decline.
Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Requires use of CPAP machine. Most likely scenario if compliant is a 100% table rate increase over the “standard” life insurance rates. If not compliant, most likely you will be declined by life insurance companies.
Keep in mind that these are just sample underwriting guidelines as every life insurance case is different. We take the time to learn your medical history. We then shop your medical information out to multiple life insurance companies in order to obtain the best possible life insurance rates for you.
There is never any pressure or obligation with our life insurance service. We’ll give you the information you need in order to make an informed decision about your life insurance.
Please take a moment to complete the Sleep Apnea Questionnaire or give us a call at toll free 800-909-2040 to discuss.