A lot of people may have heard of anemia, but aren’t really sure what it is or how to get life insurance with anemia. As with any health condition, having this health issue can affect your chances and rates.
First, let’s talk some facts about anemia:
- It affects over 3 million Americans each year
- It is the most common blood condition found in the U.S.
- There are over 400 different types in three groups:
- Caused by blood loss
- Caused by wiping out red blood cells
- Red blood cell production is faulty or reduced
- Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type
When it comes to having anemia and your chances of getting approved for life insurance, there are factors to consider. The type of anemia and the cause of it are the major factors in getting approved.
Today we’re going to discuss anemia in general – the causes, symptoms, and treatment. Then, we’re going to talk about how to get approved for life insurance at the best rate possible.
What Does it Mean to be Anemic?
Someone who is anemic does not get enough oxygen-rich blood throughout their body. Hemoglobin works within the red blood cells to help move oxygen through the body from the lungs.
People who are mildly anemic will likely fully recover and have no long-lasting symptoms or concerns. Anyone can become anemic in their lifetime. Women are more likely to become anemic due to menstruation and pregnancy.
Here are some of the reasons that people get diagnosed with anemia:
- Lack of certain vitamins – B12, iron, folate
- Menstruation (especially with heavier than average flow)
- Chronic conditions – ulcers, some cancers, kidney failure
- Family history
- Intestinal disorders – Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis
- Autoimmune disorders
- Exposure to certain chemicals
- Age – anyone over 65 is more likely to be diagnosed
- Frequent blood donation
- Frequent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Lead exposure
These are not all the causes of anemia, but with a list of 400 different types, that would be a huge list. These are just some of the most common causes.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the main causes, let’s take a look at the most common symptoms:
- Easily fatigued or a noticeable loss of energy
- Leg cramps
- Inability to sleep
- Difficulty paying attention/brain fog
- Higher than normal heartbeat, especially after exercise
- Shortness of breath
- Pregnancy complications
- Skin is turning a noticeable yellow color/jaundice
- Chest pain
- Hands and feet are frequently cold, even when in warm weather
Each specific type of anemia has its own causes as well to look out for.
What can you do to prevent or reduce your risk of getting anemia? Here are a few things to consider:
- Eat a vitamin-rich diet: foods that are naturally rich in blood healthy vitamins can help prevent you from getting this condition. Vitamins to look for – B12, C, folate, and iron
- Get genetic testing done: there are several forms of anemia that are hereditary. One way to find out if you are susceptible to this condition is to get yourself and your family tested. Anything that is hereditary runs the risk of you passing it along to your children. Detecting it early before warning signs occur is your best chance at being able to fight the disease.
- Take a multivitamin: speak with your doctor to find out if adding a multivitamin is the right choice for you. It might help give you needed vitamins and/or minerals that can reduce your risk of getting this condition
- Take precautions with malaria: some forms of anemia are caused by complications of malaria. If you live in or are planning to visit somewhere that malaria is a concern, speak with your doctor about it. They can offer ways to reduce your risk and steps to take while you are there.
The way your doctor will diagnose your condition will differ depending on the type. These are the most common methods used:
- Ask about your family history for hereditary conditions
- Order a blood test to check for red blood cells
- Order a bone marrow test (aplastic anemia)
- Ask about your personal health history – if an underlying condition is the cause, treating that condition can likely reduce your risk of having anemia
As with the cause, symptoms, and diagnosis, the treatment prescribed depends on the type. Here are the most common treatments a doctor will prescribe:
- Blood transfusion
- Diet change
Now that we’ve gone over the condition, let’s take a look at how to get the best rate on life insurance with anemia.
What Can I do to Qualify for Life Insurance with Anemia?
This is a really great question. People with health issues tend to think they won’t qualify for affordable life insurance. That’s just not true.
The best thing you can do for yourself when looking for life insurance is to get help. When you get life insurance, you are going to pay for it for at least 10 years, if not more. If you do it on your own, you might not get the best rate or the best coverage.
Who Can Help Me Get Approved for Life Insurance with Anemia?
Another great question! Not everyone knows that there are people who can help get you approved. Yes, even if you have a health condition like anemia.
Our agents are well versed in looking for life insurance companies for special situations. When you are ready to speak with one of our agents, they will get some preliminary information:
- Your height and weight
- Current and recent past health issues or concerns
- Family history of health issues
- If you are a smoker or not
- How old you are
- What you are looking to cover
- Final expenses (check out these final expense insurance companies)
- Income replacement
- College for kids
- Mortgage payoff amount
- Debt payoff
- What your budget is
They will use this information to match you with a life insurance company most likely to approve your case. Using an agent is the best way to get approved for the highest amount of coverage at the best price.
The best thing about working with one of our agents? They are really friendly and can help you feel comfortable throughout the process. The absolute best thing? All this is FREE to you!
That’s right. Working with a licensed insurance agent is absolutely free to you. If you’re ready to speak with one of our agents to get affordable life insurance, get a free quote now and we’ll reach out!
Getting Prepared to Apply for Life Insurance with Anemia
Once you’ve got a quote with the right coverage at an affordable price, it’s time to take the next step. What’s the next step? Getting prepared to complete the application.
When it comes to applying for traditional life insurance with anemia, they all go through a standard process that looks like this:
- Get a quote
- Complete the application
- Complete the medical exam
- The underwriter reviews the application, your medical history, and the exam results
- They decide if they are going to approve you and at what rate
- You get a life insurance policy (or a declination letter)
Completing the Application
When completing the application, there are standard questions you’ll have to answer. But if you’re anemic, there are additional questions they’ll want to be answered. Here are some of those questions so you can prepare yourself:
- Was an underlying cause found? What was it?
- What type were you diagnosed with?
- Have you ever been diagnosed due to your condition or had a complication because of it?
- What was the treatment plan given by your doctor?
- What were the results of any tests that were done for your condition?
- Have you had to have a blood transfusion or bone marrow testing/donation?
- What is the lowest blood or hemoglobin count you’ve received and when was it?
- In the last six months, have you been dizzy, fatigued or had headaches?
This is not a full list of questions and the underwriter may ask for more information or test results. It’s common for this to happen, and gives the underwriter a complete picture of your health.
The Medical Exam
After you apply for life insurance, you’ll be scheduled for a medical exam. This can take place in your home or at a lab facility, whichever you prefer.
The lab tech or nurse will ask some of the same questions you were asked on the exam. They will take samples of your blood and urine, and get your height and weight.
Once all tests are completed, you and the life insurance company will each get a copy of the results. The underwriter will use these results along with the rest of your health history to determine your risk factor.
What Rate Can I Expect for Life Insurance with Anemia?
When it comes to getting approved for life insurance with anemia, here’s what you can expect.
You will not get approved with this rate. Preferred plus is reserved for the healthiest people. Someone who is anemic almost always has an underlying cause for it.
Being anemic with an underlying cause means you won’t get the best rate.
Rare, but it can happen. You should be in great health with no other concerns. And you should have not had any symptoms or flare-ups within the last 24 months to qualify for this rate.
Your blood levels will also have to be in the normal range.
This is most likely the best rating you can get approved for. You will be in generally good health and not have any symptoms within the last year. Your blood levels will also be normal and have a history of this within the last year as well.
Someone with sickle cell or aplastic anemia will not qualify for this rate.
Substandard or Table Rating
Be prepared to get a substandard rating with sickle cell or having an underlying disease like Crohn’s. Also, if you have any other health issues, are overweight, or have a family history of other diseases.
A substandard rating is not the most affordable, but it is common for people who are anemic with other issues.
No one wants to be denied life insurance, but it can happen. Those who have aplastic anemia, aren’t following their prescribed treatment plan, or have low blood or iron levels will get declined.
What Can I Do If I Get Denied Life Insurance with Anemia?
A denial is not the end of the world, but it’s not something you want to experience. Working with an agent is your best line of defense in reducing the risk of being declined.
But if you do get denied life insurance, you have another option available to you. Guaranteed issue life insurance is a more expensive option, but is there for people not in the best health.
You always have the option of reapplying for traditional life insurance down the road. If your anemic symptoms resolve and you get normal blood tests over the course of the next few years, reapply.
If you’re approved at that time, then you can choose to cancel the more expensive option. But having at least something in place is better than nothing. You never know when your time will come and even a little life insurance can help your family.
Are you ready to get a quote to see what rates you can get for the coverage you need? You can get a quote right now!