Are you living with type 2 diabetes and worried about securing your family’s financial future? Well, let me tell you a little secret: life insurance is like a superhero sidekick for people with diabetes. Just like Batman has Robin to watch his back, you too can have a policy in place to protect your loved ones in case the unexpected happens.
But unlike Batman and Robin, life insurance won’t make you wear spandex. Plus, unlike a sidekick, life insurance won’t ever betray you.
The only problem is, not all life insurance companies are going to be a good match for those with diabetes. So, you’re going to need to be extra careful when picking who’s going to have your back.
Can you get life insurance if you are a type 2 diabetic?
Why yes, you can absolutely get life insurance if you’re a diabetic! But you kind of need to think of it like trying to get on a rollercoaster at an amusement park. Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t join the fun and ride the thrill of life insurance. It’s all about finding the right ride for you – a.k.a. the right policy – and meeting the requirements for getting on board.
Now, finding the right life insurance policy as a diabetic can be a bit more challenging than just walking up to a rollercoaster, but it’s still definitely doable. It might take a bit more research and maybe even working with a specialist, but it’s worth it to ensure you and your family are protected.
You can start by shopping around and comparing policies from different companies. Keep in mind that some companies may be more understanding and flexible with underwriting for people with diabetes.
Next, you should be prepared to disclose your medical information including A1c levels, blood sugar levels, and any other relevant medical history when applying for a policy.
What does your A1C have to be to get life insurance?
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) consider an A1C level below 7 to be in the “normal” or “non-diabetic” range. This is why most life insurance companies would love to see your A1C below 7 as well.
But let’s face it, if keeping your A1C below 7 was easy for you, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. So, while an A1C score below 7 would be great, it’s not the “end all, be all” in determining whether someone will be able to qualify for coverage.
Now since an A1C test does measures the average blood sugar level over the past two to three months it is going to be the #1 factor most life insurance companies are going to use to determine how well an applicant is maintaining their diabetes. So, its score will be the most significant determinant to what “rating” you receive.
Applicants with a 7 or below maybe able to qualify for a Table B or Standard rating, while those with A1C levels at 7 or above will likely be looking at Table B ratings and above.
Life insurance Table rates:
Okay, so imagine life insurance rates are like a buffet at your favorite all-you-can-eat restaurant.
At the “Standard” table, you have all the healthy, low-risk folks digging in and enjoying their meals at the lowest prices. They’re the salad and grilled chicken breast of the buffet, if you will.
But over at the “Table 2” there are a few people who have a few health concerns, maybe a little extra weight, a touch of high blood pressure, but overall still pretty healthy. They’re getting the slightly higher prices, but it’s still a pretty good deal. They’re like the baked salmon and steamed vegetables.
Next, there’s the “Table 3” where you have the people with significant health issues, like diabetes, heart disease or cancer. They’re paying a bit more for their meal, but still getting a good value. They’re like the prime rib and shrimp scampi.
And finally, there’s the “Table 4” where you have the high-risk individuals. They’re paying the highest prices, but they’re still able to get coverage. They’re like the fried chicke, french fries and dissert section of the buffet.
It’s important to note that just like in a buffet, everyone’s taste and preferences are different, same is with life insurance rates, not everyone will fit into a particular rate table and many factors influence the rate table classification.
It’s also important to note that while this analogy is lighthearted, life insurance is a serious matter, and it’s important to understand your options and to work with a trusted insurance agent or financial advisor to find the best coverage and rates for your needs.
Diabetes is also a serious matter as well so let’s step back a moment and take a look at…
At what A1C level does damage start?
Elevated blood sugar levels, as measured by the A1C test, can contribute to the development of diabetes-related complications over time. However, it’s important to note that the level at which damage starts to occur can vary from person to person and depend on a variety of factors, including the length of time that an individual has had diabetes and the presence of other risk factors.
According to American Diabetes Association (ADA), the target A1C level for most adults with diabetes is less than 7%. The higher the A1C level, the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, retinopathy, and amputations.
People who have diabetes tend to have more microvascular and macrovascular complications. Microvascular refers to the small blood vessels, while macrovascular refers to large vessels. Microvascular complications include retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. Macrovascular complications include coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease and stroke.
It’s worth noting that, even when an A1C level is in the normal range, long-term exposure to elevated blood sugar levels can increase the risk of developing diabetes-related complications. Complications such as:
- Cardiovascular disease: Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. People with diabetes are also more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease.
- Kidney disease: Diabetes can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys, making it difficult for them to filter waste from the blood. This can lead to chronic kidney disease and, in some cases, kidney failure.
- Nerve damage (neuropathy): Diabetes can damage the nerves, causing a range of problems from tingling and numbness in the feet to pain and weakness. In severe cases, nerve damage can lead to amputations.
- Eye damage (retinopathy): Diabetes can damage the small blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision loss and even blindness.
- Foot damage: Diabetes can cause poor circulation and nerve damage in the feet, making them more susceptible to injuries, infections and even amputations.
- Skin problems: Diabetes can cause a range of skin problems, including itchy, dry skin, fungal infections, and a condition called diabetic dermopathy, which causes scaly, dark patches on the skin.
- Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairment : Long-term diabetes may increase the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s important to remember that these complications can often be prevented or delayed with tight blood sugar control, regular medical checkups and screenings, and making healthy lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and not smoking.
What can a diabetic do to improve their chances of qualifying for a life insurance policy?
Here are a few things that a person with diabetes can do to improve their chances of qualifying for a life insurance policy, presented with a bit of humor:
- “Sugarcoat” your condition: Make sure your diabetes is well-controlled, and that your A1C levels are as close to normal as possible. Think of it like baking the perfect cake, you want the sugar to be just right.
- “Get in the zone” with your weight: Maintaining a healthy weight can help lower your risk of complications and make you more attractive to insurance companies. Just like at a buffet, it’s important to watch your portion sizes.
- “Step on up” to regular exercise: Regular physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower your blood sugar levels, and improve your overall health. Just think of it as hitting the gym instead of hitting the cookie jar.
- “Quit smoking cold turkey”: Smoking can increase your risk of complications and make it more difficult to get a good rate on your policy. Besides, quitting smoking is the perfect excuse to eat more turkey.
- “Partner up” with your doctor: Work closely with your healthcare provider to manage your diabetes and any other health conditions you may have. You can think of them as your wingman or wingwoman, helping you navigate the insurance world.
- “Shop around” for the best deal: Just like at a sale, you want to compare rates and coverage from different insurance companies to find the best deal for you. That way you can be sure you’re getting a “sweet” deal on your life insurance policy.
It’s important to remember that getting a life insurance policy as a diabetic person can be a bit more challenging, but with a bit of extra effort, good diabetes management and working closely with your healthcare provider, it’s possible to find a policy that meets your needs. Remember to not take the process too seriously, laughter is the best medicine!
And with a name like JustBuryMe, you can tell, we definitely believe this whole heartedly!