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Life insurance, Kidney Failure (Dialysis), Frequently Asked Questions

If you have been diagnosed with kidney failure, you may be wondering whether it is possible to obtain life insurance coverage. The good news is while qualifying for a traditional term or whole life insurance while receiving dialysis may be impossible, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t alternative options you might be able to qualify for.

In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know about these types of life insurance polices as well as explain why traditional life insurance policies probably won’t be an option.

What is Kidney Failure?

Kidney failure, also known as renal failure, is a condition in which the kidneys are unable to properly filter waste and excess fluid from the body. This can lead to a buildup of toxins in the blood and can cause other health problems.

Causes:

There are several causes of kidney failure, including:

  • Chronic kidney disease: This is the most common cause of kidney failure. Chronic kidney disease can be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions that damage the kidneys over time.
  • Acute kidney injury: This can be caused by an injury, infection, or medication that damages the kidneys and leads to sudden kidney failure.
  • Polycystic kidney disease: This is a genetic condition in which cysts form on the kidneys and eventually cause kidney failure.
  • Other conditions: Other conditions that can cause kidney failure include autoimmune diseases, kidney infections, and certain medications.

Symptoms:

Symptoms of kidney failure may include:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Swelling in the legs, feet, or ankles
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased urine output or dark urine

Treatment options:

Treatment for kidney failure depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. Some treatment options may include:

  • Medications: Medications may be used to treat the underlying condition causing kidney failure, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Dialysis: Dialysis is a treatment that involves using a machine to filter waste and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys are no longer able to do so.
  • Kidney transplant: In some cases, a kidney transplant may be necessary if the kidneys have failed completely.

Worst case scenario: In the worst case scenario, kidney failure can lead to serious health complications and even death if left untreated. Complications may include:

  • Heart disease and heart failure
  • Anemia
  • Bone disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Increased risk of infections
  • Fluid buildup in the lungs

It is important to seek medical treatment if you are experiencing symptoms of kidney failure, as early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent serious complications.

Dialysis for Kidney Failure

Dialysis is a medical treatment that is used to replace some of the functions of the kidneys when they are no longer able to perform their job. There are two main types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

Hemodialysis involves the use of a machine that filters the blood outside the body. During hemodialysis, blood is removed from the body and passed through a special filter, called a dialyzer, which removes waste products and excess fluids. The filtered blood is then returned to the body.

Peritoneal dialysis, on the other hand, involves the use of the patient’s own abdominal lining, called the peritoneum, as a filter. During peritoneal dialysis, a special solution is introduced into the abdomen through a catheter. The solution remains in the abdomen for several hours, during which time it absorbs waste products and excess fluids. The solution is then drained from the abdomen.

Life Insurance with Kidney Failure

Many people with kidney failure are concerned that they will not be able to obtain life insurance coverage. While it is true that having kidney failure will most likely make it impossible for someone to qualify for traditional life insurance, with the right approach, it is possible to obtain life insurance coverage even if you are undergoing dialysis.

Options for those unable to qualify for traditional life insurance may include guaranteed issue life insurance, group life insurance, and accidental death insurance.

Guaranteed issue life insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of life insurance that is designed for people who have difficulty obtaining coverage due to pre-existing medical conditions or other health issues. With guaranteed issue life insurance, you are guaranteed to be approved for coverage, regardless of your health. However, there are both pros and cons to consider before deciding whether or not to purchase a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.

Pros:

  1. Guaranteed Approval: One of the biggest advantages of guaranteed issue life insurance is that it offers guaranteed approval. This means that you do not have to worry about being turned down for coverage due to a pre-existing medical condition or other health issues.
  2. No Medical Exam Required: Another advantage of guaranteed issue life insurance is that it does not require a medical exam. This can be beneficial if you have a pre-existing medical condition that may disqualify you from traditional life insurance policies that require a medical exam.
  3. Quick Approval Process: Since there is no medical exam required, the approval process for guaranteed issue life insurance is typically much quicker than traditional life insurance policies.
  4. Cash Value: Some guaranteed issue life insurance policies also have a cash value component, which can be borrowed against or used to pay premiums.

Cons:

  1. Higher Premiums: Guaranteed issue life insurance policies are generally more expensive than traditional life insurance policies due to the increased risk that the insurance company takes on by offering coverage to those with pre-existing medical conditions.
  2. Lower Coverage Amounts: Guaranteed issue life insurance policies typically have lower coverage amounts than traditional life insurance policies. This means that you may not be able to get as much coverage as you need to adequately protect your loved ones.
  3. Waiting Periods: Many guaranteed issue life insurance policies have waiting periods before the death benefit is paid out. This waiting period can range from two to three years and can be a disadvantage if you need coverage immediately.
  4. Limited Options: Since guaranteed issue life insurance policies are designed for people with pre-existing medical conditions or other health issues, the policy options may be limited. This means that you may not be able to find a policy that meets all of your coverage needs.

Conclusion:

Guaranteed issue life insurance can be a good option for people who have difficulty obtaining coverage due to pre-existing medical conditions or other health issues. However, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to purchase a policy. Be sure to compare multiple policies and insurance companies to find the best policy that meets your needs and budget.

Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that is provided by an employer or organization for its employees or members. Here are some pros and cons to consider when evaluating group life insurance:

Pros:

  1. No Medical Exam Required: Group life insurance policies typically do not require a medical exam or health questionnaire, which can make it easier to obtain coverage. This is especially beneficial for employees or members with pre-existing medical conditions who may have difficulty obtaining coverage through traditional life insurance policies.
  2. Employer/Group Discount: Group life insurance policies may be offered at a discounted rate because the insurer is covering a large group of people at once. This can make the policy more affordable for employees or members.
  3. Convenience: Because group life insurance is offered through an employer or organization, it can be very convenient to enroll and manage. The premiums are often automatically deducted from payroll or membership fees, which eliminates the need to remember to pay the premiums.
  4. Guaranteed Issue: Depending on the employer or organization, group life insurance may be offered on a guaranteed issue basis, which means that all employees or members are eligible for coverage without having to go through the underwriting process.

Cons:

  1. Limited Coverage Amounts: Group life insurance policies may have lower coverage amounts than individual life insurance policies. This means that employees or members may not be able to purchase as much coverage as they need to adequately protect their loved ones.
  2. No Control Over Policy: Because the employer or organization is the policyholder, employees or members may not have as much control over the policy as they would with an individual life insurance policy. This can be especially concerning if the employer or organization decides to change or cancel the policy.
  3. Loss of Coverage: If an employee or member leaves the employer or organization, they may lose their group life insurance coverage. This can be a concern if the individual has developed health issues during their time with the employer or organization that would make it difficult to obtain coverage elsewhere.
  4. No Customization: Group life insurance policies are generally not customizable to an individual’s specific needs. The policy may not offer the types of riders or options that an individual would want or need in an individual life insurance policy.

Conclusion:

Group life insurance can be a good option for employees or members who are unable to obtain coverage through individual life insurance policies. However, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons before enrolling in a policy. Be sure to review the coverage amounts and options offered, as well as any restrictions or limitations on the policy.

Accidental Death Insurance

Accidental death insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides coverage only in the event of death due to an accident. Here are some pros and cons to consider when evaluating accidental death insurance:

Pros:

  1. Lower Premiums: Accidental death insurance policies are generally less expensive than traditional life insurance policies because they only provide coverage in the event of an accidental death. This makes it a more affordable option for individuals who may not be able to afford a traditional life insurance policy.
  2. No Medical Exam Required: Accidental death insurance policies typically do not require a medical exam or health questionnaire, which can make it easier to obtain coverage. This is especially beneficial for individuals with pre-existing medical conditions who may have difficulty obtaining coverage through traditional life insurance policies.
  3. Quick Payout: In the event of an accidental death, the payout from an accidental death insurance policy is typically made quickly, providing financial support for loved ones during a difficult time.
  4. Supplemental Coverage: Accidental death insurance can be used as supplemental coverage to a traditional life insurance policy, providing additional financial protection in the event of an accidental death.

Cons:

  1. Limited Coverage: Accidental death insurance policies only provide coverage in the event of an accidental death. If an individual dies due to a natural cause, the policy will not provide any benefits. This means that accidental death insurance may not provide enough coverage to adequately protect an individual’s loved ones.
  2. No Cash Value: Accidental death insurance policies do not have a cash value, which means that the policy will not provide any financial benefits if the insured person does not die as a result of an accident.
  3. Exclusions: Accidental death insurance policies may have exclusions that limit coverage in certain circumstances, such as death due to certain activities or occupations.
  4. Limited Benefits: Accidental death insurance policies may have limited benefits, with coverage amounts that are not sufficient to cover all expenses associated with an accidental death.

Conclusion:

Accidental death insurance can be a good option for individuals who are unable to obtain traditional life insurance coverage or who want to supplement their existing coverage. However, it is important to carefully consider the limitations of the policy before enrolling. Be sure to review the coverage amounts, exclusions, and limitations on the policy to ensure that it provides the coverage needed to protect your loved ones in the event of an accidental death.

Final thoughts…

Obtaining life insurance coverage with kidney failure may seem daunting, but it is not impossible. With the right approach, it is possible to get approved for life insurance even if you are undergoing dialysis. By shopping around, being honest and upfront, working with an experienced agent, and considering a medical exam, you can increase your chances of getting the coverage you need to protect your loved ones.

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