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Qualifying for Life Insurance with Emphysema.

Purchasing a life insurance policy after being diagnosed with emphysema can be a challenging process.  Challenging, but not impossible.

So, while it may be difficult to think about your own mortality and it may be annoying to have to put up with some of the additional obstacles that may be put in front of you while applying for coverage.  It’s important to consider the financial impact your unexpected death could have on your loved ones.

Whether that financial impact means that they are able to maintain their current standard of living or just means that your surviving loved one’s wouldn’t be financially burdened with any final expenses that may lay in the wake of your passing. A life insurance policy can provide a level of financial security that can meet the needs of just about any family.  Provided you know where to look.

So, can you get a life insurance policy if you have emphysema?

Yes, it is possible to get a life insurance policy if you have emphysema. However, your premiums may be higher due to the increased risk associated with your condition.  However, because emphysema is a chronic respiratory disease that causes damage to the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs and typically progresses as one ages and/or continues to expose him or herself to irritants causing this condition, most life insurance companies are going to consider applicants with emphysema “high-risk”.

And as a high-risk applicant who will be considered at an increased risk of premature death, most traditional life insurance companies are only going to be willing to insure mild to moderate cases of emphysema who DO NOT SMOKE and are not currently being exposed to any pollutants which could further harm the applicant’s health.

What is the life expectancy of a person with emphysema?

The life expectancy of a person with mild emphysema can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the person’s age, overall health, and the presence of other underlying health issues. In general, people with mild emphysema tend to have a better prognosis than those with more severe forms of the disease.

Some people with mild emphysema may experience little to no decline in their respiratory function and may live a normal life expectancy, while others may experience a more rapid decline.  This is why it’s often difficult to know for sure how a life insurance company will respond to an individual’s application and why we here at IBUSA often choose to speak to an underwriter before submitting one’s official application.

What is the life expectancy of a person with moderate to severe emphysema?

In general, people with moderate to severe emphysema tend to have a worse prognosis than those with mild forms of the disease.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute estimates that the average life expectancy for people with moderate to severe COPD (which includes emphysema) is between 6 and 8 years. However, this is just a rough estimate and does not take into account individual differences in age, overall health, and other factors that can affect life expectancy. Some people with moderate to severe emphysema may live longer, while others may experience a more rapid decline.

It’s important to note that life expectancy is not the same as the survival rate. While life expectancy refers to the average length of time that a person is expected to live, survival rate refers to the percentage of people who survive a particular condition or treatment.

Or in other words, it’s anybody’s guess how long someone might live after being diagnosed with moderate or severe emphysema, all we can say for sure is that most life insurance companies tend to want to avoid taking on these clients.

Other options besides traditional life insurance:

There are several options available for life insurance coverage beyond traditional policies. Some alternatives to traditional life insurance include:

Guaranteed issue life insurance: This type of policy is available to almost everyone, regardless of their health or medical history. Premiums may be higher and the death benefit may be lower than with a traditional policy, but guaranteed issue policies do not require a medical exam or asking any health questions.

Accidental death policy: An accidental death policy is a type of life insurance coverage that pays a benefit to the beneficiary if the policyholder dies as a result of an accident.

Group life insurance: A group life insurance policy is a type of life insurance coverage that is provided to a group of people, typically through their employer or organization. Group life insurance policies are typically less expensive than individual policies, and the coverage may be provided at no cost to the individual members of the group.

Group life insurance policies may be fully underwritten, meaning that the insurance company assesses the risk of insuring each individual member of the group, or they may be guaranteed issue, meaning that coverage is provided to all members of the group without regard to their health or medical history.

Group life insurance policies may provide coverage for a specific period of time, such as the duration of employment, or they may be permanent coverage that remains in effect as long as the individual remains a member of the group.  In some cases, group life insurance policies may also allow individuals to purchase additional coverage beyond the group policy, either at a reduced rate or at the same rate as the group policy.

As you can see, being diagnosed with emphysema will certainly complicate one’s life insurance application, but it’s important to know that you have options when it comes to life insurance coverage.

Some of these options you may be able to qualify for, others you may not.  And some may be better suited to meet the needs of certain individuals while others just won’t “cut the mustard”.  But one thing for sure is that “knowing your options” is definitely in your best interest!