Life Insurance With Acid Reflux (GERD)

By James Tobin, CFP®

Critical Takeaways

  • Impact on  Underwriting Class: Minor if well controlled Significant if complications  
  • Preferred Plus Rates Possible Table Ratings Unlikely
  • Rate impact based on severity and frequency of reflux history, any complications, OTC and prescription drug use. 

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Expert Review Of Life Insurance With Acid Reflux (GERD)

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Reviewed by

Jim Tobin, CFP®

Why you can Have confidence in this review

At Bequest Mutual Life Insurance we value our editorial independence. We keep our reviews strictly factual so you can use them to make informed decisions. Life insurance carriers referred to on this site do not approve reviews. 

If you take medicine for acid reflux/GERD  (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and you are wondering if it will affect your prospects for life insurance, you have come to the right place. 

The purpose of this article is to help you understand the underwriting concerns of carriers and how to best position yourself to receive the best rate possible.

Whether, your risk to the insurance carrier is health related like high Cholesterol and high blood pressure, or is lifestyle related like marijuana use or scuba diving the application process is similar.

If you know what information you are looking for you can use the quick nav tool to jump around and the quote tool on the right to get an instant quote at any time. 

Can I Be Approved For Life Insurance With GERD Reflux

Every applicant for life insurance with GERD can be approved for a policy.

However, the type of policy that can be approved, and the rates charged, will depend on the nature acid reflux, how well it's controlled,  and your overall health.

Because the underwriting standards are different for each type of policy, this review of  life insurance options with GERD is broken into  three sections:   (click button to go directly to section)

Best Price

Strict Underwriting

Exam - Yes

Good Price

Strict Underwriting

Exam - No

More Expensive

Easy Underwriting

Exam - No

Will I Need To Take An Exam For gERD Life Insurance?

In order to get the best rates possible you may need to take an exam. Well controlled cases of acid reflux will be eligible for no-exam underwriting. However, applications seen as more serious  will require an exam. 

The exam is a para-medical exam that collects blood and urine samples. The exam is administered at no cost by a travelling nurse and can be done at your choice of location.

If it turns out that simplified issue or guaranteed issue policies are the best fit for your application, no exam will be required. See How Term Life Insurance Works for more on the exam. 

How Much Will My Life Insurance Cost And How Exactly Are My Rates Affected By My acid Reflux?

The rates you pay for tem insurance are dependent on the underwriting class you are graded by the carrier. Controlled gastroesophageal reflux applications are generally going to be rated as standard  or better.

There is a case study later in this article and you can use the quote tool to get accurate term rates.

Sample pricing for simplified issue and  guaranteed issue policies is provided in the corresponding links.

What Information Life Insurance Underwriters Will Use To Decide a Health Rating

With a couple of caveats, the process of obtaining life insurance is essentially the same for everyone regardless of health.

The primary caveats with GERD are that no exam or so called "non-med" policies will be available only if there are no serious complications, and an attending physician's statement (APS) may be requested.

The APS can slow the process as doctors are in no hurry to respond to requests from life insurance companies. if an APS is requested, the best way to "grease the wheels" is for the applicant to contact the doctor's office.  

The information that you will be required to provide in order to get the most accurate quote is as follows:

The information that you will be required to provide in order to get the most accurate quote is as follows:

  1. Date of Diagnosis

  2. Age at Diagnosis

  3. Affected Systems

  4. Treatments Undergone

  5. Dates of Treatments

  6. Severity of Symptoms

  7. Other Health Issues

Possible Underwriting Ratings For term Life Insurance With GERD

Because applications for life insurance with lupus are evaluated on a case by case basis, your story matters. That is to say two people with the same age and condition may get vastly different offers from the same carrier based on age of diagnosis and patient compliance.

Because each case is different, the following pricing scenarios are the best estimates based on experience.

Best Case - If  GERD symptoms are under excellent control and no complications-  and excellent health- many cases have a chance for a Preferred plus rating. Simply use the quote tool for a preferred plus quote.

Mid Case - If your GERD  seems to be mild with the use of OTC or prescription medications but have other health issues, you may be looking at a preferred rate. Simply use the preferred rating in the quoter.

Severe Case - If your GERD  has recently flared and you have inflammation that is not responding to treatment, you may be face with a standard  to mild substandard rate. You calculate this rate by multiplying the standard rate by 1.5 (Table 2/B) or 2 (table 4/D).

To learn about how table ratings work click here.

while expensive this is still a very good outcome for the circumstances

Decline - While GERD alone is not likely to ever be outright declined, it may be in combination with a more serious condition. If this is the case you may be eligible for a smaller face amount policy. These policies are referred to as Guaranteed issue or simplified issue. If you have been declined please contact us.

How Accurate Are The Quotes I Get From Your Quote Tool? 

The quotes you receive from the quote tool on this site are 100% accurate for the information inputted. That is to say, if you get the rate class correct- your rate will be correct. The problem with online tools is that people generally think they are inn better or worse shape than is reality.   

If you are unsure about rate class you should choose a range and hope to be pleasantly surprised. Alternatively, you can fill out the customized quote form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

How Can I Improve My Underwriting Rating And Lower My Life Insurance Cost?

The most effective ways to improve your life insurance rating are to use an agent that has access to the companies that will view you most favorably and to take care of your health. 

See the section below to better understand the reason to use an independent agent when shopping for life insurance with GERD.

As far as lifestyle goes, if you take diet and exercise seriously along with limiting alcohol and quitting smoking (if you smoke), it should be reflected in your blood markers. 

If you have a medical condition like GERD, documenting compliance with medical advise and any medications is very important. 

Do these things and you can't help but improve your health and your life insurance rating.  

What Are The Best Life Insurance Companies For Acid Reflux?

Life insurance companies have different appetites for specific risks. These appetites are reflected in underwriting and ultimately pricing. Simplified issue carriers will be state dependent and  three of the better known term carriers for dealing with acid reflux are Prudential, American General (AIG), and Banner.

However, risk appetite can, and does, change and the only way to guarantee the best possible deal is to work with an experienced independent agent. see the case study below to get a clear understanding.

Why You Should Use An Independent Agent When Shopping For Life Insurance With GERD

Now you already understand that your story matters, and that two people in similar situations can get very different offers from the same carrier.

What you might not know is that different insurance companies will also treat each case differently.

For example Prudential may have more of an appetite for the risk that GERD presents than say Banner Life. In this case the underwriting grade will reflect this increased appetite.

So, if your Agent only represented one carrier and you found out later that that you could have gotten a rate 50% or 60% better, how would you feel?

You'd probably be peeved either at the agent or yourself or both. So it's important that your Agent represent multiple carriers.

In fact a good independent agent will have access to over 50 carriers. This ensures the best chance at a good rate.

Note that if he doesn't, he probably won't be in a hurry to let you in on this info.

Case Study: Pricing Life Insurance With GERD (Acid Reflux)

So, I have been preaching about the importance of using an independent Agent and you may think that sounds a little self serving coming from an independent agent.

You are right, it is. However, it is also the undeniable ( and provable) truth.

Please see the case study below . it will show why it is in your interest to have as many options as possible available when shopping for life insurance with GERD or any other impairment.

Male Age: 43

$500000 20 Year Term

Tobacco: No

Well controlled  GERD

Prescription use of Proton Pump Inhibitor (Nexium)  & occasional OTC ant acid use

Excellent Health 

This looks like a standard/preferred case that might get a better rating with one or two carriers. depending on the insurers appetite for a GERD risk.. Let's take a look at the rates.

  • preferred +
  • preferred 
  • Standard    

This table which shows only a few of the major life insurance companies available illustrates the difference in rates. For standard rates Prudential is 12.5% more expensive than Lincoln.

On its' face this seems like a pretty straightforward choice and if underwriting grades between carriers is the same, it really can be that simple.

For people who suffer from GERD or any other serious diagnosis, it gets much more complicated.

Because life insurers manage their appetite for specific risks by being more lenient or more stringent with underwriting grades, you need to know which company will grade you a preferred plus risk and which ones will grade you as standard.

In the case above Prudential (the most expensive standard rate) is likely to be the best deal because the more competitively priced carriers will likely rate the risk standard while Pru might well go Preferred Plus.

This is something you can't know by simply looking at the lowest price. In this hypothetical using an independent agent could save you 50% (the difference between Prudential @ Preferred plus and Lincoln @ Standard.

What Is The Application Process For Life Insurance With GERD

Regardless of your pre existing condition, the application process is largely the same. The life insurance application process is an eight step process that includes choosing your terms, picking a carrier, submitting to the exam,  and signing documents (digital signatures accepted). The entire 8 step process is laid out for you here

Your Next Step

Now that you know the information you will need to receive the most accurate quote possible for life insurance with GERD, it's time to gather the information and speak to an independent Agent (raising my hand).

Simply give us a call or shoot an email over and we can get you started. We are committed to totally transparent pricing (we'll even share our computer screen with you if you'd like), and making the application process as painless as possible.

Thank you for reading about life insurance with GERD, if you have any questions, we'd like to hear them.

Fast Facts about Gerd (acid Reflux)

It seems nearly everyone gets heartburn once in a while, but with GERD it's a more common occurrence. It's believed that nearly 20 percent of the population suffers from GERD.

GERD is alternately referred to as acid indigestion, acid reflux, and the aforementioned heartburn.

The most likely sufferers of GERD are those who are  are obese, smokers, pregnant, or taking certain medications.

The best known complication from GERD is  Barrett's Esophagus,  which can cause a rare but often deadly cancer.

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