Life Insurance with Lupus

Life Insurance With Lupus

By James Tobin, CFP®

Critical Takeaways

  • Rate Impact: Significant
  •  Pricing  Based on Severity and Frequency Of Flares  Complications and Prescription Medications
  • Standard Rates  are  Possible with Table Ratings Likely 

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Expert Review Of Life Insurance With Lupus 

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Reviewed by

Jim Tobin, CFP®

Why you can trust 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. 

While you may know about the day to day effects of living with Lupus, you may not know how it will affect your life insurance application. The eight questions and answers below  are a good start to getting a handle on the issue.  For more in-depth answers, just follow the links and keep reading.

Can I Be Approved For Life Insurance With Lupus?

Although life insurance with lupus isn’t impossible to obtain, keep in mind that the policy type that you can qualify for and your premiums are dependent on the time elapsed since your lupus diagnosis, the type of lupus you have (SLE or Discoid), the severity of your condition, complications, and medication history. Underwriters will also consider your general state of health before they assign you an insurance rating.

Underwriting standards vary between different companies; therefore, we’ve split this review into 3 separate sections. You can jump right ahead to the section relevant to your needs by clicking on the links displayed here.

Best Price

Strict Underwriting

More Expensive

Easy Underwriting

Most Expensive

No Underwriting

What Information Will  Life Insurance Companies Want To Know?

While submitting your insurance application, you should also submit the list of symptoms you’ve experienced, treatments underwent, prescription medication taken, and follow up details.

Underwriting Questions

The life insurance application process is generally the same procedure for every applicant, irrespective of their actual health condition.

Lupus patients must note that discoid cases can only opt for non-med or no exam insurance policies. Additionally, you must also submit an attending physician’s statement or APS if you need approval as an SLE patient.

The APS may lead to the application process getting bogged down since doctors aren’t very punctual when it comes to responding to requests issued by life insurance carriers.

You will have to submit the following information to obtain an accurate life insurance quote from the carriers:

  • Date of your diagnosis
  • Age when first diagnosed
  • Affected Systems
  • The treatments you’ve undergone
  • The severity of your symptoms
  • Other health concerns

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

To be quoted affordable premium rates, you’ll be required to undergo a paramedical exam where your urine and blood samples will be collected by a nurse at your convenience. While applicants with a mild case of discoid lupus can opt for a no-exam insurance policy, SLE cases and severe discoid cases will be asked to undergo the exam.

If your condition is so advanced that your best chance is to go for a guaranteed issue or simplified issue policy, you don’t need to undergo an exam. Find out more details regarding this medical exam here. 

How Much Will My Life Insurance Cost And How Exactly Are My Rates Affected By My Lupus Diagnosis?

Term life insurance premium rates depend on what underwriting category you’re assigned by your insurance carrier. Most lupus applications get a standard rating (though this is rare) or fall below that. If you’re interested in learning more about this issue, consider checking out our pricing samples and rating guides webpages. Sample pricing details for guaranteed issue and simplified issue policies have also been given in the links here.

Further Discussion of pricing

At the top of this article we stated  that any body can be approved for affordable life insurance with lupus. Note, however, we mention "affordable" rather than "inexpensive" or  "low cost". The reason for the distinction is that all too often, life insurance with Lupus is not cheap life insurance.

In fact, because the coverage can be  expensive on a per benefit dollar basis, the benefit is often reduced to make the life insurance affordable.  While this is often not an ideal situation, the truth is we all have to live within our budgets, and sometimes the way to make life insurance with Lupus affordable is to  reduce either the term of coverage or the benefit amount. 

The basic mechanics of term life insurance are pretty straightforward. As long as the policy premium is paid by (or for) the insured, and the policy is in force, the beneficiary will receive the death benefit upon the insured's death. 

The trickiest part of term life insurance with a health condition like lupus is finding the best deal. This is because different carriers have differing appetites for certain kinds of risks. As

a result navigating this process is not as easy as using a quote tool and picking the lowest price. This is discussed in detail in the case study below.

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

Our website’s quote tool uses real data sourced from actual patients to provide you with the best possible quotes for your condition. However, it really all depends on the information entered by the user and its reliability. Many people input the wrong information and classify themselves under the wrong insurance category, thus resulting in a major divergence of rates when they actually go to the carrier for a quote.

You can complete and submit our customized quote form if you’d like us to reach out to you for more assistance. You can also simply select a range on our quote tool and receive a reasonable premium estimation for your case. 

Further Discussion of possible rate class

Term life insurance applications by patients with lupus are subject to a stringent evaluation. The results are very much dependent on what type of lupus you have. We’ll address both types of lupus to give you a better understanding of the situation here.

Life insurance applications are usually evaluated case-by-case, meaning there’s a chance of getting favorable insurance terms if you present your case right. For instance, 2 people suffering from the same condition of the same age and background could walk out of the office with vastly different insurance premium quotes simply because of differences in patient compliance reports and time elapsed since the diagnosis.

Although every case is unique, we’ve come up with 3 rough pricing scenarios and premium estimations based on our experience in the past.

Best Case Scenario – If your discoid lupus was detected early on, you have no SLE complications and have your symptoms under control, your case will attract a preferred insurance rating.

If your Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is under control and your organs have sustained no damage (especially your kidney and liver), rare cases may be able to qualify for standard insurance rating. They are likely to qualify for the premiums listed in Table 2/B.

Mid Case Scenario – In case you have a mild case of discoid lupus that was diagnosed less than three years ago and requires the usage of NSAID medication but have a history of good compliance, you’ll be able to qualify for mild substandard premium rates. This rate can be calculated by multiplying the standard insurance rate with 1.5 (Refer to Table 2/B).

But if your SLE was diagnosed not more than three years ago and requires you to take heavy dosage drugs, the rates you’ll qualify for can be estimated by referring to Table 4/D – Table 8/H.

For learning more about table ratings, click here.

Severe Case – In case your lupus condition had flared up recently causing severe anemia or organ inflammation, your term life insurance application might be denied.

Decline – Applicants with a severe condition will be outright rejected for traditional insurance coverage. In that case, you’ll have to purchase a policy with a smaller face value. Such policies are called simplified issue or guaranteed issue policies, which you can purchase by contacting us for the best rates.

What Are The Best Life Insurance Companies For Lupus Survivors? 

A little-known secret in the insurance industry is that different insurance carriers have different risk appetites. As a result, they have different underwriting standards and pricing policies for the same condition. Three well-known term insurance carriers for individuals with lupus happen to be Banner, AIG, and Prudential. 

But working with an experienced independent agent is more often than not, the only way to reap the benefits of such policies. You can go through the case study listed below for a better understanding of this topic. 

What Is The Application Process For Life Insurance Lupus?

There is an 8 step process insurance application process that all applicants must go through, regardless of their pre-existing ailments or health conditions. It includes selecting your insurance terms, submitting a paramedical exam, selecting your carrier, and signing your documents digitally or otherwise. You can click on the link mentioned above for a better understanding of this process. 

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

If you want to better your insurance rating and get access to affordable premiums, we recommend using the services of an agent who has better access to insurance companies, which have a greater risk appetite for people with your condition.

Confused? Check out the the case study section below to understand what advantages an independent agent can bring to the table.

Consider cutting back on your smoking and drinking habits and take your exercise and diet more seriously if you’d like to gain access to lower premiums.

An autoimmune health disease like lupus might botch your chances of obtaining affordable insurance premiums. You can counter this by documenting your compliance with your physician’s advice and medication usage. You can also submit a physician’s letter that acknowledges your compliance and gradual improvement.

By doing these things, you can improve your insurance rating and general state of health, vastly improving your life in the process.

Traditional Term Life Insurance With Lupus

Carriers will request a great deal of information from you before they review your life insurance application if you have lupus. The same procedure is done with other conditions as well, such as Atrial Fibrillation or high blood pressure. Lifestyle choices such as scuba diving and marijuana use also need to be disclosed to your insurance carrier.

This article seeks to provide you with detailed information about the list of questions that your insurance carrier will ask of you. By the end of this article, you’ll also know how you can obtain life insurance with lupus without your payments shooting through the roof.

While mild lupus applications often do receive a standard rating, many of them wind up with a substandard rating. However, it all ultimately comes down to how severe your condition is. Therefore, you must utilize the services of an agent who knows how to handle lupus cases if you want to get your application approved at favorable terms.

Obtaining term life insurance with lupus is just like life insurance with Sleep Apnea, AFib, a history of  heart attack, or other such major conditions.

Term life insurance policies are available for periods, starting from five years all the way to thirty (Policies with 20-year terms are the most commonly sold policies). Their minimum face values start at around $50,000. Policies may be terminated at the end or renewed again, but keep in mind that you’ll have to pay bigger premiums for the same policy.

Case Study: Pricing Life Insurance Rates With Lupus

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 Lupus or any other impairment.

Female Age: 29

$1000000 20 Year Term

Tobacco: No

Well controlled mild Discoid Lupus. Diagnosed Age 23

NSAID only No Other Health Concerns

This looks like a best case scenario that would be either Preferred, Standard Plus or Standard case.  Let's take a look at the rates.

  • Preferred
  • standard +
  • standard
lupus rates for life insurance

This table includes information regarding premiums sourced from different life insurance carriers at different ratings. When you look at the standard rates, Lincoln appears to be 35% costlier compared to Banner.

The story would end here if you were a healthy young individual. Simply purchase the cheapest option and you’re good to go.

But if you suffer from a major health condition, it gets more complicated here. We already know that different companies have different risk appetites for the same condition. As a result, what lands you a standard rating from one company could land you a severe substandard rate from another company.

In this case, while Prudential has the most expensive premiums in the standard rating table, it is also the most cost-effective one. Why? Because Prudential has a higher risk appetite for lupus patients as a result of which you would be given a standard rating whereas the others would downgrade your profile further. The difference between the two? A whopping 29% (AIG @ Table 4 and Prudential @ Standard).

That’s something you’d never know if you were trying to purchase life insurance on your own. The need for an experienced independent agent becomes apparent once you understand this study – you get to save precious money if you have an agent who knows which companies are best for your needs. 

Next Step

Thank you for choosing Bequest Mutual Life Insurance to research life insurance with Lupus. We are committed to a totally transparent process (we'll even share our computer screen with you if you'd like), and making the application process as painless as possible.

Should you have any question, please do not hesitate to give us a call or contact us via email.

Fast Facts About Lupus

Lupus is known as the "great Imitator" because it can be really hard to diagnose. Misdiagnoses are common as no single test can confirm the diagnosis.

The misdiagnosis problem is often compounded by false positives when testing for afflictions with similar symptoms.

The Lupus Foundation list the conditions diseases commonly confused with Lupus as:

The Lupus Foundation estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus. However, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus.

More than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually in the U.S.. It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus.

Lupus strikes mostly women age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too.

Women of color are two to three times more likely to develop lupus than Caucasians.

The word "Lupus" is Latin for "wolf" because the facial lesions were described by early researchers as looking like a wolf bite. Lupus has been on the mind of medical researchers since the early 1700's.

Some really famous people have suffered from Lupus. Among them are:

Singer Michael Jackson, Television personality Charles Kuralt., and Singer Lady Gaga

Keywords: Life insurance with Lupus, Lupus life insurance, lupus life insurance underwriting, lupus life insurance rates, Discoid lupus life insurance, life coverage for Lupus, affordable lupus coverage. lupus life insurance with no exam, no exam lupus coverage, SLE.

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