Having sleep apnea is already an additional challenge to deal with, the last thing you want to do is worry about getting life insurance coverage. It used to be very hard to get life insurance with sleep apnea in the past. Carriers would give you much higher monthly payments or sometimes even decline an applicant all together. Fortunately due to more data showing how sleep apnea can be managed with medical treatment, companies started offering much better rates in recent years. It is not uncommon to get a preferred rates if your sleep apnea is well managed. This is a rate class that only the very healthy would qualify for but now you can get it too.
The 3 Different Types of Sleep Apnea
Obstructive – most common type usually caused due to physical impairments such as an interference within the air passage like abnormal tongue size or tonsils. It occurs when your throat muscles alternatively relax and block your airway during sleep.
Central Sleep Apnea – unlike obstructive type this type of sleep apnea is caused because your brain is not sending proper message to the muscles that regulate your breathing.
Complex Sleep Apnea – Is when you have both types of sleep apnea simultaneously.
Whichever sleep apnea type you have there are some common things that will be considered for approving an applicant.
What Life Insurance Companies Look For
Like any other medical condition life insurance companies always want to see “control”. The key to getting life insurance with sleep apnea is to show you have it under control and here are some things the carriers will look at to see if that is the case:
- Type and severity of sleep apnea
- Sleep study completion
- Continuous use of the Cpap machine and or medications.
- Supporting treatment such as losing weight or special dieting.
- Ongoing doctor visits for apnea management to see if treatment has helped or worsened the disease.
- Other medical conditions
- Use of tobacco or alcohol products
Once the life insurance company consider all these factors they will assign a rate class to you. Here is a small description of what the rate classes mean:
Preferred Plus/Preferred – usually a rate class given to individuals who are very healthy with no medical conditions, no family history of serious illnesses and ideal built. This is where you get the absolute best monthly premium possible.
Standard Plus/Standard – this is a rate class assigned to someone who might have family history, existing medical conditions or doesn’t qualify based on built for the preferred class. Majority of people get this rate class, its rates are not as inexpensive as preferred rates but still very reasonable.
Substandard – this particular rating has many levels known as tables and it goes from table 2 to table 10. People who get a substandard rate are usually considered higher risk by the company’s underwriters. Anyone with this rate class will typically pay a lot more for life insurance. The higher the table number the higher the payments. But of course it is still better to have coverage especially if you are in a higher risk of mortality.
Now that you have a better idea of the types of sleep apnea, what carriers look for to make decisions and the rate classes they assign, lets check out what are some possible outcomes.
Outcomes Based on Your Sleep Apnea
A lot of the carriers decision really fall onto the severity of the sleep apnea ranging from mild, moderate, and severe in addition to the treatment consistency. So once the carrier takes everything into consideration here is what you can expect financially.
Mild Sleep Apnea – If your condition is not complicated and is easily managed without getting multiple prescriptions and cpap machine then preferred rates which are for the healthy can be yours.
Moderate Sleep Apnea – Assuming you are controlling it with treatment like CPAP or medication you can also qualify for preferred rates. Of course if you don’t show consistency in treatment you will most likely qualify for standard to substandard rate classes.
Severe Sleep Apnea – FIrst off if you are not treating your severe sleep apnea it is not possible to get coverage and you will have to resort to getting a graded death benefit policy unless you wait till you get your ducks in order. However let’s say like most folks with sleep apnea you are getting it treated accordingly. You can get approved at a standard rate or substandard if there are any other risk factors such as your built, smoking status or additional conditions.
What it really comes down to
It’s all about your treatment and control of you apnea. As important as the first is knowing which companies are the ones most likely to approve at best rates someone with sleep apnea. Majority of cases that get declined for life insurance are usually due to non compliant follow up and treatment.
Life Insurance Application Tips with Sleep Apnea
There are a couple things you should do when applying for life insurance with sleep apnea.
- Work with a high risk broker who will recommend the companies that offer best rates with sleep apnea.
- Attach a cover letter explaining your additional treatment, why you need the coverage and to demonstrate a healthy
- Listen to your doctor’s recommendations.
- Make sure you have a sleep study complete.
On a final note you should not have any difficulties applying for life insurance with sleep apnea. Feel free to call us so we can shop together and make sure you don’t apply with a wrong company and avoid paying more than you have to. We know all the right carriers to apply with and go the extra mile to make sure you get approved. Call us at 888.492.1967.