How do I find affordable life insurance with glomerulonephritis?
Securing affordable life insurance with glomerulonephritis(GN) can seem challenging. But, it is important to understand that all life insurance companies underwrite health and lifestyle differently. The exact diagnosis of the type of kidney disease is very important.
The secret is knowing which life insurance companies will look most favorably on individuals with a history of glomerulonephritis.
In fact, with over 1,000 life insurance companies offering policies in the United States, how do you find the right company?
Fortunately, you have landed on the right page. We are experts in the special risk life insurance marketplace. Thru years of experience in dealing with all types of pre-exisitng medical conditions, we have uncovered the top companies.
This blog will attempt to walk you thru the steps on how to find the most affordable life insurance policy for someone with a history of glomerulonephritis.
What is Glomerulonephritis and how do insurance companies view it?
Glomerulonephritis is an inflammatory disease of the glomeruli (filtering unit) of the kidney. It is characterized by pathologic changes in the glomeruli and smaller blood vessels of the kidney.
Glomerular damage causes leaking of protein, blood, and white cells into the urine. Causes of glomerulonephritis include diabetes, cancer, drugs, infections, hypertension, or abnormal antibody response.
Glomerulonephritis is divided into 5 major syndromes:
- Acute glomerulonephritis- has an acute onset and early resolution. An example could be post strep GN. Most people recover completely.
- Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis- has an acute onset and rapid progression. Examples can include lupus Goodpasture’s disease. Prognosis is poor.
- Nephrotic Syndrome- is GN with heavy proteinuria defined as over 3.5 grams of protein a day. Examples include membranous GN and minimal change disease. Of this group, minimal change disease has a better prognosis.
- Primary hematuria/Protein syndrome- is persistent, asymptomatic minimal hematuria (red blood cells in urine) and proteinuria (protein in the urine).
- Chronic glomerulonephritis- is slowly progressive GN due to any cause of GN such as membranoproliferative GN. Chronic GN can lead to chronic renal failure.
Now, let’s take a look at how an insurance company that specializes in GN would actually rate a couple of the more common areas of GN.
Acute glomerulonephritis absent any other significant disease can often times be pretty easy to determine the risk class. Typically, a recent (within a year) single attack with full recovery will have an extra premium rating added for the first two years of the policy.
A single attack with full recovery within 2 years will have an extra rating for the first year of the policy. If the single attack has been longer than 3 years then typically no rating will occur.
If a single attack with full recovery occurred after 3 years, but their is persistent hematuria then an additional rating of 50% is usually warranted.
Minimal Change Disease– Full recovery and confirmed by biopsy will typically warrant the following ratings:
- 1st year- possible extra rating of 100%
- 2nd year- possible extra rating of 75%
- 3rd year- possible extra rating of 50%
- thereafter- possible no rating
Now, what do all these ratings actually mean in real dollar numbers?
Let’s look at an example:
Tom is a 50 year old male who had a single attack of GN 4 years ago. His red blood count (hematuria) typically runs above 30. Tom has no other significant medical history. As an example, an insurance company such as Prudential may offer Tom their class B rating or 50% above the standard rate class for someone Tom’s age. Tom’s rate for a $250,000 30 year guaranteed level term policy at a class B rating is $1500 annually.
Now, the standard annual rate at Tom’s age 50 for the same $250,000 30 year level term policy would be $1,000 annually. So, in essence the life insurance company is charging Tom 50% (table B) higher than the standard rate. The additional premium surcharge is covering the additional mortality risk for the GN.
Now, it is important to remember that these are just fictional premium numbers to give you an idea how companies evaluate risk. The actual rates for Tom could be higher or lower depending on the actual medical findings.
But, again it is important to remember that all life insurance companies view medical history differently. What one company may see as a Table B (50%) rate-up, another company may view as standard or even better.
Acute Glomerulonephritis and Minimal Change Disease are just to of the diagnosis of GN. Underwriters will need plenty of medical history including biopsy diagnosis, current urinalysis, kidney function tests and blood pressure results to really zero in on what a final offer may be.
Questions to help determine tentative rates
As mentioned earlier, one of the key tips to finding the best rates on life insurance with glomerulonephritis is to work with a life insurance agent who specializes in this niche area of underwriting.
Using a captive agent would be a waste of time. Captive agents only have access to one carrier. You will want your agent to shop the companies and have them compete for your business.
As a special risk agent we typically do something called a “trial application”. A trial application is basically a way of having multiple insurance companies bid for your coverage without having to formally submit an application.
This trial application process allows your agent to get answers to medical questions regarding your history. It also can allow them to order your Dr’s records for review.
This process also keeps your name out of the medical information bureau. The medical information bureau (MIB) is a gathering place of sorts where insurance companies report submission and results of formal applications. It is best to keep your name out of the MIB until you are ready to actually apply for life insurance coverage.
Here are some of the questions to help your agent get started:
- What is the type of Glomerulonephritis?
- What was the date of diagnosis?
- Was a kidney biopsy done?
- Are you taking any medications?
- What are the most recent readings for: Blood Pressure, Creatinine, Urinalysis, BUN (blood urea nitrogen)
- Have you used tobacco in last 5 years?
- Do you have any other major health problems? I.E. Diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.
In addition to the above questions, it is also important to know the amount of protection needed and what type of coverage desired? (Term or Whole Life)
If you have a need for life insurance and have a history of glomerulonephritis, please contact us for a free consultation. You can reach us at 1-888-393-9003 or firstname.lastname@example.org