How To Get Life Insurance With Crohn’s Disease

Written by Jeff Root

Crohn’s disease impacts one out of every 300 people across the US. In total, over 1 million people in the United States have Crohn’s disease.

If you are one of those 1 million you can get life insurance coverage but there are a few things you will need to know about the policies afforded to you.

What Is Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that can negatively impact your digestive tract. The symptoms can manifest themselves inside of the body or outside of the body.

Not only will people suffer from things like weight loss and abdominal pain but they could suffer from arthritis or skin rashes, even inflammation around the eyes. In the worst of cases, obstructions can increase the risk of certain cancers. The exact cause is not very well understood.

Some people think it is caused by immune system factors like environmental influences or bacterial influences. The disease manifests as a chronic inflammatory disorder where your own immune system will attack the gastrointestinal tract.

More often than not medical practitioners relate the disease to genetics and some have shown there is a link between tobacco use and Crohn’s disease.

How Insurance Companies Assess People with Crohn’s Disease

As is the case with many health conditions, life insurance companies will view the risk you post based on the severity of your condition. In general, inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease can result in death.

As such it reduces your life expectancy and if this happens, the life insurance company needs to mitigate their financial loss. The more severe your case of the disease is, the more you are going to be charged for your premiums.

The reason for this is simple math. Life insurance companies want you to pay premiums long enough to offset most if not all of your coverage by the time you pass away. Obviously, you hope to outlive term policies and insurance companies hope you will too.

They profit from all of the premiums you have paid and they use these profits to pay out death benefits for those people who passed away before they have accumulated enough premiums to cover. In order to reduce the chance of this, they have to charge people who might not live as long as a higher premium so that they can get more money from them in a shorter amount of time.

If you have only had one episode of the disease and you don’t have to take any medical treatment you might get standard or even preferred ratings for your policy. By comparison, if you have a severe case with multiple episodes you might need very specific underwriting that could get very expensive.

The 3 Types of Crohn’s Disease:

The amount of money you are charged is going to be based upon the age you were diagnosed, how much time has elapsed since you were diagnosed, your location for each episode of inflammation, the frequency therein, as well as the duration and severity. They will also take into consideration your response to treatment.

Single Episode

There are many companies out there which will provide you with standard rates if you have a single episode or single hospitalization. They will also categorize you under the standard rate if it has been over 3 years and you have had no additional treatment.

If it has been one to three years since your single episode you will probably fall under standard table two assuming you have had no additional treatment for your symptoms. If it has been 6 to 12 months since your single episode you might fall under standard table two or table four.

The rating that you get for your premiums is going to be based upon your table rating and the severity of your health. After you talk to a doctor and the life insurance company reviews your application they will assign you a health class. If you fall below standard underwriting you will be assigned a table reading.

Most insurance companies will assign a 25% charge on top of the standard rate for every table. So, if a company charges a standard premium of $100 per month you would pay the following:

  • Table A or 1: 25% table rating, $125 per month.
  • Table B or 2: 50% table rating, $150 per month.
  • Table D or 4: 100% table rating, $200 per month.
  • Table H or 8: 200% table rating, $300 per month.

Mild to Moderate

If you have mild abdominal pain and you have had no surgeries you might fall under the mild or moderate category.

Generally speaking, if you have had no health issues aside from this and you were diagnosed before the age of 45 you would fall under the table four or table 8 range.

If you are diagnosed after the age of 45 you will fall under the standard table two or standard table four.

Severe

If you have been hospitalized, you have had surgeries, and you regularly use steroids the best case scenario for you is Table 6 through 8.

If you have evidence of more severe secondary problems like dysplasia on your biopsies you will probably be declined for traditional coverage and have to go with something like guaranteed coverage which is more limited but, as the name suggests, is guaranteed.

The companies discussed in this article offer guaranteed coverage as well as flexible underwriting for term policies for all of these severities.

Life Insurance Underwriting with Crohn’s Disease

When insurance companies talk to you they are going to try and collect as much information from you as possible so that they can provide you with an accurate quote.

They will probably ask you the following:

  • What is the date of your diagnosis?
  • What is the date of your most recent episode?
  • How many episodes Have you had in total?
  • How many episodes Have you had in the past 6 months and in the past 5 years?
  • What is the longest duration of your episodes?
  • Do you have any other conditions with which you have been diagnosed?
  • What medications are you taking?
  • Have you been hospitalized for your Crohn’s disease?
  • Has surgery ever been recommended for you?
  • Has surgery ever been completed?
  • Have you ever been disabled because of your Crohn’s disease or are you currently disabled?
  • Do you have any other medical conditions?

Life Insurance Rates for People with Crohn’s Disease

Below is an example of what factors influence the rates you are offered:

Time Since Last Symptom / Surgery Likely Outcome of Application On A Medication Best Rate Class Available
Less than 1 year Decline N/A N/A
2 – 5 years Approval N/A Sub-Standard Rates
More than 5 years Approval Yes Standard
More than 5 years Approval No Standard-Preferred Best
More than 10 years Approval No Preferred Best

A 53-year-old male non-smoker wants to get a term life insurance policy of $750,000. He has Crohn’s disease. His last flare-up was over 2 years ago. Even though agents promised that he would get a standard health class, so far his applications of coming back with a table 2 rating.

He has a favorable family history, controlled high blood pressure, good cholesterol levels, and would otherwise fall under a preferred category were it not for the Crohn’s disease. As a result, some companies especially those listed in this article would secure him a standard rating.

A 68-year-old female who is a non-smoker wants $250,000 a permanent life insurance coverage. She not only has Crohn’s disease but she has diabetes. Or diabetes is well-controlled. She was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and she has only had three episodes over the last 10 years, none of which took place in the last 3 years. She did take supplements to control the Crohn’s disease but no steroids. She can receive a standard rating without the table rating.

As mentioned, if you are over the age of 50 and you do not qualify for any other options because of the severity of your condition or you simply do not want to disclose any medical information you can choose the no medical exam life insurance coverage which is sometimes called guaranteed whole life insurance, Guaranteed Life Insurance, burial insurance, or final expense Insurance.

These are really only meant to cover the cost of your final expenses and typically they max out at $25,000 or $50,000 in coverage. However, they do not ask about your medical history nor will you have to undergo a medical exam so this is going to be much more favorable for anyone who has severe Crohn’s disease.

Crohn’s Life Expectancy

Research indicates that having the disease itself will not shorten your lifespan. However, it can lead to secondary complications and these complications can lead to terminal illnesses if you are not careful and manage the disease.

Health insurance that covers Crohn’s disease

You can qualify for health insurance with Crohn’s disease. The evaluation process for your risk and your premiums are going to be very similar to what you deal with for life insurance.

Again, it is in your best interest to work with a professional who can help you determine what policies are better suited for your situation based on the severity of your disease.

Crohn’s disease and long-term care insurance

You can get long-term care insurance for a higher fee, with Crohn’s disease, but again this is going to be based upon your case. You will benefit the most from working with a specialist to evaluate your case.

Best Life Insurance Companies for Crohn’s Disease 

When you set out to choose your company, find one that works hard to find you a favorable price. Do not settle for something like guaranteed life insurance just because it is easier.

If you work with a third party agent, they can help you secure quotes that are favorable, perhaps even standard without any costly table ratings. Compare many companies before you decide because some have stricter risk requirements than others.

Here are our top picks for best life insurance companies for people with Crohn’s Disease:

Company Policies Offered A.M.Best Customer Reviews
Banner Life
  • Term Life Insurance
  • Universal Life Insurance
A+ 4.5 / 5
Prudential
  • Term Life Insurance
  • Whole Life Insurance
  • Universal Life Insurance
  • Indexed Universal Life Insurance
  • Variable Universal Life Insurance
  • Survivorship Variable Universal Life Insurance
A+ 4.3 / 5
AIG
  • Term Life Insurance
  • Whole Life Insurance
  • Universal Life Insurance
A+ 4.2 / 5

Finding the Best Life Insurance

Living with Crohn’s Disease is tough, there is no reason that finding life insurance should be too.

While the companies we have listed above are regularly amongst the best life insurance companies for people with Crohn’s, this may not always be the case for everyone, as each case is different.

The best way to find affordable life insurance with Crohn’s is to speak with an expert who can help you understand all of your life insurance options. Our independent life insurance agents represent dozens of the best life insurance companies on the market and are able to help you find the best policy for you and your family.

Give us a call today to speak with an expert about your life insurance options with Crohn’s, or get started using our life insurance quote tool for quick and easy life insurance rates.

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