Having life insurance brings peace of mind of you and your family, which is something you cannot put a price tag on, but many people believe that getting life insurance with COPD is not going to happen because of their condition. This is completely false and many people are surprised to hear how affordable their insurance can be, even with COPD. While it may not be as easy for those without COPD, you can find affordable coverage that gives you and your family the peace of mind they deserve.
If you have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and need to get life insurance, this blog post will cover what your options are for getting approved and tips to staying away from being classified as high risk or uninsurable.. The key to getting approved is applying with the right life insurance company, as not all companies will approve you.
There are several reasons why you might have COPD – the most common being from smoking cigarettes, cigars, or a pipe. It’s also possible to get COPD from environmental reasons like air pollution, chemical fumes. You may even have COPD or emphysema as a result of a hereditary disease known as Alpha 1-Antitrypsin (A1AT). The good news is that no matter the cause of the COPD you do have options of getting approved for life insurance with COPD. I’ll also give some examples of pricing so that you have an idea of what you might be able to expect.
What exactly is COPD?
COPD is a disease in that long that creates problems breathing. The disease has two main components: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. These illnesses impact the two primary sections of the lung, the bronchial tubes and the alveoli. Chronic bronchitis inflames the lining of the bronchial tubes, also known as your airways. The swelling and irritation causes mucus to build up, which then makes it harder to breath. The emphysema makes it difficult for oxygen to get into the lungs and for carbon dioxide to get out of the lungs. Having COPD also put you at other health complications like cardiovascular complications, high blood pressure, and respiratory infections.
While there is no cure for COPD, there are several ways that you can treat COPD to help lower your risk of having other complications. A doctor could prescribe antibiotics to treat the respiratory infections that can cause even more damage to your lungs. You could also be prescribed a bronchodilator or steroids. Both of these techniques work to improve your ability to breathe. The bronchodilators relax the muscles near your airways that allows for more breathing room, while the steroids do the same thing, but are only given to those with worse COPD.
If you COPD is considered severe, you doctor may instruct you to have more advanced treatments like oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, or surgery. Oxygen therapy provides patients with external oxygen that is fed through tubes in the nose or using a mask. While surgery is reserved for the most severe cases of COPD, it can be beneficial for those who have not benefited from the other treatment options.
Aside from medications, you will also need to have annual vaccines for pneumonia and influenza that can worsen symptoms in COPD patients.
There are several reasons why you might have COPD – the most common being from smoking cigarettes, cigars, or a pipe. Tobacco usage accounts for around 80% of all COPD diagnoses. It’s also possible to get COPD from environmental reasons like air pollution, chemical fumes. You may even have COPD or emphysema as a result of a hereditary disease known as Alpha 1-Antitrypsin (A1AT). The good news is that no matter the cause of the COPD you do have options of getting approved for life insurance with COPD. I’ll also give some examples of pricing so that you have an idea of what you might be able to expect – however for a customized quote click here to contact us.
Life Insurance with Mild, Moderate, or Severe COPD
The first step in determining if you can get approved for a term life insurance policy with COPD is to identify the severity of your COPD. One Pulmonary functions test that is helpful is FEV1%. If you know your FEV1% (Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 Second) it makes it easier to determine if your COPD is mild, moderate or severe. Average FEV1% in healthy people are anywhere between 80-120%. Call your primary physician to schedule an appointment to measure your FEV1%.
If your FEV1 is between 60-80%, then your COPD would be classified as mild. If we apply with the right life insurance company, we can help you get a table 2 rating for mild COPD. I’ll give some examples of pricing further down in this blog post.
With an FEV1 of 50-59%, COPD would be considered moderate and with the right life insurance company, we can help you get a table 4 rating for life insurance with moderate COPD.
If your FEV1 is 40-49%, then you can expect a higher table rating around table 6-8 as this would be considered severe COPD.
If your percentage of FEV1 is lower than 40%, your options will most likely be a graded death benefits policy, which typically have 2-3 years that you have to outlive before the full death benefit is in effect. Contact Us to get more information.
If you don’t know your FEV1%, then you might want to check with your doctor. We will also want to know the following:
- Smoking History and Current Tobacco Use
- Height/Weight and any Recent Weight Loss
- Severity of Symptoms
- Speed of Disease Progression
- Any other Health Conditions – such as Coronary Artery Disease?
- Past Hospitalization?
- Level of Activity
Life Insurance and COPD: Your Options
Even with COPD, you’ll still have plenty of life insurance policy options to choose from. You will be able to choose from guaranteed issue life insurance, graded death benefits life insurance, or a traditional term life insurance policy. Each type of policy has its own set of advantages and disadvantages based on your circumstances.
Traditional term life insurance will typically offer the lowest monthly premiums, but being diagnosed with COPD can cause those rates to go through the roof depending on the severity of the condition. Graded death benefit insurance policies offer excellent coverage at affordable rates, but the life insurance policy does not take effect until two to three years after purchasing the policy. Meaning if you were to die within the first couple of years, the insurance company would not pay the face value of the policy. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies are exactly what they sound like. These policies will give you cover with no medical exam or health questions asks. These policies are excellent options for anyone is poor health that would be turned down for life insurance otherwise, but the policies have higher monthly premiums.
Examples of Life Insurance Rates for COPD
In this example I’ll use a 50-year-old male applying for $250,000 of 20 Year Term Life Insurance. I’ll quote pricing for Mild, Moderate, and Severe COPD:
$250,000 20 year term for a 50-year-old with Mild COPD – $104.99 Monthly
$250,000 20 year term for a 50-year-old with Moderate COPD – $138.06 Monthly
$250,000 20 year term for a 50-year-old with Severe COPD – $171.14 Monthly
If you would like to speak with us to help you get life insurance with COPD, fill out our contact us form here.
If you have COPD, you can still get an adequate and affordable life insurance policy. The financial security of a life insurance policy is something that no family should have to go without. Do not wait any longer to provide that security to your and your family.