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Life Insurance with Polycythemia

If you suffer from Polycythemia and need to get a life insurance policy, this article will cover your what your options are. The disease causes an increase in the proportion of blood volume due to an increase in red blood cells, or by a decrease in the volume of plasma.

It’s possible to have Polycythemia vera – a rare disease, also known as Primary Polycythemia. Red blood cells increase slowly over a period of time and you may never feel any symptoms or know you have it. Usually this is discovered in a blood test.

Common treatments that can stabilize the condition are simply having blood taken out – called a phlebotomy – to reduce your overall blood count, medication, or even taking low dosage of aspirin.

Options for Life Insurance

If your condition is well controlled with one of the treatment options mentioned above then you should be able to get approved for coverage for a regular term life policy. In this case you will likely end up paying a higher rate because of the condition, but your policy will be the same policy anyone else would get.

How is your rate determined? If the condition is well controlled you will likely get what is called a ‘substandard table rating’. What does this mean? It means that you won’t get Preferred or Standard rates, but rather you will pay a higher rate called a table rating. Table ratings are ratings between 1-8 (also called A-H) that are reserved for higher risk life insurance cases. The higher the number, or letter, the higher the price for a policy. With a stable, well controlled Polycythmia, you can expect a table 2-6 rating depending on your medical history as well as other health factors. Let’s take an example of a 45 year old male applying for $250,000 20 year term life insurance at a Table 4 rating. This will give you an idea of pricing. In this case the rate would be $93 per month – still an affordable option.

Alternative Life Insurance Options

What is the Polycythmia is not well controlled? In these cases you may not be able to get approved for a regular life insurance policy. However you can still get coverage. A graded benefit policy will be the way to go in this case. With a graded death benefit life insurance policy, there is an initial period of 2 or 3 years before the death benefit is in full effect. Graded benefit policies are more expensive than a regular policy and should only be considered as an option if you can’t get approved for a regular life insurance policy.

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Liran Hirschkorn

Liran Hirschkorn is the founder of His mission is to help individuals across the country in finding the best rates on life insurance as well as helping individuals with high risk life insurance.

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