According to the National Kidney Foundation, 10% of the population worldwide is affected by chronic kidney disease. So if you have ever received kidney dialysis, you are not alone. In fact, 2 million people worldwide get dialysis treatment due to kidney failure.
With this or any other medical condition, you must plan for the financial future of your loved ones. This includes obtaining the best burial insurance to cover your funeral costs.
Can You Get Burial Insurance For Dialysis Patients?
People can get burial life insurance while on dialysis. The most important item that will determine eligibility is when your last treatment was. If treatment is ongoing, your options will be limited, and there will be a waiting period before full coverage is available. Immediate coverage is not possible for seniors currently on dialysis.
Burial Insurance Basics
Several things make burial insurance a great option for seniors on dialysis. This coverage was created to provide an affordable way to prepare for burial and cremation costs with a small monthly payment. These plans are commonly known as funeral insurance and final expense insurance coverage.
Whole Life Insurance Benefits
A burial policy is a type of whole life insurance that never expires. To be considered a whole life policy, each plan includes the following features.
Coverage Lock: Along with the policy never expiring, the death benefit amount will never fluctuate. The amount of coverage you take out will remain the same for your entire life.
Price Lock: The monthly premium cost will never increase. This is very important for budgeting your expenses, especially on a fixed income.
Builds Cash Value: This is a living benefit that comes with every whole life insurance policy. With each premium paid, a small portion will be allocated to the cash value account. Over time this amount increases and allows you to borrow from it if you wish.
Final Expense Policy Features
Several reasons make burial insurance worth it for seniors. Three of the main benefits are detailed below.
Affordable: These policies come in death benefit amounts from $2,000 to $40,000, while traditional whole life starts at $50,000 and extends into the millions. The more coverage you have, the higher the premium cost will be.
No Medical Exam: Funeral insurance goes through a simplified issue underwriting process, meaning that you will never be asked to get a medical exam. An application can be completed completely over the phone by answering a few simple yes/no health questions.
No Denial: There are multiple plan options within final expense insurance coverage. Current kidney dialysis patients will not qualify for the top-tier plans. However, there are plan options available for seniors with nearly every pre-existing health condition, including dialysis.
Underwriting Guidelines For Funeral Insurance On Dialysis
While kidney dialysis is often not a temporary treatment, it can be. For this reason, some insurance companies grant a bit of leniency when it comes to qualifying for coverage after receiving this treatment.
All applications for burial coverage will ask about dialysis except for guaranteed acceptance policies.
2 Ways Life Insurance Companies Ask About Dialysis Treatment
Every final expense insurance application will ask about kidney dialysis in one of the following two ways.
“Have you ever received or been advised to receive dialysis?”
Whether it was temporary or permanent treatment, you will have to answer “yes” if you have ever received or been advised to receive dialysis treatment.
“Have you received or been advised to receive dialysis within the last 24 months?”
In this question, the timeline may be different from company to company. Most applications ask about treatment within the last 12 months or 24 months. If you can answer “no” to this timeline question, you will be treated as though you have never received kidney dialysis treatment.
Reacting to Your Application Answers
After answering these questions, the insurance companies will move forward in one of two directions.
Acceptance: If a company accepts dialysis patients, they will place you into a restricted policy with higher prices and a waiting period. These policies are known as Graded or Modified.
Denial: Most life insurance companies will decline policy coverage for people who answer “yes” to the dialysis questions, regardless of how they ask.
There are very few companies that will accept you if you are currently receiving treatment or if you have within the last 12 months. Unfortunately, obtaining coverage with no waiting period is not possible for seniors on dialysis. There are, however, very affordable options available with a waiting period through guaranteed issue plans.
There are four plan tiers within final expense insurance coverage.
Level: This is the only plan type that has immediate coverage. People who are currently receiving dialysis are unable to qualify for any level plan. You are eligible for this plan if it has been over 12 months since your last dialysis treatment.
Graded and Modified: Both of these policies have a minimum 2-year waiting period. However, you still have to qualify for coverage medically. Dialysis patients will be able to qualify for graded or modified final expense plans from very few companies. These policies can sometimes cost more per month than a highly competitive guaranteed acceptance life insurance plan.
Guaranteed Issue: If you are currently on kidney dialysis, this is your best plan option. However, not all guaranteed acceptance life insurance is created equal. Several carriers, such as American International Group (AIG), beat the pricing of graded and modified plans with the same waiting period payout structure. No health questions are asked when applying for a guaranteed acceptance plan.
How To Find The Best Final Expense Insurance For Dialysis Patients
Each company sets its own criteria for acceptance. Some insurance companies are very strict and will only accept people who are in great health. Other carriers are more lenient when it comes to providing immediate coverage.
The best options for those receiving dialysis will differ from those with another medical concern. Recommended life insurance for CKD patients is different depending on the treatment you are receiving.
Since kidney disease is almost always a precursor to dialysis treatment, this also needs to be considered. The reason for receiving kidney dialysis is just as important as the diagnosis itself. For example, if diabetes plays into why you are getting dialysis treatment, this could also affect acceptance. Life insurance companies will ask about the following kidney problems.
- Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
- Chronic Kidney Failure
- Renal Failure
- Renal Disease
3 Things to Seek in a Burial Policy
Given all of the varying application questions, there are really just three things that you’ll want to look for before applying for a burial policy.
Low-Cost: Get a plan that you can afford well into the future. To get the best price available, you may have to shop around or work with an agent who can do this for you.
Financial Rating: By working with a funeral insurance company with a strong financial rating, you will know that it will be able to pay your claim when due. Work with a provider that has a B+ rating or better from AM Best.
Begining of Coverage: While seniors on kidney dialysis will have a waiting period imposed, make sure that it is no longer than two years. Some carriers will have 3-year waiting periods, but you do not have to wait this long. There are plenty of guaranteed issue life insurance plans with competitive prices and only a 2-year waiting period.
It can be overwhelming and difficult to find the best provider, especially if you have a health history that could throw up a red flag. It is best to put your trust in an agent who specializes in this coverage niche for these reasons.
How to Find an Agency
There are two types of agencies that you can purchase a burial policy through, captive and independent.
Captive Agencies: This type of agency can sell products from one company only. Captive agencies have fewer burial plan options for seniors with kidney problems. This can result in a denial of coverage or not getting the best policy available.
Independent Agencies: These represent products from multiple companies. By having a larger and more specialized portfolio, agents working for an independent agency can compare many companies’ pricing and qualification standards rather than just the one.
How Willamette Life Can Help
Willamette Life is an independent agency that specializes solely in burial insurance. Our agents can know exactly which carrier is best for your specific situation by focusing exclusively on this niche.
We are here to help our clients protect their families from inevitable final expenses.
Common Questions About Burial Insurance For Dialysis Patients
Can Someone on Dialysis Get Life Insurance?
Someone currently on dialysis will be able to obtain a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy. If it has been over 12 months since your last treatment, you may qualify for a policy with immediate coverage from select insurance providers.
Can Someone with ESRD Get Life Insurance?
Someone with end-stage renal disease can get life insurance. All funeral insurance applications will ask about renal disease or kidney failure. These questions will place you into a plan with some restrictions. Oftentimes you will have to pay more and have a waiting period before full coverage begins.
Can I Get Life Insurance While on Dialysis?
Current dialysis patients are only eligible for a guaranteed life insurance plan. This will have a minimum 2-year waiting period before the full death benefit will be paid upon the insured’s passing. Guaranteed plans from highly rated companies are very competitive in price and features.
Final Thoughts On Life Insurance With Dialysis
a. Getting senior life insurance with kidney dialysis is possible. Although if you are currently undergoing treatment, a guaranteed issue life policy will be your best option.
b. The timeline of treatment is going to play a big role in acceptance. If you have not received dialysis treatment in the last 12 months, you will have increased policy options and immediate coverage available.
c. It is important that you work with an independent agency specializing in final expense insurance because they will best be able to recommend the premier options.
Willamette Life can help you find the best plan that fits your unique needs and budget.
Give us a call at 844-576-0019
Stacie manages the content for Willamette Life by keeping it up to date and accurate. By taking the questions frequently asked by clients she has been able to assist in developing a series of blogs that will hopefully be able to help more people than just those we are able to speak with.
We would be happy to answer your specific questions if there is anything we haven’t covered yet.