When you receive the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD), many things go through your mind. One of the first things is likely not burial insurance acceptance, as this thought probably comes a bit later on.
With major advancements in healthcare, CKD patients can live a long life despite their condition. This is great news for seniors with kidney disease.
Can I Get Burial Insurance With Kidney Disease?
People who have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease are eligible for burial insurance coverage. Some companies offer immediate coverage, but most will enforce a waiting period before full protection is available. Acceptance will also depend on the treatment and type of kidney disease.
Burial coverage fits into the category of whole life insurance. It is commonly known as funeral insurance or final expense insurance. Burial policies were designed for seniors to provide an easy and affordable way to plan for funeral expenses without leaving this financial burden on their families. The beneficiary can use the death benefit to cover anything from cremation to a final utility bill.
Reasons Burial Insurance is the Right Choice for Patients of Kidney Disease
Burial insurance might be a good idea if you:
- are unable to qualify for a policy that requires a medical exam
- do not want to get a medical exam
- want a permanent policy
- want a policy to cover funeral expenses
- have no money set aside for your final expenses
- want your monthly insurance premiums to be locked in for life
- want your coverage amount to remain the same
Whole Life Insurance Basics
Every whole life insurance policy comes with the following permanent benefits.
Coverage Amount is Locked In: The death benefit amount initially taken out will never fluctuate. While you can always take out additional coverage, the initial amount will never decrease.
Protection Never Expires: Final expense insurance coverage does not terminate and will protect the policyholder throughout their life. You will never have to worry about outliving this policy.
Premium Price Never Changes: While other insurance policies increase in price the older you get, funeral insurance never will. The amount you pay for your first premium will carry through to your last, which is great for monthly budgeting.
Cash Value that Builds: With each payment made, the cash value increases. Over time, this living benefit accumulates in value and provides the opportunity for the policyholder to borrow from it.
Final Expense Coverage Features
Three main features make this insurance coverage great for seniors with kidney problems.
Low-Cost Premiums: These policies are much more affordable than traditional whole life insurance because of the smaller coverage amount options. A final expense policy offers coverage from $2,000 – $40,000, depending on the carrier. A traditional policy begins at around $50,000 and extends into the millions.
No Medical Exam: These plans are known as simplified issue whole life insurance. This means that the application and underwriting process is simplified and can be completed entirely over the phone. Since the process is easier and requires less information, there is no medical exam that the applicant will ever be asked to get.
No Denial: There are a few types of plans within funeral insurance. Qualifying for each depends on the health of the applicant and what the company’s acceptance standards are. One of the plan types offers guaranteed acceptance with no health questions asked. Many seniors can qualify for other plans, but the guaranteed option allows everyone to receive coverage if they want.
Underwriting: Is Kidney Disease A Pre-Existing Condition?
Chronic kidney disease is a pre-existing condition that every final expense policy application will ask about. However, seniors with kidney disease will still be able to get coverage with pre-existing conditions. The most important thing is to apply for coverage with the right life insurance company.
Why Does Chronic Kidney Disease Affect Burial Insurance?
The overall health of the senior matters when applying for burial insurance coverage. Typically the insurance companies do not ask about all of the common causes of chronic kidney disease. However, if you have additional health concerns, those diagnoses could affect coverage eligibility.
Health Concerns the Application Will Not Ask:
- High blood pressure
- Blood sugar levels
- Family history or decent
Health Questions the Application Might Ask:
- Height & weight
- Heart disease
- Diabetic complications (nephropathy)
- Kidney failure
- End-stage renal disease
- CKD treatment
How Does My Treatment Affect Insurance Eligibility?
The timeline of your treatment could affect coverage acceptance. Some insurance companies will ask when your treatment was, while others will ask if you have ever received a chronic kidney disease diagnosis.
The application will call CKD one of the following, but all companies will ask about this diagnosis.
- Chronic kidney disease
- Kidney damage
- Kidney condition
- Kidney disorder
- Renal disease
The companies that are more lenient with kidney disorders are likely to ask about a shorter timeline. The less kidney-disease-friendly carriers will ask about the diagnosis or treatment in the last 4 years.
If you have been a kidney dialysis patient within the last 12 months, you will only be eligible for a guaranteed issue life insurance plan. If it has been over 12 months and you meet the other qualifying guidelines, immediate coverage is possible.
Finding life insurance for kidney failure or end-stage renal disease is going to be much more difficult. These advanced kidney problems will be best suited by getting a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.
Funeral insurance companies will check your prescription history and medical history (MIB) to confirm your answers to the application’s health questions. If you have recently filled a prescription, the life insurance company will assume that you have the health condition that the specific medication is known to treat.
How Do Insurance Companies React to Kidney Disease?
All final expense life insurance companies will ask about chronic kidney disease on their application. This means that they will place you into different plans based on your CKD. Treatment and the cause of your kidney disease also play a role.
Seniors will be able to get immediate final expense insurance with kidney disease from a select few carriers. Most insurance providers will enforce a 2-year waiting period before the individual is fully covered.
Finding The Best Funeral Insurance With Kidney Disease
Since each funeral insurance company has its own qualifying standards, it is important to know the main things to look for. The cost, coverage, and company play a vital role in finding the most personalized funeral insurance for kidney disease patients.
Low-Cost Premiums: Getting a policy with affordable premiums is essential. The premiums are locked in for life, but your income may fluctuate over the years. Make sure your final expense insurance is affordable well into the future.
Start Date of Coverage: Your goal should always be to obtain immediate coverage. Working with an experienced professional raises your odds of finding full coverage on day one.
Company Financials: An insurance carrier with a strong financial rating will help ensure that they will be in business and honor their commitments for many years to come. The financial ratings are completed by third-party companies and can be found by doing a quick internet search.
There are 4 tiers of final expense coverage plans available to seniors. Eligibility for each type of policy will depend on the carrier’s underwriting standards related to the applicant’s health.
Level: This top-tier plan has no waiting period and offers the lowest price point for coverage. Only a few select insurance providers approve seniors with kidney disease for their level plan. A great plan option for this is the Foresters Financial Standard plan.
Graded: These policies have a progressive payout schedule during the two-year waiting period that is implemented. Graded offers more leniency and is a common life insurance option for kidney disease patients.
Modified: Plans that are modified have a 2 – 3 year waiting period with a return of paid premiums if the insured dies during this time. Often these plans are the most expensive options and are also commonly available to those with kidney disease.
Guaranteed Issue: Unlike the three plan types above, no medical questions are asked for guaranteed acceptance plans. There are several great guaranteed plans on the market that are very competitive compared to modified plans. Guaranteed plans are also issued with a waiting period of 2 – 3 years.
Captive vs. Independent Agents
Anyone who has an active life insurance license in your state has the ability to sell you life insurance. However, the way that agents go about this varies greatly. Agents fall into two main categories, captive and independent.
Captive: This type of agent is contractually only able to sell insurance products from one company. While this may sound fine, they might not have access to the best product for patients with kidney disease.
Independent: These agents are allowed to have access to as many insurance companies as they wish. By representing multiple providers, independent agents can shop around on behalf of the client based upon their individual health and budget needs.
How Willamette Life Can Help
Willamette Life is an independent agency that specializes solely in senior funeral insurance. We are contracted with several insurance companies that have varying acceptance standards.
Our agents will shop on your behalf in our portfolio of the best burial insurance companies to find the ultimate fit for your unique and individual needs.
a. Finding affordable burial insurance with kidney disease is possible.
b. A select few carriers will award immediate coverage, but most will require a 2-year waiting period and higher rates.
c. To find the best plan at the lowest premium price, work with an independent agent who has access to several companies. This will provide the greatest opportunity to getting coverage benefits with no waiting period.
Call Willamette Life 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.