Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a group of conditions that cause breathing-related problems. The most common contributors are Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema.
COPD affects more than 16 million Americans. The chances of getting diagnosed with this condition significantly increase with long-term tobacco use or exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter.
There is no cure for this chronic lung disease. However, there are several ways to treat the symptoms that will provide a good quality of life for seniors.
Can A Person Get Final Expense Insurance With COPD?
By working with the right company, a person with COPD can get affordable Final Expense Insurance with no waiting period. Finding a policy that will accept COPD patients is easy if you work with an independent agent representing multiple final expense insurance companies.
Insurance coverage could be affected if you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. However, there are a few top final expense insurance carriers that will provide coverage with this condition.
The Basics of a Final Expense Insurance Policy
Final expense life insurance was designed specifically for seniors as an affordable way to cover burial costs. Final expense is a type of whole life insurance and is commonly referred to as burial or funeral insurance.
A whole life insurance policy is permanent and guarantees that your loved ones will have the money needed to cover your final expenses.
The following are all elements of whole life insurance policies.
- No Expiration
- Coverage Lock
- Price Lock
- Builds Cash Value
- No Medical Exam
- No Waiting Period Options
To get a burial plan with no waiting period, you must qualify based upon your health. If you cannot qualify for immediate coverage, you will still get coverage, but there will be a waiting period imposed.
Burial insurance policies are more affordable than other coverage types due to the small amounts they come in. Traditional life insurance policies start coverage around $50,000 while burial insurance companies provide coverage ranging from $1,000 to $50,000.
Underwriting For Funeral Insurance With COPD
Underwriting is essentially the decision-making process.
Your agent will get to know your health and what you are trying to achieve by taking out final expense coverage. They will then prequalify you for a policy based on your needs.
An agent will fill out the application with you and submit it to the insurance carrier to go through the formal underwriting process.
Each company has its own predetermined guidelines to qualify for coverage.
Why Lung Disease Matters
COPD patients are at an increased risk of the following complications.
- Respiratory infections
- Heart problems
- Cancer of the lungs
- High blood pressure in lung arteries
Each of these illnesses poses its own risk. In fact, each of these pre-existing health conditions on its own can affect the ability to get insurance coverage.
Suppose you have had any of the above complications due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. In that case, it is in your best interest to work with a specialized agent. Working with an expert will allow them to pre-qualify you for the best policy at the lowest rate.
Types of Burial Insurance Policies
There are 4 different plan tiers that final expense life insurance companies may offer.
Each company determines which plans they offer and the criteria to qualify for each. Not all final expense insurance companies provide all four options. Most companies only offer 2-3 plan types on average.
Level: This is the top-tier plan because it has the lowest monthly premiums and no waiting period. For these reasons, this plan is also the hardest to qualify for. However, certain companies will still provide level funeral insurance with COPD.
Graded: These affordably priced plans provide partial coverage during the 2-year waiting period. Graded is the second-best policy option for seniors with COPD.
Modified: With a 2-year waiting period, these policies are also called “return of premiums plans” because of the payout structure. If the insured passes away during the waiting period, the beneficiary will receive all premiums paid plus 10% interest.
Guaranteed Issue: All applicants get approved for this coverage. These plans accept everyone who can sign their name and agree to the 2-year waiting period. Payout during this time is structured the same as a modified plan.
There will be a series of “YES” or “NO” health questions each carrier asks to place COPD patients into these different tiers.
How Funeral Insurance Companies Ask About COPD
As it pertains to this chronic lung disease, you will be asked in one of the following three ways.
1: “Has the proposed insured ever been diagnosed or treated for COPD?”
The way this question is asked leaves no wiggle room as to when you were diagnosed or treated. If you have ever been treated or diagnosed, you will have to answer “YES” to this question, which will place you into a specific category of plan type as predetermined by the carrier.
2: “Within the last 24 months, has the proposed insured been diagnosed with or treated for COPD?”
If you have received treatment in the past but no longer are and can answer “NO” based on the timeline, you may qualify for a top-tier plan. This is assuming that you are otherwise in good health with no other pre-existing conditions.
Some burial insurance companies will ask about a longer timeline. We know of one that asks about treatment within the past 5 years.
3: COPD is not asked about on the application.
Some companies will not ask about COPD. If this is the case, there is typically a two-year waiting period attached to your policy.
How To Find Top COPD Funeral Insurance Companies
There are 3 things that you want to look for when getting life insurance with COPD.
Company: A company with a good financial rating is essential. This will give you peace of mind that your beneficiary will receive the money when it is due. Any company that has a B++ rating or better is a great option. At Willamette Life, we only contract with insurance companies with a A- or higher rating from AM Best.
Coverage: Whenever possible, getting coverage that starts immediately is of importance. If you cannot get full coverage initially, that is fine, but make sure that you and your agent exhaust all possibilities.
Cost: Getting the lowest and most affordable price is key. Coverage amounts can be adjusted to accommodate any budget.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
A guaranteed issue life plan accepts 100% of applicants as there are no health questions asked to qualify.
There is always at least a 2-year waiting period before full coverage can be awarded. During this time, if the insured passes away, the beneficiary will usually receive the paid premiums plus 10%. Some companies offer less, some offer more, but 10% is standard.
These plans are among the most expensive that you will find.
If you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease without any complications or other pre-existing conditions, there is no need to get a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.
However, if you have other health concerns, such as taking continual oxygen to assist with breathing, you will be unable to obtain most plans. Oxygen use will actually be a cause for you to apply for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.
Guaranteed issue life insurance might be right for you if you:
- Are on continual oxygen
- Have been diagnosed with a terminal illness
- Have congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Have been diagnosed with AIDS, HIV, or ARC
- Have had cancer within the last 2-years
Captive vs. Independent
Captive Agency: Contractually captive agencies can sell products from one company and one company only. These agencies are usually the ones that are located on every other corner and advertise at least once every commercial break. Typically these agencies offer products across multiple lines of coverage such as home, life, and auto.
Independent Agency: This type of agency can represent as many carriers as they wish. By conducting business in this way, they can have a much more extensive portfolio of products that fit a more comprehensive range of needs.
As noted above, there are several different ways that insurance providers react to specific medical conditions. Working with an independent agency will give the proposed insured the best possibility of qualifying for a top plan.
Why Willamette Life
As an independent agency, we focus solely on final expense coverage. In doing so, our agents are very well versed in what each provider accepts and rejects in terms of pre-existing conditions.
We understand and recognize that each person we speak with has unique needs. Willamette Life works hard to ensure the best policy is recommended for each individual.
Our agents have obtained immediate coverage for countless clients considered “high-risk” by many funeral insurance providers. We welcome the opportunity to do the same for you or your loved one.
Willamette Life is here to help you find the coverage you want and need.
a. Final Expense Insurance with COPD is possible at an affordable monthly rate.
b. For those currently getting treatment, several insurance carriers will accept your application with no waiting period needed.
c. Working with an independent agency will provide you with the most options for low-cost, immediate coverage. It is especially important when dealing with medical conditions deemed high-risk by burial insurance carriers.
Give Willamette Life 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.