Oftentimes the process of receiving a systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) diagnosis in itself is challenging. After finally being diagnosed, the feeling can be a mixture of relief and worry.
What lifestyle changes will need to be made?
What medications will be needed?
How can I prevent a flare-up?
You probably are not initially thinking about if this will affect your ability to get coverage from the best final expense insurance companies.
Can You Get Final Expense Insurance With Lupus?
It is possible to get final expense life insurance with lupus at an affordable rate. Not every company accepts this pre-existing condition, so finding the right provider is vital. The companies will want to know how long it has been since your diagnosis and last treatment.
If your SLE is in remission, the options for life insurance coverage increase.
Final Expense Insurance Explained
To understand how final expense insurance works, it is best to know why it was created. It was designed to provide an affordable way to plan for the inevitable end-of-life expenses that happen upon passing.
The companies that offer this product know that most seniors are on a fixed income and wanted to provide an affordable way to pay for these inevitable costs. The reason these policies are so affordable is because of the smaller coverage amounts that are available.
For a fixed, low monthly payment, you can have the protection that you need to prevent this financial burden from falling to your loved ones.
Final Expense is Simplified Issue Whole Life Insurance.
Simplified Issue refers to the lenient underwriting process the application goes through to be approved or denied coverage.
Whole Life is one of the three main types of life insurance coverage. It is the type that lasts for the entire life of the insured.
This product is also referred to as funeral insurance, burial insurance and can be seen in variations, such as final burial expense insurance.
- No Expiration
- Coverage Lock
- Premium Price Lock
- Builds Cash Value
- No Medical Exam
- No Waiting Period Options
Underwriting: How Does Lupus Affect Life Insurance?
Underwriting is how the company determines whether it will provide insurance coverage based on the submitted application.
The application process consists of 10 – 20 yes or no health questions to determine eligibility.
Most carriers also require a MIB and prescription history check. MIB stands for Medical Information Bureau and is essentially a background check for your medical records. They do this to confirm the accuracy of the answers on your application.
With the prescription history check, certain medications can throw up red flags. If you take a medication associated with SLE, the carrier will assume you have this condition. As a matter of fact, even if you do not actually take the prescription, but you have recently gotten it filled, they will assume you are taking it.
Can You Get Final Expense Life Insurance with an Autoimmune Disease?
You can absolutely get life insurance to cover your final expenses with an autoimmune disease diagnosis. The main things that life insurance companies will look for are the specific autoimmune diagnosis and the time since your last treatment.
With systemic lupus erythematosus specifically, you can get final expense coverage with no waiting period from several insurance companies.
Mixed connective tissue disease and rheumatoid arthritis present some similar symptoms as SLE, but neither will affect final expense life insurance coverage. In fact, companies rarely ask about mixed connective tissue disease or rheumatoid arthritis on the application, which means they do not care if an applicant has these conditions.
Is Lupus Considered a Pre-Existing Condition?
Lupus is considered a pre-existing condition for funeral insurance policies that offer immediate protection. SLE patients can qualify for policies with no waiting period with specific companies, but not all.
How a Treatment Schedule Affects Coverage for Lupus Patients
Final expense applications will ask about a Lupus diagnosis in 1 of 3 ways.
“Have you ever been diagnosed or received treatment for lupus?”
This is a very common way that an application will ask about systemic lupus. Asking in this way does not usually, but could disqualify you from coverage with the carrier.
“In the past X months, have you been diagnosed or received treatment for lupus?”
The average amount of time companies will look back is 24 months. Some will look back up to 5 years, but that is uncommon.
The application may not ask at all.
If this is the case, the company is not worried about applicants with an SLE diagnosis and will accept you. Having said that, most life insurance companies that do not ask about Lupus will enforce a waiting period.
Be aware that applications could ask about autoimmune disease in general, make sure to answer accordingly as this would include systemic lupus.
The life insurance company will then choose to move forward in 1 of 3 ways, depending on your answers.
Denial of Coverage: This is not typically the case with SLE. Most companies will accept lupus patients, but you will not qualify for a top-tier plan with most companies.
Acceptance with a Waiting Period and High Premiums: This is common with several companies. However, ONLY if you have additional health concerns should you move forward with a plan that has a waiting period.
Acceptance with No Waiting Period and Fair Premiums: This is the ultimate goal given your diagnosis. We strive to get each client a plan with no waiting period. Several companies offer this option.
How To Find The Best Final Expense Life Insurance For Lupus Patients
Each insurance company establishes varying underwriting processes. This is important to understand because if you have an additional health concern, it could affect the coverage eligibility for lupus patients.
Having said that, there are a few things that you will want to watch for when obtaining insurance to cover funeral costs.
What to Look for in a Policy
The three things that you’ll want to look for before taking out a policy are the cost, company, and coverage.
Cost: The cost is a big deal because you will be entering into a long-term contract with the carrier, so you’ll want to make sure the premium is affordable well into the future.
Company: When looking into burial insurance companies, a strong financial rating is key. Being financially stable will ensure that the company is around many years from now and thus will be able to pay the claim when it is filed.
Coverage: Having a funeral insurance policy that offers full protection immediately is important. Being a lupus patient will not disqualify you from gaining immediate coverage, so there is no need to compromise on this aspect.
Now that you know all of the aspects to look for in a policy, there are 4 plan tiers within final expense life insurance coverage. Generally speaking, the better health a senior citizen is in, the less they will pay for coverage every month.
Level: The lowest prices with no waiting period is what you can expect from a level plan. This has the tightest qualifying requirements, but seniors with systemic lupus will be able to qualify.
Some companies offer two types of level coverage, preferred and standard. Both have immediate coverage, but the standard policy is more lenient with slightly more expensive premiums. The best burial insurance for lupus patients currently undergoing treatment will be the Standard plan from Aetna.
Graded: These plans are even more tolerant of pre-existing conditions. With partial coverage upon policy issue, graded plans are another good option. During the 2-year waiting period that carriers put in place with this plan, the beneficiary will receive a percentage of the total death benefit if the insured passes away during this time. Full coverage is accessible after the waiting period is over and premiums are moderately priced.
Modified: Also referred to as a “return of premium” policy, modified plans have a waiting period. Typically the waiting period is two years and will return paid premiums plus 10% to the beneficiary if the policyholder passes within this time restriction. Modified plans are easier to qualify for and are costly like Lincoln Heritage’s Funeral Advantage.
Guaranteed Issue: Guaranteed Issue plans accept every single applicant. These plans have no health questions and a 2+ year waiting period. During this time, the beneficiary usually will be given the paid premiums plus 10% if the insured party passes away.
Oftentimes these plans are marketed to the masses with the lure of NO HEALTH QUESTIONS. While this sounds appealing at first, these plans are more expensive than others that seniors have to qualify for by answering health questions.
If you think about it, the premiums are priced to offset the carrier’s risk by not asking any health questions. Don’t pay more than you have to!
If you have lupus, there is no need to get a plan with guaranteed acceptance unless you have other severe health concerns.
Captive vs. Independent Agencies
Captive agency: This agency is contractually obligated to sell the products from one company and one company only. These companies typically have a high level of brand recognition.
Independent agency: This type can sell products from several carriers, truly as many as they want. The providers that these agencies represent are top-tier companies that offer great plans.
By representing multiple carriers, independent agents can shop their large portfolio to get you the best plan that fits your unique needs.
Why Willamette Life
Willamette Life specializes in burial insurance. Because of this sole focus, we can put all of our attention into placing our clients with the policy that best fits their wishes.
Willamette Life prides itself on finding excellent coverage for people who have a health concern, such as SLE, that could throw up a red flag with providers.
It is our mission to help our clients get immediate benefits at the lowest premiums whenever possible.
Our agents understand that each person has a unique set of circumstances and goals for life insurance coverage. We get to know you and understand your needs before assuming the best policy.
a. Final Expense Insurance with lupus is available at affordable rates. Several companies will provide immediate coverage with this diagnosis.
b. A low-cost plan with no waiting period from a reputable company is what you want to look for when applying for coverage.
c. It is best to work with an independent agency that specializes in funeral insurance.
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.