What Is Simplified Issue Life Insurance?

As we age, we can all develop health problems, which can make finding affordable life insurance an issue. If you have pre-existing conditions, life insurance companies could either deny you coverage or raise the price of your premiums. The greater the risk it is to cover you, the higher the price for whole life insurance or traditional term life insurance policies. But there is still hope even if you do have pre-existing conditions! There is a way to be approved for life insurance with minimal health questions and without medical exams: look into a simplified issue life insurance policy.

What Is Simplified Issue Life Insurance?

clipboard with a questionnaire on it and pens next to it
You will need to answer a couple of questions about your health, and will get immediate coverage after applying.

Simplified issue life insurance is a type of whole life insurance, meaning your policy will remain in effect for your entire life. Unlike most whole life insurance policies, simplified issue life insurance is meant for people who need or want life insurance right away and do not want to go through a medical exam. To obtain one of these policies, you simply need to answer a few questions about your health, and will get coverage almost immediately after you apply. 

So what’s the catch? Well, with simplified issue life insurance, you can expect higher premiums for less coverage. You will pay more because your insurance company will not get a full view of your health status and will be unable to fully determine how much of a risk you are. With these policies, you will get a death benefit payout anywhere from $5,000 to more than $100,000. However, it is important to note that some health conditions can actually prevent you from getting coverage. 

How It Works

In order to get a simplified issue policy, you will have to fill out a short health questionnaire so that your insurance company can complete a modified risk assessment and set a premium and death benefit. Unlike traditional whole life insurance, most simplified issue life insurance policies do not have a cash value that builds over time. To qualify, you must be between 45 and 85 years old. You could be denied coverage if you:

  • Are bed-ridden, or in a long-term care facility or nursing home
  • Require a wheelchair or oxygen equipment
  • Have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or congestive heart failure
  • Are being treated for an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • Have been diagnosed with any form of cancer in the past 2 years
  • Have a terminal condition
  • Have been diagnosed with heart disease in the past year (12 months)
  • Have had heart surgery in the past year (12 months)

If you are denied coverage because of any of the above mentioned issues, you still have options. For example, you can look into a guaranteed issue whole life insurance policy. The best way to find the coverage that is right for you is to compare plans from multiple insurance companies. 

blood pressure cuff on the wall in doctor's office
One of the perks is that you will not need a medical exam when applying for a simplified issue life insurance plan.

Advantages of Simplified Issue Life Insurance

  • No medical exam or lab tests are required.
  • Once your application is filled out, you will get an instant decision. If approved, you will not have to wait weeks or months for coverage to begin, as with other life insurance policies. Instead, your coverage will begin as soon as you pay your first premium. 
  • These policies are cheaper than guaranteed issue whole life insurance, and offer higher death benefits than guaranteed issue policies. 

Is It Right For You?

Simplified issue life insurance might be a good fit for you if:

  • You have a pre-existing medical condition (that isn’t disqualifying).
  • You do not want to undergo a medical exam, which could delay coverage and raise the price of your premiums. 
  • You want life insurance but aren’t sure you will qualify for traditional life insurance policies.
  • Your term life insurance policy has expired.
  • You don’t want your family to worry about final expenses or debts when you are gone.

Pre-existing conditions are extremely common; in fact, according to Health and Human Services, 61 to 133 million Americans have some kind of pre-existing condition. Having one of these conditions does not necessarily mean you are disqualified from getting life insurance, which is a necessary financial asset for your family. There are many different life insurance plans to choose from, and even with health conditions, you can find an affordable plan with great coverage. Consider using online tools, or speaking with an agent. We have provided the top insurance companies that offer simplified issue life insurance policies below; each can give you hassle-free assistance and the most competitive rates in the nation. Always check multiple sites to make sure you have bargaining power and know the advantages of each company. Make sure a hard time isn’t made harder by a financial burden, check simplified issue life insurance rates today.

Life Insurance & Pre-existing Conditions

Having a pre-existing condition is very common; in fact, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), half of Americans under the age of 65 have at least one pre-existing condition. Unfortunately, when it comes to life insurance, pre-existing conditions can affect your coverage options. It’s no secret that the healthier you are, the less expensive a policy will be. But the good news is that having a pre-existing condition will not disqualify you from getting a plan. With a little bit of knowledge about how getting life insurance with a pre-existing condition works, and some help from a qualified agent, you can find a plan that will work for you. 

What Is A Pre-Existing Condition?

A pre-existing condition is a health issue that you were diagnosed with or treated for before applying for insurance. Each insurance company has its own set of rules when it comes to these conditions. Some of the most common pre-existing conditions in the U.S. include:

a light blue colored inhaler
Asthma is one of the common pre-existing conditions that can affect life insurance costs.

Generally, if you have one or more of the conditions mentioned above, you will raise a red flag with  life insurance companies. Don’t lose hope though – having one of these conditions does not mean you can’t find a great affordable plan. 

How Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Life Insurance Costs

When you apply for life insurance, the insurance company’s underwriters will collect your medical history, and some will require you to undergo a medical exam. They do this to get a good idea of your lifestyle (such as if you’re a smoker or drinker) and current health before they agree to take you on as a risk. Depending on any pre-existing conditions that you have, they might raise your premiums. Your rates will be based on the following scale:

  • Super Preferred, or Preferred Plus- These are the lowest rates
  • Preferred
  • Standard, or Regular
  • Substandard- These are the highest rates

Many people will qualify for super preferred, but if you have a serious health condition that could be considered life threatening, you will most likely qualify for substandard rates. The higher a risk you are considered by your insurance company, the more you will have to pay, since your life expectancy would be presumed to be shorter than that of a healthy individual. For example, health issues including Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics can lead to substandard rates. Other conditions that can trigger a substandard rate are Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, history of cancer or stroke, or Hepatitis C.

It is important to note that not all insurance companies rate conditions the same; for example, one company might see asthma as a serious condition, while another company might not increase your rates if you have it. If you have any preexisting conditions, working with a licensed agent who knows which insurance companies will cover you at an affordable rate is definitely the way to go. 

How To Lower Your Rate

a woman and 2 men running on a treadmill next to each other
Exercising and losing weight can help lower your life insurance rates.

Even if you have a pre-existing condition, there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting life insurance, and to lower your rates. The best things you can do are making lifestyle changes and trying to manage your condition. Consider doing the following:

  • Improve your health by following the treatment plan issued by your doctor for any medical conditions.
  • Exercise, which can help lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure, among other benefits.
  • Lose weight, especially if you are obese, which can affect your health and life expectancy. 

The Best Life Insurance For Pre-Existing Conditions

Don’t assume you will be turned down for life insurance just because you have pre-existing conditions. Some insurance companies offer policies that cater to individuals with specific health conditions. In addition, there are many different kinds of life insurance policies that you can qualify for. For example, if you cannot get a permanent life insurance policy (which builds cash value over time), you can opt for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, which was designed for people with severe or multiple health conditions. Unlike whole life, guaranteed issue life insurance does not build cash value over time, you simply make monthly payments in exchange for a fixed amount to be paid out upon your passing. 

You can also choose to purchase a term life insurance policy for anywhere from 10 to 30 years and lock in the rates for that term. These policies are a more affordable option that you can get even with pre-existing conditions, as long as you are receiving treatment for your conditions and have them under control.

When looking for a life insurance policy, it’s best to work with an agent who is familiar with the underwriting process and standards for each medical condition that you might have. They will advocate on your behalf and will find you the best plan for you and your budget. 

Remember, life insurance is an important financial security blanket for your family. And just because you have a pre-existing condition does not mean you can’t find a great plan that will help secure their future. We have listed some of the top-rated insurance companies below, so check your rates today and find out what you can do to get approved or lower your current rates!