Anemia can be debilitating for some people and can be the cause of other serious health problems in others. There are various types and forms of anemia, each with a different level of impact on your body. Due to the varying impacts on anemia on the body, it is worth thinking about how it might affect your life insurance and how life insurance can help you.
Anemia varies in its severity and because of this clients are unsure if they should get life insurance or if they even qualify for life insurance. Clients may also be concerned about premiums and what they should do if they get denied coverage. Many clients have a lot of questions about their condition but the most common question we get is “Can I get life insurance if I have anemia?”
Yes, you can get life insurance if you have been diagnosed with anemia, regardless of the type and severity.
Anemia Overview – What is Anemia?
Anemia is a condition in which there are insufficient healthy red blood cells to transport oxygen to your body’s tissues. Anemia, also known as low hemoglobin, can cause fatigue and weakness.
There are numerous types of anemia, each with its own unique cause. Anemia can be mild to severe, and it can be temporary or chronic. Anemia is usually caused by a combination of factors. Consult your doctor if you suspect you have anemia. It can be a sign of a serious illness.
Treatments for anemia range from taking supplements to having medical procedures, depending on the cause. Some types of anemia may be prevented by eating a healthy, varied diet.
Are There Various Types of Anemia?
There are various forms of anemia, but they all produce a decrease in the quantity of red blood cells in circulation. Low red blood cell counts can be caused by one of the following factors:
- Your body is unable to produce enough hemoglobin
- Your body produces hemoglobin, but it does not function properly
- The number of red blood cells produced by your body is insufficient
- Red blood cells are broken down too quickly in your body
Common Types of Anemia
Iron-deficiency anemia occurs when your body does not have enough iron. Iron deficiency is primarily caused by blood loss, although it can also be caused by poor iron absorption. Pregnancy and childbirth use a lot of iron, which can lead to anemia during pregnancy. Due to inadequate absorption, those who have had gastric bypass surgery for weight loss or other reasons may be iron deficient.
Vitamin-deficiency anemia occurs due to low levels of vitamin B12 or folate (folic acid) and is typically caused by insufficient food consumption.
Sickle cell anemia is an inherited hemolytic anemia in which the defective hemoglobin protein causes red blood cells to become stiff and clog the circulation because they are unable to pass through small blood capillaries.
Aplastic anemia is an uncommon condition characterized by insufficient blood cell production by the bone marrow (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets). This is caused by the destruction or deficiency of blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow, specifically when the body’s immune system attacks the stem cells. However, the few blood cells produced by the bone marrow are healthy. Aplastic anemia is also caused by viral infections, ionizing radiation, and exposure to hazardous chemicals or medicines.
Who is Most Likely to Develop Anemia?
Anyone can get anemia, although the following groups are more susceptible:
- Blood loss during menstruation and childbirth can cause anemia in women. Especially if you have heavy periods or a condition such as fibroids.
- Children aged one to two: During growth spurts, the body needs more iron.
- Infants who are weaned from breast milk or formula to solid foods may receive less iron. Iron from solid foods is more difficult for the body to absorb.
- People over 65: Iron-deficient diets and chronic diseases are more prevalent in adults over 65.
- Patients taking blood thinners: Aspirin, clopidogrel, warfarin, heparin products, apixaban, betrixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, and rivaroxaban are among these treatments.
Factors Life Insurance Companies Consider for Anemic Clients
Every life insurance underwriter will evaluate your anemia’s risks differently. Due to the fact that each organization has its own requirements, no two underwriters will ask the exact identical questions.
However, you can anticipate being asked for the following details:
- When you were originally diagnosed, the severity of your symptoms, the drugs or treatment plans you follow, and whether you have undergone any operations or transplants.
- How your anemia affects your other health conditions
- Which form of anemia do you have?
- Do you have any other major health problems or do you smoke?
- How frequently you see your physician or specialist
- What were the results of your most recent Blood Count (CBC)?
- What diagnostic tests have you undergone to assess your condition?
Life Insurance Ratings for Anemia Caused by Iron Deficiency
When an insurer notices a deficiency, they will use that information to evaluate your rating. Predict your future rating by following these broad criteria, which are slightly different for each organization.
Preferred Plus: Almost always impossible for someone who currently has anemia. This rating may be available to applicants whose levels have returned to normal.
Preferred: For an applicant with iron deficiency anemia, it is possible in rare situations. The applicant’s levels must be close to normal, the source of the deficit must not be substantial, and the applicant must be in near perfect health in order to receive this rating.
Standard: For applicants with iron deficiency anemia, this is the most likely rating. Males with a haemoglobin level of 12.0 g/dl or higher qualify for this grade, whereas females with a haemoglobin level of 10.0 g/dl (11.0 g/dl if menopausal) qualify for this rating.
Table Rating (substandard): Men could get a rated policy if their hemoglobin level was between 11.0 and 12.0 g/dl. Women who have gone through menopause and have a haemoglobin level between 10.0 and 11.0 could get a rated policy. The applicant’s score will also depend on how well they are in general and what caused the deficiency.
Declines: Applicants whose hemoglobin levels are below the acceptable ranges are likely to be turned down for coverage. Applicants could also be denied coverage if the deficiency was caused by something serious, like cancer, or if they haven’t had a CBC in the last six months. Applicants who have other serious health problems could also be turned down.
Types of Life Insurance for Anemia
If you have anemia you can qualify for many insurance products. The most common type of life insurance for anemia is term life insurance. This is simply because it is intended to financially protect your family if you die, and it pays out a cash lump sum. This type of coverage should be available for most types of anemia, and you should have several options.
A Standard rating is commonly assigned to people who have iron deficiency anemia but are not in perfect health. A policy with a Standard rating will still be affordable.
People with sickle cell anemia and other serious anemias should expect to be rated as substandard. A Substandard rating indicates that your policy will be more expensive than someone with a standard rating. Your specific case will determine how much higher your premiums will be.
If you have multiple high-risk health conditions in addition to your anemia, or if you have aplastic anemia, traditional life insurance will most likely be denied.
In cases where you have severe anemia and you’ve been turned down for coverage, you can get approved with a no-medical-exam policy or a guaranteed issue policy. Both of these are very quick to get approved for because you don’t have to get a physical.
No Medical Life Insurance
No medical life insurance is a type of life insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam or a visit to the doctor. Many people want to avoid medical exams like this, but it’s important to remember that the premiums for this type are usually higher. Like all types of life insurance, it has both pros and cons.
There are two main types of no medical life insurance: simplified issue life insurance and guaranteed issue life insurance.
Simplified Issue Life Insurance
You don’t have to take a medical exam to get simplified life insurance as a type of no medical life insurance, but you may still have to fill out a questionnaire about your health and medical history. This kind of life insurance is mostly for people who need it right away, so you’ll need to fill out a short questionnaire so you can get coverage within days instead of having to wait weeks or months. Depending on which insurance company you go to, simplified life insurance can come in the form of either a term life policy or a permanent policy.
This kind of insurance is good for people who don’t want to get a medical exam, don’t know what kind of policy they can get, or just need life insurance right away and want to name their children as the beneficiaries.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
Guaranteed life insurance is similar to permanent life insurance, but you won’t have to take a medical exam or answer any questions about your health. Your coverage is guaranteed, no questions asked. Even though this sounds good, there are some downsides to it. Your premiums may be higher than with traditional life insurance, and the death benefit will be lower. The premiums for this kind of life insurance are higher because it’s riskier to insure someone who may be a high risk because of their health or activities. The lump sum may also not be paid out for a few years.
People may choose this life insurance policy if they don’t qualify for anything else or if they just want to give their family at least a small death benefit. Like simplified life insurance, this coverage can be set up quickly, and you won’t have to worry about not being accepted or waiting for a long time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Life Insurance with Anemia
Yes, you can get life insurance if you have anemia. Depending on how bad your anemia is and how healthy you are, it may or may not change your life insurance rates. You don’t have to pay a lot for your insurance just because you have anemia. If you’re turned down by a life insurance company, it’s usually because of your medical condition, which makes you a possible risk. The amount you pay and whether or not the policy is underwritten will be determined by their assessment of your risk level as a result of the anemia. The good news is that a guaranteed issue policy can still provide coverage.
Speak to an advisor today to discuss your options.
If you have anemia, the cost of your life insurance comes down to the kind of anemia you have, your symptoms, your blood work levels, and your overall health. Your premiums can range greatly due to the rating you may receive from different insurers, and the type of insurance you are purchasing.
An underwriter for life insurance looks at your overall health and way of life to figure out the risk. Even though anemia isn’t usually life-threatening, it could cause problems or be a sign of something worse. In fact, this is probably what an insurance company is trying to figure out.
Once a life insurance company finds out that you have been or are anemic, they will want to know more about you to figure out how much of a risk you are. Some of these things will be:
- Is your anemia caused by something else?
- How severe is your anemia?
- Have you ever been admitted to the hospital because of anemia or something related to it?
- Have you had more tests to see if you might have other diseases?
- What signs of anemia have you had in the last six months?
- How long have you had low blood count? How low has your blood count or hemoglobin ever gone?
- Have you ever been treated with a blood or iron transfusion?
- Do you have any ongoing medical care?
When it comes to your health and medical history, all insurers ask similar questions. Almost everyone will inquire about anemia in the previous five years to see if you have experienced symptoms or received treatment. You normally don’t need to declare anemia if you haven’t had any symptoms or treatment for it in over 5 years. For this disease, most insurance companies are mainly interested in what has transpired in the last 5 years.
Anemia is the outcome of your body’s inability to absorb micronutrients effectively. Vitamins are frequently the cause of absorption problems, as your body may be unable to digest syrups or tablets. You may no longer have this absorption problem after a few months of eating a healthy, balanced diet.
There are a variety of reasons why a person develops anemia, but the good news is that it is usually not permanent. Anemia is caused by an iron deficiency, which is the most prevalent cause. Low iron levels are common as a result of:
- Poor diet — not eating enough iron-rich foods
- Recent surgical procedure
- Colon cancer, polyps, and ulcers are all conditions that can affect the colon
- Anemia might develop if you don’t get enough vitamins. Iron cannot be processed if your body lacks sufficient B12 vitamin. Folic acid is also required for the formation of red blood cells
Finding the right life insurance policy for you
Whether you’re at risk of developing anemia or currently have a type of anemia, there’s a life insurance product or package for your situation. A life insurance specialist can help you create the best plan and package for your needs.
At Protect Your Wealth, we work with and compare policies and quotes from the best life insurance companies in Canada to ensure the best solution for you and your needs. We provide expert life insurance solutions, including no medical life insurance, critical illness insurance, term life insurance, and permanent life insurance to build the best package to give you the protection you need.
Contact Protect Your Wealth or call us at 1-877-654-6119 to talk to an advisor today! We’re proudly based out of Hamilton, and service clients anywhere in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, including areas such as Burlington, Coquitlam, and Red Deer.