The majority of people suffer from COVID-19 symptoms that are either mild or moderate and last about two weeks. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to fully recover. Complications and problems from COVID-19 in some people may last for several months. Health problems and chronic illnesses can strike Canadians at any point in their lives, regardless of their age. Things have gotten significantly worse as a result of the spread of the pandemic and the post-COVID sickness that it brought with it. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t get life insurance if you’ve had COVID or currently have lingering COVID complications.
Long COVID or post-COVID symptoms may persist for months or years following your initial COVID diagnosis. This leaves many of our new clients anxious and worried that they would not be able to qualify for life insurance following post-COVID symptoms. A common question we get is “Can I get life insurance if I am still suffering from complications due to post-COVID?”
Yes, you can still apply and be qualified for life insurance if you have health complications resulting from post-COVID!
What is Long COVID (Post-COVID-19)?
Most people have COVID-19 for about two weeks. Others, however, can continue to have health difficulties even after the fever and cough have subsided and they no longer test positive for the sickness.
The World Health Organization has defined post-COVID-19 conditions as coronavirus symptoms that continue or reappear three months after infection with SARS CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Among these signs are: fatigue, breathing difficulty, and cognitive issues. The symptoms may come and go, but they have an influence on the person’s daily functioning and cannot be explained by another medical condition.
What results in post-COVID syndrome?
It is not clear why post-COVID symptoms occur. More research will clarify why some people continue to experience these obstinate health issues.
While there is no doubt that people with certain risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity, and other diseases are more likely to experience a severe case of COVID-19, there isn’t any conclusive evidence linking these risk factors to long-term issues. Although patients with more severe initial illnesses seem to be more prone to have long-term impairments, long-term COVID can occur in people with moderate symptoms as well.
Some of the common symptoms associated with long COVID are as follows:
- Brain fog, memory and attention issues
- Issues with sleep
- Difficulty breathing
- Mental health issues (depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Gut issues (diarrhea, constipation, nausea and vomiting)
- Cough that will not stop
- Loss of flavor (ageusia)
- becoming lightheaded (vertigo)
- Ringing ears (tinnitus)
- Variations in your vision
- Absence of smell (anosmia)
- Difficulties swallowing (dysphagia)
- Heart flutters
- Clogged nose
- Joint and muscle aches
- Skin rash
Common Health Impacts of Long COVID
Along with the other common post-COVID symptoms, you may also face other health complications or impacts as a result of COVID. Below are the top 5 most common health impacts of long COVID:
Heart issues with COVID
Some Long SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals may develop heart issues, including heart muscle inflammation. According to one study, 60% of COVID-19 survivors exhibited signs of persistent heart inflammation, which could result in the typical symptoms of shortness of breath, palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. Even individuals who had a minor case of COVID-19 and no prior medical conditions showed signs of inflammation after becoming ill.
If you’re experiencing a heart condition after having COVID, check out our blogpost on applying for life insurance with a heart condition.
Diabetes Following COVID-19
Diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, and COVID-19 have a complicated association. Serious instances of COVID-19 are at risk for type 2 diabetes, and some survivors of the illness appear to be acquiring type 2 diabetes symptoms after they have recovered from COVID-19.
If you’ve developed diabetes after having COVID, check out our blogpost on applying for life insurance with diabetes.
Problems with cognition and mental health following COVID-19
The effects of COVID-19 on mental and emotional health were examined by Johns Hopkins specialists in psychiatry, cognition, and mental health, who discovered that these issues were prevalent in a wide range of COVID-19 survivors.
A person’s life may be severely impacted by cognitive decline following an acute coronavirus infection. People with lingering COVID symptoms and effects may have changes in their capacity to think clearly, concentrate, talk clearly, and recall things. These symptoms may make it difficult for them to work or to carry out basic daily tasks.
Even now, some individuals still struggle with anxiety, depression, and other post-COVID mental health concerns after they have recovered from the coronavirus. Long stretches of isolation, stress brought on by job loss and financial hardships, grief over the deaths of loved ones, and the loss of excellent health can all exacerbate physical changes like pain and weakness.
If you’re experiencing problems with cognition or experiencing mental health problems after having COVID, check out our blogpost on applying for life insurance with a mental illness.
Taste and odour loss with COVID-19
Since the senses of taste and smell are connected, having COVID-19 might produce anosmia, which is the loss or distorting of one’s perception of taste or smell. People may completely lose their sense of smell or taste before or after contracting COVID-19, or they may discover that familiar objects smell or taste weird, unpleasant, or unusual.
A quarter of COVID-19 patients who have one or both of these symptoms find relief within a few weeks. But for the majority, these symptoms still exist. Although not life-threatening, persistent sensory distortion can be distressing and cause appetite loss, anxiety, and depression. According to certain research, these individuals have a 60% to 80% chance of improving their sense of smell within a year.
Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS)
Recovery from COVID-19 treatment for hospitalized patients is extremely difficult. The post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) puts COVID-19 survivors and other ICU patients at a higher risk for issues with mental health, cognition, and physical recovery, according to experts.
Patients may have persistent and recurrent feelings of panic or dread, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), due to the unusual settings, several mind-altering medicines, isolation, and lack of control.
How Long COVID Might Impact Life Insurance
Simply having had COVID-19 will not affect a candidate’s eligibility for life insurance or the cost of a policy. Instead, life insurers will frequently concentrate on underlying medical issues—issues that may or may not be connected to COVID-19. These include cardiac or pulmonary issues.
Inquiries concerning COVID-19, specifically whether the applicant has been diagnosed with COVID or whether a member of their family has, are being asked by life insurance. Although a ‘yes’ response could cause an application to be delayed, it does not mean that your application will be rejected right away.
Although organ damage isn’t one of the five most common long-term consequences of COVID-19, it may be a cause for concern in future discussions. According to a study released on September 1 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, people with long-term COVID have a significant chance of developing kidney damage, chronic renal disease, and end-stage kidney disease. Organ damage isn’t one of the five most common long-term consequences of COVID-19, though, so far.
People who have underlying health problems frequently see worse results after catching COVID. Furthermore, some individuals who experienced very unpleasant COVID episodes later developed health issues. As a result, diseases that have been made worse or brought on by COVID-19 may affect how much someone pays for life insurance.
Please keep in mind that your life insurance rate cannot be altered if you already have a policy due to COVID or any other condition, so it’s best to obtain a policy as soon as possible.
Life Insurance with Health Conditions from Long COVID
People with pre-existing medical conditions as a result of long COVID now have a variety of options for life insurance, despite the fact that these conditions can make it more difficult to find coverage. Although they could come with some exclusions, fully underwritten life insurance policies for people with pre-existing diseases are possible. Another option is to get no medical underwriting life insurance.
Some of your options include when applying to life insurance with a pre-existing health condition due to COVID-19 are:
Guaranteed Life Insurance plans are one type of no medical life insurance – they don’t ask any questions, and they don’t require any physical examinations either. People who have more serious health problems due to COVID-19 and do not qualify for standard or simplified insurance may be able to obtain coverage through a product called guaranteed issue insurance. For guaranteed life insurance, the majority of insurers will require a deferral term that lasts for twenty-four months, which means if you pass away during the first 24 months, your beneficiary will only receive the premiums you’ve paid so far instead of the full death benefit. Due to the fact that it is also a form of permanent life insurance, the premium for guaranteed issue insurance coverage is the most expensive of the three. The maximum amount of coverage that it provides is often capped at $50,000, but some insurers cover less.
Simplified life insurance is based on a short medical questionnaire rather than a physical examination. Compared to guaranteed life insurance, simplified issue life insurance offers larger coverage levels at lower premiums. In comparison to traditional life insurance, it’s also simpler to obtain for those with pre-existing conditions, yet your coverage will probably nonetheless be rated. Don’t be disheartened if your policy is rated because of a pre-existing condition; it happens more frequently than you might think. Keep in mind that there are numerous other circumstances that might result in a policy being rated, including something as basic as smoking.
Term Life Insurance is ideal if your health won’t be affected by your condition during the period of the policy (usually 10, 20, or 30 years). If you have a pre-existing condition, your term life insurance premiums will also be rated. There is no deferral or waiting period with fully underwritten term life insurance, which means, in the event that the insured individual passes away during a given term, it provides the full death benefit. The policyholder has three options after the term has ended: renewing the policy for another term, changing the coverage to permanent coverage, or letting the term life insurance policy terminate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Life Insurance with Long COVID
If COVID-19 symptoms are still present and cannot be attributed to any medical illness after three months, it is known as long COVID or post COVID-19 condition. These symptoms typically interfere with daily life and may evolve over time. You do not need to have a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in order to diagnose Long COVID or refer a patient for interdisciplinary care.
The short answer is that you will be covered for any claims related to COVID-19 provided you already have a current life insurance policy. In other words, your beneficiary will be eligible to file a life insurance claim if you die from COVID-19 or a Coronavirus-related illness. The claim would be handled similarly to a death brought on by any other type of natural illness or sickness. Fatalities brought on by the coronavirus are not treated any differently than deaths brought on by other types of the flu, other infectious diseases, or natural causes by life insurance policies.
It is crucial to visit your doctor and rule out other disorders, such as cardiac problems or lung disease, because long-term COVID-19 symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other diseases. Neglecting or dismissing loss of scent, depression, worry, or insomnia as inconsequential is not a good idea. Calling your doctor about any symptom that affects your day-to-day activities will help you address these issues and enhance the quality of your life.
Call emergency services right away if you notice any new chest pain, breathing problems, bluish lips, or any other sign of a life-threatening issue.
The chance of contracting COVID is reduced by receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Although breakthrough infections are possible, getting fully immunized and boosted is an excellent way to lower the risk of COVID-related hospitalization and mortality. The duration of COVID’s effects on individuals who experienced a breakthrough case are still being studied, however vaccination may lower the risk.
Preventing coronavirus infection in the first place is the best method to avoid post-COVID-19 problems. It is possible to prevent obtaining COVID-19 by taking coronavirus precautions and staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.
Do you have questions about Long COVID and life insurance?
If you still have questions about your life insurance policy or application and how long COVID impacts them, get in touch with us today! Working with a life insurance advisor can help you build the right life insurance plan and package for your needs, or explain your current coverage and protection.
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 Barrie, Coquitlam, and Calgary.