If you have pre-existing conditions, but still need life coverage, burial insurance is a great option that you can potentially acquire at low costs. Burial insurance, or final expense insurance, is a form of life insurance that offers moderate death benefits to people who may not have been able to qualify for other forms of life insurance. There is no medical exam required, but you will need to answer some medical questions to qualify. If your answers to those questions display that you are someone with pre-existing conditions, you may face higher rates, but you can still qualify. It all depends on the conditions you’ve been diagnosed with.
If you have pre-existing conditions and want to purchase burial insurance, here’s what you need to know.
What Is Burial Insurance
In most cases, burial insurance refers to a whole life insurance policy that has a death benefit ranging between $5,000 to $25,000. These policies are designed to supply people with minimal savings with the financial means needed to pay for a funeral and cremation or burial. To acquire this type of insurance, you need to answer some relevant health-related questions. There is no medical exam requirement for burial insurance, which makes qualifying very easy for most people.
What Are Pre-Existing Conditions
Any health condition that a person has prior to enrolling in a health coverage plan is considered a pre-existing condition. Many Americans have at least one chronic condition, so pre-existing conditions aren’t uncommon. Though, pre-existing conditions can affect your insurance carrier’s ability to provide you with affordable coverage.
How Life Insurance Companies See Pre-Existing Conditions
Life insurance companies prefer selling their products to people who have the lowest risk of death possible. Pre-existing conditions increase the likelihood of a fatal health event. Therefore, life insurance companies would rather not sell policies to people who have severe pre-existing conditions.
Health insurance companies operate differently, though. Recent legislation requires many health insurance providers to accept all people into their plans, regardless of pre-existing conditions. This is in direct contrast to the rules of most life insurance policies. Life insurance companies typically try their hardest to avoid selling coverage to people who have high-risk pre-existing conditions.
High-Risk Pre-Existing Conditions
There are many pre-existing conditions, and some of them are high-risk, meaning they can impact the cost and availability of health insurance products, like final expense coverage. There is a wide range of pre-existing conditions that can impact life insurance eligibility, including hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and more.
Insurance companies usually assess your medical condition to determine the seriousness of any medical conditions you may have. Through this process, they can identify whether you have a low, moderate, or high risk of dying prematurely. If your health is in terrible condition, you are less likely to qualify for coverage. Likewise, individuals with good health will be able to receive quality coverage at the best rates.
Some examples of high-risk pre-existing conditions that may impact coverage decisions include:
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Brain Tumor
- Cerebral Palsy
- Heart attack
- Heart bypass
- Hepatitis B
- High blood pressure
- HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus
- Kidney Disease/ Failure
- Liver Disease
- Lung disease
- PTSD – Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- PVD Peripheral Vascular Disease
- Terminal Illness
- TIA Mini-stroke
- Valvular heart disease
Although some insurers may deny you coverage due to your health condition, you don’t have to give up your search for qualified life insurance coverage. Burial insurance is always an affordable option you can fall back on to cover your burial expenses.
How Do Burial Insurance Companies Determine Applicant Eligibility
In order to qualify for burial insurance, you need to do a few things. Fortunately for people with moderate and severe pre-existing conditions, a medical exam is not one of them.
If you want to qualify for first-day coverage, you will need to provide answers to the insurance company’s health questions. You also need to get them your prescription history and your file from the Medical Information Bureau.
The last two steps are simple, but the health questions may cause some applicants trouble. In general, the questions are simple and only require a yes or no answer. Your answers to each question will determine which plans you are eligible for and what your monthly premiums will cost.
Don’t worry if you do have a pre-existing condition; you won’t be automatically denied coverage if you do. Though, you may be offered plans at higher premiums than healthier individuals. Another common consequence includes being given a two-year waiting period. This waiting period must pass before you can collect your death benefits.
Still, burial insurance offers the security people who may be approaching the end-of-life stage need. To go over the application process in more detail, you should contact an insurance professional who specializes in final expense insurance products. They can help guide you through the enrollment process.
Common Burial Insurance Health Questions
You’re probably curious about what types of questions you may encounter on a burial insurance application. Well, these are some common examples:
- Do you have a terminal illness that may cause you to die within 24 months?
- Have you been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, or been treated for them?
- Have you been diagnosed or treated by a doctor or had surgery for any of the following: health attack, heart blockage, heart valve disorder, stroke or transient ischemic attack, within the last 24 months?
- Do you need help with activities of daily living?
These aren’t all of the questions you can expect, and the wording will be different across different insurance companies. In general, you should expect the questions to look for reasons that you may be a higher risk candidate for insurance. Some companies may ask if you have a cancer diagnosis or if you’ve undergone treatment within the last four years. Others will only ask about the previous two years.
This is called the look-back period. It describes the timeframe that must pass after you’ve been diagnosed with or treated for a severe health condition if you want to qualify for burial insurance.
Not all conditions have a look-back period. In fact, many conditions won’t even be a red flag when answering the health questions listed on the burial insurance application. High cholesterol, for example, won’t even come up during the process. That’s because insurance companies are okay with selling policies to people who have high cholesterol. The same applies to many conditions, so talk to a final expense insurance expert to learn whether your conditions will impact the purchasing process.
Before you can purchase a final expense insurance plan, you must comply with a prescription history check. The insurance carrier will basically review all of the prescription medications you’ve been prescribed for the past several years. The reason they do this is to validate your health questionnaire answers. If you tell the company that you don’t have diabetes, yet you have diabetes medications on your prescription history, it would be obvious you aren’t being truthful about your health status.
Your prescription history isn’t only pulled to confirm your honesty; it’s also used to better understand your pre-existing conditions. Some insurance companies will accept people who take one medication, while others won’t. Every company has a different set of rules, so if you need coverage and you have underlying conditions, you should get help shopping for a plan.
Medical Information Bureau Review
If you are seeking immediate burial insurance coverage, your application must include information from the Medical Information Bureau. By reviewing this information, the insurance company will be able to more deeply investigate your application to identify if there are any conflicts.
The type of information contained in this file includes your answers to insurance companies in the past. For example, if you’ve told insurers in the past that you suffered a stroke last year, then you chose not to tell the next company you apply for, the insurer may still be able to find out through your file.
With this in mind, you should never try to hide a pre-existing condition. The system is set up to verify whether or not you have included factual information in your application, so don’t try to cheat the system. Just work with an insurance agent to find a plan that accepts people who have your condition or disability.
Guaranteed Issue Final Expense Insurance
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer or another severe illness, you may be unable to qualify for typical burial insurance. There is a solution, though. Guaranteed issue final expense insurance is a type of final expense insurance that accepts all applicants. Of course, the price is higher than traditional final expense coverage, but that should be expected.
With guaranteed issue final expense insurance, you will always be approved for any coverage you apply for. The only thing that varies is the death benefit you will be offered. While guaranteed issue final expense policies offer the same maximum death benefits as traditional plans, you may qualify for lower benefits depending on your health condition.
Another important thing to note is that guaranteed issue policies have a two-year waiting period. That means beneficiaries won’t receive the full death benefit if they die during that time.
Find Burial Insurance That Works For You
Now that you know burial insurance will accept you regardless of your health condition, it’s time to get started with the search!
Contact an insurance agent now to begin the process of collecting quotes. Once you find the right plan, you can also get help enrolling and setting up your coverage.