According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 29 million Americans have diabetes, which is a three million person increase from the previous estimate in 2010.
In fact, one in four persons with diabetes do not know that he or she has it, which leaves them vulnerable to additional health complications.
“These new numbers are alarming and underscore the need for an increased focus on reducing the burden of diabetes in our country,” said Ann Albright, Ph.D., R.D., director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation. “Diabetes is costly in both human and economic terms. It’s urgent that we take swift action to effectively treat and prevent this serious disease.”
In 2012, diabetes and its related complications accounted for $245 billion in total medical costs and lost work and wages. This figure is up from $174 billion in 2007.
People with diabetes are at an increased risk of vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputation of toes, feet or legs, and premature death. Fortunately, these risk factors can be controlled, if the individual properly takes care of himself or herself.
By establishing a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise and proper medication, diabetics can keep their blood sugar levels stable. This will not only increase their longevity but also allow them to qualify for better life and health insurance rates.
According to LIFE Happens, a non-profit organization, most diabetics think they are not insurable, which is not necessarily the truth.
“Life insurance for diabetics is ultimately like any other health concern: If you are compliant with your doctor, rates are usually affordable,” said Sam Goldsmith, principal broker of Goldsmith Insurance Agency. “The key is always good control and following doctor’s orders.”
Typically, diabetics who are applying for term life insurance will be placed into four different categories based off their health history:
1. Preferred Plus
Similar to tobacco risk categories, these four groupings are straightforward, with the healthiest individuals being placed in the top group, with decreasing ranking and recognition as heath conditions and habits worsen.
Above average life insurance rates are in fact available for diabetes who control their blood sugar with diet and proper medication, have a fasting blood sugar under 100, have A1C numbers in the 6s (e.g., 6.1), and were diagnosed with late onset diabetes after the age of 50.
Goldsmith also recommends using a life insurance agency that can look at multiple companies simultaneously to help secure you the best rate. In addition, when speaking with an agent, be prepared to provide a detailed list of your health history.
Keep in mind that every term life insurance company will look at a potential candidate’s medical records over the past decade in order to see how well they managed their health, especially their blood sugar levels. They will also take into consideration the type of diabetes that you have.
If an individual can manage to control their blood sugar level, keep one’s self relatively healthy and abide by their doctor’s instructions, then they will have a better chance of securing an affordable policy.