Thursday, June 16, 2022

Does Sleep Apnea Affect Life Insurance Rates

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Treatment For Sleep Apnea

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Treatments for sleep apnea will vary depending on the severity of your condition but may include: appropriate weight loss, limiting alcohol intake, altered sleep habits or positions, using a continuous positive airway pressure device, using a bi-level positive airway pressure device, or in certain circumstances airway surgery.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, about one-third of the adults in a primary care clinic population noted that they had obstructive sleep apnea syndrome symptoms.

Living With It And Can You Die From Sleep Apnea

Some might argue that you may not actually die in your sleep from apnea. After the body feels it is not getting enough oxygen during sleep, then it triggers an awakening.

At this time, the breathing airways start, and breathing continues. As a result of this mechanism, then you stand no danger of suffocating in your sleep.

Semantics does not alter the truth: mortality risks are shown in clinical research to be higher in those people who have it.

Sleep apnea disrupts adrenal glands, imbalances brain, and body chemistry, interrupts lymph and circulatory function, elevates blood pressure, also accelerates the hearts rate, like Atrial Fibrillation.

When permitted to continue, untreated, it will cause higher mortality for people who dont cure it.

Health Ratings For Sufferers Of Sleep Apnea

Term life insurance is based on health ratings, which greatly help determine your insurance premiums. People in perfect health without any issues get approved at the lowest rates called Preferred Plus or Preferred Best rates. It goes up from there as you can see in the chart below.

Rate Class / Risk Class
12

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Being Rated For Life And Health Insurance

I was diagnosed with sleep apnea a few years ago and am now being treated successfully. Yet when I applied for new life and health insurance recently, I was rated because of the sleep apnea. I am in good health overall and am frustrated with the higher premium. Why did I get rated?

This is a complex question, so first, some background: Like any company, insurance companies determine their charges or premiums according to their expected costs of doing business and desired profit. The insurance industry uses a specific term for part of the costs of doing business: the loss ratio is the expenses for claims . Other components of the costs of doing business include expenses for handling the claims, for litigation, for sales commission paid to agents, for dividends paid to owners or stockholders, and for underwriting. The underwriting department reviews applications for insurance and determines who is eligible for its coverage. It is this department that sets the premiums and ratings. In your case, the insurance company determined that because you have sleep apnea, you are a higher rate of risk and therefore you should pay a higher premium.

Your states insurance commissioner can be helpful in providing you with information about your rights in the appeal process.

This information is of a general nature only. For more information about your insurance coverage, talk to an insurance agent.

What Are The Consequences Of Untreated Sleep Apnea

LIFE INSURANCE WITH SLEEP APNEA DISORDER

Sleep apnea can have severe and life-shortening consequences if left untreated. Sleep apnea is associated with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Sleep apnea can cause depression, impotence, memory problems, headaches, and weight gain. It has even been linked to car accidents caused by people with sleep apnea falling asleep at the wheel.

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You May Need To Get Additional Help To Get Life Insurance

Life insurance companies take sleep apnea very serious. As a result, if you have the condition and you need life insurance, you should work closely with a competent insurance agent. The agent will need to have experience in finding policies for people who have the condition, and should know those companies that have the most favorable view of applicants who have sleep apnea.

If you have the condition, and you attempt to get life insurance on your own, you may spend a lot of time and end up getting declined by several companies. Any insurance declines you get, will make it more difficult for you to obtain life insurance with the next company you apply to. The trick then is to avoid the declines, by finding which companies are most likely to approve your policy. Only an experienced life insurance agent will be able to help you to do that.

I Have Sleep Apnea What Is It

Prior to diving into life insurance options for those with apnea, lets talk a bit about the condition.

Whether moderate or severe, about 18 million people live with this awful sleeping disorder in the U.S. alone.

Thats a large chunk of the population.

Best Rates For Life Insurance With Sleep Apnea

People with apnea stop breathing periodically while they sleep. This causes carbon dioxide to build up in the bloodstream.

Once this happens, a receptor causes the brain to wake up so that they begin breathing again. This cycle tends to continue throughout the night.

Many people do not realize that they have it. However, if untreated it can cause several major issues, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, etc. On top of this, those who suffer from sleep deprivation, already do not sleep properly throughout the night as it is.

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What Is Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep-related breathing condition that affects both males and females. Those who are diagnosed will decrease their breathing or completely stop breathing for a short period of time while they sleep. These short periods of breathing difficulties are called apneas, and sleep apnea leads to repetitive apneas throughout the night. The other health issues that sleep apnea can increase the risk of and be related to ourcardiovascular, coronary artery disease and other cardiac-related conditions, such as heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia This condition can be potentially serious and it is listed as a condition that life insurance companies use to determine your life insurance coverage while underwriting. To learn more about what underwriting is and how it relates to your life insurance read our complete guide about the different kinds of underwriting that exist.

How Common is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is common and it is actually growing amongst Canadians. Statistics show that it is also popular in Canada as 6% of Canadians have reported that they have been diagnosed with sleep apnea by a medical professional. There are also a large number of Canadians who are self-reporting their sleep apnea, though they are not officially diagnosed, it does make sense with how popular it is. People are urged to get sleep exams and try to find out if they are really suffering from sleep apnea.

Types of Sleep Apnea

A combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea.

Surgical Procedures For Sleep Apnea

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There are many different types of surgery for sleep apnea and snoring. But CPAP is the first treatment option for anyone who has sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy also is an alternative treatment option for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea. The members of the sleep team will help you decide if surgery is right for you.

Surgery may be a multi-step process involving more than one procedure. You may need to continue using CPAP even when surgery successfully reduces the severity of sleep apnea. It is important to follow up regularly with your sleep physician after surgery.

Surgical options include:

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty
This procedure, and other types of soft palate surgery, targets the back of the roof of your mouth. It involves removing and repositioning excess tissue in the throat to make the airway wider. The surgeon can trim down your soft palate and uvula, remove your tonsils, and reposition some of the muscles of the soft palate. UPPP and other soft palate procedures are the most common type of surgery for sleep apnea. But UPPP alone is unlikely to cure moderate to severe sleep apnea. It may be combined with surgeries that target other sites in the upper airway.

Radiofrequency Volumetric Tissue Reduction Radiofrequency ablation is a treatment option for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea. It uses controlled cauterization to shrink and tighten the tissues in and around the throat. It can be applied to the soft palate, tonsils and tongue.

Tracheostomy

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No Exam Term Life Insurance And Sleep Apnea

For anyone struggling to get accepted by a life insurance company due to health issues, a no medical exam life insurance policy is always an option. However, prepare for these plans to be more expensive.

You may want to consider hiring an independent insurance agent to assist you. In fact, this is usually a solid investment, since an agent will help connect you with the top carriers, and improve your chances of finding a low-priced policy.

Sleep Apnea Life Insurance

Can I get life insurance with sleep apnea? Who are the best life insurance companies for sleep apnea? If you are wondering if you can get life insurance with sleep apnea, youll need to understand what life insurance companies are looking at before they offer you a policy.

Sleep disorders are incredibly common, and among the most widespread is sleep apnea. Second only to insomnia, sleep apnea is a reality for over 18 million Americans and affects many aspects of their daily lives. When it comes to life insurance, sleep apnea can also affect coverage and policy rates. Fortunately, your chances of getting the best rates with this sleep disorder are best if you are prepared.

> > Quick Tip: You can contact us now or start comparing quotes online, but in the meantime keep reading for more information on what to expect when applying for life insurance with sleep apnea.

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Questions To Be Ready To Answer

If your agent is a special risk agent they will need to ask you several questions about your medical history. This helps the agent know what particular carrier might offer the lowest rates.

This is very important. You do not want to submit an application to an insurance company until you get a tentative offer for coverage.

An agent with no experience will typically make this mistake. Not knowing what to do or how to proceed with this type of case, they oftentimes will just submit an application an hope it sticks.

How does this help? If the underwriter knows nothing about your condition then you are just hoping and dreaming for the best. Unfortunately, this often leads to disappointment when the policy comes back declined or highly rated. Dont waste time applying until your agent feels really confident that the tentative offer for coverage will be approved.

Here are some of the general questions your agent will ask:

  • Date of birth

Avoiding The Higher Rates Associated With High

What To Know About Sleep Apnea And Life Insurance

Smokers, those with high-risk occupations and those who engage in certain sports or hobbies will occupy the highest risk tier, which means they will generally pay the highest rates. Immediately below them will be those who have heart disease or who are morbidly obese. These individuals are likely to pay as much as 50 percent more than the preferred rates. Other serious health conditions or advanced age may also lead to increased insurance rates or placement in a high-risk tier.The most common high-risk applicant that applies for life insurance coverage is smokers. As we mentioned, smokers are going to pay more for life insurance. In fact, smokers are going to pay at least twice as much for their life insurance versus what a non-smoker is going to pay for the same sized plan. If you want to save thousands of dollars on your life insurance coverage, then quitting smoking is one of the best ways to do that.

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Best Companies For Life Insurance With Sleep Apnea

There are several top-rated life insurance carriers that will offer life insurance with sleep apnea history. In comparing insurers, it is important to compare premium rates, but you should also consider company ratings, policy offerings, underwriting standards, and other relevant factors. If you have a history of sleep apnea, or other medical conditions, even minor differences in underwriting policies can have a significant impact on policy approval, underwriting class, and premium rates. In our experience, the following companies are recommended for individuals with a history of sleep apnea.

Apnea Hypopnea Index And Oxygen Levels

Sleep apnea is usually diagnosed using some form of sleep study or monitoring. The life insurance company will want the results of your most recent study, which will include the following data:

  • Apnea hypopnea index /respiratory disturbance index : number of pauses in breathing or instances of shallow breathing per hour of sleep

  • Oxygen saturation: a measure of your blood oxygen levels, which decreases if breathing is paused or shallow

An AHI of five to 15 indicates mild sleep apnea, while 15 to 30 is considered moderate and more than 30 is considered severe. Oxygen saturation levels up to 86% are considered mild, 80% to 85% are moderate, and under 80% are considered severe.

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Best Guide To Sleep Apnea Life Insurance

Wouldnt it be nice to wake up like this every morning knowing that you found the perfect term insurance policy- even with sleep apnea?

Update 6/14/2021

CPAP therapy may have a protective effect on adverse cardiovascular outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease and nonsleepy obstructive sleep apnea who have greater heart rate responses to sleep apnea events.

Greater heart rate response to respiratory events could be used to select patients most likely to exhibit long-term cardiovascular benefit from CPAP therapy, Ali Azarbarzin, PhD, with the division of sleep and circadian disorders at Brigham and Womens Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said during a presentation at the virtual American Thoracic Society International Conference.

If you are searching for sleep apnea life insurance, youll love this article

There are a TON of other sites that merely discuss sleep apnea and a basic overview of the life insurance application process.

One of my main Competitors, Quotacy, has a popular blog post, but no others delve as deeply into the subject of sleep apnea life insurance as we do in this guide and on our entire site.

In fact, not even PolicyGenius or LifeInsuranceByJeff come close to going as deeply into the subject of sleep disorders and life insurance.

And why would they?

It takes a MASSIVE amount of time and research to come up with excellent resources on high-risk life insurance.

Getting The Best Insurance Rates

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Those who are in good health and have a family history free of serious health problems are most likely to receive preferred or select rates for their insurance policies. These are the best possible rates, which are reserved for those individuals who are considered to be the lowest risk to the insurance company. While serious health conditions can affect health insurance rates, if an individual is treated for those health conditions and his or her health is under good control, the insurance company will take that under consideration at the time of application. Medical records, lab work and other information will be gathered to more accurately assess the current and potential future state of the applicant’s health so that he or she can be placed in the proper risk category.

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What Is The Life Expectancy Of Someone With Obstructive Sleep Apnea

People who suffer from moderate to severe OSA are 4x more likely to die when the sleep disorder is left untreated. If your OSA is untreated, you are likely sleep-deprived.

Adequate uninterrupted sleep is essential for our bodies to heal itself. And the frequent fragmenting of your sleep caused by sleep apnea’s dysfunctional breathing patterns means you arenât getting the restorative rest your body and brain need to function at optimal levels, potentially causing you to injure yourself.

Life Insurance And Sleep Apnea

A sleep apnea diagnosis can lead a life insurance company to decline coverage. Even if you get coverage, the insurer may charge a higher rate with limited coverage.

But there’s some good news. Some insurance brokers say that you can get equitable coverage, depending on your particular medical condition and how you treat it.

Much depends on the severity of the sleep apnea — mild, moderate or severe — and compliance with treatment, says Ed Hinerman of the Hinerman Group, which specializes in impaired risk life insurance underwriting.

One effective treatment is the use of continuous positive airway pressure , which uses a mask and air pump to provide airflow during breath inhalation to prevent collapse of the airway.

People who have a mild to moderate condition and no other risk factors, and who undergo an effective treatment, such as CPAP, would not be assessed a surcharge for an existing medical condition and would be considered by some insurers for preferred plus classification, says Hinerman.

When you’re getting life insurance quotes, your rates will be set in part by your “risk class.” That’s defined by an insurer’s “underwriting guidelines.” The better your risk class, the lower your premiums. A “preferred plus” classification means you pay less than if you received a “preferred” or “standard” risk classification.

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Life Insurance Classifications For People With Sleep Apnea

Severity of illnessLikely Life Insurance Rating Classifications*What Policy Underwriters Consider When They Rate Your Policy
Mild to moderate sleep apnea that is controlledPreferred plus or bestSome life insurance carriers offer their best rates to people with sleep apnea when the conditions are optimal for longevity. An optimal case includes:1. Mild to moderate severity2. Good treatment compliance, such as wearing a CPAP machine regularly3. Absence of other risk factors, such as obesity, tobacco use, or heart disease
Moderate sleep apnea that is untreatedBetween standard and Table 4A standard rating will lead to a premium that is about double the cost of a preferred plus rating. A Table 2 rating costs about 50% more than a standard rating, and Table 4 costs about twice as much as the standard rating.
Severe sleep apnea that is treatedStandardA person with severe sleep apnea who is compliant with treatment will likely receive a standard rating.Keep in mind that every case is different and that each individual brings his or her own unique medical history to the table, so decisions can vary.
Severe sleep apnea that is untreatedSevere sleep apnea that goes untreated is likely to result in a declined application.

*Each case of sleep apnea is different. Your classification and costs will depend on your overall health and your insurers underwriting guidelines.

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