Term life insurance with significant health issues

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills.
Post Reply
Topic Author
Boricua
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:25 pm

Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by Boricua »

I'm posting here on behalf of a couple I know who are interested in purchasing term life insurance. Both people in the couple have had some significant health challenges.

English is not their first language so I'm just trying to help them out. My suspicion is that there might not be any good options for them, but I agreed to see what I can find out.

Here's a quick summary.

The husband is 45 years old. He was diagnosed with stage 4 sinus cancer in August 2023. He received radiation therapy and chemo. Two recent biopsies have shown no evidence of cancer. He has been described as a light smoker and a former heavy drinker. My understanding is that he still has 2-3 drinks per day most days of the week (which might still put him in a heavy drinker category).

The wife is 52 years old. Non-smoker. She had a kidney transplant in 2016. Her kidney is apparently doing well. My understanding is that she has been in the ER a few times over the last few years due to bouts of migraine-like pain (for which she takes aspirin).

They're interested in $100K of 20 year term on each individual.

Given their health histories, is 20 year term insurance likely to even be an option for them? Are there any other options they should consider?
delamer
Posts: 17785
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:13 pm

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by delamer »

A $100,000 of term life insurance seems very low.

What is the purpose of the insurance?
One thing that humbles me deeply is to see that human genius has its limits while human stupidity does not. - Alexandre Dumas, fils
User avatar
Stinky
Posts: 14692
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:38 am
Location: Sweet Home Alabama

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by Stinky »

A diagnosis of stage 4 cancer in the last year sounds pretty serious to me.

I never worked as a life insurance underwriter, so I can’t offer knowledgeable comments about whether they can get life insurance. I’d suggest that they go to term4sale.com, which should refer them to several agents who can help them explore their options.

There are a few folks who post here, especially Chardo and BruDude, who have a pretty good knowledge of life insurance underwriting. If they don’t post in this thread, you might private message them to see if they can give you some indications.
Retired life insurance company financial executive who sincerely believes that ”It’s a GREAT day to be alive!”
Chardo
Posts: 1430
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2022 12:16 pm

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by Chardo »

Unfortunately stage 4 cancer last year will be uninsurable with any company.

Kidney transplant could be insurable depending on the reason for the transplant and current kidney function. There would also need to be a favorable explanation for those headaches.

They might want to consider an accidental death policy. Not a perfect solution, but may be better than nothing. They could buy the 100k they want, even more, regardless of health.
Katietsu
Posts: 7760
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by Katietsu »

Any chance that they qualify for any guaranteed issue life insurance? These can be issued through the workplace or through associations in my experience.
cashmoney
Posts: 796
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:15 pm

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by cashmoney »

Katietsu wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2024 9:49 pm Any chance that they qualify for any guaranteed issue life insurance? These can be issued through the workplace or through associations in my experience.


If they can fog a mirror they can get a GI smaller face amount whole life policies usually up to 25k with 2 year exclusion.The lowest cost for this type of insurance by far is through Mutual of Omaha direct .The lowest premium plan through agents for GI that i am aware of is Gerber Life.

disclaimer licensed agent
helloeveryone
Posts: 1297
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by helloeveryone »

Chardo wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2024 9:29 pm Unfortunately stage 4 cancer last year will be uninsurable with any company.

Kidney transplant could be insurable depending on the reason for the transplant and current kidney function. There would also need to be a favorable explanation for those headaches.

They might want to consider an accidental death policy. Not a perfect solution, but may be better than nothing. They could buy the 100k they want, even more, regardless of health.
Would working for a company that offers group term life work for folks with history of stage 4 cancers? That might be their best option assuming they can find a suitable employer with similar jobs and pay.
Chardo
Posts: 1430
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2022 12:16 pm

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by Chardo »

helloeveryone wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2024 10:29 pm
Chardo wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2024 9:29 pm Unfortunately stage 4 cancer last year will be uninsurable with any company.

Kidney transplant could be insurable depending on the reason for the transplant and current kidney function. There would also need to be a favorable explanation for those headaches.

They might want to consider an accidental death policy. Not a perfect solution, but may be better than nothing. They could buy the 100k they want, even more, regardless of health.
Would working for a company that offers group term life work for folks with history of stage 4 cancers? That might be their best option assuming they can find a suitable employer with similar jobs and pay.
Employer group life is an option, if it's a large enough company. Though it's usually only available when first hired. Later enrollment would require evidence of insurability. If they want to find a new job with a big company just to get some life insurance, ok, have at it.
Valuethinker
Posts: 49566
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by Valuethinker »

Boricua wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2024 4:36 pm I'm posting here on behalf of a couple I know who are interested in purchasing term life insurance. Both people in the couple have had some significant health challenges.

English is not their first language so I'm just trying to help them out. My suspicion is that there might not be any good options for them, but I agreed to see what I can find out.

Here's a quick summary.

The husband is 45 years old. He was diagnosed with stage 4 sinus cancer in August 2023. He received radiation therapy and chemo. Two recent biopsies have shown no evidence of cancer. He has been described as a light smoker and a former heavy drinker. My understanding is that he still has 2-3 drinks per day most days of the week (which might still put him in a heavy drinker category).

The wife is 52 years old. Non-smoker. She had a kidney transplant in 2016. Her kidney is apparently doing well. My understanding is that she has been in the ER a few times over the last few years due to bouts of migraine-like pain (for which she takes aspirin).

They're interested in $100K of 20 year term on each individual.

Given their health histories, is 20 year term insurance likely to even be an option for them? Are there any other options they should consider?
Group or professional association policies?

It's possible for very high risk people to get life insurance. A cousin, 80s with a heart condition, did it via Lloyds of London, the insurance market which specialises in unusual risks (eg shipping, oil & gas)-- not to be confused with Lloyds Bank. You would access that market through an insurance broker.

But generally the cost will be prohibitive given the health issues.

Why do they want/ need life insurance? Because even if they are insurable (I doubt the cancer patient is) then it will cost. A shorter term would of course be cheaper.
Chardo
Posts: 1430
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2022 12:16 pm

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by Chardo »

Too bad the heavy drinking smoker didn't think about life insurance after his wife needed a new kidney 8 years ago.
BruDude
Posts: 4261
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:28 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by BruDude »

They’re both going to get declined by everyone. Stage 4 cancer is an auto decline for at least 5-10 years. If he’s a heavy drinker that alone is probably a decline regardless of the cancer.

Kidney transplant is a decline 99 times out of 100, I personally have never had someone with any kind of transplant get approved. If they stop taking the anti-rejection meds they can die, so obviously that’s a massive risk.

The wife is old enough to get guaranteed issue policies but they won’t be cheap and max coverage per policy is $25k with a two year waiting period for full payout. The husband is too young to get guaranteed issue coverage, they generally start at age 50+. I believe Great Western still does up to $40k guaranteed issue as low as age 40 but it’s not cheap. Probably a good deal still given the described health.

If they don’t speak English very well they would really need an agent who speaks their language to explain all of this and how the guaranteed issue policies work.

Accidental death policies are an option but that’s only going to pay for death from an accident so it’s not great.

Group life insurance is their best option of getting anything but coverage amounts are generally pretty low without further medical underwriting, they might be able to get $100k. Group life varies by employer and many employers can only offer $10-50k with guaranteed approval.
Topic Author
Boricua
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:25 pm

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by Boricua »

Thanks to all who responded. Much appreciated!
delamer wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2024 5:01 pm A $100,000 of term life insurance seems very low. What is the purpose of the insurance?
I think they'd like more, but they have limited financial resources.

My understanding is that at a minimum they'd like coverage for burial, funeral or other final expenses if one of them dies young. That said, ideally they'd like more coverage up to the limit of what they can afford on a limited income
Chardo wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2024 9:29 pm Unfortunately stage 4 cancer last year will be uninsurable with any company.
I suspected that might be the case, but it's great to hear from someone in the industry. Thank you.

Chardo wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2024 9:29 pm Kidney transplant could be insurable depending on the reason for the transplant and current kidney function. There would also need to be a favorable explanation for those headaches.
OK. I can try to find out more.
cashmoney wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2024 10:26 pm If they can fog a mirror they can get a GI smaller face amount whole life policies usually up to 25k with 2 year exclusion.The lowest cost for this type of insurance by far is through Mutual of Omaha direct .The lowest premium plan through agents for GI that i am aware of is Gerber Life.

disclaimer licensed agent
Thank you for identifying these options. This might be a way for them to at least meet their funeral/final expense objective.


Chardo wrote: Thu Jun 06, 2024 10:37 pm
Employer group life is an option, if it's a large enough company. Though it's usually only available when first hired. Later enrollment would require evidence of insurability. If they want to find a new job with a big company just to get some life insurance, ok, have at it.
Both are refugees that were resettled in the U.S. Job options are limited.

BruDude wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 9:03 am They’re both going to get declined by everyone. Stage 4 cancer is an auto decline for at least 5-10 years. If he’s a heavy drinker that alone is probably a decline regardless of the cancer.

Kidney transplant is a decline 99 times out of 100, I personally have never had someone with any kind of transplant get approved. If they stop taking the anti-rejection meds they can die, so obviously that’s a massive risk.
Once again, it's great to hear from someone who works in the industry. Thank you.
BruDude wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 9:03 am The wife is old enough to get guaranteed issue policies but they won’t be cheap and max coverage per policy is $25k with a two year waiting period for full payout. The husband is too young to get guaranteed issue coverage, they generally start at age 50+. I believe Great Western still does up to $40k guaranteed issue as low as age 40 but it’s not cheap. Probably a good deal still given the described health.
It looks like the Mutual of Omaha GI option identified above might be an option age-wise (45+).


The Mutual of Omaha site mentions the following limitations and exclusions: "During the first two years, if you die from natural causes (any cause other than accidental), your beneficiaries will receive all premiums paid, plus 10%. After two years, the full benefit is paid for death due to all causes. For accidental death - independent of sickness and all other causes – full benefits are paid from the first day our policy is issued." That all seems pretty reasonable. Are there any other major issues one should be aware of?
Chardo
Posts: 1430
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2022 12:16 pm

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by Chardo »

BruDude wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 9:03 am
Kidney transplant is a decline 99 times out of 100, I personally have never had someone with any kind of transplant get approved. If they stop taking the anti-rejection meds they can die, so obviously that’s a massive risk.
I got a policy issued on a heart transplant. That's a 99 out of 100 situation, but it was the perfect storm. Kidney is a little better odds, though most kidney recipients will not qualify. Best odds would be a non-diabetic with kidney from a living relative, no other medical conditions, and no serious rejection episodes. Even that best case would be highly rated, likely higher than the maximum for term insurance. So you're looking at a very expensive permanent policy.
BruDude
Posts: 4261
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:28 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by BruDude »

Boricua wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 9:47 am
It looks like the Mutual of Omaha GI option identified above might be an option age-wise (45+).


The Mutual of Omaha site mentions the following limitations and exclusions: "During the first two years, if you die from natural causes (any cause other than accidental), your beneficiaries will receive all premiums paid, plus 10%. After two years, the full benefit is paid for death due to all causes. For accidental death - independent of sickness and all other causes – full benefits are paid from the first day our policy is issued." That all seems pretty reasonable. Are there any other major issues one should be aware of?
That is correct, all of the guaranteed issue policies work in a similar way with a return of premiums plus interest in the first two years, then full payout starting in year 3. Given their poor health, it might still be a "good deal" despite the high cost for a small benefit. I'm not sure what the citizenship rules are exactly but it's also possible that they may not be eligible if they aren't US citizens.
exodusNH
Posts: 10880
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:21 pm

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by exodusNH »

Boricua wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 9:47 am My understanding is that at a minimum they'd like coverage for burial, funeral or other final expenses if one of them dies young. That said, ideally they'd like more coverage up to the limit of what they can afford on a limited income
If their state has a cremation society, they could look to prepay burial expenses. It's usually pretty affordable and prevents the survivor from being taken advantage of while they're grieving.
Topic Author
Boricua
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:25 pm

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by Boricua »

BruDude wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 11:54 am
That is correct, all of the guaranteed issue policies work in a similar way with a return of premiums plus interest in the first two years, then full payout starting in year 3. Given their poor health, it might still be a "good deal" despite the high cost for a small benefit. I'm not sure what the citizenship rules are exactly but it's also possible that they may not be eligible if they aren't US citizens.
Thank you for this. I hadn't even considered the citizenship aspect.
Topic Author
Boricua
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:25 pm

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by Boricua »

exodusNH wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 1:37 pm
If their state has a cremation society, they could look to prepay burial expenses. It's usually pretty affordable and prevents the survivor from being taken advantage of while they're grieving.
Thank you. Based on quick internet search, our state does appear to have a cremation society.
rich126
Posts: 4617
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:56 pm

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by rich126 »

Rates start shooting up on medical issues. It is why at times I will post to various threads it is best to buy sooner/longer terms when healthy since you have no idea when you will have a health issue that will increase the rates significantly.
----------------------------- | If you think something is important and it doesn't involve the health of someone, think again. Life goes too fast, enjoy it and be nice.
Katietsu
Posts: 7760
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Term life insurance with significant health issues

Post by Katietsu »

Boricua wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 4:17 pm
exodusNH wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 1:37 pm
If their state has a cremation society, they could look to prepay burial expenses. It's usually pretty affordable and prevents the survivor from being taken advantage of while they're grieving.
Thank you. Based on quick internet search, our state does appear to have a cremation society.
Final expenses do not need to be 5 figures to be respectful. For instance, a friend was cremated at a cost of about $1400. A church service and reception in the church hall was held a couple of weeks later. The family probably spent $500 for food and drinks with friends and extended relatives providing additional sides and desserts. I assume they gave a donation or fee to the minister. But all told, the cost was about $2000. Are they part of a religious organization or involved in a community of fellow immigrants that could offer support for such an event?

I know this can be personal. My parents’ wishes involved a cost of about $10,000 while my in-laws are/were likely $20,000. My spouse and I have hopes of having just a few thousand spent. I hope they can find an arrangement that allows for comfort and grieving without sacrificing financial security.
Post Reply