Great Life Insurance Tips for Those with Arthritis (Osteo and Rheumatoid).

Whenever we get a call from a client who is suffering from arthritis and may be taking medications to treat it, the first thing that we’ll want to determine is:

“What type of arthritis does our client have?

This is because when it comes to purchasing life insurance, the type of arthritis that you have will play an enormous role in determining what “kind” of life insurance you may or may not be eligible for, as well as how much money you may be required to pay in order to purchase your insurance coverage.

Arthritis Defined.

Arthritis is defined as a medical condition in which the tissues located between ones’ joints become inflamed creating a painful situation.  This inflammation can occur due to an infection and/or injury as seen with osteoarthritis (OA) or may be due to an autoimmune disorder caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Osteoarthritis (OA).

Osteoarthritis is clinically defined as the degeneration of cartilage and the underlying bones found within the joints.  It is by far the more common type of arthritis affecting over 3 million Americans each and every year!

Osteoarthritis, will generally be the “type” of arthritis that people will commonly complain about as they grow older, and for most osteoarthritis will not become a debilitating medical condition.

Treatments for OA may include:

  • Physical exercise and stretching.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, analgesic and in some cases narcotics.
  • As well as some surgical procedures, such as: arthroscopy and/or joint replacement if necessary.

Applying for life insurance coverage with Osteoarthritis.

When it comes to applying for life insurance coverage with a pre-existing medical condition such as osteoarthritis, what you’re generally going to find is that “most” life insurance applicants will “potentially” be eligible for a Preferred or Preferred best rate class despite being diagnosed with OA, assuming that they would otherwise be qualified.

For this reason, we here at TermLife2Go will often have our clients consider both traditional term and whole life insurance policies (which will require a medical exam) as well as simplified issue term and whole life insurance policies which will not require a medical exam and can go in force in as little as 24 hours!

Issues related to osteoarthritis that could affect the outcome of an applicant’s life insurance application may include:

  • The use of pain narcotics to treat their OA (which could cause a life insurance company to deny your application). Underwriters will want to know:
    • What pain medications are you taking?
    • How long have you been taking them?
    • Over the past 12 months have those prescriptions changed?
    • Do you have any history of abuse of these medications?
  • Recent (within the last 6 weeks) or upcoming surgical procedures which could potentially cause your application to be “postponed” until a later date.
  • Work history. Has your osteoarthritis forced you to stop working or apply for some type of disability benefits?

Again, in most cases, being diagnosed with osteoarthritis shouldn’t be an issue during the application process.  That being said however, insurance underwriters will inquire about the “severity” of your condition, which is why it’s always important to “shop” your options whenever you are considering applying for life insurance so that you can be sure that you are applying for coverage with a insurance company that will be best suited to meet your needs.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is defined as a chronic progressive autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, swelling and stiffness as well as loss of function in ones’ joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis will affect over 200,000 Americans and is one of the leading causes of people applying for and receiving disability benefits.

The good news is that…

While there is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis, physical therapy and medications have been shown to help slow down the disease progression.

When it comes to applying for life insurance…

After being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, the first thing that we’ll want to point out is that you should still be able to qualify for term or whole life insurance requiring an exam.  Now you’ll typically only be able to qualify for a Table Rated policy meaning that you would be considered a “higher risk” applicant than someone who hasn’t been diagnosed with RA, but HEY… at least you’ve been approved.

We also generally won’t advise our clients to apply for simplified issue no exam life insurance policy simply because these types of policies will often times be more difficult for someone to qualify for, particularly if they have a pre-existing condition like rheumatoid arthritis.

Now with that being said, being approved for coverage with rheumatoid arthritis will not be a foregone conclusion.  In fact, how are you treating your rheumatoid arthritis?  And how well your rheumatoid arthritis being managed?  Will play a large role in the outcome of your life insurance application.

What we can tell you is that as a general rule of thumb is that:

  • Those using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications will typically fare better than those using Methotrexate and/Prednisone.
  • And those who are currently working or have not applied for or received any form of disability benefits will generally fare better than those who have.


The main takeaway that we hope you gain by reading this article is that regardless of what type of arthritis you may or may not have, when it comes time to purchasing life insurance, you should have several options available to you.

This is particularly true…

If you chose to work with a company like TermLife2Go which operates as an independent life insurance brokerage that is able to work with dozens of highly rated life insurance companies, all in an effort to help you find the best life insurance policy that you can qualify for!

So, what are you waiting for?  Give us a call today or visit our Life Insurance Quotes page and see what we can do for you!

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