While there are many types of eating disorders that have been identified by the medical community, ranging for life threatening cases of anorexia all the way to night eating syndrome which is categorized by excessive nighttime snacking, in this article we want to focus on three of the most common types which are:
- Anorexia nervosa.
- Bulimia nervosa.
- And binge-eating disorder.
Since all three of these medical conditions can potentially disqualify you from being eligible for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy, we want to take a moment to first define each of these conditions and then briefly discuss how they will be viewed by an insurance underwriter.
Anorexia Nervosa Defined.
Anorexia nervosa is a medical condition that is defined as an emotional disorder that fixates an individual on the need to lose weight by refusing to eat.
Patients will often experience a distorted image of their own body which will lead to an obsessive desire to lose more weight. Unfortunately, the cause of anorexia nervosa is not fully understood, but due to the fact that over 200,000 Americans will become anorexic each and every year you can bet that there is a significant amount of research being done to help determine its cause soon!
Symptoms of anorexia nervosa will include:
- Extreme weight loss.
- Abnormal blood counts.
- Elevated liver enzymes indicative of liver damage.
- Fatigue and or fainting.
- Brittle nails.
- Along with a host of other potential symptoms.
Treatment will often consist of a combination of:
- Therapy and support groups.
- Psychiatric care.
- And prescription medications including: Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Antipsychotic medications.
Bulimia Nervosa Defined:
Bulimia nervosa is defined as an emotional disorder involving a distorted body image of the patient, that will create an obsessive desire for them to lose weight. For those suffering from bulimia, this desire to lose weight will lead to excessive eating followed by depression and self-induced vomiting, purging, or fasting.
Like anorexia, bulimia can also become life threatening condition and should always be treated seriously by professionals.
Symptoms associated with bulimia nervosa will often include:
- Binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting.
- Compulsive behavior,
- An aversion to food,
- Frequent and severe weight changes,
- As well as bad breath and dental cavities.
Treatment for bulimia will typically include counseling, medications and nutritional education so that a healthy relationship with food can be created.
Binge Eating Disorder.
Binge eating disorder will typically be defined as a serous eating disorder in which one will frequently consume unusually large amounts of food and while feeling both physically and mentally incapable to stopping themselves.
Symptoms will often include:
- Lack of self-control while eating,
- And shame.
Treatments for binge eating disorder will typically center around therapeutic techniques which will be designed around helping individuals to understand their thoughts and feelings about their actions as well as what potential issues they may have regarding their own self-image.
Now in all fairness…
Let us be the first to admit that when it comes to diagnosing or treating any one of these medical conditions, we here at TermLife2Go are the last one’s you should ask!
After all, we’re not doctor’s we’re just a bunch of life insurance agents!
If you think you may have an eating disorder, just understand this, these conditions can be life threatening and should be considered as serious as cancer, heart disease or stroke.
Which is why even if you just think you might have a problem, please consult your doctor immediately.
With that said… Let’s now discuss how these conditions will be viewed by the life insurance industry.
Here on out, for the purposes of our discussion, we’re going to lump anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder under the “umbrella term” of eating disorders. We’ll do this simply because from a life insurance underwriting perspective, the insurance companies are going to view these very similarly and will generally ask the same questions for each of these pre exsisitng medical conditions.
Those currently “active” in their eating disorder.
As a general rule of thumb, anyone that is currently “active” in their eating disorder, will not be eligible for a fully underwritten or simplified issue life insurance policy. The reason for this is simple, these conditions can potentially lead to life threatening medical conditions which left untreated could lead to an early death!
If your condition has been diagnosed, you’ve sought treatment and you’re currently doing well managing your eating disorder for over a year, there is a good chance that you may in fact be eligible for fully underwritten term or whole life insurance policy.
The insurance rate that you’ll be eligible for will then be determined by how severe your condition was, and how well you’re currently managing your disease.
Prior to making any decisions regarding your life insurance application, insurance companies will typically…
- Request copies of your medical records for review.
- Order a prescription database check to review what medications you’ve been prescribed.
- And ask you a series of health and lifestyle questions to try and determine what “type” of risk you will be for the insurance company.
Common questions you’ll likely be asked about your eating disorder will be:
- What type of eating disorder to you have?
- Who diagnosed your eating disorder? A general practitioner or a psychiatrist?
- When were you first diagnosed with your eating disorder?
- How long have you been treating your eating disorder?
- What types of treatments have you been using?
- Are you currently taking any prescription medications?
- Are you continuing to receive treatment for your disorder?
- Have you ever been hospitalized for you eating disorder?
- What is your current height and weight?
- Over the last year, has your weight changed my more than 10 pounds?
Additional health related questions which will be asked during a typical life insurance applicant regardless of whether or not they have ever suffered from an eating disorder will include:
- Have you ever been diagnosed of any other pre-existing medical conditions other than your eating disorder?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, stroke or diabetes?
- Has any of your immediate family members ever been diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, stroke or diabetes?
Lastly, insurance companies will also be interested in lifestyle choices which may or may not have an effect on the outcome of your life insurance application. These questions will typically look something like this:
- In the past 12 months have you used any tobacco or nicotine products?
- In the past 12 months have you used any marijuana products?
- Do you have any issues with your driver’s license such as a suspended license, multiple moving violations and/DUI?
- Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?
- In the past 2 years have you participated in or do you plan to participate in any dangerous activities such as rock climbing, sky diving or bungie jumping?
- Are you currently working now?
- And lastly, in the past 12 months have you applied for or received any form of disability benefits?
The insurance companies and we here at TermLife2Go should have a pretty good idea about what “types” of life insurance policies you may or may not be eligible for, as well as, what rate class you might receive.
For those who simply can’t qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy right now, we also has some insurance products that you won’t need to medically qualify for. These types of policies are known as guaranteed issue life insurance policies and accidental death insurance policies.
And while these alternative products are not typically our first choice for most of our clients, if it turns out that you’re not currently eligible for anything else, it’s nice to at least be able to consider all available options that are out there!
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and see what we can do for you!
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!