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Life Insurance For Those on Dialysis, end stage Kidney Failure

Researcher & Writer
August 05, 2017

In this article, we want to limit our discussion about getting life insurance while on dialysis to those folks who are suffering from chronic or end stage kidney failure.

We want to limit the scope of this article because, while kidney failure is typically permanent, it’s NOT ALWAYS permanent.  In fact, some kinds of acute kidney failure will get better after treatment which will make being able to determine what types of life insurance policies may or may not be possible for these applicants becomes much more difficult to determine.

For this reason…

In this discussion, we’re going to keep our discussion to those more serious cases where treatment is unlikely to improve their kidney functioning, and dialysis will likely continue unless a transplant is made available.

So, are there life insurance policies available for those suffering from chronic or end stage kidney failure?

Short answer:  Yes.

Long answer:  It depends.

When it comes time to finding life insurance coverage for someone who is currently receiving kidney dialysis what we’re going to need to do is look at what options are available that aren’t going to ask any medical questions or require the applicant to take any kind of medical exam. These are policies offered by the best final expense or burial insurance companies.

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This is because…

If we try to apply for a traditional life insurance policy that will require a medical exam or will ask health related questions the applicants who are currently receiving dialysis simply won’t qualify! That is why it is important to differentiate between guaranteed issue and simplified issue life insurance.

Which leads us to…

What are called guaranteed acceptance or guaranteed issue life insurance policies.  These are life insurance policies that won’t require the applicant to answer any health related questions or take a medical exam.  In fact, there will only be two requirements that must be met in order for an applicant to qualify.

  • First, the applicant must be a US citizen.
  • Second, the applicant must be between the age of 40-85 years of age (product may not be available in your state).

And that’s it! These policies are typically reserved for those looking for burial insurance or final expense life insurance.

But let’s not get too excited…

Because as we said before, when it comes to getting life insurance while receiving dialysis, the answer isn’t always so simple it “depends”.

You see…

Guaranteed issue life insurance policies are going to have their disadvantages, the first of which is that they’re generally going to be limited to about $25,000 dollars in coverage.  So while “yes” folks who are currently receiving dialysis to treat their chronic or end stage kidney failure, can qualify for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, only having access to $25,000 in coverage may simply not be enough to meet a clients needs!


There are two other major disadvantages that need to be discussed so that one can have a complete picture of what it means to purchase a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy.


Dollar for dollar, what you’re going to find is that most guaranteed issue life insurance policies are going to cost more than traditional term or whole life insurance policy that are going to require a medical exam or ask health related questions.

But then again, if a guaranteed issue life insurance policy is all that one can qualify for, having to pay a bit more for coverage that will accept them at times will definitely seem like a fair trade off!

The last disadvantage that we want to discuss is the one know as the Graded Death Benefit.  Within most if not all guaranteed issue life insurance policies, there will be a clause written into the policy that is known as a Graded Death Benefit.

Now the reason why these “clauses” need to be viewed as a disadvantage is because these clauses are included into guaranteed issue life insurance policies in order to benefit the insurance company which is why it’s so important to understand what they do!

Graded Death Benefit defined:

A graded death benefit clause is a clause that you will find in most if not all guaranteed issue life insurance policies that states that your guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy WILL NOT PROVIDE COVERAGE for a death due to “natural causes” for a certain period of time (typically 2-3 years depending on the insurance carrier) once you purchase your life insurance policy.

Or in other words, you’ll need to wait a certain amount of time (typically 2-3 years), prior to your guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy providing coverage for “natural causes” of death.

Now for the purposes of our discussion here, it’s important to understand what a Natural Cause of death is.  The best way to understand what a natural cause of death is would be to consider a natural cause of death any death that is caused by an illness.

An illness such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes etc…

Guaranteed acceptance life insurance policies will cover accidental causes of death immediately which would include causes such as a slip and fall, motor vehicle accident, natural disaster, etc…

Now you may be thinking…

Wait a second, why would I want to buy a life insurance policy that’s going to make me wait 2-3 years before it’s going to cover me for natural causes of death?

Which is a really good question…

But before we get too upset, we need to remember that the insurance companies are taking a HUGE risk by not requiring applicants to answer any health related questions or take a medical exam in order to qualify for these types of life insurance policies.

In fact…

You could literally apply for this life insurance policy just moments away from passing away, and the insurance company would have absolutely no idea.  This is why they created the graded death benefit.

The graded death benefit is what allows insurance companies to offer a guaranteed issue life insurance policy and it’s also what makes offering coverage to those who wouldn’t otherwise be eligible now have a chance at purchasing coverage!


It’s not all bad news when it comes to discussing the graded death benefit clause, because most graded death benefit clauses will also include some type of reimbursement program should the insured die from natural causes during the graded death benefit period.

In most cases, should the insured die from natural causes during the graded death benefit, most if not all of the paid premiums will be returned to the insured beneficiaries so it will be as though the insured didn’t actually lose money by purchasing the policy and dying too soon!

*Graded Death Benefits will vary so please check the specifics regarding the policy you ultimately decide on purchasing*

Now we know…

We’ve gone over quite a bit of information in this brief article and we certainly don’t expect you to be an expert on all of this, but what we do want you to take away from this article is that even after you’ve been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, you’ll probably still have options when it comes to the types of guaranteed issue life insurance policies that are available to you.

Which is why…

Before you just go out and buy ANY guaranteed life insurance policy that is offered to you, you really ought to speak with an expert first.

An expert who will go over all of your options with you and be sure that all of your questions are answer prior to you making the best decision possible.

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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We are a team of life insurance experts with the simple mission of helping you find the best coverage for your unique situation. We research, review, and rank life insurance companies to make that process easier.