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Ulcers and Life Insurance
If you have been diagnosed with a stomach ulcer and your are shopping for life insurance then you need to read this. Three important questions you need to ask are:
- Can I get life insurance?
- What will it cost?
- What is the process?
Let’s begin with a brief overview
Ulcers are defects in the lining of the stomach (gastric ulcer) or in the duodenum (duodenal ulcer), which is the first part of the small intestine. They are generally referred to as peptic ulcers, since the area inflamed assists in digestion. They can cause internal bleeding, scarring and even cancer if not treated properly.
An ulcer appears when the protective lining of the stomach and small intestines breaks down. Regular use of certain pain relievers can cause ulcers. Most commonly, the damage is infection of the stomach by bacteria called Helicobacter pylori.
Helicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative, microaerophilic bacterium found in the stomach. H. pylori harms the stomach and duodenal linings through several mechanisms explained here.
In very rare cases, peptic ulcer like symptoms are actually Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. ZES is a rare disorder characterized by one or more tumors in the pancreas, duodenum, or both. The tumors cause the stomach to make too much acid, leading to peptic ulcers in the duodenum. The tumors are sometimes cancerous and spread to other areas of the body.
If you have Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome then you should consider buying a final expense whole life policy where there is no health questions or medical exam required.
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Can I get life insurance with an ulcer?
The quick answer is, YES.
Ultimately, approval will depend on:
- what medications you take,
- your date of diagnosis,
- any gastrointestinal bleeding, and
- the current state of the ulcer (i.e. is it healing, staying the same, or worsening)
What is the cost?
Life insurance companies have about 16 different rate classes. What rate class you qualify for will also determine your life insurance cost.
If your ulcer has healed and you have no other side effects, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, then you can qualify for a preferred or possible a preferred plus rate class assuming no other health issues.
If you are still managing your ulcer but it is under control, then you will most likely qualify for a standard rate class.
What is the process?
A fully underwritten life insurance policy requires a life insurance medical exam. The examiner typically comes to your home and checks your height and weight and takes a small blood and urine sample. Your lab results are then processed. The carrier will request physician statements and look into your medical records. The carrier will also do a prescription database check to see what medications you are currently taking and have taken in the past. An underwriter will then assess your “risk” level and give you a rate class assigned to your specific risk. Your assigned agent at TermLife2Go will then follow up with you and let you know of your approval.
The entire process is handled by us so you can just sit back and wait for the life insurance carrier to complete your file. Speaking of life insurance carriers, not all life insurance carriers are the same!
Not all life insurance carriers are the same
The life insurance industry is just like every other industry out there. Competition is constantly driving insurance carriers to compete for your business. As a result, carriers take on “niches” in an effort to earn market share. It is important to know these niches and it is important the agency you chose has the freedom to choose from multiple life insurance carriers. As a consumer, it is in your best interest to work with an agency that is not bound to any one carrier and will be able to shop your application to dozens of different companies available. Only by doing this can you insure that you are getting the best type of life insurance policy tailored to your specific needs.