Can You Get Life Insurance If You Have a Chronic Illness?

Feb 13, 2024 1 min read

Living with chronic illness can be limiting in so many ways, and it’s easy to assume that insurance companies will deny life insurance for someone with poor health, but that isn’t always the case. If you or someone you love is dealing with one or more chronic conditions, it is often still possible to qualify for a life insurance policy. Here’s what you need to know about obtaining life insurance for a person with chronic illness.

The Ins-and-Outs of Life Insurance for People with Chronic Illness

Life insurance is an essential part of your financial well-being. It’s also great at providing peace of mind for the future, but it can be daunting to try to obtain a policy if you’re already battling an illness. Here are some things to consider.

What Makes an Illness Chronic?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a chronic illness is a condition that lasts one year or longer and requires ongoing medical attention, limits activities of daily living, or both. Six out of every 10 adults in the U.S. live with one chronic illness, and four in 10 have two or more. 

Some examples of chronic conditions that may affect your life insurance eligibility and rates include diabetes, high cholesterol, depression or anxiety, cancer, HIV, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

Can You Still Qualify for Life Insurance with Chronic Illness?

Plenty of people with a chronic condition can qualify for average life insurance rates, but your rates will depend on your specific health condition and the kind of treatment you may be following. 

Insurers will typically take a high-level look at your health, medical history and treatment plan in order to determine your rates; you may be asked to take a medical exam or complete a health questionnaire over the phone. 

If your condition significantly impacts your daily function or ability to work, you might not qualify for a term life insurance plan, but an agent can help you understand what other coverage options are available.

What About Supplemental Coverage?

While the primary purpose of life insurance is to provide financial support to your beneficiaries after you die, many people also opt to buy living benefit riders. These add-ons can help provide funds if you receive a diagnosis for a terminal illness or if you’re in need of critical care after an unexpected medical event, like a heart attack. 

Life insurance with terminal illness coverage is typically included in most policies, but people who want protection in the event of a chronic illness may want to consider a daily living rider, which accelerates a portion of your policy’s death benefit if you have been chronically ill for at least 90 days and are ill for another 90 days or longer. 

Someone to Rely On

A trusted professional like a financial advisor can help you and your family navigate conversations about your assets and help ensure that the proper safeguards are in place. If you don’t already work with a financial professional, find a Farm Bureau financial advisor in your area to get started.

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.