Sunday, April 28, 2024

Can You Get Life Insurance If You Have Sleep Apnea

Work On A Healthier Lifestyle

Does Agent Orange or Burn Pits cause Sleep Apnea? | Military Exposures and Sleep Apnea | theSITREP

If you want to save money, you need to be healthy.

Switching out some of the junk food for healthier options can work wonders on your health. It can help lower your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and much more. Not only will it help you improve your health, but it could improve your apnea condition as well.

Additionally, youll need to start getting regular exercise. Similar to starting a healthy diet, exercise can help you shed those extra pounds as well as lower your blood pressure and a whole host of other benefits.

What Research Is Being Done On Sleep Apnea Now

According to Dr. Richard Schwab, a professor of sleep medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, TONGUE FAT is one of the current focuses of cutting edge sleep apnea research.

This ties completely into the correlation between obesity and sleep apnea.

Heres a quote from a Huff Post article on sleep apnea:

One of the things we are trying to better understand is the correlation between obesity and sleep apnea, so our recent research has studied the relationship between sleep apnea and tongue fat. Most people dont think there is a lot of fat in the tongue. We eat all the time, we talk all the time, we are always breathing we are using our tongue muscle all the time, so why would there be a lot of fat in at the tongue? It turns out that in those with sleep apnea, about 32 percent of the tongue is fat, while in obese people who do not have sleep apnea, the number is about 27 percent, which is a large difference. We are still trying to understand why there is fat in the tongue, but we know that tongue fat is going to be important in understanding the development of sleep apnea. We are also trying to understand if weight loss reduces tongue fat and if there are other ways to reduce tongue fat.

How Much Insurance Do I Need If I Have Sleep Apnea

The amount of burial insurance you should buy varies depending on your personal and financial circumstances. However, burial insurance should cover the cost of your funeral, burial, and final expenses.

The first step to figuring out how much burial insurance you need is to know your end-of-life expenses. Your funeral cost is often the biggest single expense you need to pay. Other end-of-life expenses to consider are your outstanding medical bills, living expenses, credit card bills, and other debts.

Heres an example of a funeral cost breakdown from the National Funeral Directors Association.

Non-declinable basic services

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Getting Approved For Coverage

Patients with well-managed sleep apnea may find that qualifying for life insurance is easier than it might seem. In fact, some insurers offer the Preferred rates to applicants with controlled sleep apnea who are otherwise in good health.

Of those who are denied coverage, it is most often due to poor management of the disease or non-compliance with a physicians recommendations for follow-up visits.

Of course, not everyone has mild to moderate sleep apnea, and not everyone is fortunate enough to be in good overall health.

That does not mean life insurance is not within reach.

It just might mean paying more for your coverage. To improve your chances of getting approved or qualifying for a lower rate, there may be some steps you can take to reduce the complications of your sleep apnea before applying for coverage.

Examples include:

  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Ceasing the use of tobacco

NEVER assume that one life insurance companys denial automatically disqualifies you from coverage with another.

Some insurers abide by rules that automatically classify applicants with sleep apnea at a Standard rate. Any additional health complications or risk factors may result in even lower rate classification and a higher chance of denial.

Others, however, are more flexible in their decision-making and handle applications on a case by case basis. If you can show that your sleep apnea is under control, you might find you qualify for much lower term insurance rates on the coverage you need.

Sleep Apnea Risk Factors


Research indicates that sleep apnea is likely to occur in males and females without regard to age. Increased risks are likely to include:

  • Being obese
  • Having a neck that measures more than 17 inches
  • People with a narrow airway
  • Males who are 65 and older
  • Having a family history of the disorder
  • People taking sleeping aids or pills and drinking alcohol before sleeping
  • Cigar or cigarette smoking
  • Sitting for a long period of time
  • Persons with heart disease
  • Persons with high blood pressure
  • People who have suffered from stroke or other brain conditions

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Keep Your Medical Records Updated

Regular trips to the doctor can benefit just about anyone but when youre looking to buy life insurance with sleep apnea, its especially important.

Earlier, it was established that providers determine your life insurance quotes based on risk. Therefore, if youve made significant progress with your CPAP treatment and have the sleep study results to prove it, then youre likely to receive lower rates overall. But if a medical professional didnt record this progress, then insurers may question the integrity of your claim and rate you based on inaccurate readings.

Best Overall For People With Sleep Apnea

Lincoln Financial offers competitive options, even if you have moderate sleep apnea. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be required to take a medical exam, but you will still have coverage options from a top-rated insurer.

Ready to shop for life insurance for people with sleep apnea?

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Undergo Every Test And Sleep Study

Insurance companies do not appreciate missed sleep studies or skipped tests.

They are more likely to conclude your condition is treated and controlled if they can see evidence of your effort.

Cooperate with your physician, submit to your sleep studies promptly, and complete each required test.

Your cooperation will pay off when you secure a quality life insurance policy in spite of your sleep apnea

Are Certain People More Likely To Snore

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The short answer is yes. There are at least twice as many men who snore than women, with roughly 40% of men reporting snoring versus 20% of women.

Mens soft palates have a larger cross-sectional area, which means there is more tissue that can vibrate and make noise. As well, the area between their epiglottis and hard palate is also larger, so there is the more unsupported soft tissue that can relax, and thus vibrate while sleeping, explains Wrigglesworth.

Men are also prone to put more weight around the neck, restricting airflow.

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Sleep Apnea Risk Profile

Insurers do not want to take on more risk than is financially profitable.

When you apply for life insurance, the insurer will assemble a detailed profile designed to highlight the risks you present as a potential policy-holder. If you apply for life insurance with a sleep apnea diagnosis, insurers will review the mortality rates for the disease, as well as the risk of potential complications.

With sleep apnea, it is not just the disease, but also the complications and risk of secondary disease that are cause for alarm. Examples include an increased risk of:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Daytime Fatigue

How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Life Insurance

Needless to say, insurance companies take sleep apnea very seriously when considering applications for life insurance. At the extreme, sleep apnea can result in a decline of coverage by the insurance company. And generally speaking, if the policy is approved, the premiums could be much higher than what they are for an otherwise healthy person.

In addition to higher premiums, some life insurance companies limit the amount of coverage they will provide to a person who has sleep apnea. They may lower the death benefit to a level that is far lower than the amount you want to apply for.

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Does Sleep Apnea Affect Your Life Insurance Rates

Yes, having sleep apnea can have an effect on your life insurance rates.

Applying for life insurance with any kind of pre-existing condition may have an effect on the price of your monthly premiums. Because sleep apnea can shorten your lifespan life insurance companies take on greater risk to insure your life.

But you still may be able to get standard or preferred rates with sleep apnea. Like many other illnesses, if you actively participate in your sleep apnea treatment plan , you have no other side effects, and your condition remains stable, you may qualify for competitive life insurance rates.

Buying Life Insurance With Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Life Insurance

Aside from shopping around for a great rate, there are a few other important items to consider when you are about to purchase a life insurance policy.

Youve likely qualified for a term policy of a specific length, whether its 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. Thinking about what you will do when the policy expires is important right now.

If you are 20 years older and your policy expires, it will be even more difficult to qualify for any insurance.

Speak to your insurer now about options to convert your policy to a permanent insurance option. Its important to think about and clearly understand what happens when your term life insurance reaches end of term. Having a convertible option now will save you a lot of headache in the long run.

Your life insurance quotes are always free.

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Life Insurance Riders For Those With Sleep Apnea

Many life insurance companies allow customers to add additional options to their policies, known as policy riders. There are some policy riders that could be of particular interest to policyholders with sleep apnea.

  • Waiver of premium: This rider will waive the premium of a life insurance policy if you become permanently disabled. This can be beneficial for customers with sleep apnea who are concerned that their condition may result in a loss of income.
  • Accelerated death benefit: If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a shortened life expectancy, this rider allows you to access a portion of the policy death benefit while you are still alive. This can be beneficial to policyholders with sleep apnea who are concerned that they may develop a terminal condition.
  • Guaranteed insurability: This rider ensures that the insurance company will provide coverage without a new medical exam. These riders are only good for a set, predetermined amount of time before they expire. This rider can help customers with sleep apnea by providing them an extra window to extend their coverage without worrying about their condition leading to a denial of coverage.

Can You Get Life Insurance With Sleep Apnea

The quick answer is, yes, life insurance carriers will approve clients that have sleep apnea.

If you have sleep apnea, the life insurance company may ask you questions such as:

  • when you were diagnosed
  • what type of treatment you receive
  • what type of sleep apnea you have
  • has your sleep apnea condition improved, remained the same, or degraded

The life insurance company will ask a variety of questions to learn about your specific circumstances, health and your lifestyle. They will use this information to help determine if you qualify for life insurance and how much you will pay.

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Sleep Apnoea & Life Insurance

We understand that having a diagnosis of sleep apnoea can be difficult to adjust to. You may need to change your lifestyle habits, start using a machine and wear a mask to help you sleep at night, and make added considerations for taking your equipment when you travel . But, we also know that sleep apnoea does not have to stop you living your life to the full, and you can have the same protection insurance needs as anyone else. Our job is to step in on your behalf and find an insurer that suits you.

Some of the questions that you might be asked when arranging your insurances:

  • When were you diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea?
  • What are your symptoms?
  • What medication and/or treatment do you take?
  • Do you use a breathing aid while you sleep?

If your diagnosis of sleep apnoea is classed as minor obstructive, you may have access to normal terms on your life insurance. The insurer will want to know if you are using a CPAPs machine as well as other risk factors such as having a high BMI, heart trouble or other breathing problems, to determine if they can offer standard terms. It is likely that the insurer that you approach will want to see a report from your GP, at their expense, to confirm the severity of your condition.

You may be offered life insurance with at non-standard terms if your condition is classed as moderate to major obstructive. For more severe cases specialist insurance companies may need to be approached for the cover.

What Type Of Sleep Apnea Do You Have

BCH Health Segment: New Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Plan to communicate your specific type of sleep apnea.

Why? Different forms of the condition have varying degrees of seriousness.

The Mayo Clinic describes the three main types as follows:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea most common form throat muscles relax
  • Central sleep apnea the brain does not signal appropriately to muscles in charge of breathing
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea

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What To Know Before You Apply

Make sure to have a diagnosis and a proper treatment plan in place. For moderate or severe sleep apnea, it can be easier to get approved after six months from the date of your original diagnosis, assuming you have been properly following the treatment prescribed by your physician. You can even wait until your sleep apnea has improved to increase your chances of getting a better rate.

Ready to shop for life insurance for people with sleep apnea?

The Degree Of Sleep Apnea Is The Main Factor

Sleep apnea can be indicated by loud snoring, waking repeatedly, drowsiness, lack of energy during the day, morning headaches, or a sore throat.

The final determination is made by a specific medical test.

If you show symptoms of sleep apnea, youll be given a polysomnogram, more commonly known as a sleep study.

At one time, sleep studies were done at sleep disorder centers.

But as technology has improved, a sleep apnea test can now be done at home!

You wear an electronic device generally on your hip thats connected to your face.

It electronically transmits and records your physical activity while you sleep.

The results are then analyzed by a sleep specialist.

This test will determine not only the existence of sleep apnea, but also the degree of the condition.

If you have a mild level of sleep apnea with no related health conditions, you may get only a slight increase in your insurance premium.

With certain insurance companies, its even possible that youll get a preferred rate.

Naturally, youll need to be a non-smoker with no other health-related conditions.

If the condition is more serious, you may still get an approval, but it will come with a much higher premium.

Its even possible the amount of your death benefit will be approved at less than the amount requested.

The type of sleep apnea you have is also a factor.

OSA is not only the more common form, but its also more treatable.

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Is Sleep Apnea Considered A Pre

Yes, if you are diagnosed with sleep apnea before applying for a life insurance policy, it is considered a pre-existing condition. In general, a pre-existing condition is any illness, injury, or physical or mental health condition that you are diagnosed with before applying for a life insurance policy.

For traditional life insurance applications, all pre-existing conditions must be declared. This is because your health record will influence the life insurance policies you are eligible for and the premium rates you are offered. As a medical condition that can be diagnosed and treated, sleep apnea is, therefore, a pre-existing condition.

Does Life Insurance Payout For Sleep Apnea


If you have a life insurance policy already then you should be covered if anything happens in the future. Life insurance provides coverage with no exclusions in general unless you have a guaranteed acceptance policy .

You might also have taken a policy since you were diagnosed, or need a new policy in the future. As long as you disclose all information about your medical history then your family will be covered if anything happens in the future.

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Getting Approved For Sleep Apnea Life Insurance

For those who have sleep apnea and wish to get approved for life insurance, the first step is acknowledging the condition when filling out the application forms and listing the treatments that have been recommended by physicians.

The insurance company will want to know if you are using a CPAP machine to assist in breathing and that it is worn every night.

This means undergoing a sleep study, which is being observed while asleep that demonstrates the seriousness of sleep apnea.

Most insurance companies will insist on you undergo a sleep study before being approved.

The good news is that home sleep study kits are available at a reasonable cost if you have not been through a standard sleep study.

However, if you are on a CPAP machine, you have most likely been through an overnight study.

There are different aspects of sleep apnea that will need to be explained before being approved, some of which include the following

  • Date of Diagnosis
  • Have you Undergone a Sleep Study? If so, what was involved?
  • The Severity of Sleep Apnea
  • Is the Sleep Apnea getting Better, Worse, or Staying the Same?
  • Treatments
  • Do You Have Contributing Conditions such as Obesity, Coronary Artery Disease, or Depression?
  • Do You Drink Alcohol or Take Medications?

There may be other questions, but the insurance company is trying to make a risk assessment so they can approve your policy.

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