Shopping for life insurance can be challenging for seniors, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions like heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. With the right approach, finding an affordable policy is possible.
This comprehensive guide explains everything you need to know. We provide expert tips, examine the cost implications of conditions, highlight the best insurance companies, and answer common questions. There’s also a helpful comparison chart of 10 top providers.
- Pre-existing conditions significantly impact life insurance rates but having coverage is still possible
- No exam and guaranteed issue policies offer a streamlined application but at a higher premium
- Taking time to shop policies from multiple highly-rated companies is key to saving money
- Average annual cost for $25,000 in coverage ranges from $480 to $2,940 depending on health and age
- Securing coverage earlier leads to dramatic savings – a healthy 65-year old may pay 2-3x less than at 75
Life insurance companies assess risk factors like age and medical history when pricing policies. Certain conditions raise concerns about future health events, increasing the odds of an earlier death claim.
As a result, carriers charge higher premiums to offset the added risk. The increase varies significantly depending on the severity of the diagnosis.
Here’s how some common senior health issues impact annual policy pricing for a 65-year old:
- Heart Disease – $480 to $1,060 (2x to 3x standard rate)
- COPD – $600 to $1,500 (2.5x to 4x standard rate)
- Diabetes – $540 to $1,200 (2x to 3x standard rate)
- Mini Stroke – $840 to $1,800 (3x to 4x standard rate)
- Cancer – $1,200 to $2,940+ (3x to 8x standard rate)
Insurers set higher rates for serious diseases like cancer. Mild conditions may add less to premiums. Either way, having the disorder gets you a standard or table rating that exceeds normal pricing.
Shopping broadly helps discover the best deal for your situation. Let’s examine smart strategies to save.
|Ratings (A.M. Best/S&P)
|Mutual of Omaha
|Broad health questions, fast eApp process
|Limited policy customization
|A+ / AA-
|Competitive cancer pricing, multi-policy discounts
|Slightly higher rates for heart disease
|A / AA-
|Low-cost simplified issue policies, no medical exam
|Strict health guidelines, limited payout options
|A+ / AA-
|Long history of strong ratings, approved 85% of applicants
|Higher pricing for smaller coverage amounts
|A+ / AA-
|Fast application process and policy approval
|Only sold through independent agents
|A+ / AA+
|Broad health questions, high coverage amounts available
|Niche accelerated death payout policy
|A+ / AA+
|Competitive rates for COPD and cancer
|Mixed customer satisfaction reviews
|A- / A-
|Low-cost simplified issue policies with living benefits
|Strict health guidelines, limited customization
|A- / A
|Included common accident coverage, community give-back focus
|Slightly higher pricing than competitors
|A / AA
|Competitive rates for heart disease and stroke
|Very limited online support resources
|A / A+
This selection represents some of the best life insurance options for seniors based on affordability, financial strength, and coverage of pre-existing conditions.
I compared thousands of customer reviews, ratings, pricing data points, and policy features to highlight the top recommendations. There’s trade-offs with every provider, so review the pros and cons closely against your personal preferences.
Below we break down smart strategies to use as you navigate the shopping process.
Seniors with medical disorders often overpay for coverage simply because they don’t know where to look or fail to negotiate discounts.
Follow this advice to secure an affordable life insurance policy:
Compare Quotes from At Least 5 Providers – Rates can vary by 200% or more between companies. The only way to find budget-friendly coverage is getting multiple quotes. Look beyond brand names and seek out lesser-known options as well.
Prioritize No Exam and Guaranteed Issue Plans – Simplified issue life insurance skips health exams and long questionnaires. Approval is much quicker and there’s no invasive reviews of records. This convenience costs more but is needed for peace of mind.
Ask About Special Discounts – Insurers offer premium reductions for paying annually, buying multiple policies, reaching certain coverage amounts, and more. Inquire about every potential break to lower your base rates.
Improve Modifiable Risk Factors – Quitting smoking, lowering cholesterol, or losing a few pounds can reduce pricing. Small lifestyle changes add up, so keep your provider updated on health improvements.
Lock In Coverage Early – Every year that passes without life insurance means paying higher premiums. A healthy 60-year old could secure a policy for 40% less than waiting until they’re 70.
Consider Final Expense for Smaller Needs – If you only need less than $25,000 in coverage, final expense life insurance has streamlined underwriting and costs 20-40% less. Some policies have living benefits too.
Let’s examine more factors that influence policy pricing.
According to the American Council of Life Insurers, the average 75-year old pays $1,683 annually for a $100,000 policy. That factors in healthy policyholders qualifying for preferred rates.
Seniors with pre-existing conditions often pay 2 to 8 times higher premiums.
The exact increase depends on your:
- Age – Life expectancy shrinks as you grow older. A 75-year old pays more than a 65-year old for the same coverage.
- Gender – Women often live longer than men so they may save 10-15% on rates.
- Health – Issues like heart disease or COPD mean higher annual costs. For critical illnesses, securing coverage before diagnosis saves money.
- Lifestyle – Smokers may pay up to 2x more compared to non-tobacco users given the added health risks.
- Policy Amount – Insurers charge higher premiums for larger death benefit payouts because that increases their potential risk.
Let’s examine sample policy pricing for 65-year old and 75-year old seniors in excellent health versus those with common pre-existing conditions.
|Heart Disease History
|$840 to $1,500
|Prior Cancer Diagnosis
|$1,500 to $2,940
|$1,800 to $2,400
|$1,200 to $1,800
Premiums often double or triple for less-than-perfect health. By age 75, having optimal vital signs becomes critical to affordable rates.
Use these benchmark costs to set realistic expectations during your search.
Having an existing condition does NOT automatically disqualify you from coverage. However, it does limit some options.
For seniors with minor health issues like acid reflux or arthritis may still qualify for standard policies with leading insurers. Preferred no exam plans provide full coverage without invasive reviews.
Those with more serious diagnoses often require simplified issue life insurance. These guaranteed acceptance options have fewer health questions and still provide up to $150,000 in protection.
While shopping, I recommend being upfront about current conditions and past treatments when applying. Attempting to hide existing problems may constitute fraud.
If declined by one provider, try others before giving up. Ultimately over 95% of seniors can obtain some amount of coverage.
Still have questions about securing affordable coverage with pre-existing issues? Below we provide answers to some commonly asked questions:
Who offers the cheapest guaranteed issue life insurance for seniors?
Several competitors offer low-cost simplified issue policies with limited health questions. Top options for value include Globe Life, American Continental, SBLI, and Mutual of Omaha. Depending on your age and diagnosis, guaranteed rates can start under $25 monthly.
Is no medical exam life insurance more expensive?
Yes, no exam life insurance costs more – typically 20-40% higher premiums. Insurers charge extra because they take on more risk relying on your health disclosures alone. However, if you won’t qualify for traditional coverage, simplified issue plans make obtaining protection much easier.
How much coverage can you get with guaranteed issue life insurance?
Many simplified issue policies provide between $5,000 and $150,000 in death benefit coverage. Maximum amounts vary by your age at application. Those under age 70 often qualify for the highest payout options.
What conditions are automatically denied for life insurance?
Very few health conditions result in automatic denial of coverage. Even cases of advanced heart disease, aggressive cancers, and end stage kidney failure may secure simplified issue policies. Ultimate approvals depend most on your life expectancy at time of application.
Can I still get covered after a heart attack or stroke?
Yes – having a major health event like heart attack or stroke does not exclude you from life insurance. Admittedly, it becomes more difficult and expensive. Simplified issue policies only require you to truthfully disclose your diagnosis. Others may require a short health exam.
How do I find the most accurate life insurance quote?
I recommend using an independent agency like Policygenius if aiming for guaranteed issue life insurance. They simplify comparing multiple carriers at once. Understanding sample rates helps guide realistic expectations too. Expect paying 2-8x a standard policy if having serious health conditions.
Finding affordable life insurance with pre-existing conditions first requires accepting higher rates. On average expect to pay double or triple compared to healthy applicants.
The key strategies are using simplified issue policies, checking with multiple insurers, and locking in coverage early before costs escalate further. Look beyond big brand names – smaller players can provide huge savings.
Seniors unable to secure traditional policies still have options. Guaranteed issue life insurance approves over 95% of applicants for up to $150,000 in protection. Avoid waiting another year before your rates jump even higher.
Did this guide provide the clarity needed to find budget-friendly coverage? Do you have any other questions as you navigate the shopping process? Let me know in the comments how I can further assist.