Is it possible to get inflammatory bowel disease life insurance approval? Although there is no specific life insurance policy that only covers inflammatory bowel disease, most insurance companies have life insurance policies where medical impairments such as inflammatory bowel disease are allowed.
Insurance companies will want to know specifically what is going on with your inflammatory bowel disease before issuing life insurance coverage. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a general term to describe medical disorders that cause inflammation in the digestive tract.
The two most common types of IBD are:
Ulcerative colitis – this IBD causes persistent inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the inner lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum.
Crohn’s disease – this type of IBD results in inflammation in the lining of your digestive tract, which may then spread deep within the affected tissues.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease may include abdominal pain, fatigue, severe diarrhea, and weight loss.
If untreated, or in severe cases, IBD can be debilitating and lead to life-threatening complications.
Causes of IBD
The exact cause of IBD remains unknown. Diet and stress may aggravate your IBD symptoms, but do not cause the onset of IBD.
Risk factors with IBD
- Age – most people who develop intestinal bowel disease are diagnosed before 30 years of age. Some people, however, don’t develop IBD until they are in their 50s or 60s
- Family History – if you have a close relative who has IBD (parent, sibling, or child), you have a higher risk of having irritable bowel syndrome at some point in your life.
- Non-steroid Anti-inflammatory Medications – medications that include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others), diclofenac sodium (Voltaren), naproxen sodium (Aleve), and others may increase your risk of developing IBD or worsen this disease if you currently have IBD.
- Race or Ethnicity – whites have the highest risk of disease, but IBD can occur in any race.
- Where You Live – people who live in industrialized parts of the country are more likely to develop IBD. Environmental factors such as a diet high in fat and refined foods may play a role in the development of IBD.
Complications of IBD:
- Blood Clots – IBD increases your chance of experiencing blood clots in your veins and arteries.
- Colon Cancer – IBD increases your risk of developing colon cancer. Routine colon cancer screening for IBD patients should be scheduled beginning at the age of 40. Consult your physician for the best preventative and treatment plan for your IBD symptoms.
- Skin, Joints, and Eye Inflammation – disorders like arthritis, eye inflammation (uveitis), and skin lesions may occur when your IBD symptoms flare up.
- Medication Side Effects – some drugs used in treating IBD increase your chances of developing certain types of cancer. Osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and other conditions may be associated with using corticosteroids to treat your IBD.
- Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis – with this condition, the inflammation caused by IBD causes scars to occur within the bile ducts. Eventually, the bile ducts narrow resulting in gradual liver damage.
Complications of Crohn’s disease:
- Anal Fissure – this describes a small tear in the skin around the anus or the tissue that lines the anus. When this happens, infections may occur. This often occurs with painful bowel movements that may eventually lead to a perianal fistula.
- Bowel Obstruction – the full thickness of the intestinal wall is affected by Crohn’s disease. Over time, sections of a patient’s bowel can thicken and narrow. This may cause the blockage and flow of digestive contents. Surgery is often required to remove any diseased portions of the bowel when this occurs.
- Fistulas – ulcers can sometimes extend through the entire intestinal wall creating a fistula. A fistula is an abnormal connection between different parts of your body. Fistulas often occur near or around the anus (perianal); these are the most common kind of fistulas. When a fistula becomes infected, it may form an abscess.
- Malnutrition – it’s difficult to eat when you have persistent abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhea. It is also difficult for the intestines to absorb the proper nutrients in the proper quantities to keep your body nourished properly. It is not uncommon for a Crohn’s disease patient to develop anemia due to low iron or vitamin B12.
- Ulcers – chronic and persistent inflammation can lead to ulcers (open sores) throughout your digestive tract. This may include your mouth, anus, or genital area (perineum).
Complications of ulcerative colitis:
- A Perforated Colon (a hole in the colon) – a toxic megacolon often results in the perforated colon, but it may also occur on its own.
- Toxic Megacolon – the colon may rapidly widen and swell if affected by ulcerative colitis. This is a serious medical condition known as toxic megacolon.
- Severe Hydration – excessive diarrhea often results in dehydration with ulcerative colitis patients.
Blood tests are often used to confirm a diagnosis of IBD. Anemia and infections can be identified through blood testing. A fecal occult blood test can also identify hidden blood within your stool.
A colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, upper endoscopy, capsule endoscopy, or balloon-assisted enteroscopy are all medical procedures used to diagnose and identify symptoms of IBD.
X-rays, computerized tomography (CT) scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are imaging procedures used to diagnose and identify symptoms of IBD.
Treatment of IBD:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics, and other medications and supplements are often used to treat IBD.
- Surgery is the last treatment option used for IBD patients. Most doctors will want to use all other noninvasive medical treatments before resorting to surgery.
What will my life insurance rates be with IBD?
For mild to moderate IBD, you should qualify for life insurance coverage at a standard to Table 6 rating. For more severe IBD cases, your pricing will be in the Table 6 to decline rating.
What is the best way to shop for life insurance with IBD?
It can be confusing to compare all the different life insurance plans and options if you are not familiar with them; this can be very frustrating for consumers.
The better way to shop is to let the experienced life insurance agent shop for you. You want to make sure that your agent is familiar with your condition and has many insurance companies from which to obtain quotes.
Each insurance company is going to view Crohn’s, colitis, and your individual and unique level of impairment differently. They will review your overall health, your past and current diagnosis, your past medical experiences and treatments, and other factors before deciding to issue a life insurance policy to you.
When is the best time to purchase life insurance with IBD?
Unless you just recently had surgery, the best time to purchase life insurance is right now. Because IBD diseases tend to get progressively worse over time, you will likely have the least amount of symptoms and the least amount of physical impairment, and the least amount of medications right now.
It is very rare that you get lower insurance rates as time progresses with progressive medical disease-related problems. Also, each year you grow older, your insurance rates increase with all insurance companies. Your life insurance coverage now will be less expensive than after your birthday and the following year.
I’m on a budget but I still need life insurance.
Life insurance coverage and premiums are flexible and can fit almost any budget. By modifying the amount of coverage or the length of coverage, you can typically find some life insurance coverage that will fit your needs and your budget.
Having something in place is better than having nothing in place.
If you have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, call us to help you understand your life insurance options.
At Life Wealth Win, we specialize in healthy to high-risk life insurance cases. We can help you understand your inflammatory bowel disease life insurance approval options for IBD or any other medical problems.