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Can someone with diabetes get medical insurance?

Medical insurance for people with diabetes

People with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, often don’t consider health insurance or medical insurance. The fact is that there are options for people with diabetes to get affordable medical insurance.

You could get comprehensive medical insurance that covers a wide range of treatments and specialist care. One of the most common reasons for medical insurance is Cancer Cover which would be included for people with diabetes.
People with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, often don’t consider health insurance or medical insurance.
Most brokers don’t offer medical insurance for people with diabetes because your existing condition won’t be covered. They don’t consider the things that are still covered and great value for money!

Health insurance and diabetes

Here are some of the main questions that we get asked by our customers with diabetes when we look at medical insurance for them.

More information about HEALTH INSURANCE

What isn’t covered by medical insurance for diabetics?

All medical insurance policies will exclude a pre-existing medical condition, but this isn’t always an issue. Medical insurance is designed to complement any treatment that you are already receiving or have already received.

Diabetes care, for example, will be treated and monitored by your GP or via the NHS which is usually very comprehensive. You’ll continue to receive this care from the NHS to help to manage your diabetes so this will not be covered.

If you have further medical or health problems connected to your diabetes, then these would also be treated under your NHS care.

What is covered by medical insurance for people with diabetes?

Medical insurance can cover a vast range of medical conditions and treatments, so you can build your plan to suit you. You’ve got a number of options with most types of private medical insurance, these include:

  • Core Cover
  • Cancer Cover
  • In-patient Care
  • Out-patient Care
  • Dental Cover
  • Global Travel Cover

If you’re a diabetic and you’ve been thinking about getting medical insurance, then these are all the things you can consider. You can tailor your cover to suit your needs and what’s most important to you.

How can I apply for medical insurance with diabetes?

There’s a couple of ways to go about getting health insurance for someone with diabetes and you can choose which is best for you:

Full Medical Underwriting

You could choose to go down the route of getting your application fully underwritten by an underwriter. In this situation, your application would ask for information about your diabetes and anything else pre-existing.

The main point of this option is to make sure that your existing and previous medical conditions are taken into consideration. This means that those conditions and related conditions would be excluded from the life of the plan.

The main benefit of this is that your premiums would be adjusted to take account of the things that won’t be covered.

This is a very sensible option for people with diabetes because it is a chronic condition, so would never be covered anyway. In this situation, you’d know upfront what is and isn’t covered so good for your own peace of mind.

Moratorium Underwriting

The other option for applying for medical insurance with diabetes is moratorium underwriting. This is the quickest and easiest way of applying for health insurance because you won’t have any medical questions to answer.

If you choose to go down this route then you won’t need to supply any medical information at all. You’ll just be asked to select which type of cover you want and what you want to be included in your plan.

When your policy is live, your medical history will only be taken into account at the point of a claim. Anything that you have experienced for a period of time before the plan was activated will be excluded.

How much does medical insurance cost for diabetics?

You’ve got loads of options for taking out a suitable and affordable plan when you apply for medical insurance. In the case of someone with diabetes, as detailed above you could go through medical underwriting which could help to reduce cost.

How you build your plan and what cover you need is entirely up to you. There are lots of options available which can reduce the cost of your cover, such as:

  • Excess
  • No claims discounts
  • Switch and Save
  • Cover options

How can I get cheaper medical insurance for diabetes?

By choosing the right cover and the right insurance company, you can keep the costs down. There’s a lot of different options, types of cover, and insurance providers which can be confusing.

You’ll be able to speak to one of our experts who can get quotes from some of the UK’s biggest health insurance providers.

Other related articles:

Does my blood sugar levels (Hba1c/Mmol) affect life insurance?

How does my HbA1c reading affect Life Insurance rates?

(Author: Daniel Sharpe-Szunko)

One of the big things for insurers considering life insurance for people with diabetes is their HbA1c (Mmol) reading which is the blood sugar level. The term HbA1c is an abbreviation for Glycated Haemoglobin which develops when hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen through the body) meets glucose in the blood, which becomes glycated.

There are two types of measurements for this type of reading which is usually taken by your doctor, the readings can be given as mmol/mol or % (HbA1c).

HbA1c levels for people with diabetes are as follows:

    Levels Mmol/mol Percentage (%)
    Normal Under 42 Under 6.0%
    Prediabetes 42 to 47 6.0% to 6.4%
    Diabetes Over 48 Over 6.5%

Life insurance underwriting for people with diabetes has several levels to consider, that can have an impact on your premiums:

    Levels Mmol/mol Percentage (%)
    Low (good control) Under 53 Under 7.0%
    Moderate (could improve) 54 to 74 7.0% to 8.9%
    High (poor control) 75 to 85 9.0% to 9.9%
    Very High Over 86 Over 10.0%

In more recent years there have been changes to the levels being accepted, so more and more we’re seeing insurers accepting people with readings over 10.0% (86Mmol/mol). We also understand that blood sugar levels is not an exact science, and there are situations where people could be asked by their GP to maintain higher readings, such as sportspeople.

Life insurance rates for people with with high blood pressure

The facts about High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Author – Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, rarely ever has any visible symptoms, but can increase the chances of dangerous problems like a heart attack or stroke. As it has no noticeable indicators, the only way to find out if you have hypertension is to get your blood pressure checked. Untreated high blood pressure can lead to fatal consequences so a check can quite literally save your life.

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is when the pressure of the blood in your arteries is consistently too high. Arteries are the blood vessels that deliver blood from the heart to other areas of your body and you need blood pressure to get the blood moving. Your blood pressure will go up and down during the day depending on if you are exercising or resting. However, if your blood pressure is typically high at all times then it needs to be treated.

Every person’s blood pressure is different so what is high for you may not be high for someone else. This is why it is important to get it checked by a medical professional. Hypertension, if left untreated, can lead to serious conditions like heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.

History of Hypertension

Although our understanding of hypertension has only solidified in the past few hundred years since Stephen Hales, an English Clergyman, made the first published measurement of blood pressure in 1733, human beings have been assessing the health of the heart as far back as 2600 BC. An illness of the heart known as hard blood disease was treated with bleeding from leeches by figures from Hippocrates to Cornelius Celsus. Medieval Persian medical texts refer to a disease named fullness disease, a disease that has the symptoms of what we now call Hypertension.

After the discovery of blood pressure, the physician Richard Bright noted the relationship between cardiac hypertrophy and kidney disease illustrating the dangers high blood pressure can bring to parts of the body other than the heart. Frederick Akbar Mahomed reported decades later the first example of high blood pressure without kidney disease by using a sphygmograph, a mechanical device used to measure blood pressure. This led to the discovery of high blood pressure being a general circulatory disease.

The concept of Hypertension came into practice when the invention of the cuff-based sphygmomanometer occurred in 1896 by Scipione Riva Rocci, allowing blood pressure to be measured in a clinic. In 1911, Eberhard Frank coined the term Essential Hypertension, which describes 95% of hypertensive patients today.

What are the different types of Hypertension?

There are two primary types of hypertension:

Essential Hypertension is when the cause of hypertension is unknown. These cases make up around 95% of the people who have the condition. This type of hypertension is diagnosed when your doctor has eliminated all other types of hypertension after noticing an extended period of high blood pressure.

Secondary Hypertension is a type of hypertension that is caused by another medical condition. It can be caused by anything from tumors to kidney disease and many medications. This type can often be controlled once the root cause is found.

What are the signs and symptoms of Hypertension?

Hypertension rarely ever has any noticeable symptoms, a dangerous characteristic when the consequences can be so dangerous. Many who have high blood pressure feel fine but it can sometimes result in blurred vision, nosebleeds, or headaches in some cases.

It is important to get your blood pressure checked at least every five years as a healthy middle-aged adult. More at-risk adults should get checked yearly.

What causes Hypertension?

We still don’t know what exactly causes high blood pressure in most cases but there are several factors that can increase the risk.

It is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly after 40 as your chances of hypertension increase as you age. High levels of salt, alcohol consumption and smoking can all contribute to high blood pressure as can lack exercise and sleep deprivation. It is therefore advised to make healthy lifestyle choices so as to decrease your risk.

People of African or Caribbean origin are also more susceptible to high blood pressure and the condition tends to run in families. If your family has a history of Hypertension elevates the chances of you contracting it yourself.

As mentioned earlier, the rarer cases of Secondary Hypertension are caused by another health condition or certain medications. The health conditions can range from kidney disease to diabetes. In some cases when medication, like the contraceptive pill, is responsible for the Hypertension, the blood pressure can return to normal once the individual stops taking it.

How can you prevent Hypertension?

Although the exact cause of Hypertension is unknown, there are several steps you can take to decrease your chances of high blood pressure. These include:

  • Exercising for at least twenty minutes each day
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet and cutting down on salt
  • Keeping to a healthy weight
  • Watching your alcohol consumption

Hypertension is not something many of us will notice so it is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.

Stroke statistics (UK)

According to Health matters, Public Health England’s (PHEs) professional resource, in 2017:

  • In the UK, high blood pressure is the third biggest risk factor for all disease after smoking and poor diet
  • Around one in three adults in the UK has high blood pressure. In England, 31% of men and 26% of women have high blood pressure
  • High blood pressure costs the NHS over £2.1 billion every year
  • Between 50-80% of people with high blood pressure do not take all of their prescribed medication
  • High blood pressure accounts for 12% of all GP appointments in England

Public Health England, Health matters: combating high blood pressure, January 2017 (references)

Hypertension awareness events

World Hypertension day is held in May to help raise awareness to people all over the globe and to educate the public about blood pressure problems

Blood Pressure Awareness week in the UK is also known as ‘know your numbers’ to help increase awareness around testing your blood pressure. Usually held in September and run by the Blood Pressure UK charity

National High Blood Pressure Education month is an American event to raise awareness around regular testing

Hypertension and Blood Pressure charities / Support (UK)

Blood Pressure UK
Website:http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/Home
Helpline: 020 7882 6218
Address: Wolfson Institute of Prevention Medicine, Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6BQ

British Heart Foundation
Website:https://www.bhf.org.uk/
Helpline: 0300 330 3311
Address: Greater London House, 180 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 7AW

Stroke UK
Website:https://www.stroke.org.uk/
Helpline: 0303 3033 100
Address: 240 City Road, London, EC1V 2PR

NHS Choices (Hypertension)
Emergency: Dial 111
Website:https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/

Useful Facts about Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in the UK

Facts and Figures about Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

(Author: Daniel Sharpe-Szunko)

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that has two main types known as type 1 and type 2, but there are also a number of other types of diabetes as well. It is also a chronic condition which means that once you have diabetes then you will generally have it for the rest of your life.

The body normally produces glucose (sugar) which we all need for energy and insulin which is a hormone that allows the glucose to enter our bloodstream to fuel our bodies. Glucose which gives us energy is produced when our bodies break down a thing called carbohydrates which comes from the food we eat and what we drink, the glucose then gets released into our blood.

Our pancreas produces insulin which the body uses to control the amount of glucose that we have in our bloodstream. This process then allows the body to manage how much glucose getting into our cells, but for people with diabetes, this system doesn’t work properly.

Some of the main symptoms for someone with diabetes include:

  • Excessive urination, usually at night
  • More thirsty
  • Being tired and lethargic
  • Weight loss
  • Thrush or genital itch
  • Blurred vision
  • Scars and wounds don’t heal as quickly

Some people with type 2 diabetes live with these symptoms for up to 10 years before they get them checked by a medical professional.

What are the main types of Diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes as well as a number of other less common and less well-known types.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type which affects roughly 90% of people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK. People most commonly and mistakenly in a lot of cases, associate this type of diabetes with a poor diet, lack of exercise, and being overweight. But this is not necessarily the case as type 2 diabetes can develop for a number of different reasons.

Generally, type 2 diabetes will develop later in life and occurs because the body still produces insulin but the insulin can’t work properly which means that glucose levels continue to rise. Over time, higher than normal sugar levels in the body can cause potentially serious and long-lasting damage to your heart, eyes, feet, and kidneys.

Managing type 2 diabetes is usually done with diet, tablet (Metformin), or in some cases insulin injections. It has been known in recent years for people with mild type 2 diabetes to reverse the condition with a specific diet and healthy lifestyle including exercise.

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) and serious medical condition that is currently found in approximately 8% of people with diabetes in the UK. Generally, this type of diabetes occurs more in younger people and is also known as ‘childhood diabetes’ or ‘juvenile diabetes’.

The main difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes is that in type 1, the body actually attacks the cells in your pancreas that would normally produce insulin. Whereas in type 2 the body can still produce insulin, in type 1 the body simply does not produce any insulin which can have a dramatic effect on us and our entire bodies.

Having known someone with quite a severe type 1 diabetes for many years I can say from personal experience that this condition can be very scary. Treatment that has included many years on kidney dialysis, eventually receiving a full kidney transplant after several years on an NHS waiting list, and almost complete loss of sight in both eyes.

Gestational diabetes is the last of the more common types of diabetes which gets its name from how it develops in pregnant women. This type of diabetes can affect almost any woman at any stage of pregnancy regardless of your diet, lifestyle, or health. Gestational diabetes will also generally go after the pregnancy or can sometimes develop into type 2 diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is a newer type of diabetes that has been developed in the modern medical world to help people to manage their health and make sure that they don’t develop full-blown diabetes. Someone may be told by their GP or a medical professional that they have pre-diabetes and then advised on how to manage their health to stop them from getting diabetes.

Diabetes Statistics (UK)

According to the latest statistics by the leading diabetes charity, Diabetes UK, the latest figures for the UK are:

  • 3.9 million people living with diabetes (plus almost a million with undiagnosed diabetes – making the total over 4.8 million people)*
  • More than 100,000 people were diagnosed with diabetes in 2019 in the UK (projected to increase to 5.3 million by 2025)*
  • 1 in 15 people living in the UK has diabetes
  • 6 in 10 people with type 2 diabetes has no symptoms
  • People with type 2 diabetes are approximately 50% more likely to die early*
  • Risks of Heart Attack or Heart Disease is much more likely in someone with type 2 diabetes (almost 2 to 2.5 higher risk)*

*The latest figures are provided by Diabetes UK, Diabetes Prevalence 2019 report.

Does diabetes affect me being able to get Life Insurance?

People living with diabetes can be extremely healthy and should not be too greatly affected when applying for life insurance. It is increasingly likely that you’ll also be able to get accepted for life insurance without the need for further medical underwriting so can be covered immediately so you won’t need to provide evidence from your GP or Diabetic Nurse. Our experts at iam|INSURED has worked very closely with some of the UK’s biggest and best insurance companies to make sure that people with diabetes get the lowest rates available and the best cover.

A standard life insurance application will ask questions about your general health and lifestyle to gather information about you. In the case of someone with diabetes, you’ll be asked to provide specific information about your condition, such as:

  • Do you take insulin?
  • Which type of diabetes do you have?
  • When were you first diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Has your diabetes affected any other areas of your body (e.g. eyes, kidneys, nerves or limbs)?
  • Have you ever been hospitalised because of your diabetes?
  • When did you last get your blood glucose levels checked by your GP?
  • What was the latest HbA1c (or Mmol) reading?
  • Have you been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure or Raised Cholesterol?

These types of questions and some others will enable underwriters to assess your application and apply an accurate decision. Another major positive impact on premiums for people with diabetes over the past 15 years has resulted from insurers competing for policyholders with diabetes. You should also know that life insurance rates and terms for people with diabetes are constantly improving so it’s always worth reviewing existing policies as well.

Can I get Critical Illness Cover with Diabetes?

In recent years we’ve found that more and more that people with diabetes are able to get critical illness cover again thanks to changes in underwriting rules. Currently critical illness cover is only available for type 2 diabetes from the mainstream or more popular high street insurance providers. It is possible to get more specialist critical illness style products for people with type 1 diabetes which come with slightly different terms to the standard cover.

You can now get critical illness cover through the major insurance providers as long as you fit certain criteria. These criteria questions include:

  • Do you smoke?
  • Have you got type 2 diabetes?
  • Do you have any diabetes complications (e.g. Retinopathy, Neuropathy or Nephropathy)?
  • What is your height and weight (BMI)?
  • Is your diabetes well controlled and readings low (HbA1c / Mmol)?

As long as you can answer these questions positively then you should have no problem being able to get critical illness cover. These terms are constantly changing so you’ll find that this will change over a period of time which we’ll be able to keep you informed about through our blogs and news articles.

Check out our quick guide to Critical Illness Cover for Diabetes

Diabetes Awareness events

Due to the high levels of diabetes both in the UK and globally, there are a number of major events that have been dedicated to raising awareness for diabetes. These events are annual events that help to raise money for research as well as raise awareness for people living with diabetes and the risks of developing diabetes.

Diabetes events include:

World Diabetes Day is an annual event on November 14th to increase awareness around the world for diabetes. The reason that the event is held on this specific date is that it coincides with the birthday of Dr. Frederick Banting who helped to discover insulin

Diabetes Awareness Week is held in the UK usually in June and is operated by Diabetes UK which is the biggest British diabetes charity

National Diabetes Month is primarily an American event which is held by the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and the American Diabetes Association

Diabetes Charities and Support organisations (UK)

These charities and companies provide vital information, guidance, support, and services to people with diabetes, they include:

Diabetes UK

Link: https://www.diabetes.org.uk

Helpline: 0345 123 2399

Address: Wells Lawrence House, 126 Back Church Lane, London, E1 1FH

Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation

Link: https://www.drwf.org.uk

Helpline: 0239 263 7808

Address: Building 6000, Langstone Technology Park, Havant, Hampshire, PO9 1SA

Diabetes.co.uk

Forum: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/

Address: Technology House, Sir William Lyons Road, University of Warwick Scient Park, Coventry, CV4 7EZ

For more information or if you’ve got any questions about insurance for people with diabetes, call iam|INSURED on 0800 009 6559 or submit an enquiry.