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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:

High BMI and Overweight life insurance during COVID-19

High BMI and Overweight life insurance during COVID-19

One of the most commonly linked health problems with higher risks of serious illness from COVID-19 is high BMI and Obesity. There have been several major studies that have shown that people with a BMI of over 35 are at 40% higher risk of death due to COVID.

There are currently some issues with life insurance underwriting in the UK and globally due to the current pandemic. Most insurance providers in the UK have restricted their limits so are currently only offering cover up to certain levels.

At iam|INSURED, we’re experts in helping people with medical conditions and health issues to get life insurance at a fair price. Our team of expert advisers speaks to literally thousands of people every month to help them to protect their families.

COVID-19 has caused insurance providers to impose extra underwriting restrictions which includes BMI levels. We are constantly reviewing the situation and working with our partners which includes some UK’s top insurance brands.

High BMI (body mass index) and Obesity statistics in the UK

Obesity and high BMI are some of the most common health risks in the UK which is also the most common health disclosures in life insurance.

Facts and figures:

  • 62% of the UK population is overweight
  • 58% of women and 68% of men are overweight
  • Almost a quarter (25%) of UK adults are classed as obese
  • The UK has the highest obesity rates in Europe
  • Around 30,000 deaths in the UK are weight-related

What is classed as overweight or obese in the UK?

Weight classification in the UK is linked to Body Mass Index (BMI). Although this is not the most reliable method of calculating a person’s health, it does provide a good indication.

Example: A bodybuilder or rugby player can be healthy and athletic but have a high BMI due to their muscle mass

BMI calculator:

Current BMI categorisation in the UK according to the NHS are:

  • Underweight: Below 18.5
  • Healthy weight: 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight: 25 to 29.9
  • Obese: 30 to 39.9

How has COVID-19 affected Obesity and High BMI life insurance?

There have been a number of studies that clearly link high BMI and obesity with a serious illness or even death from COVID-19.

Previously, in life insurance in the UK, it has been possible to get cover with a BMI of over 50 from a select group of insurers.

BMI limits for life insurance before COVID-19:

  • Standard life cover: 50
  • Specialist life cover: 55

Current BMI limits for life insurance in the UK:

  • Standard life cover: 40
  • Specialist life cover: 44

What are the health risks for people who are overweight during COVID?

According to recent studies, obesity can increase the risk of death due to COVID-19 by 48%. The study which was carried out by the University of California (UNC) and the Saudi Health Council and World Bank, found that people who were obese were nearly 50% higher risk, which was “scary” a researcher said.

Another study found that people with a BMI of between 35 and 40, were at 40% higher risk of death, and those with BMI’s of over 40 were 90% higher risk. This is compared to those who did not have a high BMI.

Other data sources found that 7.9% of critically ill patients with COVID-19 had a BMI over 40, which was compared to 2.9% of the rest of the population.

Medical conditions linked to High BMI and Obesity:

What’s going to happen to life insurance rates for people who are overweight?

The current situation with the pandemic is constantly being reviewed by insurers and by medical experts. We are also speaking to our insurance partners on a weekly basis to find out whether anything is going to change.

The current underwriting guidance is not likely to change for the foreseeable future until the situation with COVID changes. Some insurers are suggesting that they may relax their rules after a 2nd wave or after a vaccine has been released.

What else can I do if I can’t get life insurance currently because of my weight?

There are certain insurance products that are available through iam|INSURED to help protect your family through this period. It’s our aim to provide some life cover to our customers where possible, regardless of their health.

Some of the other options include:

  • Over 50’s life cover (if applicable)
  • Guaranteed acceptance life insurance
  • Personal accident (with accidental death)

It’s important to make sure that you’ve got some cover rather than nothing and a lot of these products are cheaper than standard life insurance.

If you’re confused about getting life insurance and don’t know what to do then you can contact one of our experts free on 0800 009 6559

Why have I been refused life insurance and can I still get cover?

What to do if you’ve been declined life insurance in the past

(Author – Daniel Sharpe-Szunko)

A lot of people come to us after they’ve been declined life insurance previously. Nobody likes to be turned down for anything and life insurance is no exception. It can feel demoralising or even offensive if you have a medical condition and you get told cover isn’t available.

There are several main reasons why you might have been declined for life insurance by an insurer. It’s important to remember that insurers are all different so just because you’ve been told no before, that’s not always the end of the road. Feeling annoyed or frustrated is totally understandable and it’s natural to question whether applying again is worthwhile.

Why have I been declined life insurance?

You could have been refused cover for several reasons which are unfortunately quite common. Most life insurance applications are declined because of medical conditions, occupation or dangerous activities.

If you’ve applied for cover in the past and your application was refused, then it might be because of:

  • Insurance advisor might not have the expertise and the skills to find an appropriate or suitable insurer
  • Insurance providers have different underwriting philosophies so some may decline cover where others could accept. Your adviser should be able to identify which insurers are best for each situation and persons circumstances
  • Medical disclosures might be incorrect or inaccurate so it might be that there was a simple error with submitting your application
  • Medical evidence may be requested in some instances which can expose additional elements which can cause concern. It’s important to know what might be on your medical report before applying for cover
  • Timing could be wrong so you might have applied when your medical readings were high or not as well controlled. If you’ve made changes to your lifestyle or treatment which has improved your condition then things will have changed
  • Smoking is sometimes a red flag with life insurance and especially with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular and lung disorders. If you quit smoking more than 12 months ago then definitely try again
  • Underwriting changes could mean that cover which wasn’t available before has now become available. Underwriting philosophies can and do change so you should keep checking just in case this happens

Does being refused life insurance have any impact on future applications?

You should know that insurers do not share personal information about individuals. The only real reason why being declined cover might have an impact in the future, is if you re-apply to the same provider.

It may just be as simple as you didn’t remember which company had declined you in the past, or you didn’t know who they were. It’s a common and simple mistake so don’t worry if this happens. This happens to lots of people and is certainly not an issue so let someone find the right insurance provider for you.

What are the main medical reasons for declined life insurance?

Some of the main things that could cause a medical decline for a life insurance application are:

  • Recent diagnosis such as cancer or heart attack
  • Ongoing treatment which includes chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Combinations of conditions such as Diabetes and Heart Attack
  • Undiagnosed conditions where symptoms are identified
  • Outstanding investigations, results or surgeries
  • Higher than normal results or readings (such as blood sugar, cholesterol or blood pressure)

You should know that there are usually other options and solutions in a lot of these instances so don’t be put off. It might also be a case that cover may not be available now through mainstream insurers but there are other options.

Do life insurance companies share medical information?

The simple answer is no they don’t unless it is agreed by the insurance companies and the applicant. Generally this does not happen more often than not because of the potential issues around data protection and sharing of personal data.

Do I have to pay more for life insurance because I’ve been declined?

Again the answer isn’t necessarily yes and some insurance companies might still offer cover and even be cheaper. Insurance underwriting is a complex calculation which is individual to each company and pricing will vary from one company to another.

If you’ve had a quote from a company in the past then by shopping around and applying to the right insurer, you might still be able to get cover cheaper. Your insurance adviser should help you to find which provider is cheapest and who will accept you.

 

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.