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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:

LevelsMmol/molPercentage (%)
NormalUnder 42Under 6.0%
Prediabetes42 to 476.0% to 6.4%
DiabetesOver 48Over 6.5%

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

LevelsMmol/molPercentage (%)
Low (good control)Under 53Under 7.0%
Moderate (could improve)54 to 747.0% to 8.9%
High (poor control)75 to 859.0% to 9.9%
Very HighOver 86Over 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.

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