How To Buy Life Insurance While Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

A woman on a gray couch holds her wrist as she suffers from pain from rheumatoid arthritis

If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you may be wondering what the process of obtaining life insurance is like or if you can even get life insurance at all. While it is very possible to get life insurance coverage with RA, it will have an impact on how your rates are determined. Here’s what to know about buying life insurance with rheumatoid arthritis.

Buying Life Insurance for Those with RA

The best way to buy life insurance for any individual, and especially those with RA, is by shopping around from multiple life insurance companies to find the lowest rate available to you. Life insurance companies choose the formulas to determine their prices and by working with SelectQuote, we can do the shopping and comparison for you.

Underwriting Life Insurance with Rheumatoid Arthritis

The life insurance underwriting process is how premiums for your life insurance are determined. Underwriters have a lot of factors to consider during the underwriting process, especially for those with RA. The job of the underwriter is to look at an application and calculate risk. For those with rheumatoid arthritis, the underwriter must consider the direct impact of this chronic condition, that an applicant’s lifespan may be reduced and the side effects of the various prescriptions used to treat RA.

Life Insurance Health Classifications for RA Severity

The underwriter gives a rating to those with RA based on the severity of the disease. The severity is generally classified in the following way:

  • Mild
    • No continuous treatment required
    • Minimal pain, slight pain or stiffness in peripheral joints
    • No or minimal swelling and no deformity
    • Physical therapy and occasional use of aspirin and anti-rheumatic drugs. 
  • Moderate
    • More extensive joint involvement
    • Slight deformity or limitation in movement in affected joints
    • Frequent or continuous drug therapy
  • Severe
    • Chronic active disease
    • No complete freedom from pain
    • Moderate or marked deformities
    • Serious restrictions of movement and impairment of function
    • Continuous treatment which includes oral steroids, abatacept (Orencia), anakinra (Kineret), azathioprine (Imuran), cyclosporine, gold salts, or rituximab (Rituxan). 

Life Insurance Rates for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Life insurance rates are calculated by the risk you pose to the insurer. Since your health plays a major role in determining your premium, you’ll likely have higher premiums as an individual with rheumatoid arthritis. 

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease that causes your immune system to attack healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation in the affected parts of the body.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of RA include:

  • Pain or aching in more than one joint
  • Stiffness in more than one joint
  • Tenderness and swelling in more than one joint
  • The same symptoms on both sides of the body (such as in both hands or both knees)
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Weakness

Best Life Insurance Options if You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

The types of life insurance available to individuals with RA depends on the severity of your condition. Many individuals with RA are eligible for term life and whole life insurance, but there are no medical exam options as well.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is one of the most affordable forms of life insurance. You have the option to choose your term length and only buy it for as long as you need it. The lengths typically available are 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance that provides coverage for your whole life as long as you keep paying the premiums. In addition to providing a death benefit, though, whole life insurance also includes a savings component also known as the cash value.

No Medical Exam Life Insurance Options

If you’re worried about the medical exam hurting you in terms of cost or have been denied previously, there are a few no medical exam options for life insurance:

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed issue whole life insurance falls under the category of final expense insurance and you can’t be turned down if you’re between the ages of 45-85. There is no health-related questionnaire, only a basic application. 

Simplified Issue Life Insurance

Simplified issue life insurance is a form of final expense insurance that bases your coverage on a questionnaire about your health and lifestyle rather than a medical exam.

SelectQuote Can Help Those with RA Find Affordable Life Insurance

As an individual with RA, it’s important to shop around for your life insurance. At SelectQuote, we can do the legwork for you, searching some of the most trusted life insurance companies on your behalf and comparing rates in just minutes. We’ll make sure you get the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

We do the shopping. You do the saving.