Life insurance

I became a stay at home mom when my twins were born earlier this year. Before that, I’d been in the corporate world for many years. And I’ve always had my health and life insurance through my employers.

However, when I didn’t return to my last job after my maternity leave ended, I in turn lost my insurance coverage and went on my husband’s plan. My working background is Human Resources so I’m pretty knowledgeable about insurance, etc. So one thing that caught my attention on my husband’s plan was that although the loss of my prior coverage was considered a qualifying event, and therefore the family could enroll on his health plan, life insurance did not fall under that category (I verified with the broker) so I could not enroll in the spouse life coverage.

That’s a huge bummer because for someone like me who has had type one diabetes for 21 years and counting, there’s no way in heck I could get coverage now, without paying ridiculously high premiums. Through my previous employers, I always enrolled in the basic life, the no questions asked/no physicals required one. But when Open Enrollment opens up for his insurance in January … I have to have a physical (no biggy) but as soon as whatever human/computer sees that I’m a diabetic, I am sure it’ll automatically be declined.

Is there anyone out there that has a suggestion on how to obtain life insurance? It makes me nervous not having any coverage… I’m hoping someone may know of a company that’d cover us, or a loophole that someone’s found? All suggestions welcome. :)

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About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since 10/17/92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 15ish years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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6 Responses to Life insurance

  1. I’m commenting so that I can keep track of any answers you get as well. I was laid off immediately after coming off maternity leave in 2011, and while I got added onto my husband’s (awesome) health insurance through his job, I also do not carry a life insurance policy on myself now that I do not have one through work. I work for a contracting company now, and they don’t offer one. But I think about it, a lot. I would not want my funeral expenses, etc to be a burden on my family should the un-thinkable happen.

    • Shannon says:

      I know what you mean. That would be a huge burden and expense… I’m hoping its not something we’d need for a looong time…but I’d feel better having it at least. :)

  2. StephenS says:

    Shannon, a couple of things:

    First, I’m surprised that you can’t get spouse life right away. Most companies that have spouse life coverage allow people to sign up at any time. If they don’t, it’s usually because the company only wants to deal with paperwork once per year. In our company, we allow someone to enroll in spouse life coverage at any time, without a physical.

    Second, I did pick up a separate term life policy shortly after my diagnosis (22 years ago). It was one of those “pay the bill on time, we’ll never drop you” plans. That was very important to me, and still is. I still have it, though the $20.00 per month premium in 1991 is now $94.00 per month. Some of that is due to age, no doubt. My point is, you’re still young. Maybe there’s a company out there willing to sign you up even with the diabetes (they’ll probably want you to prove that you’re taking care of yourself, which should be no big deal).

    Anyway, I know every state is different, but I might begin asking around to see if you can get covered somehow, and then see what it would cost. Good luck, and if there’s anything I can do to help, let me know!

    • Shannon says:

      Thanks, Stephen!! I was surprised that I couldn’t enroll after losing my coverage..but their policy is written as such that loss of life insurance does not fall under the qualifying events umbrella, like the health insurance. I tried. :/

  3. Sara says:

    I think there are some companies that specialize in providing life insurance to “high risk” people. Diabetes Daily used to display advertisements for some. I never looked into it because I assumed that the premiums would be too high (and I had a policy through work at the time)

  4. Scott E says:

    Shannon, this is definitely a tough one. I went through it a few years ago when I switched to an employer that doesn’t provide benefits, and I’m glad I did. (Every year you get older, the price goes up). I ended up with a fixed rate 25-year term policy through Prudential. I also went through the process with New York Life, and actually played one off of the other to “negotiate” a better rate. (I can give you dollar amounts privately, if you like).

    It’s important to go through a company that does “medical underwriting”, which means they collect actual health data from you — they may send someone to your home to collect a blood or urine cample, check height and weight, and get info from your doctors. The other “discount” companies just tend to assume the worst. Even a good opthalmologist report helps, as I found when my company missed it the first time. They also told me my rates could improve, without re-applying for a new policy, if my “condition” improves, but they can’t increase. I’m not quite sure what that means, but I think demonstrating a dramatic and sustained improvement in A1c is what they had in mind. And yes, they want your business and will compete for it.

    At the same time, don’t go applying willy-nilly to a bunch of companies. They’ll see that, and think that maybe something’s wrong and you’re trying to buy tons of insurance before you die. Two companies should be safe.

    I figured a 25-year policy will last until my kids are out of college (and on their own, hopefully) and my mortgage is nearly paid off. The cost of a 30-year was just too high.

    My wife also got a policy on her own, independent of her employer, shortly after I did. Turns out, it’s cheaper for her to do that than to do it through her company benefits (above what they give you for nothing). Apparently, after 9/11, group rates went higher than individual when they saw that an entire place of employment could be wiped out at once, while spreading clientele around geographically posed less risk. This may be good info for your husband.

    Also, she either was pregnant or just had a baby (I forget which) when she had her policy. Because she could attribute things like weight-gain to the pregnancy, her weight wasn’t considered in her overall health assessment (and consequently, rate). Not trying to imply anything here, just giving information.

    Hope this helps! Let me know if you need more info.

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