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Will your health affect your disability insurance?

By Kathryn Mueller, CLU, ChFC, FIC, LUTCF, Insurance Advisor

Comparing different companies, rates and policies for disability insurance can be stressful. There are many aspects to consider, such as how much you can afford and policy definitions. Additionally, several factors determine the cost and amount of coverage you can receive.

How do you find out if you are insurable?
Many companies require you to have a health exam prior to acquiring disability coverage. Insurers reason that if you are currently in good health and have a clean health history, it is less likely that you will be diagnosed with a debilitating/disabling illness later in life. (And that’s one reason it’s a good idea to obtain coverage early in your career or residency!)

There is no cost to the applicant for this exam, during which you will be asked general questions about your health and wellness. In addition to recording your height, weight and blood pressure, the exam likely will include a blood draw and a urine sample to screen for major health issues such as kidney infections, high cholesterol and other infections or diseases. It may be best to schedule your exam in the morning before coffee and the stresses of the day get to you.

The insurance company also may request your prior medical records in order to review your health history.

Each of these variables can affect your coverage level and premium rates. For example, someone who has untreated high cholesterol may have a higher premium rate than someone who regularly takes medication to control his or her high cholesterol level.

Chronic conditions also can impact coverage. For example, because insulin-dependent diabetes is a chronic illness that requires lifetime treatment and can lead to a number of other health issues including heart attack, stroke and even eye complications, it may preclude someone from receiving individual disability coverage altogether. (In a future post, I’ll discuss further what it means if you DO have such a health concern, and how that may or may not affect your ability to get coverage.)

What’s next?
After the insurer reviews your application, exam and medical records and determines that you are eligible, you will receive an offer of coverage that you can choose to accept or decline.

Working with an independent agent can help simplify the process. If you’re interested in obtaining disability insurance coverage or are questioning whether it would be beneficial to you, contact Wisconsin Medical Society Insurance and Financial Services today at 608.442.3810 or insurance@wismed.org.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Wisconsin Medical Society, Wisconsin Medial Society Holdings Corporation or its subsidiaries. Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal, financial or clinical advice.

Kathy Mueller, CLU, ChFC, FIC, LUTCF

Insurance Agent
Kathy has been in the insurance industry since 1982 and an insurance advisor with Wisconsin Medical Society Insurance and Financial Services since 1995. In addition to the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations, Kathy earned from the American College of Finance, she holds the Fraternal Insurance Counselor and Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow designations. She is a graduate of Gateway Technical College and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in management from Cardinal Stritch University.

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