Life Insurance for Dialysis Patients

A Guide For People with Kidney Disease

There are many different types of kidney disease. With this pervasive and sometimes life-threatening illness group, it can be difficult to find life insurance for dialysis patients. But defining the illness type and its prognosis will let the agent know what is insurable and what is not an insurable kidney problem.

A surgery, like donating a kidney is often insurable, if the insured is in good health otherwise. Kidney failure is a problem where the patient needs regular dialysis, and that is often times not insurable, except with a final expense policy, or burial insurance that does not require health questions to be purchased. But kidney disease with a good prognosis for recovery is insurable with many companies at an increased rate.

Quick Navigation

About Kidney Disease & Dialysis
Can I Get Life Insurance While On Dialysis?
What Insurance Companies Want To Know About Dialysis Patients
How Kidney Disorder Affects Your Insurance Rating
FAQ’s About Life Insurance for People with Kidney Disease
Finding the Best Life Insurance for Dialysis Patients

Life Insurance for Dialysis Patients

About Kidney Disease & Dialysis

Before discussing how to find the best life insurance for people with kidney disease, lets get a few facts straight about kidney disease and dialysis.

Different Kinds of Kidney Disease

  • Abderhalden – Kaufmann – Lignac syndrome or Nephropathic Cystinosis
  • Abdominal Compartment Syndrome
  • Acetaminophen-induced Nephrotoxicity
  • Acute Kidney Failure or Injury
  • Acute Lobar Nephronia
  • Acute Phosphate Nephropathy
  • Hepatitis C
  • Papillary Necrosis
  • Glomerulopathy
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

There are hundreds of diseases of the kidneys and pathology related to those diseases. The list is exhaustive and not complete, even for nephrologists, who treat these disorders.

Common Causes of Kidney Diseases

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Infections
  • Kidney Stones
  • Heart Disease

In the United States, diabetes and high blood pressure are the two major causes of kidney disease and kidney failure. When these two causes run together in one person, they can be deadly. But carefully controlled with medication, the kidney disease can be prevented or slowed down.

Progression of Kidney Disease

Credit: cdc.gov

End Stage Kidney Kidney Disease of ESRD is only treated with dialysis but can be slowed somewhat with proper treatment. Unfortunately, the only life insurance you can get is simplified whole life, with a graded death benefit. Many companies offer this type of insurance and some companies even offer the insurance without health questions.

Common Symptoms of Kidney Diseases

There are a number of symptoms that can give signs that something is wrong with the kidneys They are also simple issues that might escape notice, but can be signs of a more serious condition.

  1. Trouble concentrating, sleeping or tired much of the time. A decrease in kidney function can cause toxins and waste to build up in the blood. This causes weakness and a tired feeling. One of the side effects of kidney trouble is anemia which causes fatigue and weakness.
  2. Dry and itchy skin. Kidney function regulates many minerals and nutrients in the blood. A lack of proper function can cause the waste in the system to back up and not produce the correct levels of nutrients and minerals, and the accompanying bone and mineral disease will dry out the skin.
  3. Having a need to urinate often. Feeling an increased need to urinate can be a sign the kidney’s filters are damaged, which increases the urge to urinate.
  4. There is blood in your urine – often blood cells are released when there is damage to the kidneys waste filtering system. This type of symptom can also be a sign of other serious conditions, like tumors, stones, or some type of infection.
  5. Foaming urine – or excessive bubbling in the urine, definitely if you must flush a number of times. That is because albumin is present in the urine and creates a foaming process like that in scrambled eggs. That is because albumin is a protein found in eggs.
  6. A puffiness circling the eyes that don’t go away – this is usually a sign that the kidneys filters are releasing a large amount of protein into the urine.
  7. Muscle cramping – when an imbalance of electrolytes occurs from kidneys that are not functioning properly, there can be low calcium and phosphorus that uncontrolled, which can cause muscle cramps.

How Do You Know if You’re at Risk of Kidney Disease?

This is a question of paramount importance, as many times there are no overt symptoms of kidney disease until the condition is quite well along in the damaging process. Making sure you are following some simple directions for healthier kidneys, in general, is taken seriously and getting tested regularly is the best way to keep this life-threatening condition at bay.

The following ancillary diseases can cause damage to the kidneys.

  • Diabetes
  • Heart Failure
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Family history of kidney disease

The two tests for kidney functions are the GFR and Urine Protein tests, to see if there is any dysfunction in the kidneys.

  • GFR (glomerular filtration rate) is a blood test that measures the rate at which blood is filtered through the kidney per minute.
  • Urine Protein test is a simple test of the urine to see if the protein is present in the urine. When the kidney filters are damaged protein leaks into the eliminated urine. Also known as urine albumin to creatinine ratio

Can I Get Life Insurance While On Dialysis?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is treatable and often preventable. About 30 million people in the USA have CKD, and millions more are susceptible. Some people aren’t even aware they have the disease. This type of kidney dysfunction can often be reversed and can be insurable if treatment is working.

The high-risk groups for CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure, which affect 60% of those with kidney disease.

Glomerulonephritis which damages the kidneys filtering system is the third most prevalent type of condition that causes kidney disease.

In women, any malformation that develops in the womb during pregnancy and blocks the flow of urine, causing the urine to backup into the kidney.

Lupus can cause damage to the kidneys.

There are a number of different diseases and conditions that can cause chronic kidney disease. Also known as Chronic Renal Disease, this dysfunction of the kidneys makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to get life insurance. Many companies today recognize that CKD is very prevalent and on the rise. Many times it is treatable and doesn’t affect the application process.

What Insurance Companies Want To Know About Dialysis Patients

If you are on dialysis or have had kidney failure, there are several questions all insurance companies will want to know about.Dialysis for Kidney Failure

  • When you received your diagnosis
  • What specific type of kidney disease
  • What level is the disease
    • Mild
    • Moderate
    • Severe
  • Regular medication you are taking
  • How your health is currently and any acute attacks
  • Information on results/readings (GFR and Creatinine)
  • Have you had any surgery or treatment? Or are you currently awaiting any?

How Kidney Disorder Affects Your Insurance Rating

As with many diseases, CKD is rated according to severity, prognosis, lab work and current symptomatology. The agent must assess those parameters and come up with a careful screening and collection of medical documentation that can then be submitted to underwriting and the proper analysis can determine a rate. Of course, on its face, CKD is a chronic illness that can be life-threatening and as such will have a higher rate than someone who doesn’t have the disease.

The applicant will get a table rating, which is the standard or regular rate, plus a certain percentage above that rate. Every company is different but most use either an alphabetical rating order or a numbered rating order.

The table below shows table ratings for a 40-year-old male, with a treated kidney problem, that has no lasting effects. The insured was healthy otherwise and did not need ongoing treatment. Non-smoking for a ten-year term at $250,000.

Table Rate % Total / Month
1 +25 $33.00
2 +50 $39.00
3 +75 $45.00
4 +100 $50.00
5 +125 $56.00
6 +150 $61.00
7 +175 $66.00
8 +200 $72.00
9 +225 $80.00
10 +250 $87.00

FAQ’s About Life Insurance for People with Kidney Disease

There are several questions that come up when we speak with people looking for life insurance for someone on dialysis. Below are the most common.

What is kidney failure?

When the kidneys are badly damaged and no longer function properly than you have kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The only recourse for this condition is dialysis or transplantation.

There are two types of dialysis:

  1. Hemodialysis, where blood is passed through an external filter and then back into the body. This is done three times per seven days. The process takes place at an outside office, or center set up for that purpose.
  2. Peritoneal dialysis uses the peritoneal tissue, the portion of the abdominal cavity that surrounds the internal organ, to filter blood. This type of filtration is performed while the patient sleeps, at home, and is required on a daily basis to be effective.

Can I get life insurance with kidney disease or kidney failure?

The insurance requirements for being approved for life insurance are not that difficult if the chronic kidney disease is treatable and the prognosis is good. For kidney failure or ESRD, the prognosis is dire and would only qualify for a graded death benefit simplified whole life, which doesn’t require health questions.

For those with ESRD, the best plans for that condition are the simplified and simple whole life designed for taking care of just the final expenses, burial or cremation, which can run high. There are some companies willing to insure individuals with chronic kidney disease, through a table rating system. This allows for many of the 30 million people who have this disease to purchase life insurance and have some peace of mind.

Finding the Best Life Insurance for Dialysis Patients

There are a lot of life insurance options on the market. Between the varying policy types, companies, and rates, it can be hard to compare them all and feel very overwhelming. Especially with all the other financial obligations when dealing with kidney disease.

Specifically, with a health problem, it is very important for people looking for life insurance should speak with a professional. Independent agents do not work with one specific company, but with multiple companies in order to help their clients secure the best rates.

Our independent life insurance agents can help you find the best life insurance rates for people with kidney disease. They can help you compare the best rates policies and companies for your specific situation.

Give us a call today to speak with one of our agents, or get started comparing life insurance for dialysis patients or people with kidney disease using our quick and easy life insurance quote tools.

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