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Applying for Life Insurance with Type 2 Diabetes: 6 Questions You’ll Need to Answer

According to the American Diabetes Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals with type 2 diabetes spend 50 percent more on prescription drugs than individuals without and have a 50 percent greater likelihood of death. In turn, life insurance premiums can be significantly impacted by a diabetes diagnosis. However, while it’s true an insurance underwriter is going to have to gauge whether you’re a risk, that doesn’t mean you’re destined to pay unreasonable rates. Pre-existing conditions do affect life insurance eligibility, but with the help of your insurance provider, it’s possible to strategize for securing an affordable policy that benefits your family in all the ways you hope. As you prepare to select a plan with your provider, consider that you’ll need to answer the following six questions as you fill out your application.

  1. When were you diagnosed? The younger you were when you were first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the more of a problem the disease may pose to securing a life insurance policy you are happy with. Life insurance underwriters tend to prefer you received your diagnosis after age 40.
  2. What medications do you take for your diabetes? You should be prepared to tell your potential insurer whether you need prescriptions to treat your diabetes, the names and dosage of each medication, and how often you take it.
  3. Is your diabetes currently under control? Insurers will want to know whether you are managing your type 2 diabetes well. An ideal fasting blood sugar level on the date of your medical exam, for example, is 135 or less. Underwriters also prefer A1C at or below 7.0. These are not numbers you can achieve within 30 days of your date of application, however. Industry specialists recommend working hard to maintain ideal numbers for 90 days before your required medical exam. This means physical activity, dietary changes, achieving a healthy weight, and managing medications as needed.
  4. What details should we know about your family medical history? Besides indicating which family members also have diabetes, you’ll want to disclose issues your parents, siblings, and grandparents have had with cardiovascular health, depression, anxiety, hypertension, cancer, sleep apnea, or stroke.
  5. What other medical conditions do you manage, whether related or unrelated to your diabetes? Whether current or in the past, these conditions may include the ones mentioned above as well as neuropathy, elevated lipids, or coronary artery disease.
  6. Have you used tobacco products within the last 12 months? Keep in mind here that it’s best to tell the truth. While insurance rates for smokers are higher than insurance rates for nonsmokers, blood tests from a medical exam or results from an autopsy after your death will reveal a hidden habit. You don’t want an insurance company to reject a payout to loved ones after it’s too late for you to adjust your application. Also, know that you can always update your smoking status to non-smoker once you’ve been smoke-free for a year or more.

Should your diabetes and related health concerns result in difficulty obtaining eligibility for a traditional life insurance policy, you aren’t completely out of luck. You can still purchase a no exam life insurance plan, which means the requirement for a medical exam is waived. The benefit here is that you achieve coverage quickly, rather than having to wait for appointments and review of results, and you may find that a no exam life insurance policy can cover you up to $50,000. You can also ask your insurance provider to talk to you about burial insurance, which would give your loved ones financial assistance toward funeral and burial costs in the time of their mourning.

Understanding the Difference Between Federal and Private Student Loans

Debt happens. When it comes to pursuing a post-secondary education, loans can be an important means to an end. But before you choose between federal and private loans (or choose a combination of the two), you need to understand the difference and the long-term effect each can have on you and your family’s future. This includes knowing whether it means leaving loved ones in debt should you face a personal tragedy.

How Do Federal Student Loans Work?

Federal student loans are funded by the federal government. On a federal student loan, the terms and conditions for repayment are based on the law. As a student, you don’t have to start paying on the loan until you graduate, unenroll, or drop your hours to less than half-time. You may also qualify for a subsidized loan if you need the government to take care of the interest on your loan while you are still in school, provided you enrolled in enough credit hours. Federal student loans offer protection for your family after your death. If you pass away, your loan will be “discharged,” meaning dismissed, once proof of death is submitted to the company that handles the billing on your loan (also known as a loan servicer). FORBES magazine warned last summer, however, that not all federal student loans are dissolved so quickly. A PLUS loan taken out by parents, even if forgiven, can still have parents on the hook for paying income taxes on the forgiven loan.

How Do Private Student Loans Work?

Private student loans are made by a lender, which may include a credit union, a bank, a state agency, or a school. The Office of the U.S. Department of Education clarifies that on a private loan, these terms and conditions are set by the lender and may or may not require you to make payments while still enrolled in school. The interest rate may be fixed or variable and may include a penalty for paying the loan off early. Note that a private student loan is intended only for education; it is not the same as a personal loan, which can be used for home projects or weddings. A private personal loan may include language that excludes the use of the funds for post-secondary education. It is important to note that while private student loans may come with a death and disability policy, the lender may still try to collect from your estate and/or co-signers. Some states are community property states, which means a spouse can be on the hook for student loan debt after your death even if he or she didn’t co-sign on it. The answer to this conundrum is often a term life insurance policy that will cover student loan debt in the event of your death.

Talk to Your Agent

Do not wait until it’s too late to have protection in place. Speak to your agent today about adding a life insurance policy to better protect the ones you love most.

How to Stay Active During the Winter

It’s cold, it’s wet, and you just want to curl up on the couch with a hot drink and a book. It can be hard to keep up a healthy lifestyle when it’s cold outside, but it’s not impossible. Here’s why you need to stay active and some tips to help you get back in the swing of things!

Why Exercise During Winter? 

There are benefits to exercising year round, but some are unique to winter. If you exercise outdoors in the sun, you are boosting your vitamin D, which can drop naturally in the winter due to fewer daylight hours. According to the CDC, daily exercise during the winter can also improve your immunity to things like colds and flu and other bacterial infections. 

Find Indoor Locations to Exercise

If your exercise of choice is walking, you can walk almost anywhere! We’ve all seen the “mall walkers” before, and although some might think they are silly, they’re getting their exercise in and staying out of the elements! Don’t be afraid to try out a new activity like mall walking. Other indoor activities include following workout videos at home, indoor swimming and other gym activities, climbing stairs on your work break, and more. If you do decide to exercise out of doors, make sure to wear the warmest clothes you can, stay hydrated, and make the most of daylight hours. If exercising outside at night, wear reflective clothing to stay safe. 

Seek Out Community Classes

Winter is notorious not only for the colder weather, but also for increased loneliness and depression. A great way to combat this is by joining a group exercise class! You don’t have to go to a paid gym to find these classes. They may be available for free from your community’s recreation center. Whichever gym you choose to go to, you will be sure to find exercise classes that suit your interests. You will get your body moving and may even make new, like-minded friends.

Stay Healthy In Other Areas, Too 

Winter is a season packed with holidays, and with the holidays comes rich foods and drink. It can be tempting to just give up on trying to eat healthy, especially when all you want to do is hibernate and eat comfort food in the warmth of your home. However exercise must be used in conjunction with diet in order to have observable healthy benefits to your life. Getting enough sleep is also paramount to keeping up a healthy lifestyle. You might feel less inclined to get your body moving in the winter, but it is truly the best thing you can do for your overall health and wellness!