How much is your life worth to you? Probably a lot – probably a gazillion times more than what your life insurance policy will pay out to your descendants after you kick the bucket. Can you really put a price on human life? – The answer is that you can’t, but that is not the point of life insurance. The point is to provide a little more security for your family after you’re six feet under, which is imperative if you are the sole breadwinner of the family. However, if you have sleep apnea you may be forced to pay higher rates for life insurance and you may be precluded from the best policies.
Yet, all of that may be in the past. Thanks to new discoveries and tests pertaining to the symptoms and long term effects of the disorder – and studies showing the benefits of CPAP treatment, life insurance companies are starting to reassess a number of factors that go into classifying, pricing and quoting life insurance policies. One of the biggest words used in the insurance industry – not just the life insurance industry – is ‘risk.’ A certain individual’s risk factor will determine how much they will pay and the quality of their policy.
In the world of life insurance, there are good policies and there are bad policies. Commonly, if you have a preexisting condition, your risk factor goes through the roof. Sleep apnea can kill and with an increased risk of dying, a life insurance company will give you the lowest grade policy and you will be paying higher premiums. It’s kind of the way deposits and other reserved costs increase if you have poor credit. These days, though, there is a new buzzword in the life insurance industry: compliance.
According to Ed Hinerman of the Hinerman Group, which is a consulting firm that helps high-risk patients secure affordable life insurance policies, the best way to lower your “risk class” is to remain compliant to continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, therapy. With regular CPAP treatment, you can attain a “preferred” or “standard” risk classification, which means that you are eligible for lower premiums and better insurance packages. In so many words, if you stick to CPAP treatment, you get a much better life insurance policy.
Another company – called YourLifeSolution.com, which is an online life insurance comparison service – offered a similar explanation. In the last ten years alone, sleep apnea patients are finding it easier and easier to get a quality life insurance policy. “Sleep apnea is still a serious condition without question, but now that CPAP devices and sleep studies are provided on the majority of sleep apnea prone people, the risks have decreased measurably,” said Eric Smith, a life insurance agent and founder of YourLifeSolution.com.
At the end of the day, preexisting conditions may have precluded you from getting a life insurance policy in the past – either because the insurance company told you to take a hike or because your quote was out of your price range. Luckily, though, it is a brighter world out there for sleep apnea patients. Not only will CPAP treatment help reduce your symptoms of the sleep disorder, but it may also help you secure a more affordable insurance policy. When it comes down to it, your life may be priceless, but when you can’t get approved for a basic life insurance policy, you may start to feel like it isn’t worth anything – with CPAP treatment, you can get your life and your afterlife back.