Life Insurance With Sleep Apnea

by Jeff Rose on April 23, 2013

Life Insurance With Sleep ApneaIf you are ever diagnosed with sleep apnea, which will have a significant effect on the cost of your life insurance, the results of your polysomnogram will reveal the problem.

This test analyzes patients’ oxygenation, respiratory patterns and chest muscle activity.

What you should know

Obstructive sleep apnea results when the muscles located in the upper air passage relax so completely that the passage collapses. Note that this condition is divided into the following categories:

With mild obstructive sleep apnea, no treatment is required. In this case, you should be eligible for standard life insurance and may even qualify for a preferred life insurance policy, depending on your situation.

If you are diagnosed with moderate obstructive sleep apnea, you will have to use a CPAP machine. If you comply with your doctor’s recommendations, you will be offered standard insurance to standard plus a rate increase of 50%. However, if you are non-compliant, you may be offered standard insurance plus a rate increase of 50%, and your application for life insurance with sleep apnea could also be declined.

With severe obstructive sleep apnea you will definitely have to use a CPAP machine. If you are compliant you will probably have to pay the standard insurance rate with a rate increase of 100%, and if you are non-compliant  you can expect to have your application for life insurance with sleep apnea rated or declined.

What you can expect

Many term life insurance companies are prepared to underwrite your policy based on the results of your polysomnogram and your unique sleep apnea history. In fact, you may even be offered more acceptable life insurance rates if your medical history includes certain favorable factors. To accomplish this, your insurer will have to review the sleep studies that were done to diagnose your condition. However, if your medical history shows that a sleep study is required, nothing further will be done until that is taken care of.

What insurance companies want to know.

Generally speaking, when a sleep study is done, the Apnea Index is used to determine the severity of this condition. To obtain the results the number of “apneic events” is divided by total hours of sleep related to the study, and you will be charged according to that number.

A skin sensor is used to measure oxygen saturation with normal levels exceeding 90%. When levels are less than 90%, that is considered to be a sign of sleep apnea. In addition, the patient’s heart rate and patterns are also measured during the sleep study.

What you can do?

If your medical history shows that you are working on such health issues as your weight, high blood pressure, consumption of alcohol and smoking, that will definitely have a positive effect on the premiums you will be required to pay for life insurance with sleep apnea.

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