Playing the Insurance Games
On a day-to-day basis, I don’t think of myself as unhealthy or ponder a shorter life expectancy because of my diabetes. I’m active, eat well, and feel good most of the time. However, as I’m approaching my mid-thirties (how’d that happen?!) and planning for the future, I’ve been faced with the way the insurance industry sees me: uninsurable. This isn’t a post about healthcare in America, but rather about other types of insurance, how they rate our insurability, and the games that we play to make the system work for us.
About two years ago, my husband’s office added a long term care insurance plan to his package of benefits. We signed both of us up and completed our respective health questionnaires. I was disappointed and saddened to learn that I was denied completely because of type 1 diabetes. What a weird feeling to know that some company doesn’t want to take a financial risk on my future.
Recently I began to look into a larger life insurance policy for me. Since my husband and I have a dual income household, I realize that my income would need to be supplemented as much as his would be in the event of either of our deaths. Currently he has six times more life insurance than I do. Fortunately, I learned that one of the business units in my company specializes in getting life insurance for folks with “special risks”, particularly health conditions!
I’m working with an underwriter to make the case to the insurance companies that, while I do have to check the type 1 diabetes box, there are other factors that make my level of risk less risky than the insurance tables would lead them to believe. In other words, I’m worth insuring. Step one in this process is to get my A1C % as low as possible before submitting my test results and doctors’ notes to the insurance companies, so I can demonstrate good control. It was pretty interesting to have the insurance professional ask me about my latest A1C result in such a knowledgeable way. Wow, I thought, this is a real thing that the insurance industry evaluates!
I find it ironic that going into my last A1C, I was actually hoping it was a little higher than normal (by the way, it was higher = 7%), so that I could better make the case to our health insurance that I needed a CGMS. Now I need the test result lower so I can demonstrate good control for life insurance approval. What a bizarre world insurance is!