How To Get Term Life Insurance With Hepatitis

Any health condition can cause your life insurance rates to rise, but obtaining affordable term life insurance is still possible if you have hepatitis B or C. Read on to learn more about your options for life insurance with hepatitis.

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Tim is a licensed life insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with term life insurance. He writes and creates stuff for QuickQuote and other insurance and financial websites.

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Written by Tim Bain
Founder & Life Insurance Agent Tim Bain

Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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Quick Facts

  • Most people with hepatitis are eligible for term life insurance
  • The application and approval process is more challenging for individuals with a past or present hepatitis infection
  • Life insurance approval is more likely when you stay informed about your health and carefully monitor your condition

Having a disease such as hepatitis can increase your life insurance policy rates, but this isn’t always the case. You can get life insurance if you have a medical condition. Understanding your illness and taking steps to treat it properly can help you during the application process so you can access the lowest rates possible on life insurance with hepatitis.

Learn what to expect, what options you have, and what factors insurance companies consider so you can increase your chances of qualifying for the policy you want. There are five types of hepatitis, but as B and C are the most common, this article will focus on them. Finding life insurance with hepatitis C or B has its own unique challenges, but this article will help sort them out for you.

How can I get life insurance with hepatitis?

Having a damaged or unhealthy liver makes you a higher risk to the insurance company. Life insurance for high-risk individuals is always going to be harder to get. Even so, you can still access quality term life insurance even with a chronic infection.

Having hepatitis B and life insurance is more likely when you understand what your insurance company will look for to determine your eligibility. The main factors are that you seek treatment and continue to attend follow-ups with your doctor.

Individuals are typically viewed as insurable if they have recovered fully, have successfully cured an infection with antiviral medication, or have a mild infection. You must listen to your doctor’s advice and comply with all treatment recommendations.

Applicants for term life insurance should expect to complete a medical exam. Part of the checkup includes testing your liver function and measuring your viral load. Your doctor does testing to diagnose which virus or viruses, you have.

Other things a potential insurer will look at may include how long you’ve had the diagnosis, your age at discovery, and other illnesses you have. Your adherence to recommended treatment and whether you have an acute or chronic disease are also considered.

Changing your lifestyle also has an impact on both your overall health and your likelihood to qualify for a policy. Stopping tobacco and alcohol use are two crucial changes.

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How to Apply for Life Insurance With Hepatitis

When you are ready to apply for term life insurance, you must be aware of your current health condition. The more informed you are, the better your chances. Companies prefer to have proof that you are taking action to responsibly manage your condition. Before you look for term life insurance quotes, get current records and test results from your doctor to know your status.

Speak to your insurance agent and compare rates from several companies. The average costs can vary widely by company. You can potentially save money and time by having an agent put together some preliminary rates for you to examine. An expert can also help an individual with a preexisting condition get the coverage they need and avoid a declined application.

Rates to Expect on Life Insurance With Hepatitis

The rates you receive will vary according to the type of virus you have and the severity of the infection. Those who have recovered fully from the disease or show normal liver function and viral load for a period of two or more years can expect a better rating class.

Insurance companies use rating classes to decide your rates. Understanding life insurance rating classes will help you know what to expect. Preferred and Preferred Plus have the best rates. This is for individuals who have recovered after treatment. Standard and Standard Plus are usually mid-range and used for those who either fully recovered or are managing their condition and have normal test results.

Remember that your hepatitis status is not the only consideration insurance companies look at. Family history, overall health, and even your driving record factor into the decision. How much term life insurance you can buy will also affect your rates.

Individuals with a chronic hepatitis infection and test results that show current issues could still receive a standard rating. Or, the insurance company could deny your application. Two of the most common reasons for a decline are cirrhosis and liver disease.

Examples of Life Insurance Rates

The following are average rates typical of certain outcomes:

  • Good outcome- A 45-year-old male that recovered from a three-month hepatitis B infection at the age of 42 can get a preferred rating with an annual rate of about $376.
  • Unfavorable outcome- A 42-year-old female applies for term life insurance. She received a diagnosis of hepatitis at age 37 and developed a chronic illness. She doesn’t use alcohol or have cirrhosis. Even though her viral load is low and liver enzymes are only slightly high, her rating is substandard. The insurance company approved her application for a $1,311 annual rate.
  • Declined- A 33-year-old female was diagnosed at age 27 and developed a chronic infection with slightly elevated liver enzymes. She does not have cirrhosis or drink alcohol. She does, however, smoke. The insurance company declined her application.

Every application receives a case-by-case review. If you have a current or past infection, you can improve your chances of qualifying for approval at lower rates by making positive lifestyle changes. Take care of your overall health and avoid using alcohol or tobacco.

What To Do After a Declined Life Insurance Application 

If you have hepatitis C and life insurance companies fail to offer you a standard policy, you still have several options. You can choose to get an accident-only policy or a guaranteed-issue policy.

A guaranteed-issue policy generally has a death benefit limit between $25,000 and $30,000. It can also take several years for your beneficiary to receive payment. While your health isn’t a factor for approval, rates are typically higher since your medical history and current status aren’t confirmed through an exam.

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What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus spread through bodily fluids or by non-infectious means. Certain autoimmune diseases, alcohol use, and even types of medications can lead to a hepatitis infection. Some cases are acute and clear in a matter of weeks. Chronic infections last six months or more.

Hepatitis B

The hepatitis B virus is responsible for this infection. The virus targets the liver and causes inflammation, enlargement, and other problems. Infections can last for several months or may become chronic. There is a vaccination available to help protect against the risk of a hepatitis B infection.

Hepatitis C

The body can potentially fight off the hepatitis C virus in under six months. However, many individuals develop a chronic infection that can last a lifetime. Long-term and severe cases may cause liver damage, liver failure, cirrhosis, or cancer. No vaccination exists for hepatitis C at this time.

Symptoms can include nausea, fever, fatigue, jaundice, aching muscles, and darker urine. In many cases, the symptoms are absent or so mild that a great many individuals don’t know that they have an active hepatitis infection.

Final Thoughts on Getting Insurance With a Hepatitis Infection

Applying for term life insurance when you have a hepatitis B or C infection is a more involved process. However, you can often qualify for quality coverage at affordable rates. The exact cost of your policy depends on your diagnosis, medical and treatment history, and current health.

It’s not possible to control all factors, so take action where you can. Attend all follow-up doctor appointments and take care of yourself by living a healthy lifestyle. The more knowledge you have and the better you manage your condition, the more likely it is that your insurance company gives you favorable rates.

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