How to get sleep apnea under control and reduce your life insurance rates too.

Life can be shortened by the simplest of things, like the lack of sleep. We all need sleep and one of the most common reasons people lose sleep is obstructive sleep apnea. This is a condition where a person’s throat closes off for brief periods of time while they sleep. It may be for a few seconds or even minutes. A person that has sleep apnea is characterized by loud snoring, pausing breathing during sleep and gasping for air. Children can have sleep apnea can too, and the symptoms are less pronounced. These disruptions of the body during sleep interferes with the quality of sleep. I have sleep apnea and before treatment, one of the most significant aspects of the disorder for me was feeling tired all of the time. Before finding out that sleep apnea was my sleep problem, I could sleep for nine or ten hours and still feel exhausted. I did not realize that my body was not getting to a deeply relaxed state that is necessary for good health. Constantly my body was struggling for air, and I would wake up just enough to breath, then drift off to sleep again.

Sleep apnea is one of the causes of many physical problems and diseases. High blood pressure, weight control, some forms of cancer and many more ailments are related to sleep apnea. Most people want to live long happy lives. If you are a parent, you want to live to see your children be parents. Sleep apnea can shorten your life. If you are a parent, you are a provider for your family. Your family would struggle financially without you.

If you have sleep apnea, it will affect your ability to obtain life insurance. If you take proper measures to control the problem, there are life insurance companies that will offer you life insurance coverage at good rates. Most importantly, it will improve your life and give you a better chance of living longer.

To give sleep apnea suffers a chance at a longer life and the opportunity to obtain life insurance, they must take two vital steps. First, get your sleep apnea under control. Second, prove to the right life insurance company that you do have your sleep apnea under control. When it comes to cost, not all life insurance companies consider sleep apnea in the same way. Some life insurance companies avoid people with sleep apnea by either denying them coverage or offering coverage at high rates. Some life insurance companies see sleep apnea as an opportunity to help an underserved group of people by giving clear guidelines for providing life insurance coverage.

If you want to get your sleep apnea under control here are seven steps to follow that will help you and give you the best opportunity to obtain life insurance coverage at the lowest price. FYI, the seven steps do take time and it is probably the best route to improve your health. However, if you need life insurance now, skip to the P.S. at the end of this post and then come back to here to learn how to improve your health.

  1. Step one, see your physician to determine if a sleep study is necessary. If your doctor suggests a sleep study, don’t ignore it. The record of his recommendation will be in your medical file. If you have decided to not have the sleep study done, you may be declined for life insurance or offered a very high price.
  2. Step two, after the sleep study is done confirm that the results are in your physician’s file.
  3. Step three, follow-up with your doctor to get his or her recommendations for controlling your sleep apnea.
    • Use a CPAP machine, lose weight, control blood pressure, take medication, etc. or
    • Surgery to correct the sleep apnea is a possibility. If you have surgery, there is a different route for showing that your sleep apnea is under control.
      • You must see the surgeon, have the surgery and the show active follow-up to that surgery.
  4. Step four, you are fitted for a CPAP machine, purchase it and begin to use it. Showing that you have bought the CPAP machine is important. If you have the sleep study, have the CPAP prescription and stop here you may be declined.
  5. Step five is follow-up with your physician when he or she suggest. When you get a CPAP machine, it may take some getting used to and you will probably be in communication with the sleep study lab technicians with questions. That correspondence will be in your file and that is good, it shows that you are using the machine.
  6. Step six is continued follow-up with your physician to track results. You began the process of solving your sleep problem with a physician consultation. By the third follow-up you can determine if the CPAP therapy has improved your sleep. Are you sleeping better? How has it affected your weight and blood pressure? All of this information will be in your doctor’s file the life insurance company will review in considering to offer you a life insurance policy.
  7. Step seven is on-going maintenance. If you have sleep apnea and it has been a few years, good compliance is represented by ongoing doctor consultations. After some time, another sleep study may be recommended. This follow-up step will depend on your condition and your doctor’s approach toward helping you manage your sleep apnea. You may be prescribed to have a sleep study done every year, or it may be every four years. Whatever the procedure is, be sure to follow-through.

Considerations on the sleep study.

When you go for a sleep study it is because you are having some problem with your sleep. At first, the results of that sleep study will not show your condition under control, it will show your current condition. Do not worry about the results of that study, the most important consideration is that you have had a sleep study completed. How you follow-up will determine how the life insurance company views your sleep apnea.

Once you have your sleep apnea under control to the best of your ability, it is time to take steps to protect your family financially if you were to die. How much life insurance you need is an important part of buying life insurance? I have a terrific tool on my website that is free and will help your find that number. You can find that tool through this link.  https://www.insurenowdirect.com/advice_4_lifeinsurance_houston/Calculator.aspx

Finding the right life insurance company.

Once you have this figure, it is time to find a life insurance company. There are 6,118 life insurance companies in the United States and not all of them consider sleep apnea in the same way (NAIC, 2015). To give you an idea of how life insurance companies approach offering life insurance to sleep apnea suffers, I will highlight the process that my top company recommendation goes through for applicants who have sleep apnea.

Knowing which of the 6,118 life insurance companies to buy is one of the reasons people chose my services (NAIC, 2015). That knowledge has come from years of experience and is one of my competitive edges. For that reason, I do not disclose the actual name of the life insurance company. When you decide to use my services, I will give you lots of information to help you select the best life insurance company that will offer you coverage at the best price. For now, let’s call this company Number One Life Insurance

This is the top company that I recommend to clients who have sleep apnea. Number One Life Insurance has a system of analyzing life insurance applicants. They have created a benchmark classification system. If an applicant has an adverse health condition such as being overweight or if they have a negative lifestyle habit such as hang-gliding, the applicant will be assigned points. The more points assigned, the higher the premium. You can have points reduced with positive health behavior. With Number One Life Insurance, sleep apnea is a condition that can play in your favor if you are managing your condition. For example, if you are overweight you are assigned points, use of a CPAP machine to control sleep apnea takes points off.

Number One Life Insurance has taken a negative health condition and made it a positive. Remember lower points means a lower premium. Here are a few specific situations in which Number One Life Insurance may take points off. The first positive is if you have a sleep study available. Another way that Number One Life Insurance would reduce your points would be a follow-up exam with your doctor that shows a weight loss or lower blood pressure reading after use of the CPAP machine.

In conclusion.

If you have sleep apnea, it takes an effort to control it. Documenting the steps you have taken to control your condition will be evident in your medical records. It will be very helpful in this process if the life insurance agent you are working with writes a cover letter to accompany your application which details all of the steps above. I do this for every client, and it makes a big difference in communicating with the life insurance company. Your application paperwork gives facts, and the cover letter serves as a road map to your health management. If you clearly communicate how you are controlling your health, that action will give the life insurance company a better understanding and hopefully show that your health is not an adverse risk. Controlling sleep apnea not only means you will get better consideration for life insurance rates, the most important aspect is that your quality of life will improve.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog,

Van Richards

P.S.

If you’d like to use my service to find the best life insurance policy at the best price for you, start by requesting a quote. Additionally, the seven steps do take time. If you need life insurance now, you may be able to apply for a guaranteed issue policy that does not require so much reporting. It will be more expensive. This may be a short term solution until you can apply to a company like Number One Life Insurance. Remember that is not the real name of the company.

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References

National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2015). State report cards. Retrieved May 23, 2016, from http://www.naic.org/state_report_cards/report_card_wa.pdf

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