How Humira Affects Your Life Insurance Rates.

Written by Boston Life Group

Humira is one of the misunderstood medication in the insurance industry.  It is now wonder then that most insurance agents and brokers don't understand how  Humira will affect your insurance rates.

Humira is an immunosuppressant.  It is considered a serious drug in the medical field.  It is definitely a concern for life insurance companies.  Most Insurance companies would want to know the underlying reason you’re taking Humira.  The more serious the disease, the higher premium you will pay for your life insurance rates.  In rare cases you will be able to get standard rates for term life insurance or other fully underwritten products.  However, most people who are prescribed Humira will most likely would only qualify for Substandard rating. These rates range from 10% to 500% more than standard rates. It is important to keep in mind that if all you’re looking for is a small burial insurance policy, Humira would not have much of an effect on your life insurance rates.  


HUMIRA IS NOT THE PROBLEM.  YOUR DISEASE IS THE CONCERN


Humira is a concern for life insurance companies only because it indicates that your autoimmune disease must be severe.  Patients only get subscribed Humira when they have experienced frequent flare ups that can no longer be handled by only taking steroids.  

If you’re only taking 5 ASA Compounds (Asacol, Colazal etc..), the life insurance company may look at you favorably as long as everything else checks out.  However once you have a history of taking immunosuppressants, their ears perk up and they want to know more about your history.

Your disease also matters.  Some disease are just more life threatening than others.  All autoimmune diseases are not created equal. Humira is usually taken for the following diseases: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, & Psoriasis


RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS 


Rheumatoid Arthritis in its mild form can be the less other autoimmune  diseases. A flare up is not as devastating. The life insurance company however is still concerned about frequent flare ups.  

Frequent flare ups indicate a potential for more severe complications down the line.  Typically, this is when Humira gets prescribed.

In order to get the best possible rates when on Humira, the applicant must show improvement and stabilization.  If flare ups continue while on Humira, your life insurance application may get declined. Applicants may achieve standard rates on Humira but they need to show a history of remission and no further complications.

More severe cases cause damage to the joints.  Many RA sufferers end up disabled because of this.  These cases will most likely be a “DECLINE” for most life insurance companies.


psoriasis

Psoriasis is another disease that may require Humira prescription.  Similar to RA, it’s possible to get standard rates when the disease is considered mild.  

However Humira is typically prescribed when the psoriasis has progressed to a moderate or severe condition.  Standard rates are possible but rare at this point.

Again, to achieve standard rates on Humira, the applicant would need to show no signs of complications for the past 3-5 years.  

Most Psoriasis cases that require Humira, would warrant a Substandard Rate.


ulcerative colitis & crohn's disease


Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn’s Disease are treated the same exact way by most life insurance companies.  When taking Humira for either of these illnesses, you are considered to have moderate to severe UC or Crohn’s.  

Once you apply for life insurance, the companies would most likely require an APS (Attending Physician Statement) from your doctor detailing your disease and how you have coped during your diagnosis.  It is the detail in those documents that have the greatest effect on your eligibility for life insurance.  

In order to get favorable results for your life insurance application, you need to show the following

  1. You follow your doctor’s plan and take your medications as prescribed

  2. You have good history of favorable colonoscopies.  Your last colonoscopy must show that you’re in remission.

  3. Your disease has stabilized.  You need to show that there is no need to increase the dosage and that you have no recent flare ups.

  4.  

AGE OF DIAGNOSIS MATTERS 


The age of diagnosis is an overlooked factor by most life insurance agents.  Life Insurance companies want to take the less risk possible in order to cover your life.  In order to do that, they use statistics to determine your likelihood of surviving a disease.  

The older you are when you are first diagnosed, the more likely you are to survive longer than the average human.  

I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 17.  I got declined for life insurance at 25 because I was deemed too young to have ulcerative colitis with a history of complications at such a young age.

Keep in mind that my ulcerative colitis was still considered mild since I had yet to be prescribed any immunosuppressant including Humira and Remicade.

What should you do if you’re diagnosed at a young age?

At this point, there is only one solution: Take your health seriously.  It’s different for each disease as each presents its own challenges. At this point, there is still a lot of unknown about autoimmune diseases.  What works for one person may not work for the next.

With that said, it’s still important to monitor your health.  Learn what triggers a reaction or a flare up and eliminate them from your lifestyle.  It could be certain foods with Crohn’s disease, certain activities with RA, or skin products with psoriasis.  

It’s also important to follow doctor’s orders.  Life Insurance companies will always consider you a strong candidate if you do what the doctors ask of you.  

One of the reasons I got declined when I first applied for life insurance was because the doctor’s statement to the life insurance company mentioned that I don’t always take my medications.  

The fact that I was so young and not taking my meds did not give the life insurance company much hope.



The age of diagnosis is an overlooked factor by most life insurance agents.  Life Insurance companies want to take the less risk possible in order to cover your life.  In order to do that, they use statistics to determine your likelihood of surviving a disease.  

The older you are when you are first diagnosed, the more likely you are to survive longer than the average human.  

I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 17.  I got declined for life insurance at 25 because I was deemed too young to have ulcerative colitis with a history of complications at such a young age.

Keep in mind that my ulcerative colitis was still considered mild since I had yet to be prescribed any immunosuppressant including Humira and Remicade.

What should you do if you’re diagnosed at a young age?

At this point, there is only one solution: Take your health seriously.  It’s different for each disease as each presents its own challenges. At this point, there is still a lot of unknown about autoimmune diseases.  What works for one person may not work for the next.

With that said, it’s still important to monitor your health.  Learn what triggers a reaction or a flare up and eliminate them from your lifestyle.  It could be certain foods with Crohn’s disease, certain activities with RA, or skin products with psoriasis.  

It’s also important to follow doctor’s orders.  Life Insurance companies will always consider you a strong candidate if you do what the doctors ask of you.  

One of the reasons I got declined when I first applied for life insurance was because the doctor’s statement to the life insurance company mentioned that I don’t always take my medications.  

The fact that I was so young and not taking my meds did not give the life insurance company much hope.


HOW TO GET STANDARD RATES WHILE TAKING HUMIRA


Humira is a concern for life insurance companies only because it indicates that your autoimmune disease must be severe.  Patients only get subscribed Humira when they have experienced frequent flare ups that can no longer be handled by only taking steroids.  

If you’re only taking 5 ASA Compounds (Asacol, Colazal etc..), the life insurance company may look at you favorably as long as everything else checks out.  However once you have a history of taking immunosuppressants, their ears perk up and they want to know more about your history.

Your disease also matters.  Some disease are just more life threatening than others.  All autoimmune diseases are not created equal. Humira is usually taken for the following diseases: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, & Psoriasis

HAVE NO COMPLICATIONS


Humira is a concern for life insurance companies only because it indicates that your autoimmune disease must be severe.  Patients only get subscribed Humira when they have experienced frequent flare ups that can no longer be handled by only taking steroids.  

If you’re only taking 5 ASA Compounds (Asacol, Colazal etc..), the life insurance company may look at you favorably as long as everything else checks out.  However once you have a history of taking immunosuppressants, their ears perk up and they want to know more about your history.

Your disease also matters.  Some disease are just more life threatening than others.  All autoimmune diseases are not created equal. Humira is usually taken for the following diseases: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, & Psoriasis

NO INCREASE IN DOSAGE


THE BOTTOM LINE ...


If you’ve been denied for life insurance due to prescription history, not all is lost.  There is hope at the end of the tunnel. You may have just been denied because you didn’t know any better.  Hopefully this short guide put you back on the right track. 

The answer to your problem boils down to 3 solutions

-You should definitely go with an independent agent who understands underwriting.  It’s not that captive agent are bad, they just don’t have the options and independent agent does.  

You should take control of your health.  By showing the insurance company that you are willing to improve your health, they may look at you favorably.  

-Be honest and upfront with the insurance company and your insurance agent.  By being honest with your agent, you are allowing him/her to be creative and find the niche company that will look at you favorably.  

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