Having a medical setback is often a pivotal point in many people’s lives. Habits and priorities are forced to change, and we begin to take a more serious look at the burdens and responsibilities that we would leave behind for our loved ones in the event of a premature death. For this final topic in our 5-part series on the most common life insurance questions we receive, we’re going to discuss how someone with a pre-existing medical condition can still utilize life insurance for protection, as well as the accumulation of wealth, so let’s take a closer look at this topic. If you have chronic health problems and need life insurance, you shouldn’t assume you’ll be denied coverage. All life insurance carriers have their own underwriting standards and some carriers look more kindly on certain medical conditions. Where these medical conditions were once associated with a shorter life expectancy, now with advances in treatment options, people are better able to manage these conditions, they’re living longer more fuller lives and as a result insurance carriers are placing them in more favorable risk classes than ever before. Obviously, the healthier you are, the more likely it is that you will receive a favorable rating from the carrier. On the other hand, if your health isn’t great or if you have been denied coverage in the past, there are other options that you will want to explore, such us employer group term that is typically guaranteed issue, or there are individual guaranteed issue policies. Now, with guaranteed issue if it’s outside of your existing policy rider you can expect to have higher cost of insurance and lower benefit amounts, but the good news is that there are still options available to you. One of the first things that I would suggest for someone seeking additional protection when they already have an existing policy in place, would be to check with your current carrier to see if you have any type of guaranteed insurability rider on your existing policy. These riders allow you to purchase additional coverage without having to prove insurability. This can be very valuable if your health has changed over the years. Now, if the purpose for acquiring life insurance is to accumulate cash for either retirement or other financial needs, one strategy we often recommend is placing the life insurance coverage on a healthy member of the family, like a spouse, your children, or even your grandchildren. You can still be the policyowner and ultimately control the contract, but because the proposed insured is in better health and a lower risk to the carrier, your cost of insurance will be significantly less, allowing you to maximize the cash accumulation account. Certainly challenges exist in obtaining affordable life insurance with a severe medical condition, but there are many worthwhile options available if guided in the right direction. Working with an independent agent, like Lightpath, provides a distinct advantage as we have the ability to cast a broad net across a wide spectrum of carriers to find you the most affordable rates. If health concerns have scared you away from seeking coverage in the past or if you’d like to simply learn more about options available to you, I would encourage you to contact us for a complimentary needs analysis. Until next time, this is Jason Hawkins with Lightpath Wealth Advisors where we help you navigate the retirement journey. Together.