Welcome to The Amber Stitt Show, hosted by Amber Stitt herself!
In this episode titled "Focus On Risk: 4 Ways to Navigate Preexisting Conditions," Amber shares valuable insights and tips about securing insurance coverage for individuals with medical conditions.
Whether you're looking for disability insurance or life insurance, Amber dives into the complexities and possibilities of obtaining coverage. She discusses potential exclusions, rate increases, and the importance of early application. Amber emphasizes the role of independent brokers in helping navigate the insurance landscape and find the best options.
So join Amber Stitt in this informative discussion and learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones, even in the face of preexisting conditions.
Don't miss out on this enlightening episode of The Amber Stitt Show!
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Amber Stitt [00:00:11]:
Hi there. Welcome back to The Amber Stitt Show. I am your host Amber Stitt and I have another quick classroom for you all today. The month of September is truly focusing on life insurance and insurance in general, just focusing on the element of being organized and taking action today to really protect you and your loved ones. And so wanted to talk about four facts about getting insurance with preexisting conditions. Starting with disability insurance, this is the ability to provide an income, a paycheck if you are sick or injured and can't work. So we want to make sure that we're trying to get these policies in advance before any health conditions are there. But if there are some, what are we going to do? And the same applies to life insurance.
Amber Stitt [00:00:50]:
If you have a preexisting condition, usually when you're shopping online, super preferred rates might not be available to you. You might automatically get preferred rates, or worse. Starting with some fundamentals, a preexisting condition refers to a medical condition, something you were already diagnosed with prior to applying for your insurance, life or disability insurance. Some of these that are causing quite a stir and a problem and give you modified offers on the disability side would be pre-diabetes or being diabetic. Cancer is another one who has to have truly some time pass from being cancer-free to even having disability insurance. Depression, asthma, and some autoimmune issues are preexisting conditions that can pop up, that can take a lot of options off the table. As an independent broker, we always work with you to do an inquiry to see what kind of preexisting conditions exist and what can we do to work on that in the future. And then we have direct communication with the underwriters.
Amber Stitt [00:01:47]:
Another tip is the underwriters are those people behind the scenes who are looking at your health, looking at records, and when you go forward with an insurance application, you're saying, "Yes, I'm letting you go take a look and assess the risk." So with preexisting conditions, some of these on disability contracts will be excluded. They'll say if you have depression now, there's an exclusion for depression for the future. Sometimes these are temporary, sometimes they're permanent. As we're thinking about ways to take care of ourselves and do preventative, think about those preexisting conditions and what that could do at the time of an application. So we want to be mindful of those things. If we already have these things that exist. Working with an advisor can help you talk through what carriers can be a little bit kinder, giving approval, even if it's modified.
Amber Stitt [00:02:33]:
Those are things you really want to think about as soon as you can, especially if you know now is the time to transfer risk and go get that income protection. But with life insurance, if we have a preexisting condition, it's not always an exclusion, it's more of a rate increase, heightened weight, filling a prescription, elevation of blood pressure, cholesterol, and high-risk activities. I have a client, who is a rock climber. Not being a mountain climber was helpful. Rock climbing, though, does push him out of best rates, or preferred rates, to standard rates in life insurance, too. For females, if we've had gestational diabetes with a previous pregnancy, but we're otherwise okay, those best rates are gone. They'll never not see that in your records. Starting an application earlier, before that could even be a factor, is a reason why sometimes even single people or people who are married, or are in relationships, but don't have children yet, they might, might want to consider doing something before those dependents exist to take advantage of their good health. So, really going into the four steps you might still be able to get coverage and you'll want to work with independent brokers to help you shop and look around.
Amber Stitt [00:03:39]:
You can get coverage with a preexisting condition, but like I said, it might be an exclusion or there might be a rate increase on the life insurance. Anybody that does have more of that cancer history, family history, could be a factor. Sometimes those genetic tests don't cause an issue. But be mindful as you're going out and getting preventative or genetic testing or are prone to something and you go out to get your own testing yourself. That could also be part of that history that will have to be explained. There might be the ability to still get coverage, and sometimes those could support or cause worse, more adverse conditions. So if you're just trying to figure this out, have a conversation or two with a couple of brokers to tell your story and see what those potential rates could be. So number two is it could just disqualify you.
Amber Stitt [00:04:24]:
And there are just some companies that will not take coverage. A lot of the own occupation, specialty medical professionals, go look for these types of policies. If they already have some of the conditions present, like diabetes or autoimmune issues is a big one, especially for females, they might just be knocked out of certain carriers. There are a few other carriers that will take higher risk, but those are sometimes not rate-locked. They might only offer a limited benefit period. And so my clients still take some of these contracts at times, especially if they have to transfer risk for a period of time until their passive income is grown, assets are built, and debts are paid down. Sometimes we're taking these modified offers just to get through a period of time. So chronic, or serious conditions can disqualify you, especially if the history is just not conclusive.
Amber Stitt [00:05:09]:
Follow-ups haven't been completed. So you really want to think about buttoning up anything that's trending in your health and make sure you have a nice conclusive end of treatment. If there were conditions, chronic conditions probably wouldn't go away. So you want to really consider what are your options and lock in something as soon as you can. If there is an option. And with preexisting conditions, the third step would be you might have to provide extra evidence. And so gathering records going out to your providers, there might be a way to submit more records or documentation. You might be able to submit more records or documentation to help support your situation, to show a better clean bill of health on that condition.
Amber Stitt [00:05:46]:
Those are sometimes helpful. So really stabilizing showing time has passed on a current treatment plan might be helpful, that could help you come back after a period of time and maybe appeal a denial. But a lot of times these carriers need some time to pass before they'll believe that there's a reasonable amount of time with a treatment plan that you're on that it's working. They might need some time to go by. So that's where you can work with your team to establish that care, work with the providers to get some better records, and that can support coming back and trying again and provide extra evidence to maybe appeal and get a better offer. And step four would be looking at employer-sponsored disability coverage or life insurance. So I have another episode talking about not just relying on group life insurance. A lot of my clients are not relying just on group disability insurance, but what if we have no other option and we want to take an audit and look at policies on an annual basis anyway?
Amber Stitt [00:06:40]:
But if we're knocking ourselves out of private disability, or a good offer with life insurance on the private side, maybe that is where that group insurance taking positions that always have that group benefit package, that's what's really going to be helpful to help provide something to you. Now with group contracts, there's no portability typically with most that you can't convert and take them with you if you change jobs. In our environment right now, a lot of people are two to three years, maybe less on a job. So we want to make sure you always have that benefit package every time you make a move. Because if you are with preexisting conditions or chronic conditions and you can't otherwise get private insurance, that's where looking for jobs that have that group benefit package, might be the best choice out there. When we have people without those chronic conditions, our health conditions, the preexisting conditions, we try to supplement on top of those group plans at work. So you have the rate lock, your health is locked in, and you're only doing the process once so that you have the portability that you need to move from state to state, job to job. Or, if you go self-employed, you just have your plan and it's there for you, built as you would like to design it.
Amber Stitt [00:07:47]:
That's the freedom with the individual plans. If you need to learn more about disability contracts, just new ones, new life insurance, or adding on or supplementing. That's what our team is known for, and we've been doing this for over 30 years. Let us know if we can help. And if you're not working with an independent broker, it might be time to go get that second opinion. Have them take a look, and help them shop for you, especially if you are one of those with preexisting conditions. Hopefully, this was helpful to really look at getting back. I always say, take some action, go back, and get organized.
Amber Stitt [00:08:18]:
Go grab some of those benefits. If you're not sure what to ask for, I can always send you a bullet-point list of what to ask HR for. I'm happy to send that over to you. Send me a message. I'd love to help, but let's really look at what we have. What is our revenue at? What's our income at? Do we need to evolve, add on, or supplement, especially if we have more dependence now? Always taking a look annually is important, but locking in your best health is always the best thing to do. And so we're always happy to help you get to that point. So thank you for listening and taking action today if you can, and let us know if we can help. Thanks for listening.
Amber Stitt [00:08:52]:
Thank you for joining us on today's episode of The Amber Stitt Show. For more information about the podcast, books, articles, and more, please visit me at: www.AmberStitt.com. Until next week, enjoy your journey at home, and at work. Thank you for listening.