Replacing your Employer-Sponsored Life Insurance Plan: For Someone with Addison's Disease

By James Tobin, CFP®

Critical Takeaways

  • Rate Impact Significant
  • Pricing  Based on Severity And Frequency Of Flares, Complications, Prescription Medication  And Overall Health
  • Standard Rates Possible, Table Ratings Likely

Workers Bequest Difficulty Rating

Expert Review Of Life Insurance Approval With Addison's Disease

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Reviewed by

Jim Tobin, CFP®

Why you can Have confidence in this review

At Workers Bequest Life Insurance, we value our editorial independence. We keep our reviews strictly factual so you can use them to make informed decisions. Life insurance carriers referred to on this site do not approve reviews. 

While you may know about the day to day effects of living with Addison's disease, also known as primary adrenal insufficiency, and hypocortisolism,  you may not know how it will affect your life insurance application. The eight questions and answers below  are a good start to getting a handle on the issue.  For more in-depth answers, just follow the links and keep reading.

Can I Be Approved For Life Insurance With Addison's Disease?

Every applicant for life insurance with Addison's disease can be approved for a policy.

However, the type of policy that can be approved, and the rates charged, will depend on the nature of your Addison's, how long ago it was diagnosed, and your overall health.

Because the underwriting standards are different for each type of policy, upgrading your Employer-Sponsored life Insurance plan will require a review of the life insurance options with Addison's disease as broken into three sections in this article: (click the link to check out the different kinds of policies we have).

Best Price

Strict Underwriting

More Expensive

Easy Underwriting

Most Expensive

No Underwriting

What Information Will  Life Insurance Companies Want To Know?

In order to underwrite your application life insurance carriers will need to know the symptoms that you  have experienced, the treatment undergone, including prescription drugs used, and any medical follow up. For a more exhaustive discussion of the underwriting of Addison's applications please scroll to What Insurers Will Want to Know About Your Addison's Disease.

 How Exactly Does The Addison's Disease Affect life Insurance Rates? 

The rates you pay for term insurance are dependent on the underwriting class you are graded by the carrier. Auto immune applications are generally going to be rated as standard (rare) or lower. This issue is discussed using pricing samples here.  Sample pricing for simplified issue and  guaranteed issue policies is provided in the corresponding links.

Will I Need To Take An Exam For Addison's Disease Life Insurance?

The term life insurance market is quickly adopting accelerated underwriting programs that do not require a medical exam as part of the application process. However, these no exam or non-med policies will not be available if you have had a diagnosis of Addison's disease.

Without the no exam option, you will be required to take a para-medical exam. The exam is usually a 15-20 minute meeting with a  nurse. Your exam will consist of a blood draw, a urine sample, and height and weight recorded. 

Note that more expensive simple issue and guaranteed acceptance policies do not require exams. The medical exam is discussed in detail here. 

What Can I Do To Improve My Rating And Lower My Life Insurance Rates?

The most effective ways to improve your life insurance rating are to use an agent that has access to the companies that will view you most favorably and to take care of your health. 

See  below section, Why to use Independent Agent when Shopping for Life Insurance with Addison's to better understand the reason to use an independent agent.

As far as lifestyle goes, if you take diet and exercise seriously along with limiting alcohol and quitting smoking (if you smoke), it should be reflected in your blood markers. 

if you have a medical condition like Addison's, documenting compliance with medical advise and any medications is very important. Obtaining Having a physicians letter stating that you have been compliant and improving is helpful.

Do these things and you can't help but improve your health and your life insurance rating.  

How Accurate Are The Quotes I Get From Your Quote Tool? 

The quotes you receive from the quote tool on this site are 100% accurate for the information inputted. That is to say, if you get the rate class correct- your rate will be correct. The problem with online tools is that people generally think they are inn better or worse shape than is reality.   

If you are unsure about rate class you should choose a range and hope to be pleasantly surprised. Alternatively, if have an existing condition , such as Addison's disease, you can fill out the customized quote form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

What Are The Best Life Insurance Companies For Addison's Survivors? 

Life insurance companies have different appetites for specific risks. These appetites are reflected in underwriting and ultimately pricing. Simplified issue carriers will be state dependent and  three of the better known term carriers for dealing with auto immune applications   are Prudential, American General (AIG), and Banner.

However, risk appetite can, and does, change and the only way to guarantee the best possible deal is to work with an experienced independent agent. see the case study here to get a clear understanding.

What Is The Application Process For Life Insurance With Addison's Disease?

The life insurance application process is an eight step process that includes choosing your terms, picking a carrier, submitting to the exam,  and signing documents (digital signatures accepted). The entire 8 step process is laid out for you here

While the application process is basically the same regardless of your existing condition, you can see a discussion of the process specific to Addison's disease.

Traditional Term Life Insurance With Addison's Disease

While it is possible to see auto immune applications receive standard ratings, it is unlikely that an offer for life insurance will not be rated as substandard. However,  the severity of the rating can vary significantly, therefore it's important that you use an agent that is experienced with Addison's cases and has access to the carriers most likely to be receptive. 

The process of obtaining a term life insurance offer with a diagnosis of Addison's disease is similar to seeking  life insurance after a heart attack,  Sleep Apnea or AFib and many other specific conditions.

Primarily, term life insurance is available for lengths ranging from 5 years to 30 years with 20-year terms being the most popular. Term policies usually have a minimum face amount of $50000, and the policies terminate at the end of the term period or can be renewed annually at a vastly increased rate.

Pricing For Term Life Insurance

At the top of this article we stated  that any body can be approved for affordable life insurance with Addison's disease. Note, however, we mention "affordable" rather than inexpensive or "low cost". The reason for the distinction is that life insurance with Addison's disease is not cheap life insurance.

Often times, because the coverage can be  expensive on a per benefit dollar basis, the benefit is reduced to make the life insurance affordable.  While this is often not an ideal situation, the truth is we all have to live within our budgets, and sometimes the way to make life insurance with Addison's affordable is to  reduce either the term of coverage or the benefit amount.

Life Insurance For Dummies

The difficult part of term life insurance with a history of depression is finding the best deal. This is because different carriers have differing appetites for certain kinds of risks. As a result navigating this process is not as easy as using a quote tool and picking the lowest price. This is discussed in detail in the case study below.

Why To Use Independent Agent When Shopping For Life Insurance With Addison's Disease?

Now you already understand that your story matters, and that two people in similar situations can get very different offers from the same carrier.

What you might not know is that different insurance companies will also treat each case differently.

For example Lincoln Financial may have more of an appetite for the risk that life insurance with Addison's disease presents than say AIG. In this case the underwriting grade will reflect this increased appetite.

So, if your Agent only represented one carrier and you found out later that that you could have gotten a rate 35% or 45% better, how would you feel?

You'd probably be mad either at the agent or yourself or both. So it's important that your Agent represent multiple carriers.

In fact a good independent agent will have access to over 50 carriers. This ensures the best chance at a good rate.

Note, that if he doesn't, he may not be in a such hurry to let you in on this info.

Case Study Pricing Policies With Addison's Disease

Please see the case study below . it will show why it is in your interest to have as many options as possible available when shopping for life insurance with Addison's disease or any other impairment.

Female Age: 43

$500000 20 Year Term

Tobacco: No

Well controlled mild Adrenal insufficiency  Diagnosed Age 34

Hydrocortisone and Fludrocortisone only No Other Health Concerns

This looks like a best case scenario that would be either standard or Table 2/B or 4/D depending on the insurers appetite for a Addison's risk.. Let's take a look at the rates.

  • Standard 
  • Table 2/B
  • Table 4/D 

Life Insurance Company

Monthly Payment

$ 61.40


$ 61.75

$ 62.78

$ 63.96

$ 67.83

This table which shows only a few of the major life insurance companies available illustrates the difference in rates. For standard rates Prudential is 33% more expensive than Protective.

On it's face this seems like a pretty straightforward choice and if underwriting grades between carriers is the same, it really can be that simple.

This kind of easy price shopping is particularly useful for younger folks in good health and demonstrates why you want to use an independent Agent.

For people who suffer from Addison's disease or any other serious diagnosis, it gets much more complicated.

Because life insurers manage their appetite for specific risks by being more lenient or more stringent with underwriting grades, you need to know which company will grade you a standard or table 2 risk and which one will grade you as table 4-6.

In the case above Lincoln  (the middle standard rate) is likely to be the best deal because the more competitively priced carriers will likely rate the risk table 4 while Lincoln  might well go table 2.

This is something you can't know by simply looking at the lowest price. In this case using an independent agent could save you 15% (the difference between Lincoln @ table2  and AIG @ Table 4).

Next Step

We are glad about the efforts you've made on checking out for a better upgrade for your Employer Sponsored Life Insurance Plan and finally decided on Workers Bequest. We are committed to a totally transparent process (we'll even share our computer screen with you if you'd like), and making the application process as painless as possible.

Simply send us an email so we can get you started. If you have any questions, We'd also like to hear them.

Fast Facts about Addison's Disease

Addison's disease, also known as primary adrenal insufficiency, and hypocortisolism  is a endocrine condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce critical steroid hormones cortisol and aldosterone. 

Cortisol is necessary to mobilize  nutrients, modifies the body's response to inflammation, stimulates the liver to raise the blood sugar, and also helps to control the amount of water in the body.

Aldosterone regulates salt and water levels which affects blood volume and blood pressure.

Addison's is a considered a rare disease with  no accurate estimate of  the number of people who suffer from the disease. According to the National Adrenal Disease Foundation, extrapolating previous studies would lead to an estimated 8800 cases in the United States. 

Women are three times more likely to suffer from the disease.

Two of the most famous people known to suffer from Addison's  are singer Helen Ready and President John F. Kennedy.

Keywords & related questions

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  • Can I get life insurance with Addison's disease?
  • How expensive is life insurance with Addison's disease?
  • What is the process for applying for life insurance after hypercortisolism diagnosis?
  • What are the life insurance best companies for Addison's victims?
  • What are common table ratings for adrenal insufficiency survivors?
  • Can I get life insurance with Addison's over age 60? 

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