Burial Insurance For Dialysis Patients

Jake Irving

Jake Irving is the Founder of Policy and has contributed to articles for Synchrony Financial, GoBankingRates, Yahoo News, UpCity, Zapier, LegalZoom, and more.

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According to the National Kidney Foundation, 10% of the population worldwide is affected by chronic kidney disease. So if you have ever received kidney dialysis, you are not alone. In fact, 2 million people worldwide get dialysis treatment due to kidney failure.

With this or any other medical condition, you must plan for the financial future of your loved ones. This includes obtaining the best burial insurance to cover your funeral costs.

Can You Get Burial Insurance For Dialysis Patients?

People can get burial life insurance while on dialysis. The most important item determining eligibility is when your last treatment was. If treatment is ongoing, your options will be limited, and there will be a waiting period before full coverage is available. Immediate coverage is not possible for seniors currently on dialysis.

Burial Insurance Basics

Several things make burial insurance an excellent option for seniors on dialysis. This coverage was created to provide an affordable way to prepare for burial and cremation costs with a small monthly payment. These plans are commonly known as funeral insurance and final expense insurance coverage.

Whole Life Insurance Benefits

A burial policy is a type of whole life insurance that never expires. Each plan includes the following features to be considered a whole life policy.

Coverage Lock: The death benefit amount will never fluctuate or expire. The amount of coverage you take out will remain the same for your entire life.

Price Lock: The monthly premium cost will never increase. This is very important for budgeting your expenses, especially on a fixed income.

Builds Cash Value: This is a living benefit that comes with every whole life insurance policy. With each premium paid, a small portion is allocated to the cash value account. Over time this amount increases and allows you to borrow from it if you wish.

Final Expense Policy Features

When asking is burial insurance worth it, three main benefits will help you make this decision.

Affordable: These policies come in death benefits from $2,000 to $40,000, while traditional whole life insurance starts at $50,000 and extends into the millions. The more coverage you have, the higher the premium cost will be.

No Medical Exam: Funeral insurance goes through a simplified underwriting process, meaning you will never be asked to get a medical exam. An application can be completed entirely over the phone by answering a few simple yes/no health questions.

No Denial: There are multiple plan options within final expense insurance coverage. Current kidney dialysis patients will not qualify for the top-tier plans. However, plan options are available for seniors with nearly every pre-existing health condition, including dialysis.

Underwriting Guidelines For Funeral Insurance On Dialysis

While kidney dialysis is often not a temporary treatment, it can be. For this reason, some insurance companies grant a bit of leniency when it comes to qualifying for coverage after receiving this treatment.

All applications for burial coverage will ask about dialysis except for guaranteed acceptance policies.

2 Ways Life Insurance Companies Ask About Dialysis Treatment

Every final expense insurance application will ask about kidney dialysis in one of the following two ways.

“Have you ever received or been advised to receive dialysis?”

Whether it was temporary or permanent treatment, you will have to answer “yes” if you have ever received or been advised to receive dialysis treatment.

“Have you received or been advised to receive dialysis within the last 24 months?”

In this question, the timeline may be different from company to company. Most applications ask about treatment within the last 12 months or 24 months. If you can answer “no” to this timeline question, you will be treated as though you have never received kidney dialysis treatment.

Reacting to Your Application Answers

After answering these questions, the insurance companies will move forward in one of two directions.

Acceptance: If a company accepts dialysis patients, they will place you into a restricted policy with higher prices and a waiting period. These policies are known as Graded or Modified.

Denial: Most life insurance companies will decline policy coverage for people who answer “yes” to the dialysis questions, regardless of how they ask.

Very few companies will accept you if you are currently receiving treatment or if you have within the last 12 months. Unfortunately, obtaining coverage with no waiting period is impossible for seniors on dialysis. There are, however, very affordable options available with a waiting period through guaranteed issue plans.

Plan Tiers

There are four plan tiers within final expense insurance coverage.

Level: This is the only plan type that has immediate coverage. People who are currently receiving dialysis cannot qualify for any level plan. You are eligible for this plan if it has been over 12 months since your last dialysis treatment.

Graded and Modified: These policies have a minimum 2-year waiting period. However, you still have to qualify for coverage medically. Dialysis patients can be eligible for graded or modified final expense plans from very few companies. These policies can sometimes cost more per month than a highly competitive guaranteed acceptance life insurance plan.

Guaranteed Issue: If you are currently on kidney dialysis, this is your best plan option. However, not all guaranteed acceptance life insurance is created equal. Several carriers, such as American International Group (AIG), beat the pricing of graded and modified plans with the same waiting period payout structure. No health questions are asked when applying for a guaranteed acceptance plan.

nurse and women discussing medications

How To Find The Best Final Expense Insurance For Dialysis Patients

Each company sets its criteria for acceptance. Some insurance companies are very strict and will only accept people in excellent health. Other carriers are more lenient when it comes to providing immediate coverage.

The best options for those receiving dialysis will differ from those with other medical concerns. Recommended life insurance for CKD patients is different based on your treatment.

Since kidney disease is almost always a precursor to dialysis treatment, this also needs to be considered. The reason for receiving kidney dialysis is just as important as the diagnosis itself. For example, if diabetes plays into why you are getting dialysis treatment, this could also affect acceptance. Life insurance companies will ask about the following kidney problems.

  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
  • Chronic Kidney Failure
  • Renal Failure
  • Renal Disease

3 Things to Seek in a Burial Policy

Given all of the varying application questions, there are just three things that you’ll want to look for before applying for a burial policy.

Low-Cost: Get a plan that you can afford well into the future. To get the best price available, you may have to shop around or work with an agent who can do this for you.

Financial Rating: By working with a funeral insurance company with a solid financial rating, you will know that it will be able to pay your claim when due. Work with a provider with a B+ rating or better from AM Best.

Begining of Coverage: While seniors on kidney dialysis will have a waiting period imposed, ensure that it is no longer than two years. Some carriers will have 3-year waiting periods, but you do not have to wait this long. There are plenty of guaranteed issue life insurance plans with competitive prices and only a 2-year waiting period.

Finding the best provider can be overwhelming and difficult, especially if you have a health history that could throw up a red flag. For these reasons, it is best to put your trust in an agency that specializes in this type of coverage.

How to Buy

There are two ways to purchase a burial policy.

Directly with Company: Calling an insurance company directly may seem like a good option, but this significantly limits your options. The agent representative that you speak with has fewer burial plan options to choose from, especially for seniors with kidney problems. This can result in denying coverage or not getting the best policy available.

Insurance Agency: These agencies represent various products from multiple companies. Insurance agencies can compare several policies’ pricing and qualification standards with a more extensive and specialized portfolio to get you the best price.

Women at the beach with her hands up

Common Questions About Burial Insurance For Dialysis Patients

Can Someone on Dialysis Get Life Insurance?

Someone currently on dialysis will be able to obtain a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy. If it has been over 12 months since your last treatment, you may qualify for a policy with immediate coverage from select insurance providers.

Can Someone with ESRD Get Life Insurance?

Someone with end-stage renal disease can get life insurance. All funeral insurance applications will ask about renal disease or kidney failure. These questions will place you into a plan with some restrictions. Often you will have to pay more and have a waiting period before full coverage begins.

Can I Get Life Insurance While on Dialysis?

Current dialysis patients are only eligible for a guaranteed life insurance plan with a minimum 2-year waiting period before the full death benefit is paid upon the insured’s passing. Guaranteed plans from highly rated companies are very competitive in price and features.

Final Thoughts On Life Insurance With Dialysis

a. Getting senior life insurance with kidney dialysis is possible. Although, if you are currently undergoing treatment, a guaranteed issue life policy will be your best option.

b. The treatment timeline will play a big role in acceptance. If you have not received dialysis treatment in the last 12 months, you will have more policy options and immediate coverage available.

c. It is vital that you work with an insurance agency specializing in final expense insurance because they will best be able to recommend the premier options.