Drawing of a person using their asthma inhaler to symbolize the question “does asthma affect life insurance”
Insurance 101

Life insurance for asthmatics

Insurance 101

Life insurance for asthmatics

A guide to how asthma can affect your application, coverage, and costs.

Does asthma affect life insurance? In short, it can—but maybe not in the way you’re thinking. See, asthma is a common part of everyday life. And just like many other long-term and chronic health conditions, it can affect your application for a life insurance policy. This isn’t to scare you—if you have asthma you can get life insurance. Rather, we want to discuss how asthma affects the application process and what to look out for.

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  1. State of asthma in the US
  2. Is asthma a pre-existing condition?
  3. How does asthma affect life insurance?
  4. Can you get life insurance if you have asthma?

State of asthma in the US

What exactly is asthma? Well, for those that don’t know, it’s a long-term disease that causes inflammation and swelling in the airways. Symptoms can include things like trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing, and tightness and/or pain in the chest.

Overall, one in 13 people in the US has asthma. That’s approx. 25 million people (for all you math nerds out there). And while the media is full of jokes of tepid, pasty nerds scrambling for inhalers, asthma rates are highest amongst Black adults.

But not everyone experiences asthma the same way. In fact, there’s multiple kinds of asthma. Types of asthma can include:

  • Allergic asthma
  • “Seasonal” asthma
  • Occupational asthma
  • Non-allergic asthma
  • “Exercise-induced” asthma
  • Difficult asthma
  • Severe asthma
  • “Brittle” asthma
  • Adult onset asthma
  • Childhood asthma

There are ways to manage the condition. Medical providers may suggest daily medication, such as bronchodilators (which are usually administered via inhalers), anti-inflammatory medications, or biological therapies.

Is asthma a pre-existing condition?

Asthma is, in fact, considered a pre-existing condition. That just means that it was a health problem you had prior to starting a new health coverage plan. Other pre-existing conditions can include things like diabetes, COPD, cancer, and sleep apnea.

How does asthma affect life insurance?

When you have a pre-existing condition like asthma, insurance may seem more of a long shot but that’s not necessarily so. See, insurance companies use a process called underwriting to determine the risk of applicants. Insurance underwriters look at information such as your age, personal and family medical history, occupation, lifestyle, and even your driving record to determine risk.

Chronic and long-term conditions like asthma can have an effect on your application. However, it depends on your individual situation. According to our underwriting expert, companies want to know how severe your condition is and how well your condition is being managed, or if you have something more serious such as COPD, (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

You may be asked questions such as:

  • How old were you when you were diagnosed?
  • How severe is your condition? What kind is it?
  • Are you taking any medications? What kind?
  • How often do you suffer from attacks?
  • How often do you use an inhaler?
Graphic of information insurance companies may ask about:  Diagnosis age  Medications  Inhaler usage  Severity  Frequency

Can you get life insurance if you have asthma?

Even if you have asthma, insurance coverage may not be too difficult to get. But severity and symptoms of asthma can vary from individual to individual. So your class rating, and therefore your monthly costs, and the class rating of another asthma-sufferer may be different.

For example, if you’re in great physical shape, have a ‘mild’ asthma condition that doesn’t require medication, you could still be classed favorably by an insurance company. Now remember, each company is different and how they rate you may differ between insurers.

So it’s always smart to shop around and weigh your options. If you’re in the market for affordable, customizable term life insurance, check out our Wysh Builder. See what kind of coverage works best for you and take it from there.

The opinions we expressed in this post are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations.