Last Updated: June 2020
If you’ve had Bariatric Surgery (also known as weight loss surgery) in the past, then trying to get approved for life insurance, let alone at decent rates, can be a challenging concept. While having had bariatric surgery on its own is not considered to be high-risk life insurance, it does indicate that you’ve had some health problems in the past.
- Life Insurance After Bariatric Surgery
- The Underwriting Process for Those Who Have Had Bariatric Surgery
- Securing Affordable Rates after Bariatric Surgery Is Possible
Life Insurance is Boring. Let’s Get To The Root Of It! Here are the key takeaways…
It is possible to get approved for life insurance after bariatric surgery. If you had no complications with the surgery and it has been 6-12 months since the surgery was completed, you can expect to pay sub-standard rates for life insurance.
Life Insurance After Bariatric Surgery
Choosing to undergo a weight loss surgery is not a bad thing and the life insurance companies are aware of this.
It shows that you want to make a major lifestyle change and live a more healthy lifestyle. However, oftentimes, this surgery can pose complications that can impact one’s health and the life insurance companies want to account for this risk accordingly.
This is the main reason why they prefer to see up to 1 year following the surgery with no complications or health impacts that take place before offering any form of life insurance coverage at decent rates.
This does not mean you should not apply if you are not quite at the 1-year mark.
It means that you may need to be that much more prepared for the life insurance application process and that you absolutely need to work with an agency that specializes in securing life insurance coverage for individuals in your situation.
Here is an idea of what the underwriting process will look like following bariatric surgery when applying for life insurance.
The Underwriting Process for Those Who Have Had Bariatric Surgery
If you’ve had bariatric surgery in the past, the underwriting process is going to be fairly intense. Don’t be scared off by that fact though, you just need to know how to talk with the underwriters.
Your answers to these questions will determine your ability for approval for coverage. They will be asking you many questions such as:
- When did you first undergo the surgery?
- How much did you weigh before you had surgery?
- When was your last follow up with a physician?
- How much weight has been lost at various milestones since your surgery?
- Were there any complications following your surgery?
- Was there an improvement in other risk factors besides your weight following your surgery?
- Have you been prescribed any medications since your surgery?
By analyzing your answers to these questions, the underwriters will be able to determine just how much risk you pose to the company.
While these certainly aren’t the only questions you could ever be asked by an underwriter, the questions above are the most common.
Underwriters may also be concerned if you have other health-related conditions related to a high weight which are still present. These conditions include things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
It’s safe to say that if you have other health complications in addition to having had bariatric surgery, your likeliness of more expensive premiums will be even higher.
They also will be interested in your normal activity levels. If you spend your days working while sitting down and get very little exercise despite having lost a lot of weight, this can impact your premiums negatively.
Simply getting sufficient exercise is a sign that you are taking the necessary steps to be healthier, and the potential for lower premiums is there when the underwriters can recognize this.
Life Insurance Rates You Can Expect After Bariatric Surgery
Unfortunately, there is no publicly available algorithm for determining what sort of rates will be available to you based on the results of your surgery.
Maintaining weight loss is definitely good, but is not the only factor in deciding your premiums. The other factors listed above will all come together before the underwriters are able to make a decision.
Some people will only qualify for a substandard rating if enough time hasn’t passed. Underwriters want to see at least 1 year since the bariatric surgery. The more time that has passed, the better.
If you receive a substandard rating because enough time hasn’t passed, you can always take the current offer and replace this policy after enough time has passed.
Secondary Life Insurance Options After Bariatric Surgery
If you happen to fall into a category of individuals who have been declined or have not quite made it 6-12 months following your surgery, you may need to begin looking at other options for life insurance coverage.
Of course, one of those options is to wait it out and apply for traditional coverage after you can show no complications haven taken place.
On the flip side, if securing coverage is something that is going to bring you peace of mind, you can turn to options such as guaranteed issue life insurance.
While it is not the most ideal product for the circumstances, it is still an option to get some form of coverage underway.
Guaranteed issue life insurance does not require a health background or medical exam to take place but does require a two-year waiting period to take place before coverage becomes fully active.
Nonetheless, some coverage for your family is always going to be a better option than getting no coverage underway.
Securing Affordable Rates after Bariatric Surgery Is Possible
If all this still sounds like a challenge, and you are still worried about your ability to be approved before applying, then you might not want to go at it alone.
In those cases, we recommend working with a trusted agency with access to all the life insurance providers out there.
We have many agents, all with experience working with customers who have undergone bariatric surgery in the past. We can work with you to find out the answers to the underwriter’s questions, and then present that information to several life insurance companies all at once.
Not only does this save you time, but we understand how to present this information in a way that won’t cause your rates to spike.
Because of this, working with an agency like us can typically get you much cheaper rates than simply by applying for life insurance on your own.
So if applying for life insurance after bariatric surgery is stressing you out, get in contact with us today so we can help you get an affordable rate.
I’m glad you explained that having bariatric surgery isn’t considered to be an adverse health condition. My husband is considering getting weight loss surgery soon, but I wanted to do some research first about how it would affect our insurance. I’m glad I read your article because now I know it won’t be impossible to get good heath insurance after the surgery.