Sleep Apnea and Your Long-Term Care Insurance Application

Long-Term Care

Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCi) is a heavily underwritten product. It is not easy to obtain, and cutting corners on medications and other recommendations that our doctors make for us is definitely not going to help our chances of being approved for coverage. Let’s take the condition known as Sleep Apnea as an example, because I see applicants get declined for this one condition very often, but they don’t have to be.

Consider what Sleep Apnea is and what can result from it. It is a “disorder” in which our throat and upper airway repeatedly collapse while we sleep, leading to a decrease in the amount of oxygen in our blood. That doesn’t sound very comforting does it? It partially rouses us from sleep throughout the night, increasing the risk of accidents (due to sleep deprivation), stroke, hypertension, and heart attack.

If this disorder is “diagnosed” by a doctor it will become part of our medical records which will be reviewed by insurance companies. Often, your doctor would prescribe a dental device, CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, and BiPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) machine to assist with the disorder and afford the person a better night’s sleep, thus decreasing the risks mentioned above. It is an absolute necessity to use these devices “as prescribed” by our doctor!

For purposes of applying for long-term care insurance coverage, the failure, or “Non-compliance” with the recommended use of these devices will result in an automatic decline for coverage, regardless of how healthy we are on any other level! If our doctor says we should be using it every night, then every night means “every night”, not just when we feel like it. Failure to use as prescribed continues the heightened risk of a stroke, heart attack, hypertension, and/or fatigue. Do we think that underwriters for long-term care insurance want to insure someone at a high risk of stroke or falls, and who may therefore need custodial care because of it? Not a good idea if we are looking for this valuable protection.

If you are using supplemental oxygen with any of these devices it will be an automatic decline even if you are in “compliance” with its continued use. That is out of the patient’s control, but using the devices in compliance, with simply just forced air is not, and carriers can issue you a policy at standard rate if used as prescribed. The bottom line is: “Do what your doctor recommends if you are planning to apply for a health underwritten insurance product…, and even if you are not.” Failing to do so could catch up with you eventually and your family will be forced to suffer as much as you. If we don’t care about ourselves, we should at least care about them. 

About the author: Kyle McDonald holds FIC, FICF, FSCP® & CLTC designations. His viewpoint on life insurance is simple, “Anyone with a family must have life insurance. In the end, life insurance is for others you care about, not you.” He is ready to help you and your family get the best option available. Contact Kyle today at 1-800-651-1953 or KMcDonald@Pivot.com.