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Complete Blood CountWhen you apply for life insurance, the insurance company might request a number of different tests to check your health. One commonly ordered test is the Complete Blood Count (CBC).

This test looks at the three major cell lines in your blood (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets) to see if you have any undetected illnesses or problems.

To get a better idea how this test works and how it might impact your insurability, be sure to review our complete guide to the CBC.

When Would You Need a Complete Blood Count?

Your doctor might order a CBC for you as part of a regular checkup, even if you’re healthy. This test looks at many different factors and can detect problems early before they’ve started showing other symptoms.

If you’ve ever had a complete blood count, the results will show up in your medical history, which a life insurance company will review when you apply for coverage.

Typically, life insurance companies don’t request a CBC as part of a regular application. If there are old results on your medical records, they’ll review them but if you are relatively healthy, you most likely won’t need to take a new CBC.

However, if you’ve had a health problem in the past, the insurance company may request a new CBC to see how you’re doing. For example, it is common for applicants with a history of anemia to need to take a CBC before qualifying for coverage.

How Do You Take a Complete Blood Count?

A CBC goes beyond the regular blood test that is part of most insurance applications. For a regular insurance application, you usually give your blood to a technician who transports your blood to a lab.

This doesn’t work for a CBC because the major cell lines can degrade during transportation. As a result, if you need to take a CBC for your application, you’ll need to go to your doctor or a lab directly and have your blood drawn there for testing.

Red Blood Cell Tests

Part of the CBC is to look at your red blood cells. These cells carry oxygen through your blood. When the CBC measures your red blood cells, it will look at your iron levels. If your iron levels are too low, you are considered anemic while if your levels are too high, you have a condition known as polycythemia.

The CBC also looks at the volume of red blood cells in your blood, known as your Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV). If this volume is too high, it could be a sign of a B12 deficiency, drug use, alcohol abuse, or bone marrow disease. On the other hand, if this level is too low, you could be suffering from an iron deficiency or lead toxicity.

White Blood Cell Tests

The CBC also looks at your white blood cells, the cells which fight infection. Like your red blood cells, there is a normal range for your white blood cell count. If your count is too high or too low, it could be a sign of serious health problems.

A low white blood cell count could be a sign of infection, leukemia, stress, steroid use, parasites, allergies, and several other disorders. A high white blood cell count could be a sign of bone marrow disease, a viral infection, malnutrition, and other problems.

Platelet Tests

Finally, the CBC looks at your platelet levels, the cells which cause clotting in your blood. A low platelet count can be a sign of stress, bone marrow diseases, and abnormal spleen function. A high platelet count can be a sign of a viral infection, an under-functioning spleen, bone marrow disease, and other diseases.

Impact on Insurability

Since a CBC covers so many different conditions, there is no set guideline for how an abnormal CBC rating would impact your insurance rating. It really depends on the underlying problem that is causing your major blood lines to be out of the normal ranges.

If you know what condition you have, you can review our life insurance guide for that condition because it will give you a more specific idea of what insurance rating you can expect when you apply.

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Life Insurance with Iron Deficiency AnemiaIf you have iron deficiency anemia, it’s going to be an issue when you apply for life insurance. While most cases of anemia are temporary and aren’t serious, in some cases this condition can be a sign of a very major health problem.

To learn more about how your condition will impact your insurance rating plus determine the best way to apply, be sure to review our complete guide to life insurance with iron deficiency anemia.

 

Life Insurance Underwriting for Iron Deficiency Anemia

When you apply for life insurance with iron deficiency anemia, you’ll need to answer several questions about your condition on your application. Be prepared to answer:

  • Do you know the cause of your iron deficiency anemia? What is it?
  • What tests have you taken to evaluate your condition?
  • What were the results of your most result Current Blood Count (CBC)?
  • Have you ever been hospitalized because of your anemia?
  • Do you have any other major health problems or do you smoke?
  • Are you taking any medications?

The treatment and medication for iron deficiency anemia depends on the underlying cause although it is common to receive iron supplements or iron through an IV. These treatments could be insurable depending on the severity of your condition.

Be sure to answer all the questions on your application as thoroughly as possible. This way you can show the insurance underwriter you know what is going on. If you application seems incomplete, the underwriter might worry about the cause of your anemia and decline your application.

 

Life Insurance Quotes for Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is a result of the iron levels in your blood being too low. This is determined by looking at your hemoglobin (iron) level. Males have a deficiency when their hemoglobin level falls below 13.0 g/dl. Females have a deficiency when their hemoglobin level falls below 12.0 g/dl. Insurers are more lenient with females when they are menstruating because this is a cause of blood loss and iron deficiency.

When insurers see a deficiency, they will determine your rating based on how low your levels are below normal. They will also consider the cause of your deficiency as well as your overall health. While each company uses slightly different standards, use these general rules as a prediction of your future rating.

Preferred Plus: Usually impossible for an applicant with a current deficiency. Once an applicant’s levels return to normal, they may be able to get this rating.

Preferred: Possible in rare cases for an applicant with iron deficiency anemia. The applicant’s levels should be very close to normal, the cause of the deficiency can’t be something serious, and the applicant would need to be in near perfect health to get this rating.

Standard: Best likely rating for applicants with iron deficiency anemia. Males can qualify for this rating with a hemoglobin level of 12.0 g/dl or higher and females can qualify with a hemoglobin level of 10.0 g/dl (11.0 g/dl if they are menopausal).

Table Rating (substandard): Males with a hemoglobin level between 11.0 and 12.0 g/dl could qualify for a rated policy. Menopausal females with a hemoglobin level between 10.0 and 11.0 could qualify for a rated policy. An applicant’s rating will also depend on their overall health and the cause of the deficiency.

Declines: Applicants with hemoglobin levels below the accepted ranges will most likely be denied coverage. Applicants also could be denied coverage if the deficiency has been caused by something serious like cancer or if they haven’t had a CBC within the past six months. Finally, applicants with other serious health problems could be denied coverage.

 

Iron Deficiency Anemia Insurance Case Studies

A little planning can go a long way when you apply for life insurance with iron deficiency anemia. Here are a couple real life examples where planning paid off.

Case Study: Male, 47 y/o, non-smoker, hemoglobin level of 11.5 g/dl, tried applying for insurance before taking a CBC and was denied.

When this applicant was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, he thought it would be smart to buy life insurance right away. Though his deficiency was quite mild, he was still denied coverage because he hadn’t taken a CBC yet to determine the cause of his deficiency. This made him think he would never be able to qualify for insurance.

After reading our website, he realized that wasn’t the case. He took a CBC which showed his anemia was not from something serious and was actually getting better. By reapplying at this point, he received a Standard rating.

Case Study #2: Female, 57 y/o, hemoglobin level of 9.6 g/dl, former smoker, recently quit and lost weight

This applicant was not taking very good care of herself. She smoked, was overweight, and didn’t have a great diet. At 55, she was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, caused partly by her poor diet. At this point, she turned things around. She quit smoking and started eating better both to lose weight and help her iron levels.

At 57, she tried applying for life insurance but only receive poorly rated, expensive policies. We thought this wasn’t right, even if she was anemic. We recommended she see her doctor and get a note vouching for her improved health. With this extra information, she was able to qualify for a more affordable Substandard Level 1 policy, the best rating behind Standard.

While qualifying for life insurance with iron deficiency anemia can be difficult, it is definitely possible. We can improve your chances. We can guide you through your application plus match you up for the best companies for your situation. For more information and free rate quotes, call or fill out our online application form today.

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