Can You Get Life Insurance if You Have Addison’s Disease?

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Most people are aware that certain diseases or health conditions can negatively impact an application for life insurance. While that’s well-known to be the case with common diseases like cancer and heart disease, there are lesser known medical conditions that also affect the process. One of those is Addison’s disease, which is so rare that there may be little information available about it in connection with life insurance.

But since we specialize in providing life insurance policies for people with a variety of health conditions, we can also offer some insights if you have Addison’s disease.

What Is Addison’s Disease?

Also known as adrenal insufficiency, Addison’s Disease is a rare health condition, believed to affect only about one out of every 100,000 people. President John F. Kennedy had the condition, and it affects both men and women. It is the result of the inability of the adrenal glands to make enough cortisol.

Cortisol is a hormone that helps the body to respond to stress, as well as regulate your body’s use of protein, carbohydrates and fat. It also helps to maintain your blood pressure and cardiovascular function. In addition, it also controls inflammation.

Addison’s disease is typically detected through a routine blood test, checking for sodium, potassium and white blood cell levels.

The disease can take one of two forms. Primary adrenal insufficiency is a problem with the adrenal glands themselves, and is the more common form of the disease, accounting for about 70% of the cases. Secondary adrenal insufficiency is when the adrenal glands are negatively affected by a problem in another part of the body, such as the pituitary gland.


With primary adrenal insufficiency, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the adrenal glands, destroying the outer layer of the glands. It can be brought on by certain infections, including tuberculosis, HIV and some fungal infections. It can also occur as a result of cancer cells spread into the adrenal glands.

The disease is caused by a lack of normal hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands. As a result, it can be treated by replacing the hormones, which is referred to as hormone replacement therapy. This is done through dosages of hydrocortisone, which is a steroid hormone. A synthetic steroid can also be taken. Whichever is chosen, the dosage level must be increased during times of surgery, infection, injury or general increases in stress levels.

The success level of treatment is extremely high, and there is no negative impact on the person’s life. However a person with the disease will likely have to wear a medic alert bracelet, to let health practitioners know to treat the condition in the event of an attack.

How Life Insurance Companies View Addison’s Disease

Since Addison’s disease is highly treatable, your chance of getting life insurance coverage at standard or preferred rates is very good. The main factors determining application approval and premium level will be your management of the condition, as well as your overall level of health.

Naturally, the insurance company will want to know when the condition was first diagnosed, if there are any complications since, and that you are on a continuing therapy of hormone replacement using either oral medications or regular injections.

If you have the condition you will normally be treated by an endocrinologist. The insurance company will contact the provider to get specific medical records related to the condition. They will also investigate your overall medical history, including previous surgeries, hospitalizations, and any other medications taken. This is why it is so important to be absolutely honest in completing your life insurance application.

The insurance company will also be concerned with the general state of your health. This will include common lifestyle conditions, such as smoking, obesity, and any history with drug or alcohol abuse. They will also consider other medical conditions, including hypertension, heart disease, and experiences with any other types of disease.

Higher premiums will be charged if you have other health-related conditions, or if your Addison’s condition is not fully responding to hormone replacement therapy. This will be evidenced by events related to your condition, including hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

Applying For Life Insurance When You Have Addison’s Disease

From an individual standpoint, it is most important that you are properly managing the treatment of your condition. That means regular visits with your healthcare providers, and being faithful in taking your hormone replacement therapy medications.

Apart from that, you should properly manage your overall health. That means maintaining proper body weight, getting regular exercise, avoiding hazardous behaviors (like smoking and excess drinking), and working to manage any other health related conditions that you may have.

Where You Apply for Coverage Can Make All the Difference

Though most life insurance companies will make a favorable consideration of your application for life insurance, you should be aware that there may be some companies that you will be better off not applying to. This is because a declination or policy rating by one insurance company could lead other insurance companies to take a much closer look at your application.

You want to avoid applying to any such insurance company. We can help you with that. We have been in the life insurance industry for many years, and know the preferred companies to apply to when you have an ongoing health condition. That includes both increasing the chance that your application will be approved, and getting you the most affordable premium on that policy.

Life insurance is what we do, so put our experience to work for you. Our services will not increase the premium that you will pay for your policy, so you will have nothing to lose by letting us guide you through the process.