Hepatitis Life Insurance – How to Get Approved

By Michael Horbal - Updated on 08/01/2023

There’s never been a better time to get life insurance if you have a history of hepatitis.

While gastrointestinal health issues such as hepatitis may complicate underwriting, improvements in treatments and medications have led to better underwriting offers from life insurers.

At RiskQuoter, we use a quick quote process that gets you underwriting feedback in days from high-risk life insurance companies that specialize in hepatitis.

The benefit is that you’ll know within a few days which companies are best for you based on your individual health.

We show you how to get approved for life insurance if you are diagnosed with hepatitis.

Hepatitis C Life Insurance

If you were diagnosed with Hepatitis C, life insurance is available from several companies that specialize in high-risk underwriting.

Underwriting is based on whether you currently have the virus or you’ve completed treatment to cure hepatitis C.

If you currently have hepatitis C (HCV):

  • Life insurance is difficult but not impossible to obtain.
  • You need to have a good follow-up routine with your physician.
  • Insurance companies will want to see lab tests at least every six months.
  • Your liver function test results need to be stable.
  • Underwriters will want to see at least one liver biopsy test
  • Current imaging – sonograms and/or ct scans in your file

Underwriters are looking for continuous follow-up with your physician and test results that show minimal fibrosis, minimal fatty liver, no cirrhosis, and liver function tests that are no more than 2-3x normal limits.

Continued alcohol use is going to get you declined.

In terms of price, the offers vary widely by the company, with standard rates plus a table rating that adds 50-150% to that standard rate.

If you were just diagnosed with hepatitis C, most companies would require a 12-month postponement period before underwriting. Let us discuss your coverage options, and we’ll help you plan for the best rates in the future.

Hepatitis C Cured

If your hepatitis C has been successfully treated, better life insurance rates are available.

Doctors look for a sustained virologic response (SVR), meaning hepatitis is not detectable three months after treatment.

Treatment consists of taking direct-acting antiviral medications such as Mavyret, Sovaldi, Harvoni, etc…

Follow-up lab tests and ultrasounds/biopsies are what companies look for.

Most life insurers make you wait six months after treatment because they want to see two follow-up negative lab test results.

Getting a “standard” to “standard plus” life insurance rate from some companies is possible.

Factors that may negatively affect your underwriting include:

  • The extent of fibrosis, if any
  • Any finding of cirrhosis
  • Other liver conditions
  • Current alcohol use
  • Co-infections with other types of hepatitis

As more time passes, obtaining a “preferred” rate with some companies may be possible.

Hepatitis A Life Insurance

Hepatitis “A” is a contagious virus that spreads from food, water, or contact with infected people.

Most cases of hepatitis A will resolve on their own and do not affect life insurance rates once you recover from it as long as you have no lingering symptoms.

Hepatitis B Life Insurance

Hepatitis “B” is spread by contact with body fluids.

Life insurance for hepatitis B (HBV) is available when you meet the following:

  • There’s no evidence of the virus in your blood sample.
  • Liver enzyme test results are normal.
  • Ultrasounds and/or biopsy test results are normal
  • You’ve had six months of follow-up tests with your physician
  • There’s no indication of cirrhosis
  • No history of alcohol abuse

If you meet the above, there’s a good chance that you may qualify for a “standard” rate now.

You may even qualify for a better rate as more time passes.

What if you don’t meet the above criteria?

It depends on what criteria you do not meet.

Life insurers will look at lab tests such as:

HBsAG – A positive result indicates you are currently infected with the virus.

If all other results are normal, a “standard” rate plus an additional rating (called a table rate) is added to your policy.

HBsAb – A positive result indicates you had hepatitis B but no longer have it.

Liver Functions – Underwriters look at your ALT, AST, and GGTP lab test results.

If liver functions are elevated, life insurance is based on the extent of the elevation.

Ultrasounds and Biopsies – If your liver is inflamed and indicates fibrosis, the degree of fibrosis determines the availability of life insurance.

An ultrasound or lab test may provide you with an estimated level of fibrosis. A biopsy is more exact in its determination of fibrosis.

Fibrosis is measured according to the METAVIR scoring system that measures the progression and level of fibrosis.

Fibrosis Progression:

  • A0 – no activity
  • A1 – mild activity
  • A2 – moderate activity
  • A3 – severe activity

Level of fibrosis:

  • F0 – Absence of fibrosis
  • F1 – Portal fibrosis with no septa
  • F2 – Portal fibrosis with infrequent septa
  • F3 – Numerous septa but no cirrhosis
  • F4 – Cirrhosis

Any indication of cirrhosis will be declined or highly rated.

Alcohol Use – The current use of alcohol is a decline with insurance companies.

If you have other health issues like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, these conditions will affect underwriting.

Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH)

With autoimmune hepatitis, life insurance depends on whether you have AIH type 1 or 2.

Underwriters want to know the following:

  • Your date of diagnosis
  • Your current health status
  • How long has it been since you recovered
  • Current liver function test results.
  • ANA – antinuclear antibody
  • ASMA – anti-smooth-muscle antibody
  • Anti-LKM1- anti-liver-kidney microsomal antibody type 1
  • Gamma Globulin/IgG levels – immunoglobulin G

Typically there is a 12-month postponement period from when you recovered until life insurance is available.

Underwriting offers will include a table rating that adds 100 – 150% to a standard rate, but some individuals may do better.

Underwriting Hepatitis

With a history of hepatitis, life insurance companies will require you to complete a paramed exam. As part of that exam, companies will test for the hepatitis virus.

Underwriters need to know the following:

  • When were you diagnosed with hepatitis?
  • What type of hepatitis were you diagnosed with?
  • What are the most recent levels of liver function tests, if known?
    • AST
    • ALT
    • ALP
    • Bilirubin
    • GGTP
  • Autoimmune Hepatitis Specific tests include:
    • ANA – antinuclear antibody
    • ASMA – anti-smooth-muscle antibody
    • Anti-LKM1- anti-liver-kidney microsomal antibody type 1
    • Gamma Globulin/IgG levels – immunoglobulin G
  • Do you drink alcohol?
  • Have you had an ultrasound or liver biopsy completed?
  • Any indication of inflammation, fibrosis, or cirrhosis?
  • Was there any indication of fatty liver?
  • What treatment did you receive for hepatitis? Dates, medications, follow-up results, etc.
  • Do you have other medical conditions?

Best Life Insurers for Hepatitis

We use a quick quote process to gather your medical history from you.

We shop the following companies for underwriting feedback.

  • AIG – American General
  • AXA
  • Banner Life
  • Brighthouse/Metlife
  • John Hancock
  • Lincoln National
  • Minnesota Life
  • Nationwide
  • Pacific Life
  • Principal
  • Protective Life
  • Prudential
  • Symetra
  • Transamerica
  • United of Omaha
  • Zurich Life

Companies in bold tend to be the most competitive with hepatitis underwriting offers.

The benefit of our proven approach is that it takes about three days to receive all underwriting feedback.

At that time, we’ll let you know what to expect regarding underwriting and price for each company.

Remember that there is never any obligation or pressure with our life insurance service.

FAQ

Do life insurance companies test for hepatitis?

Life insurance companies test for hepatitis. For non-med life insurance policies, companies check your medical records.

Can you get life insurance if you have hepatitis B?

Life insurance is available if you had hepatitis B but have recovered from it.

Final Words

We will help you find the best life insurance rates possible by doing everything we explained above.

Thank you.

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