Sleep apnea is a condition that causes disturbances in breathing while sleeping. Typically, an individual with sleep apnea will quit breathing during sleep for a time period, varying from a few seconds to a few minutes. The individual will then usually begin breathing again, occasionally with a snorting sound. The disturbances often cause the person sleeping to come out of a deep sleep state into a lighter sleeping state, which can cause daytime drowsiness and even fatigue. People with this issue frequently are not aware until a family member or partner alerts them of the issue.
There are three kinds of sleep apnea to be aware of.
With Central Sleep Apnea, your brain does not signal the body’s muscles that control your breathing. Typically, heart disease is the contributing factor.
A person with Obstructive Sleep Apnea experiences the air passage squeezed by an obstruction, like a large tongue, swollen tonsils, or just the closing of the soft tissue in the throat as your muscles relax.
Complex Sleep Apnea is a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea.
Research indicates that sleep apnea is likely to occur in males and females without regard to age. Increased risks are likely to include:
The CDC has published the following statistics that indicate the significance of sleep apnea:
four to nine percent of men who are middle aged
two to 4 percent of women who are middle aged
80 to 90 percent of people who have sleep apnea are not aware of it
Life insurance companies are interested that those with sleep apnea are taking the appropriate measures to keep it under control. The life insurance company will be looking particularly at:
The rating class provided by insurers for applicants with sleep apnea will rely on the seriousness of the disorder, outcome of sleep studies, signs and symptoms, treatment, response and complying with treatment, number of years since last symptoms, and the all-around health and mortality risk of the individual.
Unattended sleep apnea is often ranked poorly or may even be refused for coverage, as are individuals who have sleep apnea but do not abide by the doctor’s treatment instructions. The insurance company will be looking for evidence in the medical records that treatment advice is implemented and is effective.
Always follow you doctor’s treatment recommendations and make certain to complete follow-ups.
Schedule and complete a post-treatment study to have evidence treatment is successful.
Request current treatment notes from your doctor after each office visit.
When applying for insurance with sleep apnea, proof of successful treatment is key to getting a favorable health classification. In most life insurance applications, the problems will typically arise because the applicant has not completed or followed up after treatment.
The great news about applying for term life insurance if you have sleep apnea is — yes, you can probably get coverage! The bad news is the acceptance and rate class can be very unpredictable and very subjective. Then again, if you follow the recommendations we’ve offered and, more importantly, talk about your circumstances with your life insurance agent, you can have a very positive end result.