CPAP Compliance for Insurance: How to WIN the Best Insurance Rates!

CPAP compliance for life insurance


Landing yourself a great term insurance rate can seem like a monster of a job. For many, the search becomes more like a wild goose chase than a genuine term insurance hunt.


Especially, if you struggle with sleep apnea.


As you may have discovered, not many life insurance companies look fondly on the condition. Believe me, I know.


Having the condition myself and experiencing my own set of challenges, I’ve been in your shoes.


Here’s the thing about getting the best term insurance rates, it IS possible.


Sure, there are rules to play by and requirements to satisfy. But, wrapping your mind around those rules and requirements can empower you to get the term insurance rate you deserve.


And, it starts with practicing CPAP compliance for insurance. Here’s what I mean.



How Sleep Apnea Makes It Difficult to Land Great Term Insurance Rates


Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where breathing is interrupted. Typically, it’s not life-threatening in itself. However, the condition is often surrounded by a slew of other physical ailments like being overweight, suffering from anxiety, or even severe fatigue.


Insurance companies—knowing full-well how much overall health impacts lifespan—generally view it as a higher than normal risk to insure those with sleep apnea.


Although it can seem unfair or even prejudicial, consider the situation from their perspective.


If you deal with sleep apnea, you hold a greater chance of heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, stroke, etc. Most insurance companies hate co-morbidity factors and believe insuring you is a gamble.


But, you don’t have to let sleep apnea ruin your chances of landing great term insurance rates.



Understanding CPAP Compliance for Insurance


In sleep apnea, your airways experience a type of blockage. Starting and stopping the natural rhythm of your lungs, sleep apnea often thwarts the goal of achieving a good night’s rest.


Healthcare professionals debate what causes the airway obstruction. While each case is different, the bottom line is that a cure has not yet been discovered. As you may have guessed, this undiscovered cure has left many people suffering from sleep apnea simply crossing their fingers.


Or, forgoing the finger crossing, you and I could rely on the more practical approach of using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to help solve many of our health and insurance problems.


In fact, doing so will bode well in your search for great term insurance rates.


Why It Affects Your Term Insurance Rates


To sum it up, CPAP is applying pressure to your upper airway. By removing the obstruction, it becomes easier for you to breathe continuously.


Unsurprisingly, insurance companies find this method of sleep apnea management to be reassuring as it produces very positive results.


CPAP compliance for insurance may seem like another hoop to jump through, but it’s really the smart route to take. As mentioned before, not only does it improve your health but it also increases your shot of getting great term insurance rates.


When you suffer from sleep apnea, using a CPAP machine can make you feel more alert during your waking hours by improving the quality of your sleep. With sound rest, you’re in a better mood and your cognitive functions work better, decreasing automobile and machinery accidents.


But that’s just for starters.

Abnormalities within your heart tend to decrease as well as blood pressure. Thus, reducing your chance of experiencing congestive heart failure.


CPAP compliance for insurance has some grit to it. It’s the real deal. Furthermore, when you understand how CPAP compliance can improve your health, it might make the sting of previous term insurance rejections slightly less painful.



How to Practice CPAP Compliance for Insurance


When it comes to sleep apnea, the earlier you start treatment the better.

In the case of practicing CPAP compliance for insurance, the best time to start treatment is always now. Mostly, because insurance companies are going to scrutinize your medical history, picking it apart to see just what hand of cards you are.

Plus, CPAP compliance for insurance requires proof. But, don’t let this sway you away. Here’s how you do it.

Insurance companies will want to know that you are using your CPAP machine regularly. It’s not possible to tell a white lie in this situation as they’ll ask for results from a sleep study.

Keep in mind, CPAP compliance for insurance generally means using your CPAP machine for at least four hours a night 70 percent of the nights.

What you’re trying to demonstrate to insurance companies is that you know how to control your sleep apnea, taking all the necessary treatment actions. 


Common Roadblocks in CPAP Compliance


Far too often, sleep apnea sufferers stuff a CPAP machine in the closet, never really using it. Or, they run the machine without actually applying it.


Admittedly, using a CPAP machine can be tough as it’s not without its challenges. There are roadblocks to CPAP compliance.


For some, the feeling of claustrophobia keeps the mask off and the machine silenced. Others experience increased congestion, sores on the bridge of their nose, or simply can’t handle the noise of the machine.



here's a client success story about CPAP compliance for insurance

I recently helped a new client secure a life insurance policy.  He's an over-weight 50+ year old.  He reached out to us on our web site seeking term insurance quotes for a new policy to replace an older 20 year term plan whose premium was about to skyrocket when the initial 20 year period expires this fall.

When we initially spoke he was under the impression that he could simply make an application online and get a brand new policy even though he had developed sleep apnea during the 20 years he had owned his existing term life policy.  He had also gained over 50 pounds.

His sleep apnea was controlled by CPAP but he hadn't replaced his equipment in over seven years!   Seven years is an eternity in the medical device field.  Modern CPAP equipment have built-in cellular capabilities in order to transmit the CPAP compliance data to the durable medical equipment company.  This helps the insurance companies monitor CPAP compliance to determine whether to continue to pay for the unit or not.

The first thing we recommended was that he visit his sleep medicine doctor for a referral to the sleep center for a new sleep study, which he did.  He underwent a titration study to determine the appropriate pressure settings for his CPAP machine.

Long story short, he couldn't believe how quiet the new CPAP equipment is!  He loves his mask and his wife isn't kicking him in bed to stop the leak in his mask. (That's an important side benefit!)

Next, after he visited his doctor for his 90 day followup, he gave me his CPAP compliance report could submit this to the insurance company, which we did with his formal application.

Fast forward through the underwriting process, which was complicated due to his weight gain, and we ended up with a "standard" offer.  Standard insurance rates are "average", not the best.  The insurance company told us that they would reconsider the policy if he loses 18 pounds over the next 12 months and keeps it off for another 12 months.  He's told me that with his new pressure settings and modern CPAP equipment, he feels like a new person.  So much so that he started exercising again and has taken off six pounds in the last 4 months-slow and steady!


Take the Next Step

Although you may deal with sleep apnea, getting the best term insurance rates is possible,  though it does require some action on your part.

Often, the amount of information available seems too complicated or too much of a hassle to dive into. If this is you, please check out my easy-to-read Buyer’s Resource Guide I can help you make sense of these complex insurance topics.

If you’re ready to get a great term insurance rate and a better understanding on elements impacting your rate, reach out today either by phone at 650-969-5844 or email [email protected].

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Chris Acker, CLU, ChFC
 

Chris is an independent life insurance broker located in Palo Alto, Ca. He started helping families and businesses build strong financial safety net in 1985. He earned a BA in history from Williams College in 1985. He Earned the CLU designation in 1989 and the ChFC designation in 1991. He is a past board member of the local chapter of the Society of Financial Services Professional. He has been a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors since 1985. Chris resides in Palo Alto with his wife, Carol and daughters Rachael and Samantha. In his spare time he is a regular platelet donor for the Stanford Blood Center and actively volunteers for various organizations and alumni groups.

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