Are you looking to acquire life insurance?
When you apply for coverage, you’ll need to know a lot. Your insurance providers will need to know a lot as well, especially about your health.
There are certain criteria which are concerning to the underwriters – one of which is if the person is overweight.
This is due to the fact that being overweight – especially if a person is considered to be obese – can lead to some serious health issues, such as stroke, heart attack, and/or diabetes.
Because of this risk, many people attempt to lose weight in order to become healthier. Unfortunately for some, doing so through just diet and exercise doesn’t work. Therefore, alternative measures must be taken – and for these, certain surgical procedures such as a biliopancreatic diversion may be needed.
Yet, while certain procedures can help an individual to lose weight – and ultimately to become healthier – the surgery itself could potentially bring about complications itself, which can be a concern to life insurance companies when an applicant is applying for coverage.
From a positive perspective, although you may have had a procedure such as a biliopancreatic diversion, you can still obtain life insurance.
How a Biliopancreatic Diversion Works
With a biliopancreatic diversion, the body’s regular digestion routine is changed by shrinking an individual’s stomach.
The procedure ultimately allows food to bypass a portion of the patient’s small intestine so that fewer calories are absorbed.
The ultimate result is that after eating much smaller portions of food than normal, the person feels more full – thus, reducing the total amount that he or she wants to eat and leading to loss of weight.
When someone has a biliopancreatic diversion, part of their stomach is removed, and the part that remains is attached to the their small intestine.
This surgery is considered to be high risk – and because of that, it is only recommended for those who have been unable to lose weight in any other manner.
Due to the high risk that is involved, the biliopancreatic diversion can also cause long-term health issues.
This risk comes primarily from the patient’s body struggling to absorb food and nutrients.
In order to make up for this downfall, the patient will need to take both vitamin and mineral supplements throughout the remainder of their life.
Immediately after the operation, the patient is incapable of handling large amounts of food and should only eat a very small amount of soft food during the first several weeks.
Over time, small amounts of solid food can be added back into the diet. However, if food is not properly chewed, the individual may feel discomfort and/or nausea.
And, if overeating ensues, then the stomach could potentially be stretched back out, making the surgery irrelevant.
Because the surgery essentially removes the portion of the intestine where many vitamins and minerals are more easily absorbed, the individual may develop an iron deficiency, as well as a deficiency in calcium, magnesium, and/or other vitamins. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that a proper amount of nutrients are being taken in during meals in order to prevent such deficiencies.
As with many other types of surgery, there are other risks and side effects that are possible following a biliopancreatic diversion. These can include the following:
- Dumping Syndrome – Dumping syndrome can cause weakness, faintness, sweating, nausea, and the possibility of diarrhea after eating.
- Poor Nutrition – Because patients typically eat less and do not absorb nutrients as well following surgery, they may not get the proper amount of nutrients that they need – which can in turn, cause additional health issues. This can be altered by taking vitamin supplements.
- Diarrhea – Due to poor absorption of fat, protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins A, B12, D, E, and K, both diarrhea and smelly stool can occur.
- Higher Risk of Osteoporosis – Due to lower absorption of nutrients, those who have undergone the biliopancreatic diversion may also be at a higher risk for osteoporosis.
Can a Person Qualify for Life Insurance Protection Following Biliopancreatic Diversion?
Because of the risk factors that are involved with a biliopancreatic diversion, a person who has undergone the operation may find it challenging to acquire coverage.
While potentially challenging, it is absolutely possible to get the protection you need.
When applying for traditionally underwritten coverage, you will have to submit an application with your personal and medical information such as your name and contact information, basic health information, gender, smoking status, occupation and income, hobbies (especially those that pose a high risk), and family health history.
You will almost definitely be expected to have a paramedical exam where your heart rate and blood pressure will be checked and your blood and urine will be collected for testing.
What the Life Insurance Company’s Underwriters Want to Know About You
Along with your general health information and exam results, your insurer will require additional information regarding your biliopancreatic diversion procedure to fully understand the nature of your physical condition.
Here are some questions you can expect to answer:
- When was your biliopancreatic diversion surgery performed? This date will be important for the underwriters to know. If it occurred over the last six months, you might be required to wait longer in order to qualify for coverage. But if the operation was done over two years ago, then you could potentially qualify for coverage – especially if you have not had any complications resulting from the surgery.
- Have you had any complications as a result of your biliopancreatic diversion? There are various complications that could result from this type of procedure. Depending on whether you have suffered any complications – and if so, what they are – will make a difference on the application for coverage.
- Do you take any medication? If you are, you’ll be asked how much, and if it’s taken as a direct result of a complication from the surgery, it may be necessary for the underwriters to obtain additional information on your medication and the dosage prior to making the call.
- Are regular check-ups with your surgeon a part of your routine? These appointments with your surgeon are a positive sign to the underwriters. The records from these visits, as well as any additional information from your health care professionals, will likely be reviewed during underwriting.
- Have you undergone testing related to the surgery in the last 6 months, like an x-ray or ultrasound? If so, these results will also likely be considered in assessing your current health.
How Much Will Your Coverage Cost?
The premium you pay for coverage after a biliopancreatic diversion is determined by a variety of factors.
These will include your age, gender, and overall health history. Your weight when you get your health exam will play a major role.
If you have lost a little weight but still get rated for overweight life insurance then you are going to pay more.
It will also include whether or not you have had any complications following your biliopancreatic diversion, and how well you have been managing your weight and your condition since your procedure.
If you are an overall healthy individual, you might meet the minimum qualifications for a standard plan, which implies you will pay the premium rate of a policyholder who is in average health.
However, if the insurance underwriters feel that covering you is a bit riskier, they may classify you in a substandard category.
While you would still have coverage, the premium rate you pay will be steeper in comparison to a standard policyholder.
How to Get the Best Quotes on Life Insurance after a Biliopancreatic Diversion
If you want the best rates on the market, you need to work with a company who will present you with a wide variety of options and information. We partner with the top life insurance providers for biliopancreatic diversion patients and individuals with other adverse medical conditions.
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If you have any other questions about your life insurance options with biliopancreatic diversion surgery, give us a call by dialing 888-229-7522.
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