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When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 18, my focus was learning about the disease, managing blood sugar, learning exchange diets and figuring out how blood sugar fluctuations affected my life. When I graduated from college and began my foray into the ‘real world,’ I started to think about health insurance plans and life insurance. With health insurance, I was detailed on whether or not I needed a referral to see a specialist, my out-of-pocket costs, and the pharmacy (insulin, test strips, etc.) and durable medical equipment benefits (insulin pumps and the necessary parts to go with the pumps). When it came to life insurance, I was happy to learn that the positions I was accepting offered life insurance to me without a health screening or even disclosure of diabetes. To me, that was ideal: have a job, get life insurance benefits. Easy, right?
I quickly learned that life insurance through an employer was at-will. Yes, it was an added benefit to an existing professional position, but what if I wasn’t working? That benefit would not follow me should I leave a job.
When I was pregnant with my son, my husband and I decided that I would spend time at home, focusing on motherhood. That, of course, meant I would no longer be insured through an employer-based life insurance policy. It was time to research and make new decisions. But first, I had some misconceptions to disprove.
I believed I could not acquire life insurance because I had a diabetes diagnosis. Or, if I was granted a policy, the cost would be far more than I could afford. I was not alone in this thought.
As a matter of fact, a recent study* commissioned by John Hancock found that about 50 percent of people with diabetes are worried they won’t qualify for a life insurance policy, and another 45 percent assume it’s too expensive.
In reality, more than 90 percent of all people with diabetes who sought life insurance from John Hancock in the past 18 months qualified, with 88 percent of them receiving a standard or better rate.**
Even though I was the healthiest I could be, my diabetes would be viewed negatively by all insurers, regardless of my efforts to stay healthy.
There are life insurance policies that allow people with diabetes to actually pay less for their annual premium simply by making healthy choices like eating well, exercising regularly, and getting annual check-ups – things many people with diabetes are already encouraged to do.
John Hancock Vitality is the only life insurance solution that rewards policyholders for the smarter choices they make every day to improve their health
Specifically, John Hancock Vitality policyholders can earn points and rewards, and save up to 15 percent on their annual life insurance premium by doing things we do every day, like logging our steps with a Fitbit!
Ten years ago, when I acquired my first private life insurance policy, I had to debunk these misconceptions, when I could have spent the time thinking about how much coverage I needed, opportunities to grow my policy, and ways to incorporate different types of policies to maximize the cost of a premium. Yes, I was able to do that as well, but after I learned the realities of life insurance with a chronic illness like diabetes. I was wrong. Luckily, today, John Hancock offers opportunities for people with diabetes to acquire life insurance to meet their specific needs, thinking about ways to incorporate healthy living into those needs.
For more information, please visit JHRewardsLife.com
I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.
*Source: Qualtrics survey on behalf of John Hancock, completed Sept. 2017.
**Source: John Hancock
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of John Hancock. The opinions and text are all mine.