Financial Planning & Diabetes

I am a Type 1, insulin dependent Diabetic. I was diagnosed at the age of three and have lived as normal a life as possible ever since (if you exclude the testing blood sugars, calculating and injecting insulin, explaining to people that you need to inject these ‘drugs’ and avoiding lows as normal).

Until recently, Diabetics have been unable to purchase personal insurance products. While these products are very important parts of a financial plan, our health has made these items unavailable.

Recently, some insurance companies have changed some of their underwriting requirements and have made it possible for Diabetics to purchase life insurance. While this is only one part of a complete financial plan, it does make a difference.

Financial planning involves more than just insurance considerations. In the following sections we will discuss:

These are just some of the options available to those of us with Diabetes. Everyone’s situation is a different and deserves individual attention. Please have a look at the following information and let us know if you have any questions.

Personal Insurance Products

Many of us look to our group benefits at work to provide the adequate insurance coverage we need in the event something happens to impair our ability to earn a living. The unfortunate reality is that group benefits do not provide adequate long term coverage for the majority of individuals and their families.

Being Diabetic poses some key problems for those of us trying to obtain personal insurance coverage to complement and enhance the coverage we have at work. The good news is that there are companies who will provide coverage to Diabetics. Life Insurance is one of the few products that can be purchased on an individual basis.

Some of the things insurance companies look for when you apply for insurance include:

  • Age at diagnosis
  • How long have you been Diabetic?
  • What is your Hemoglobin A1C?
  • Do you have other health issues?

These are just some of the considerations but they provide a good place to start.

When most people talk about insurance coverage, they are looking for policies that will help cover their medical supplies. While many of the individual products of this type exclude diabetic supplies, there are some that will offer limited coverage. Business owners may find themselves able to use their businesses to pay for supplies in a tax efficient manner. Please contact us for more information.


Group Benefits

Group benefits cover a variety of important items for all employees. Most of us take full advantage of the health and drug benefits to cover testing supplies, glucose monitoring devices and supplies to keep our blood sugar levels within an acceptable range. For those who work in a large company (large national corporation or government) we don’t really have to worry much about the premiums we pay for this coverage because it doesn’t change that much over time and we tend to have a high percentage of our costs covered.

Life Insurance from Group Benefit Programs

In a situation where your company provides you with group life insurance, remember that you have this benefit if you choose to leave the company. For some people, this may be the only way they can obtain ongoing life insurance coverage.

  • Your existing group life insurance can be converted to a personally owned policy on a guaranteed basis, with no medical underwriting when you leave the company.
  • To continue coverage, the conversion must generally occur with 30 days of your last day of employment.

Medical Supplies from Group Benefits

In businesses with smaller numbers of employees, the cost of a Diabetic making claims for testing supplies can result in an increasing cost for the group benefits plan as a whole, until it becomes unaffordable. There are other tax efficient ways to manage these costs for the individual and the company.

Give us a call to discuss some options that might work for you.

Purchasing Supplies

The reality of being Diabetic is that test supplies (and possibly insulin) become part of everyday life and help to prevent immediate and future heath complications. Unfortunately, these items are expensive and many people ask themselves “How am I going to pay hundreds of dollars every month to stay healthy?”

There are a number of options:

  • Use your group benefits plan from work
  • Claim as a family member on your spouses or common law partners’ group benefits plan
  • Use your business to assist in paying the costs
  • Find a personal insurance plan that will cover part of the cost

Solutions for everyone vary based on a number of conditions. For an individual assessment, please contact us.

 

Resources

Diabetes Compass Radio International Diabetes Federation Alberta Diabetes Foundation