Barrett’s Oesophagus & Life Insurance
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Barrett’s Oesophagus is a condition that can cause mild to strong discomfort. It is a condition that can take a while to be diagnosed, as some people are able to manage the symptoms with changes to diet and over the counter medication.
Having Barrett’s Oesophagus can make getting life insurance a bit more complicated in some cases. The condition is often associated with oesophageal cancer, but in reality, only a small amount of people will go on to develop cancer.
For most people, the condition can be well managed and controlled. And actually, many people don’t even exhibit symptoms and only receive a diagnosis during checks for something else.
We’ve made it our business to help take the hassle out of applying for life insurance for you. We know how to research the market for you to find the most supportive insurer for your needs.
If your condition is well controlled, then you may be offered life insurance at standard terms. This means that you are offered life insurance at the same price as someone who does not have Barrett’s Oesophagus.
Though if you have any complications e.g. a large area of the oesophagus is affected, or you have developed cancer, you may find that life insurance is offered at a higher premium. It might also mean that we need need to look at a specialist insurer for the policy, this does not necessarily mean silly prices or overly complicated terms and conditions.
We’ll talk you through the process and get all the information we need from you, including:
- Is your condition fully controlled with medication?
- Do you have any secondary conditions?
- How’s your general day to day health?
- Is there any dysplasia within the oesophagus?
For all of our customers with Barrett’s Oesophagus we find the most suitable policies wherever possible, giving you the peace of mind you need.
Critical illness cover pays out a cash lump sum of money, if you are diagnosed with a medical condition that is listed in the insurer’s claims set e.g. cancer, heart attack, stroke.
As with life insurance applications, critical illness cover applications for people living with Barrett’s Oesophagus, will often need information about your day to day health, secondary conditions and details of any dysplasia.
With any critical illness insurance application, an insurer may request a GP report to get a full picture of your overall health, the extent of the condition and any treatment. This is only done with your expressed permission. It is often a good thing, as you can then have the confidence that the insurer has an accurate understanding of your health, before they offer cover.
The acceptance criteria for this type of insurance is sometimes a little more strict than with life insurance. It may be the case that critical illness cover is offered at an increased premium or a related exclusion.
Income protection pays you a replacement of your monthly income, if you are unable to work due to ill health.
When people who have Barrett’s Oesophagus apply for income protection cover, the insurer will require an overall picture of your general health, the extent to which Barrett’s oesophagus and any secondary conditions or complications, affects your ability to work.
As with any other application for income protection cover, the insurer is particularly interested in the amount of time you have had off work as a result of the condition. The availability of cover may be somewhat limited to specific insurers and could come at an increased premium or exclusion.
If you do find that the terms for income protection simply don’t suit you, then Accident, Sickness and Unemployment Cover might be more suitable for you. This sort of policy will provide you with a monthly income replacement of 12 to 24 months if you find yourself unable to work due to long term injury, disability or voluntary redundancy.
Unlike income protection cover applications, there’s no medical underwriting required. In other words, the fact that you have Barrett’s Oesophagus won’t have any bearing on the terms you are offered. That does make the application process simpler, but you should also be aware than that you won’t be able to make a claim relating to pre-existing medical conditions on the policy.
What is Barrett's Oesophagus?
Barrett’s Oesophagus is diagnosed when the cells that line the lower oesophagus, just above the sphincter and stomach, become columnar cells (red, tall) instead of squamous cells (pinkish-white, flat). It is thought that the condition is caused by long-term acid reflux, but may also be caused by smoking and carrying excess weight around the torso.
Whilst Barrett’s Oesophagus is not cancerous, the cell changes that occur increase the risk of oesophageal cancer developing, and are therefore deemed to be precancerous.
Also: Columnar-lined oesophagus (CLO)
Linked with: Metaplasia/dysplasia, reflux oesophagitis, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), adenocarcinoma
Some potential problems and symptoms experienced by individuals who have Barrett’s Oesophagus include:
- Dietary restrictions
- Difficulty swallowing
- Discomfort when eating
- Persistent heartburn and indigestion
- Acid suppressor (Ranitidine, Zantac)
- Proton pump inhibitors
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