When calculating life insurance, gender is one of the main factors. But what about transgender people? It can be confusing to know how to approach gender in relation to your life insurance policy. While you want to be honest with your life insurance questionnaire, transgender applicants may not always find it easy to answer. It is crucial to make sure you have the right coverage for your life today.
This is the information you should know when shopping for life insurance as transgender applicants.
How does gender impact life insurance premiums
There are many factors that influence the price of life insurance. Gender is one of them. We already know there’s a gender gap when it comes to life insurance, simply because more women have insurance policies than men. Women also tend to live longer, with historical data since the late 1800s showing that men simply have a shorter life expectancy.
Transgender applications are a different conversation because of the unique medical history. Further complicating matters, transgender insurance is not treated equally by all insurance companies. Certain protections make sure that transgender policyholders do not get denied coverage, or are treated differently than the average policyholder.
“Federal and state law prohibits most public and private health plans from discriminating against you because you are transgender,” says the National Center for Transgender Equality. This means that your insurance policy cannot refuse to pay for medically necessary transition-related services.
Insurance companies cannot engage in any illegal behavior, including putting automatic or categorical exclusions onto a policy because of transgender- and transition-related reasons. Transgender people cannot have coverage limits or be denied coverage.
When applying for life insurance, choose a gender
Life insurance companies can still charge life insurance rates based upon gender in all 50 states, except Montana. The price of your life insurance will be affected by your gender. Other factors include where you live, what you do, and how you live your life.
Many transgender applicants don’t know how to approach the issue of gender on life insurance questionnaires. While you may want to list your current gender on the questionnaire, some companies will require that your birth date be included. However, most companies will require that you list your current gender along with the one on your legal documents such as your driver’s licence or any other government-issued identification.
Insurance companies also consider your medical history. Insurance companies will also consider your medical history, including gender-affirming or hormone therapy.
Many transgender applicants are concerned about how accommodating an insurance company is to their unique medical history. Companies that consider a person’s gender at birth might not have the same priorities or attitudes as you, making it difficult for other companies to be more suited to your needs. Customers may choose price over quality, and they will seek out the lowest price company. There are many options for transgender insurance, regardless of your preferences.
Transgender employees receive top-rated life insurance
Although many insurance companies may offer coverage, not all may specialize in the coverage you require. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) offers its Corporate Equality Index, which recognizes the top-rated companies that offer equal health coverage for their transgender employees.
These companies have received high scores from employees and might be a good choice for life insurance.
Premiums for life and health insurance
The average transgender applicant might not be well-served just by any life insurance company. Certain companies might not be able to meet your specific needs. This could have serious consequences if it affects your health. Many insurance companies will review your medical history before calculating your price. Transgender applicants are particularly affected by this area.
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports that transgender people are far more prone to mental illness than cisgender people, with depression and suicide among the most common issues. Suicide is especially prevalent among those with gender dysphoria, a kind of diagnosis that refers to the strong desire to act or be treated as a different gender from the one assigned at birth.
These are the most common reasons why it is important to choose a life insurance company that is sensitive to mental illness. Many providers will not penalize policyholders who take medication or use other treatment to manage their mental health. Discuss your current health status with your insurance company and the steps you’re taking to address any concerns.
Life insurance that doesn’t require medical information
Many life insurance companies require that a medical exam be completed before issuing policies. Some transgender applicants might not feel comfortable with this requirement. You still have options in this instance. However, there are some downsides. You may not get as much coverage with this policy as you would with a traditional one. The waiting period can be up to three years. You will often pay a higher price for coverage.
Guaranteed issue life insurance is a good option if you don’t want to have to undergo a medical exam. You will not need to submit any medical records and a medical exam for this type of life insurance. This policy is also known as a nonmedically underwritten policy.
Final expense life insurance is another option. This policy does not require a medical exam but requires a health questionnaire. You may not receive the same benefits as a traditional policy, however, because coverage is limited.
Here are some tips for getting life insurance
There are a few things you can do that will help you get the best transgender policy for you.
Look into employer-sponsored plans
Many employers offer life insurance to their employees. Group plans often allow employees to skip the need for a medical exam and bypass health questionnaires. Be aware that your coverage is dependent on your employment. If you leave, you may lose your coverage.
Talk to a broker
Life insurance brokers have years of experience in the industry so they can offer expert advice tailored to your needs. The broker can recommend companies to transgender applicants. Your agent can also help you understand the details of different policies so you can make the right decision for you and your family. Insurance brokers can also help you find the cheapest life insurance for your budget.
Ask for help
If you can benefit from additional support, there are additional life insurance resources that can help you understand the type of life insurance available and any applicable laws for your state.
Transgender life insurance resources
It can be difficult and confusing to find the right life insurance for a transgender person. But you are not alone. There are many resources that can help you.
Legal resources for transgender insurance
Transgender individuals have legal protections. One of the biggest medical protections is the Health Care Rights Law. It is an inclusion within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that provides specific language prohibiting sex and anti-transgender discrimination. Also important is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This provides privacy protection for patients regarding their health, medical history, and status, as well as information specific to transgender patients. Transgender people also receive anti-discrimination protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Should you encounter any issues, such as discrimination, there is The Transgender Law Center. The law center is a resource and support hub for transgender people.
Where can I file a complaint?
There are many federal and non-profit organizations that can help you if you feel you are being discriminated against because of your gender.
State transgender laws
Many state laws exist to protect insurance companies from discrimination against transgender people.
Questions frequently asked
What is the best way to find life insurance during a transition?
Although it may be possible to get life insurance while you transition, it is better to wait until your surgery is completed. Some life insurance companies will delay your application until after your surgery. They may also offer the option of backdating your policy.
Are insurance companies open to transgender medication?
When evaluating your application for life insurance, insurance companies take into account several medical factors. This includes your medical history, past prescriptions and medical exams.
Transgender insurance is more expensive
Insurance calculations are based on specific factors that each person has. Transgender people do not automatically have higher premiums. However, if they have medical issues that could impact pricing, it can lead to higher rates.