Genworth: Many Americans with pre-existing conditions hold no life insurance

By National Underwriter

National Underwriter


By Warren S. Hersch

Substantial numbers of Americans with common, pre-existing conditions hold no life insurance, according to a new report.

Genworth Financial Inc., Richmond, Va., published this finding in its 2012 Genworth LifeJacket Study of the uninsured in America, the study conducted in collaboration with independent research firms J&K Solutions and Ruf Strategic Solutions. The supporting data for the study was collected over 15 months and administered by telephone, online and mail to 25,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

The report reveals that between 39 percent and 54 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 with common, self-reported pre-existing conditions hold no life insurance. And doubts over insurability have led many potential candidates to not apply for coverage.

Uninsured sufferers of anxiety, asthma and depression account for more than half of all those who reported the condition (53 percent, 54 percent and 53 percent, respectively). Likewise, 40 percent of individuals with hypertension, 44 percent of those with weight problems and 42 percent of those with sleep apnea respond that they own no life insurance.

Nearly four in ten Americans living with high cholesterol (39 percent) also remain uninsured, the survey notes.

“We need to redefine the word ‘healthy’ in the context of life insurance eligibility,” says Janet Deskins, Genworth senior vice president for product development. “For adults with conditions such as anxiety, asthma, depression, high cholesterol and sleep apnea, life insurance can still be an affordable part of their overall financial plan, especially if they are actively taking steps to manage their condition.”

According to the study, more than 118 million adults in the U.S. age 18 and above don’t have life insurance coverage, more than half the adult population (52 percent). This compares with 51 percent of U.S. adults who were uninsured in 2011.

2012: Entire U.S. Adult Population 18+ (226 million)
  • 52 percent are uninsured; approximately 118 Million
  • For those with Life Insurance, $152K is the average coverage amount
2011: Entire U.S. Adult Population 18+ (223 million)
  • 51 percent are uninsured; approximately 114 million
  • For those with Life insurance, $155K is the average coverage amount
*Mid-point averages were used in life Insurance coverage amount calculations.

Within each of the populations identifying with the health conditions below*, a sizable portion is uninsured:
  • Anxiety: 15 million total, 8 million (53 percent) with no life insurance
  • Asthma: 13 million total, 7 million (54 percent) with no life insurance
  • Depression: 17 million total, 9 million (53 percent) with no life insurance
  • High cholesterol: 26 million total, 10 million (39 percent) with no life insurance
  • Hypertension: 25 million total, 10 million (40 percent) with no life insurance
  • Overweight: 24 million total, 11 million (44 percent) with no life insurance
  • Sleep apnea: 12 million total, 5 million (42 percent) with no life insurance
Originally published on LifeHealthPro.com