Liver functions and life insurance
It is possible to get standard life insurance for someone with high liver enzymes. Life insurers usually screen for abnormal liver enzymes. They are concerned that an unexplained elevation of one or more of these enzymes has caused liver damage.
Why does it matter if the liver is damaged?
The liver is a multi-functional organ. Among other functions it is responsible for:
- bile production: Bile helps the intestine to breakdown and absorb fats, cholesterol, and some vitamins. Bile also helps create clotting compounds. If your blood won’t clot you could bleed out. Bleed out = death.
- absorbing and metabolizing bilirubin: Bilirubin is a byproduct of red blood cell breakdown. It passes through the liver and is excreted from the body. Excess bilirubin in the blood cause too many red blood cells to be broken down. A reduction in red blood cells will mean a reduction in oxygen that is needed throughout your body.
- carbohydrate breakdown: Carbohydrates are broken down into into glucose which is used for energy.
- filters the blood: The liver filters the blood coming from the digestive tract before the blood passes top the rest of the body. It filters out alcohol and other toxins that may be harmful to the body.
What liver enzymes are tested for?
Life underwriter are concerned with elevation of numerous enzymes. Three important enzymes include:
- AST (aspartate aminotransferase)
- ALT (alanine aminotransferase)
- GGT (gamma-glutamyl transferase or transpeptidase).
Elevation of AST and ALT indicate that some liver damage has allowed these to escape from cells.
What do insurers want to know to rate life insurance for someone with high liver enzymes?
The goal in underwriting abnormal liver tests is to determine the underlying cause and then classify the risk accordingly. For example, excessive alcohol consumption can cause liver inflammation. Even some medications like aspirin or acetaminophen can sometime cause elevations. That is why it is important for the underwriter to understand the underlying cause.
In order to provide a realistic tentative offer, and underwriter will want to see the latest lab results.
How much would someone expect to pay for life insurance if the had elevated liver functions?
This is a real wild card because it depends on so many factors:
- the cause is known or unknown
- the number of enzymes that are elevated
- the level of elevation
So rates rate could range from standard to 125% rate up to decline.
Male 50 Non Smoker 500,000 term
|level premium period||standard||rate up 125%|
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