Sleep apnea can raise life insurance rates

Feb 17, 2012

Those with sleep apnea should get it treated to avoid health complications and life insurance price increases.

Suffering from sleep apnea is already an unpleasant experience for those who suffer from it, and now WebMD says if the condition is left untreated, it could cause depression, heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke and even diabetes. One Illinois doctor said sleep apnea not only runs the risk of additional health problems, but it may also cause a consumer's life insurance premiums to increase.

Dr. Ira. Shapira, a Gurnee, Illinois, area dentist who treats patients for sleep apnea with an oral appliance, said seeing insurance policies increase in cost can be hard on small businesses and others who use their policies to protect their estates. He suggests turning to "off the record" sleep studies where patients are only identified by numerical accounts or new names.

"There are two primary treatments for sleep apnea, [continuous positive airway pressure] and oral appliances," a release from Shapira said. "Severe sleep apnea, especially in morbidly obese patients, is usually CPAP initially and an oral appliance for patients who don't tolerate CPAP. Studies have shown that the majority of patients reject CPAP and prefer comfortable oral appliances when offered a choice of treatments."

Either way, sleep apnea is something that should not go untreated. While seeing life insurance rates increase is never good, having to call in the policy after an adverse effect of sleep apnea would be worse. 

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