You must follow a script very closely when entering his Hot Soup-serving establishment. The customer is always wrong, and you must pay extra for anything. Oh, and there's no backtalk. No saying a single word out of order - or that means he'll glare at you and shout, "No Soup for you!" As seen here.
Recently, we encountered that same scenario on the Life Insurance front - when exploring whether we could get a bowl of life insurance soup, so to speak.
Now, I have life insurance - a policy that's been around since my baby days, thanks to my dad and grandfather who've been longtime policy holders and made sure their children had one in place just in case. This has been in my name since I was born, before my diagnosis - even if I wasn't aware of it until some point in the past decade. As far as I know, my diabetes has never been an issue or brought up in the context of this life insurance policy.
Recently, the wife's employer switched insurance plans and they had some life insurance plan options thrown at them for relatively cheap amounts. Not something we necessarily need, but it was appealing for the low cost and so she asked about it and whether my longtime Type 1 diabetes would present any concerns.
The plan representative specifically said no.
Now, even though a knowledgeable observer may realize that this probably wasn't a true statement, I have no doubt this is what the response was from that person. Because often, when you ask simple questions these people have NO CLUE what the practical aspects of the plan or insurance generally mean to people. It's like they live in a bubble of happiness, with glitter and unicorns and everyone can afford the high costs of what they're offering.
Knowing generally that life insurance has some of those same "pre-existing" type concerns as general health insurance and can limit or restrict someone who's Living With Diabetes, it wasn't like this was something we were holding out any hope for. We were more curious. So the wife filled out the form and decided to see what would happen.
We received a letter in the mail giving us that answer: She got accepted, no problem.
But me, the diabetic?
"Thank you for applying to (Blood-Sucking Greedy Life Insurance Company) for coverage. After careful review, we regret to inform you that we are unable to issue Additional Spouse Voluntary Term Life Insurance coverage to Michael. We made this decision because of the information you gave to us on the Health Statement regarding insulin-dependent diabetes. We did not contact or receive information from anyone else."
Then it goes on to explain how you can get a copy of this statement, appeal or correct any information on file.
We got a good laugh about it. At first, at least.
I thought more about it later, and realized that from a business standpoint - it does make sense. You know, we People With Diabetes do commonly have shorter life spans than those without diabetes. Not that we don't have people living long and productive lives thanks to modern advances in the past few decades. They are a business trying to limit their payouts - and that means limiting those "high risk" individuals who present more likelihood to cost them money. I do get it.
In the past, I'd seen the JDRF and ADA both talking about life insurance and it can be unattainable for many in the Diabetes Community.
The ADA writes, "Once a person is diagnosed with diabetes, life insurance policies sold within the United States can become unaffordable or unavailable. This is because life insurance policies are allowed by state and federal law to "rate" or charge a premium based upon an applicant's health status. In addition, a plan can choose to not provide a policy based upon an applicant's health status."
Both organizations have helpful tips online - the JDRF here and the ADA here. A state-by-state breakdown of insurance regulars also can provide assistance on this topic.
Like I said, I get the practical business realities of this. But I don't like it, and really it depresses me.
We grow up hearing horror stories about diabetic complications and death, and we grapple emotionally and physically with the tolls of that uncertainty and sometimes even that real-life risk. We do everything possible to avoid those fates, and we highlight the success stories of those who've successfully Lived With Diabetes for many many years - even reached milestones and received recognition for that. But when it comes right down to it, the business decision-making of life insurers - at least here in the U.S. - tells us flat out: "No, you're more likely to die young and present a risk for us, so we don't want you."
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But as I mentioned earlier, we're fortunate enough to have existing insurance already in case something happens and we didn't need this.
Since that letter, we've learned that they will actually offer some limited basic coverage - $25,000 rather than the full $50,000 - so I guess that's something. Apparently, the Right Hand offering limited coverage doesn't talk to the Left Hand that doesn't want me, but that's a whole other topic in itself. At least we can get a laugh and head-shake from it think of this Life Insurance Company as the Soup Nazi, waving his finger at me and saying...
"No Soup for You."
At least, not the good chicken noodle variety. You get stuck with the generic brand out of a box.