Officials, customers in Springfield explain how COVID-19 diagnosis could impact life insurance coverage

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 11:15 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2021 at 4:23 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - If you’re in the market for life insurance, beware that if you’ve had a COVID-19 diagnosis, it could affect your chances of getting coverage.

Marketing Financial, a national wholesaling firm in Springfield, represents about 30 different life insurance companies. They work with independent agents who sell life insurance, helping them understand how insurance companies have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

President and CEO Alan Lockhart says nearly every company has made some adjustments due to the pandemic.

Lockhart says some companies have set restrictions on coverage based on customers’ age, foreign travel, covid diagnosis and whether or not they have received the vaccine. He says some companies are lifting various restrictions now.

“Virtually, all companies put some sort of restriction out there, just because it was the unknown. A lot of them did not know what was going to happen,” said Lockhart.

Lockhart says one potential benefit from the pandemic is that many insurance companies are no longer requiring physical exams to get a life insurance policy.

However, some customers, like Amanda Schade, weren’t aware of any restrictions until recently. Amanda contacted KY3 after a life insurance company called her, trying to sell her coverage. But then, they told her she wasn’t eligible because she’d recently been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Schade was still in quarantine when it happened, but had mild symptoms. She learned there would be a three-month waiting period to be eligible as long as she wasn’t hospitalized.

Schade said being denied life insurance coverage was frustrating.

“I would like everybody to know, if you get tested positive, you are now put in that category of essentially being denied and having a longer period to wait,” said Schade.

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