Heidi works with top-rated life insurance carriers to bring her clients the highest quality protection at the most competitive prices. She is a wife, mom, and former school teacher, specializing in helping families. As parents, it's our responsibility to ensure our family is financially sound, regardless of what life brings. Her goal is to make the process of obtaining life insurance as simp...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Apr 30, 2022

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There’s something significant about taking care of the must-dos in life that feel more like the “I-really-don’t-want-to-do-this-dos.”

They’re life’s discomforts. When you’ve checked them off your to-do list, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

Take life insurance, for example. Shopping for life insurance when you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can feel daunting.

Chances are, you need it. And chances are, buying it sounds about as enjoyable as waiting in the TSA lines at the airport.

It’s one of those collective annoyances most of us have to endure.

The good news is that it might be easier to secure life insurance than you think, even when you have rheumatoid arthritis.

Skipping the medical underwriting part (in other words, non-med) of the application process is like moving to the front of the TSA lines at the airport. You’re still not having fun, but at least you can get out of there faster.

What you need to know: non-med (no exam) life insurance is a specific type of life insurance in which you do not need a medical exam to purchase the policy. It can be an excellent fit for some, but not all.

Let’s consider the reasons to, and not to, purchase a non-med life insurance policy when you have rheumatoid arthritis.

Quick Guide for Life Insurance and Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Five Reasons To Buy No Exam

  1. Faster application process. By skipping the medical exam (also known as paramedical), you can easily shave weeks off of the turnaround time of your application. If you are in need of a life insurance policy in a hurry, non-med policies are an excellent way to go.
  2. No needles and no nurses. Depending on how often you see a rheumatologist, skipping the needles and nurses may not seem like a big deal. Yet, it’s one less time to be poked. For some, that’s a huge benefit.
  3. It’s now affordable. Not long ago, non-med life insurance was expensive compared to traditional fully underwritten life insurance. Not the case anymore. Life insurance carriers have been paying attention to the needs and wants of their potential clients. Competition has brought the price of non-med policies down to rates that are comparable to fully underwritten policies.
  4. You are in decent health. Even though this type of policy doesn’t involve a medical exam, it’s still important to be in overall satisfactory health. Your RA needs to be mild or moderate, at most. And, if you have been diagnosed with cancer, cardiovascular disease, or another serious illness, this type of policy may not be a good fit for you.
  5. You need $500,00 or less in coverage. Non-med life insurance works best for those in need of a moderate amount of coverage. Most non-med carriers offer up to about $500,000.

To get started, contact us.

Five Reasons To NOT Buy No Exam

  1. Your RA is advanced. Non-med is not a good fit for those with more serious rheumatoid arthritis. For example, if you are unable to work due to RA, have serious deformities, or your organs have been affected, non-med is likely not an option.
  2. You have other health complications. If you have been diagnosed with a serious condition, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, or have had a stroke, it will be difficult to secure non-med life insurance.
  3. More than $500,000 in coverage is needed. Most life insurance carriers cap their policy amounts at about $500,000 for non-med. If you need a larger policy, it’s best to look at traditional life insurance options.
  4. You take Enbrel, Remicade, or Humira. These particular drugs are red flags for the non-med life insurance carriers. If you take these medications to treat your RA, non-med life insurance will likely not be a good fit.
  5. Mental health is important to acknowledge. Life insurance carriers will want to put a magnifying glass on serious psychological diagnoses. Don’t consider it an immediate decline. Rather, think of it as a case-by-case scenario. For example, if you have been diagnosed with PTSD or depression, the severity of your condition will influence your ability to be approved. Conversely, if you’ve had a suicide attempt within the last 2 years (or longer), non-med is probably not a good option.

Important – if non-med life insurance is not a good fit for you, there are always life insurance options available.

No Exam Life Insurance With RA Overview

Need to Know

  • It’s now affordable
  • Decent health is a must
  • Works for mild RA
  • No needles or nurses
  • Limit of about $500k
  • Phone interview occurs


  • Protect loved ones
  • Pay for funeral expenses
  • Pay off debt
  • Plan for future needs


  • Humira, Enbrel, & Remicade are red flags for no exam life insurance policies.


  • No exam life insurance makes sense if you need $500k or less in coverage, are in decent health, and have mild RA.
  • Our experts can help you decide if no exam life insurance is a good fit.


  1. Partner with an independent life insurance agent.
  2. Complete application and phone interview.
  3. Signatures to finalize contract paperwork.

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What questions will the life insurance company ask me?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning it causes your body’s immune system to attack your cells. With RA, this inflammatory disease typically affects your joints. As with other forms of arthritis and chronic conditions, it may impact your overall quality of life.

Your insurance company will want to understand your family history and any environmental factors that may have contributed to your diagnosis. During the phone interview, the life insurance company will want to know the following:

  • Age/Date Of Birth
  • Gender
  • Height/Weight Ratio
  • Tobacco Use
  • Medical History (i.e. surgery, pregnancy, major illness)
  • Family Medical History (i.e. diabetes, cancer, heart disease)
  • Medications
  • Lifestyle (i.e. alcohol, drug use)
  • Financial Information (i.e. annual income, history of bankruptcy)
  • Hobbies (i.e. scuba diving, mountain climbing)

Specific to RA, you will be asked:

  • When You Were Diagnosed: Because RA is deemed a chronic disease, companies want to understand how long you have been managing RA. Their interest is the long-term consequences drugs used for RA control have on your body.
  • Span and Regularity Of Flare-ups: How often you have flare-ups, and the time they last, makes your chance for joint and tissue destruction higher.
  • Deformity from RA: Companies want to know if you have any deformities and if so, what type. For example, a minor deformity such as your fingers or wrists or a major deformation such as your hips or knees.
  • Disability from RA: Can you survive independently and execute the everyday activities of living? A disability can negatively affect the ratings you are getting.
  • Parts of the Body Affected by RA: Parts of your body, and how much they are affected by RA. For example, mild finger pain or damage to different organs.
  • Medications Used to Treat RA: How often and what type of drugs used in your treatment plan (i.e. NSAIDS, Humira, Methotrexate).

Steps To Buying No Exam Life Insurance

  1. Whether or not non-med life insurance is a good fit for you, the first step you need to take is collaborating with an expert who understands the complexities of rheumatoid arthritis and life insurance.
  2. Your application is submitted. You complete a phone interview. Medical records may be ordered.
  3. Contract paperwork signatures finalize your policy.