Life Insurance Cognitive Function Testing For Seniors

Life Insurance for seniors can be affordable, but if you’re 70 or older and are going to apply for life insurance, you need to be aware that many insurance companies will require that you do cognitive function testing as part of your free insurance exam. 

Even if your health is very good otherwise, failing the cognitive function test as defined by the insurance company will ALWAYS result in a decline. 

Cognitive Function can be defined as an intellectual process by which one becomes aware of, perceives, or comprehends ideas.  It involves all aspects of perception, thinking, reasoning, and remembering. 

In addition to your overall health, the best insurance companies for seniors are concerned with cognitive function because there is a direct link between even mild cognitive impairment and early death.  There is also evidence that moderate to severe cognitive impairment can greatly reduce your life expectancy. 

The testing that is done can be “Delayed Word Recall” for which you’ll be told some words and then asked to repeat as many of those words as possible after a period of time.  Could also be the “landmark drawing copy test” for which you’d be shown a picture and asked to copy the picture (usually a picture of a clock with a specific time).  Could also be “get up and go” mobility testing for which an examiner would observe you getting up out of a chair and walking across a room.  

If you have any cognitive type of issues, like trouble remembering, trouble keeping your balance or you are unable to accurately draw a picture of a clock with the hour and minute hands in the correct place, then you will definitely want to avoid the life insurance companies listed below: 

American General Life
American National (for amounts over $500k only)
Aviva
Cincinnati Life
John Hancock
Lincoln Benefit Life/Allstate
Lincoln National
Midland National Life
North American Company for Life & Health
Penn Mutual
Principal Life
Protective Life
Prudential
Symetra Life
Transamerica 

I suspect more life insurance for senior companies will be adding cognitive function testing as part of their application process in the future, but as of today the following insurance companies do NOT require any type of cognitive function testing:  

Assurity Life
AXA Equitable
Banner Life
Columbus Life
Genworth Life
ING ReliaStar Life
ING Security Life of Denver
Met Life
Minnesota Life
National Life of Vermont
Nationwide
New York Life
OhioNational
SBLI of MA
Securian Life
Security Mutual Life of NY (unless applying for Chronic Illness Rider, then they do require cognitive testing)
United of Omaha 
Western Reserve Life
Western Southern
William Penn 

Even if you pass any cognitive function testing, all of the competitive life insurance companies for seniors will request medical records for everyone over age 70.  So if your doctor indicates you have memory issues, concerns about cognitive decline or indicates even possible mild dementia or Alzheimer’s in your records, this will also almost always result in a decline.  

If you’re only interested in final expense insurance at smaller amount, like $25,000 or less, many of these type policies don’t require a medical exam and no cognitive function testing and most of these final expense companies won’t order your medical records.  

Beware though, when applying for any no exam coverage as the best final expense companies that don’t require an exam will do a pharmacy records database search.  If you were prescribed any of the Alzheimer’s or dementia drugs like Aricept, Cognex, Donepezil HCL, Exelon, Galantamine, Memantine, Mestinon, Namenda, Razadyne, Reminyl or Rivastigmine Tartrate, these are all RED FLAG drugs which will result in an automatic decline with all of the best no exam insurance companies.  

If you are declined for life insurance because of cognitive dysfunction and you feel you’ve exhausted all of your options and you’re being told that no company will insure you, there is always guaranteed issue life insurance available to you. 

Because I know how frustrating it can be to be declined for life insurance as there are very few companies that will insure me and I’ve shopped thousands of tough cases to hundred’s of different insurance companies, please feel free to call or email me at gconwell@americanterm.com if I can help you.