Getting The Best Burial Insurance With COPD | An Insider’s Guide

At any point in this article you can use our quick quote form or speak to an agent by calling us a call at 888-519-9119

Disclaimer: If you only have Chronic Bronchitis, and you don’t have COPD, please read our article about Chronic Bronchitis. Your options are very different when you have chronic bronchitis and no COPD.

If you have COPD and have spent more than five minutes looking for insurance, you know, it can be really tough finding affordable burial insurance. According to the CDC, lower respiratory diseases is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States. Because you can’t get rid of it and its high-risk nature, life insurance companies typically don’t respond favorably to COPD.

You’re probably already aware of the hard reality that there is nothing you can do to actually heal your COPD. You can only try to slow the damage of your lungs and prevent it from getting worse.

But lets focus on some good news.  You can secure quality affordable burial insurance when you have emphysema.

We can still help you find an insurance plan to help you meet your goals at an affordable price. We’ve helped several COPD clients secure affordable coverage, and we will help you do the same. Just know that when you’re dealing with Simplegacy, you are dealing with a company that has extensive and successful COPD experience.

How Final Expense Insurance Companies Underwrite COPD

Underwriting is just an industry term that refers to how the insurance company will assess the risk level of your health. This assessment helps them gauge the risk they’re taking on by offering you insurance and allows them to determine a price point that they’ll be comfortable with when offering you coverage.

When burial insurance companies approach the COPD topic, they are very straightforward. It really doesn’t matter when you were diagnosed or what stage it is; all the final expense company wants to know is:

Do you have, been told you have, been treated for, or been advised to receive treatment or medication for COPD?

This question might be worded slightly different depending on the company, but this is going to be what the questions are fundamentally getting at. The question won’t be asking you details about how severe or mild your emphysema is and that’s on purpose. There are other types of insurance you could apply for where the questions would be different but, in all honesty, those other types of policies would also be much harder to get approval for.

The hard reality is that emphysema is a high-risk health issue and it absolutely reduces your life expectancy. Depending on what stage you have and other health history items, it can have a very significant impact on reducing your life expectancy significantly. Take a look at the chart below by The Lung Institute about how COPD affects life expectancy.


Since the statistics show that COPD will lower your life expectancy, the insurance company will see this as them being at a greater risk of losing money. Unfortunately, the insurance companies are not charities or no profit organizations so, in order to compensate for this increased risk, they must take steps to ensure they can insure people with COPD (and still try to make a profit).

The Various COPD Stages from The Lung Institute

COPD Stages, Prognosis and Life Expectancy: Here Are Your Numbers

But again, the various stages are irrelevant to the insurance company when it comes to burial insurance. No matter how severe or mild your COPD is, it all comes down to a simple yes or no. The insurance company takes the approach of just taking all COPD data and creating one way of gauging the risk level instead of trying to figure out four ways to look it. They actually do this quite often, the same approach is used with cancer applicants, the final expense company wont care what type of cancer or what stage you’re in, cancer is cancer, period.

What COPD medications will they be looking for?

Before we dig into the different medications these final expense companies look for, it’s important to remember one thing. They are only trying to assess whether or not you have COPD. Their entire goal of checking prescriptions is simply to validate what was filled out on the application and determine if you have COPD or if you don’t.

The insurance company will pull your medication history to verify your health status. It’s a critical piece of their process, especially since they aren’t having you take any exam, physical or bloodwork, etc. They only have two ways to make their decision, your answers to the questions and prescription history. If you ever filled a prescription, they would see it. Heck, even if you didn’t fill the prescription, they will see it. They will look back on your entire prescription history since COPD is permanent.

Here is a list of common emphysema medications. If you have ever been prescribed these medications, the insurance company will probably just assume you have COPD:

• Prednisone
• Fluticasone
• Budesonide
• Aclidinium bromide
• Anoror Ellipta
• Arformoterol
• Brovana
• Combivent
• Duoneb
• Ipratropium Bromide (could be an allergy med)
• Spiriva
• Arcapta
• Atrovent HFA
• Daliresp

Dual Purpose Medications They Also Watch Closely

Both asthma and COPD share many medications that can be prescribed to treat both conditions. Here are some of the most common medications they have on their watch list that can used for multiple health issues, including COPD. How they respond, will vary among the different insurance companies, your particular prescription history and the explanation your physician may provide as to why the medication was prescribed in the first place.

• Advair
• Albuterol
• Azmacort
• Dilor
• Proventil
• Serevent
• Symbicort
• Theodur
• Tilade
• Ventolin
• Xopenex

Making Sense of These Dual Medications

Insurance companies all take their own approach to medications. If you’ve taken any of these, just know that it can create red flags. Some companies may be fine with a doctors note explaining it wasn’t for COPD but other companies may have that on their list of medications that they wont give any wiggle room on… It should go without saying that taking certain combinations of medications will also be viewed differently for each company, its just specific to each carrier.

What are we really getting at here?

We never want someone to feel blindsided during the process of looking for burial insurance. As a consumer, you don’t know what you don’t know and sometimes it feels good to have all the information before you start the application process, so you know what to expect. It can be very deflating to get several steps into any process only to be denied because of something that you could’ve been told at the beginning.

Our experience of assisting clients over the years has enabled us to learn the ins and outs of exactly what each insurance company is looking for. Our goal is try to give you the needed information ahead of time so that we can most effectively help you and your family plan a strategy that work best. This brings us to the section that is going to cover exactly what the insurance company will be willing to offer in terms of the type of policy and possible restrictions it will have.

What Options Will I Have?

By now it should be clear that every insurance company will respond differently to people with COPD. That said, there’s only so many ways the burial insurance company can respond, which will typically fall into roughly four buckets. Here they are:

1) They Will Simply Charge You A Higher Monthly Premium

This one is pretty straight forward. You pay a higher monthly premium compared to someone who is perfectly “healthy”. This can be anywhere from 15-40% more. You would still be covered immediately for 100%, no restrictions or strings attached, you just pay more.

Not a lot of insurance companies even offer this, they tend to offer an option that has some kind of restriction. This can be a very attractive option since even though you’re paying more, you have complete coverage from day one.

2) They Require A Full Waiting Period

They charge you much higher premium and if you pass during the first two years, they will only refund your premiums plus interest, usually a 10-15% interest. If you were to pass away from an accident during the first two years, you’re still covered for the full amount.

3) They Will Pay Some Benefits Right Away, And More Over Time

This option is most commonly called a “Graded Plan”. They charge you a higher monthly price and they limit the payout if you pass away during the first two years. They usually pay 30-40% during the first year, and 70-80% during the second year.

Then after the second year, you have 100% coverage. If you were to pass away from an accident during the first two years, you’re still covered for the full amount.

4) They Will Do Nothing

There’s really only one company at the time of this article that we know of that won’t care if you have COPD. They have somehow designed their pricing in a way that accounts for individuals with COPD (this means it’s probably actually more expensive for a “healthy” person on a monthly basis because that risk has to be absorbed by the rest of the population).

Its very important for us to say that this is very rare for an insurance company to not care about COPD. Its also important to mention that if you have other health issues, it could quickly change their stance on offering you coverage for a rock bottom price.

What about COPD and oxygen use?

If you are on oxygen, here is the cold hard truth. Your only option is a guaranteed issue plan.

These policies are very simple and straightforward. The upside is that you are guaranteed to be accepted and you wont even have to answer medical questions. The downside is that they don’t ask medical questions because they are going to automatically assume you have the highest risk possible when it comes to ffering you insurance and they are going to charge accordingly.

The policy will have a mandatory two-year waiting period. This cannot be avoided. If you die during this time, they will refund all your money plus interest. It’s usually 10% interest with most companies. The truth is though, this is still a good option (and your only option) given you need assistance to breath and breathing plays a very important role in keeping you alive.

Starting Now is Critical

If you are on oxygen and haven’t figured out a plan to pay final end of life expenses, you need to start this yesterday. The sad truth is that the life expectancy of a patient on oxygen with COPD isn’t long. There’s a reason that burial insurance companies don’t like to offer insurance to someone on oxygen. Because you’re going to have a two-year waiting period before it will give you a full pay out, you need to get that two-year clock started as soon as possible.

How To Find The Best Burial Insurance With COPD

The cold hard truth is that you need to lean on an experienced professional agency to help you with this. Everyone wants the best deal, and by best deal, we mean getting the most coverage from day one for the lowest price.

Simplegacy works with 20+ insurance carriers. Not only will we find a company to work with you, we will find multiple. When we do, we can compare rates and impartially recommend whichever carrier will give you the best value. We are not tied to any single company, which gives us the ability to unbiasedly tell you what your best solution is. Since we only work in the Burial/Funeral/Final Expense Insurance category, you will never have to worry about being “cross-sold” or pushed into a solution that doesn’t make sense in the long run for you.

We are here to help you in any way we can. We will use every resource available to us in order to help you find the best policy that will work for you and your family. Our goal is to approach every scenario the way we would if it was our own family that we were planning for.

Call us at 888-519-9119 or fill out the quick quote form for an instant quote.

Facts & Tips For Burial Insurance:

  • Your coverage will never be cheaper than it is today.

  • The average funeral cost is between $9,000 and $15,000.

  • Work with an independent agent that represents multiple insurance companies.


Loved the service I recieved from Dominick at Simplegacy.  He was knowledgable and had answers to all my questions.


My husband and I each got a policy at what we feel is a fair price for our age.  Simplegacy was fair and professional.


I called in and got a burial policy.  Nick answered all my questions and didn’t pressure me at all.



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Simplegacy is a licensed independent insurance agency that specializes in burial insurance. If you are under the age of 85, there is a 99% chance that we can get you an affordable burial insurance policy to cover your final expenses.

Get a Quote

Or call (888-519-9119)

Get an Instant Quote

Simplegacy is a licensed independent insurance agency that specializes in burial insurance. If you are under the age of 85, there is a 99% chance that we can get you an affordable burial insurance policy to cover your final expenses.

Get a Quote

Or call (888-519-9119)