Do I have to answer health questions to qualify for an annuity?

23rd May 2012

If you are looking to apply for an annuity then it’s given that your health will be a major consideration when it comes to determining the amount that you will be paid, and as such any health history that you have will come into consideration. In general you may not be required to undergo a full medical examination before undertaking an annuity, unless you are claiming for an enhanced annuity in which case you may be required to prove an existing health condition.

In most cases you will be required to answer a few broad questions about your health and lifestyle habits, which will allow your annuity provider to determine what you might or might not be eligible for, and to allow them to make a fair assessment of how much annuity income you are entitled to receive.

What types of questions might I have to answer?

If you do have to respond to any health questions then they will likely be broad questions about your health in general. This could include any past hospitalisation that you have had, any serious, on-going injuries that you have and any medication that you are currently taking and require for an extended period of time. In addition, you could also be asked questions about lifestyle habits that you lead which could have a direct effect on your health. These could include smoking, heavy drinking and the use of recreational drugs at any stage throughout your life.

How does my health affect my annuity?

Your health is one of the biggest influences on your annuity income as it directly affects your life expectancy. If you are a relatively healthy person, you don’t suffer from any pre-existing health conditions and you don’t lead any poor lifestyle habits such as drinking or smoking, then you could find yourself with a lower annuity income as you will be expected to live longer and therefore receive it for a longer period of time.

In contrast, if you are relatively unhealthy, lead poor lifestyle habits and have any on-going medical conditions then you could find that your life expectancy is shortened and as a result you could receive a higher annuity income, as it is thought to be paid over a shorter period of time.

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