A group of life insurers has clarified that getting the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine will not affect people’s policy payout in case of death. The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) released a statement debunking alleged rumors circulating on social media platforms. The rumors asserted that getting a COVID-19 jab could play a role in claiming death benefits from insurance firms.
In a statement on its website published March 12, ACLI slammed the social media rumors as “entirely false information.” ACLI Senior Vice President for Policy Development Paul Graham said: “The fact is that life insurers do not consider whether or not a policyholder has received a [COVID-19] vaccine when deciding whether to pay a claim.”
He continued: “Life insurance policy contracts are very clear on how policies work, and what cause … might lead to the denial of a benefit. A vaccine for COVID-19 is not one of them.” Graham then encouraged policyholders to “rest assured that nothing has changed in the claims-paying process as a result of COVID-19 vaccinations.” He also encouraged them to get in touch with their life insurers, agents or financial professionals for any questions or clarifications.
Graham’s remarks came after posts on social media claimed that getting vaccinated for COVID-19 will impact death benefits paid out by insurers.
The Epoch Times reached out to three ACLI members — New York Life, Northwestern Mutual and MassMutual — for further clarification on the matter. ACLI represents a number of life insurance firms in the U.S. Only the last two insurers replied to the news outlet, pointing to the ACLI press release. They did not answer other questions on the issue.
It is not yet known if people who suffer a severe reaction to the COVID-19 jab will have their life insurance policy qualifications impacted as a result, and if they will have to pay higher premiums. ACLI Vice President of Public Affairs Jack Dolan told The Epoch Times in an email that insurance companies rely on data they find in medical records when underwriting. He added that these may or may not include information related to COVID-19.
“Exactly how companies use information found in an applicant’s medical records can distinguish from one another,” Dolan added. (Related: Coronavirus vaccine deaths aren’t covered by life insurance because jabs are “experimental medical intervention”.)
But for University of Florida health outcomes and implementation science associate professor W. Bruce Vogel, the jabs might possibly impact life insurance. He told the Associated Press that the COVID-19 vaccine may “limit any life insurance premium increases” linked to the disease. Vogel elaborated: “Only if the vaccine itself increased mortality would you expect it to increase life insurance premiums, and there is no evidence of that so far. The fact that the vaccine is being given so widely suggests, at least, an implicit finding … that the [vaccine’s] potential rewards outweigh the risks.”
According to a Policygenius article, life insurance firms use a “system of classifications” to find out how an individual’s health will affect the amount of coverage they will receive at every price point. Healthier individuals get a more favorable classification and more affordable rates. However, those who have pre-existing medical conditions or are not at the peak of health may find their insurance policies being impacted. They may ultimately end up in another classification and pay slightly higher premiums. (Related: Kamala Harris wants to eliminate all private health insurance.)
The article added that many factors can influence insurance policy classification. Underwriters look at height and weight, use of tobacco, family health history and lifestyle before they classify people into certain policy tiers.
As of writing, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized three Wuhan coronavirus vaccines for emergency use. It approved the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and pharmaceutical firm Moderna in December 2020, and the adenovirus vaccine from Johnson & Johnson in February 2021.
In a March 8 email, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told The Epoch Times that more than 92 million mRNA vaccine doses have been administered. Out of these doses, 1,637 deaths following vaccinations have been recorded.