When applying for life insurance, health and health history is typically a big concern for the life insurance company. This is because a person’s health can play a key role in that individual’s overall life expectancy – which, in turn, can equate to how much risk the life insurer will be taking on with that particular applicant.
For those who are in very good health, obtaining life insurance coverage is typically not an issue. However, those who have certain adverse health related conditions may have to find alternative ways of getting the life insurance coverage that they need. This could be the case for those who have MS. The good news is that, even if you have MS, and you have been turned down for coverage in the past, there are ways of obtaining the life insurance protection that you need.
How Multiple Sclerosis Can Affect a Life Insurance Application
Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a type of autoimmune disease. It primarily affects a person’s spinal cord and brain. While it can be diagnosed at any age, it is often seen when a person is between the ages of 20 and 40, and is more common in women than in men. This condition is considered to be the most common progressive and disabling neurological condition that strikes young adults.
The cause of multiple sclerosis is damage to the myelin sheath. This is the protective covering that surrounds the nerve cells in the body. When the covering of this myelin sheath is damaged, the signals of the nerve is slowed down. However, while in some cases the signals are somewhat slowed, in other cases they stop altogether.
This damage is primarily caused by inflammation, which occurs when the person’s own body’s immune cells attack its nervous system. This can happen in any area of the individual’s brain, spinal cord, or optic nerve. Although much research has been done on MS, doctors are still uncertain as to what causes this damage to occur – although a common consensus is that either a gene defect, a virus – or both – may be the case.
Another culprit could also be environmental factors. In addition, a person could also be more apt to contract multiple sclerosis if he or she has a family history of the disease, and / or if they live in an area of the world where the disease is more prevalent.
What the Life Insurance Underwriters Will Want to Know
Anyone who applies for life insurance is usually required to complete an application for coverage. Here, the life insurance company will ask for basic information such as your age, height and weight, gender, smoking / tobacco usage, alcohol usage, overall health history, family health history, hobbies and habits, foreign travel habits, and any additional life insurance coverage that is in force.
In addition to the basic application for coverage and the paramedical examination, the life insurance underwriters will likely want additional information regarding your MS so that they can get an even clearer picture of your overall health condition. Therefore, some of the more condition-specific questions that you may be asked could include the following:
- When were you initially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis?
- What exactly were you diagnosed with? (i.e., which type of MS)
- How has the disease progressed since the initial date of your diagnosis?
- How have you responded to your treatment?
- What steps have you taken to treat your condition since your diagnosis?
- What, if any, prescription medications are you currently taking for your MS?
- If you are taking prescription medication, what is the medication, and what is the dosage?
- What other ways are you managing your condition, such as with diet and / or exercise?
- Do you have any other medical conditions?
- Have you had any relevant lab testing done within the past six months?
The insurance company may also want to review your medical records from your primary care medical provider and / or from any medical specialist that you see for your MS condition. Once the life insurance underwriters have compiled all of the information about your health – as well as any other data that they need – they will be able to make a more relevant determination about your coverage, as well as about the premium for your policy.
How Much Will Your Life Insurance Policy Cost?
The cost of any life insurance policy is typically a factor of the applicant’s age, gender, and health condition. For someone who has MS, the premium will be lower if you follow a proper diet and exercise, and if you keep your blood pressure down. If, however, you do not regularly visit your doctor on a regular basis and do not follow what your doctor has prescribed for controlling and managing your condition, and then your premium is likely to be higher.
In many cases, for instance, a person who has multiple sclerosis, but who has no other health conditions and is otherwise in very good health, can often get a Standard policy class rating. This means that they will be able to pay the premium that an average policyholder of their same age and gender would also be paying.
If, however, a person who has MS is not otherwise in good health was approved for a policy, they may obtain a substandard policy class rating. This means that their premium would be higher than the average policyholder.
In some cases, it may be possible to obtain a policy at a certain rate and then improve your health over time. If this is the case, you may be able to obtain a lower premium rate in the future.
How to Prepare for the Life Insurance Application Process
To best prepare for your life insurance application process, there are some things that you can do in order to help your chances of approval at the best rating class possible. Some of these tips include:
- Following the advice of your doctor and / or other medical professionals concerning treatment and medication for the control and management of your multiple sclerosis
- Ensuring that all of your medical records are regularly updated. This is extremely important, as the life insurance company will likely be reviewing this information, and you will need for it to be as up to date and as accurate as possible.
- Getting any of your complications from your condition under control. As an example, if you have high blood pressure, be sure to eat a proper diet and get the right amount of sleep and exercise so that you can keep this condition under control as well.
- Visiting your doctor as often as needed.
How and Where to Find the Best Life Insurance for People with MS
When seeking life insurance for people with multiple sclerosis, it is always best to work with an independent life insurance agent or agency that has access to more than just one insurance carrier. This way, multiple insurers will be able to view your information.
What many people do not know is that, while all life insurance companies will typically have some type of qualification criteria for approving an applicant, this criteria is not identical. This means that a particular applicant may be denied for coverage at one carrier or be rated for a high risk life insurance policy why he/she could be approved at another. Therefore, in some cases, if a person has been turned down for life insurance, they may just simply give up, believing that they are uninsurable. This, however, is not necessarily the case. The fact is that they just simply have not yet found the right insurance company for them yet.
If you’re seeking life insurance and you have MS, we can help. We work with many of the best life insurance carriers in the industry today – and we can assist you in finding the life insurance protection that you need. We can do so for you easily and conveniently – without you having to go from one carrier to another. We’ve done all the shopping and the research for you, and we can point you in the right direction – saving you countless hours of time and frustration throughout the application process. So, if you’re ready to begin the process of finding the right life insurance coverage for you, get your initial set of quotes by filling out the form on this page.
Should you find that you still have some questions regarding finding life insurance for people who have MS – or, even if you just have a questions regarding life insurance in general – our experts are here to assist you, so please feel free to call. We can be reached directly, via phone, toll-free, by dialing 877-235-9299.
We understand that the process of finding life insurance can be somewhat difficult – especially if you have a health condition like MS. But the good news is that now you have an ally on your side. So, contact us today – we’re here to help.