Many of you who have a high-risk medical condition may be hesitant to pursue life insurance coverage. You may not know if you can be approved and may have several reservations that are holding you back from going through the process. Whether it’s fear of being declined or some worry that the price may be higher than you can afford, something holds you back. We get that, and we want to help. One of the questions that come up often when speaking to potential clients and prospects comes down to a specific and straightforward question. Can I get life insurance with multiple sclerosis? After many years in the industry and helping thousands of individuals, here is what I know.
So, you’re asking yourself, can I get life insurance with multiple sclerosis? Yes, you can get life insurance with multiple sclerosis. Although multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease with varying levels of severity, it’s still possible to get life insurance. Many factors will need to be covered regarding your health.
We know that the answer provided above isn’t nearly enough to give you any comfort about the possibility of obtaining life insurance. No need to worry. We are going to cover every aspect of the steps that need to be taken and what you can expect going through the application process for life insurance after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Let’s dive into some more of the specifics and get you ready to apply for coverage like a seasoned pro.
The Concerns with Multiple Sclerosis and Why Life Insurance Companies Have Reservations
Multiple Sclerosis has the attributes that make it slightly concerning for the life insurance company to just issue coverage without doing their due diligence about the condition first. Most importantly is the fact that MS (multiple sclerosis) is unpredictable in nature. It can easily and quickly become a disabling disease that impacts the central nervous systems. Also, MS can disrupt the natural flow of information between your body and your brain.
Currently, the cause of multiple sclerosis is still unknown. Scientist now are still sticking to the theory that MS is onset due to environmental factors. The actual environmental factors that they believe trigger MS is still unknown and has not yet been specified. Not only that, but scientist is also struggling to find any consistency among MS survivors and patients with the symptoms and impact it has on the body. It still varies significantly between each patient.
One statistic that is known at this time is that MS is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50 and 2-3x more women are impacted by MS as opposed to men.
These factors are alone are what make life insurance companies very diligent and careful throughout the underwriting process when handling a case or client who has been diagnosed with MS.
What Exactly Are They Looking For? Life Insurance Underwriting and Expectations With MS
Okay, so we now know why the life insurance companies are hesitant when approving life insurance policies for individuals with MS, but what exactly are they looking for? What will all be considered when I apply for life insurance with multiple sclerosis? Here are a breakdown and a better idea of what’s coming throughout the process.
Questions That Your Life Insurance Agent Will Ask You About Your Multiple Sclerosis When Applying
When you pick up the phone and begin speaking to a life insurance agent about the options and coverage you are wishing to obtain to protect your family, it’s imperative that you are honest with all medical conditions that you have and everything that encompasses that. Once you inform your life insurance agent of the MS diagnosis, here’s a look at the follow-up questions you can expect.
Special Insider Tip- It’s Fantastic to Have Detailed Answers to These Questions on Hand Ready to Go
What’s the Importance of The Answers Provided Related to Your Multiple Sclerosis?
We see this is a lot. Clients get very frustrated with us at times and feel that we are being reasonably invasive or nosey about the condition. Especially when it comes to sensitive private health information such as the questions above. So why do we need such crazy detail? Can’t we just tell you we have MS and hope for the best?
Unfortunately, no, it doesn’t work like that. You see, life insurance companies have every intention of paying your death claim to your family or beneficiaries in full if you pass away. This also makes them careful, and they want detail. Life insurance underwriters are highly trained to assess risk and determine overall mortality rates for your gender, age, tobacco use and the health conditions you currently have. However, life insurance companies also like to help everyone when possible.
It’s how they do business and what makes them thrive in this economy. Keeping that idea in mind, they still need to diligent and careful. Not analyzing risk is what can cause a life insurance company to get in deep water. Imagine what happens if they approved everyone and never checked and looked over potential risk? They wouldn’t have reserves or the cash to continue paying death claims for very long in this scenario.
Multiple Sclerosis Isn’t Always Viewed Terribly by The Life Insurance Companies
Beating in the point even further about why life insurance companies dig so deep into medical records and ask so many questions brings us to the next point. MS doesn’t necessarily mean you are in terrible shape from a health standpoint. With new medical advances and technology, a lot of illnesses are being prolonged, and the latest technology is emerging in the medical field in addition to significant research and developments is helping people all over the world live comfortable, healthy lives with conditions such as Multiple sclerosis. Life insurance companies know that.
Therefore, they don’t rush to decline you anymore for circumstances like this. If you’re overall diligent with physician follow up and things are looking good with the condition in general, there’s a solid chance you can be approved for traditional life insurance coverage at rates much lower than your probably expected originally.
Keep in mind, that’s in no way a guarantee that you will be approved it’s merely a glimpse of hope that you should not be scared or hesitant to try and apply. Your family deserves the protection, and so do you.
Breaking Down Life Insurance Underwriting with MS One Step Further
Let’s cover some more important aspects about what the life insurance company will want to know about your condition and how the MS is currently being treated. Medications are always crucial when applying for life insurance. With MS, we are familiar with seeing certain drugs on a regular basis. With multiple sclerosis, it’s prevalent for us to see the following medications being prescribed and taken by the patient/applicant.
It’s important to keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with these medications. We understand your condition needs prescriptions and medications to help control, provide comfort and treat the disease. They also won’t automatically cause the life insurance company to decline your application. However, it’s important to understand how it works. Some of the medications listed are taken orally with a tablet. Some of them are also infusion-based medications or injected drugs. The most important thing to do is to inform your agent of these small criteria and be detailed.
Let your agent know which medications you take and how it’s working. Also inform them of the dosage, frequency, and method you use to take the medication. We get that these medications are needed so don’t be hesitant to provide this information just make sure you DO give the information.
You see, the more detail you give the life insurance company up front the better. The fewer records and information that they need to verify, the better and the more comfortable they feel issuing coverage. Especially when all medical records ordered line up precisely with the original conversation that you had with your agent.
Life Insurance Underwriters Strongly Dislike Chasing Information and Having Missing Information
Life insurance underwriters absolutely hate missing information or feeling that some information has been withheld by the potential client. I can’t say that I blame them either. Often, it’s a substantial death benefit the company would owe your beneficiaries if god forbid something did happen, and without seeing the entire picture, they won’t feel very cozy about approving your application.
The Four Kinds of Multiple Sclerosis in The Eyes of The Life Insurance Company
With multiple sclerosis, you usually have four ways that it can be categorized, and this is how the life insurance company will determine your overall risk and what problems/complications you be encountering with your MS. Here’s a look at the 4 possible categories you may fall into.
Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS)
This form of MS is challenging to diagnose and treat. With this form of MS, you have more lesions on the spinal cord and fewer lesions on the brain. With this form of MS, walking becomes very difficult, and it’s highly likely you are on disability. It’s tough to work a regular job with this form of MS, and it typically impacts men and women in the same fashion.
Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis- SPMS
SPMS is stage 2 of MS. If you began with RRMS, it’s highly likely that you will enter SMPS following the RRMS. From here, you will either be diagnosed as active or inactive. Furthermore, your diagnosis will include if the MS is progressing or not progressing.
Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS)
This is your most common form of MS. This form of MS will break down the frequency and severity of attacks that you have and detail if you are experiencing new or more severe neurological symptoms. In this stage, it’s no longer a diagnosis or if you are inactive or active but a diagnosis on if your condition is getting worse or stable and will detail the level of disability the MS has caused.
Clinically Isolated Syndrome
This is diagnosed at the first-time neuroglial symptoms last more 24 hours and is caused by inflammation within the central nervous system. It’s considered and diagnosed as either monofocal or multifocal. This form of MS will also detail the recovery progress as either a full recovery or a partial recovery.
What Does This Mean for Your Approvals for Life Insurance with Multiple Sclerosis?
First and foremost, many companies that we represent offer coverage to individuals with MS. Protective Life, Banner Life and Prudential are three quick examples that are great with underwriting multiple sclerosis. Also, we are also trained to listen to your needs, and listen to your health conditions and make an informed decision about which company will offer you life insurance coverage at the lowest possible rates.
With MS it’s not possible to achieve a preferred plus rating which is considered the best rating provided by life insurance companies. It’s also doubtful that you can accomplish a preferred rating which is regarded as the second-best rating possible with MS. Here is a look at the likely options you have for life insurance with MS.
This is going to be the bar to set, and the best rating you are likely to achieve with MS. This would require your MS to be mild, and you will need a few years to have passed since your last attack. Lastly, all other health conditions will need to be in good order to achieve this rating with MS.
This is where most of the cases we handle with MS land. A substandard rating is not a bad thing. It just means you are approved for full coverage, but you pay more per month for the coverage. It will depend much on the age and time elapsed since diagnosis, how long it’s been since your last attach and if you are showing any progress with treatment and medications.
It’s also essential that you don’t have any other major medical issues that could further drop your rating or cause the life insurance company to decline you.
Declined Life Insurance
A declined life insurance application will usually take place when your MS diagnosis is fresh. Generally, with 1 year of being diagnosed with MS, you may be rejected purely because the life insurance company doesn’t know the severity and how it will progress. There isn’t enough data to go off at this point. Also, you may be declined life insurance with MS if you are not diligent with your physician and follow doctor orders and recommendations diligently.
Other Options If You Have Been Declined Life Insurance After an MS Diagnosis
Always keep in mind that not getting any coverage at all to protect your family is not the recommended path to take if you have been declined life insurance due to your condition and severity of the MS. You can look at other options that can still provide substantial death benefits to your families such as guaranteed issue life insurance and accidental death life insurance coverages. Here’s a quick breakdown of these two options.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Coverage- An Option for You With MS
Once you have been declined coverage with MS, you can still apply for guaranteed issue life insurance. This form of life insurance is a whole life policy which means it’s good forever. Also, these policies do not ask any health questions. This means that you are guaranteed to be approved for the coverage. Companies such as AIG, Gerber and Great Western offer some of the best-guaranteed issue life insurance you can purchase.
With guaranteed issue life insurance, for the first 2 years of coverage, you are only going to be provided all your money back plus 10% interest earned (most of the time) if god forbid, you pass away during the first two years.
Following this waiting period, you will be provided full coverage just like any other life insurance policy would provide. An easy way to view this is that your life insurance policy is a nice saving account for 2 years with no risk involved and after you have passed month 24, you will be afforded full coverage. Also, guaranteed issue life insurance does provide benefits if you pass away from an accident. The only exclusion during the first 2 years is death due to natural causes.
Accidental Death Life Insurance Coverage- A Second Option for Coverage With MS
If you didn’t want to take the path of taking a guaranteed issue life insurance policy, you could also consider accidental death life insurance. It will provide death benefits to your family in the event you pass away due to an accident. Coverage amounts are still offered in substantial amounts such as 500,000, and your previous health conditions will not be factored into the decision of approving your policy.
Putting It All Together- Life Insurance Is Always Possible with MS in Some Fashion
Regardless of if you have been declined life insurance with MS or maybe you were given a rate that doesn’t fit the budget, other options always exist. We are here to help, and it’s what we specialize in. To begin, start by comparing rates with over 50 of the top life insurance companies that we all know and trust by filling out the quote form on the right.
Following that, be diligent and honest about your condition and work with an experienced independent agent who understands how to find approvals for life insurance with multiple sclerosis. Your peace of mind and family’s financial future is depending on it.
So, what are you waiting for?
Josh Martin is the founder of Good Life Protection. He began his career as a captive Agent working for New York Life Insurance Company. After continued education and designations, Josh founded Good Life Protection to provide consumers with more options and insurance that truly fits into your budget and health classification.