It's not impossible to receive life insurance if you have Multiple Sclerosis.
Even though MS is an unpredictable autoimmune disease that makes getting insurance more challenging, many people with MS have purchased life insurance.
The severity of your illness, the length of time you've been sick, and your overall health will determine if you qualify. Even if you don't qualify for regular life insurance, you may be eligible for guaranteed graded benefit life insurance policies if you have Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) or Secondary Progressive MS.
We've compiled a guide to the MS underwriting standards. With this information, you may understand what to expect when applying for insurance and how to improve your chances of receiving a fair rating.
You may also begin the simple quoting process by filling out our Compare Quotes form on this page and allowing us to assist you in finding the finest MS insurance company.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Life Insurance Underwriting
When you call to apply for life insurance, a life insurance agent should inquire about your MS. Expect to get the following response:
Corticosteroids, Beta interferons, Copaxone, Gilenya, and muscle relaxants are commonly prescribed for Multiple Sclerosis. Depending on your MS, you may not be automatically denied these prescriptions. Some of these prescriptions come in the form of daily tablets, while others come in the form of injections or infusions.
It's critical to get in touch with your doctor on a regular basis in order to keep your MS under control and, ideally, in remission.
If you have any other medical conditions, continue to treat them as needed with drugs.
Make sure to provide all relevant information regarding your illness. When there is a lack of information regarding a condition, insurance underwriters become anxious.
If you don't define the current state of your MS properly, your application is more likely to be refused or receive a low rating. Having MS puts you in the Impaired Risk Category to life insurance companies. Multiple Sclerosis is typically divided into four stages:
Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) is a condition that arises during the first 24 hours of neurologic symptoms and is caused by inflammation in the central nervous system. It can be monofocal or multifocal. Almost always, there is some sort of recovery, whether partial or total.
Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) is the most frequent form of the disease, with bouts of new or worsening neurologic symptoms. Depending on the degree of handicap, someone might be classed as active or not active and worsening or not worsening along this course.
Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS) is a type of multiple sclerosis that develops over time. The second course, or phase, of MS is usually SPMS.
In most cases, patients diagnosed with RRMS will proceed to SPMS and be classed as active or inactive, with or without progression.
Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) is a type of multiple sclerosis that is more difficult to detect and treat than RRMS and SPMS. The spinal cord has more lesions than the brain, making it more difficult to move and maintain employment. This course has the same impact on both men and women.
Life insurance companies examine different features of MS in different ways, and their underwriting rules will change as well. That is why you should let a life insurance expert with MS experience assist you in obtaining the lowest life insurance premiums possible for your condition.
Life insurance firms such as Protective, MetLife, Banner Life, Transamerica, Prudential, and others are ready to insure MS candidates.
- When you were diagnosed with MS, how old were you?
- How many seizure attacks have you had in total?
- What was the date of the most recent attack?
- What therapies have you had for your illness?
- What was your reaction to previous treatments? Has your condition improved or deteriorated over time?
- Do you now consume tobacco?
- What medications do you take to treat your illness?
MS offers life insurance quotes
When you're looking for life insurance as a person with MS, underwriters will categorize your illness as mild, moderate, or severe. In a mild case, episodes are infrequent and unusual, and there is no handicap. A moderate case results in more frequent episodes but does not result in disability. A severe case can leave someone bedridden or in a wheelchair.
Insurers will also consider the period since your diagnosis. More time is beneficial because it clarifies the severity of your illness.
While each insurance company has its own rating system, here are some general MS underwriting guidelines to help you prepare for your application.
Preferred Plus: MS makes it impossible. Insurance companies do not provide these prices to people with MS.
Preferred: Almost impossible; occurs under extremely rare circumstances. To be eligible, you must have been diagnosed with MS when you were younger than 35, have mild MS, have had at least five years between attacks, and be in otherwise perfect condition. Even in this ideal situation, the chances of obtaining a favored policy remain slim.
Standard: This is most likely your highest possible score. To be eligible, you must have mild MS, have had a few years since your last attack, and be in otherwise good health.
A lot of MS applicants wind up with a Table Rating (substandard). Depending on how severe your MS is, the time since your diagnosis, the time since your last attack, your age at the time of diagnosis, whether you are improving with therapies, and your overall health. It also won't help if you smoke or have other major medical disorders such as diabetes or heart problems.
Most applications are denied within a year of an MS diagnosis. In order to make a choice, insurers require more medical information. Applicants with severe MS also have a greater likelihood of being rejected. You may also be turned down if you do not see a doctor on a regular basis and do not address your ailment.
Keep in mind that if your MS has progressed to the most severe degree and you are turned down for life insurance, you can check into Guaranteed Issue life insurance. Even if the premiums are high and the death benefit is limited, it is still a viable alternative if you need coverage to help pay for burial expenses or hospital bills.
In a circumstance like this, one of the firms we sometimes choose is Mutual of Omaha life insurance.
One of the reasons why life insurance companies are wary of providing life insurance to MS patients is that severe depression is one of the most common symptoms of the disease. According to studies, this type of depression is one of the most serious, and it can lead to a higher rate of suicide. Typically, life insurance policies feature a two-year contestability clause with a suicide exclusion.
Case Studies on Multiple Sclerosis Insurance
A little preparation ahead of time for your life insurance application with MS makes a tremendous impact. Here are a few real-life examples of why being prepared is so important. Before you apply, think about who would be the best beneficiary.
Male, 42 years old, non-smoker, diagnosed with MS at the age of 34, minor case, last episode at the age of 36, no meds, no other health issues.
He had no severe health issues aside from his MS bouts several years ago. He completed all of his doctor's recommendations and led a very healthy lifestyle. This helped him maintain control of his illness, and he hadn't had an attack in over six years as a result.
He received higher-rated policies as he moved through the application procedure.
This is due to insurers not receiving sufficient information regarding his illness. We suggested that he have his doctor write a letter stating that his MS was under control and that the applicant was in excellent health. He was able to obtain a preferred policy as a result of his actions.
Case Study #2: Female, 57 years old, non-smoker, diagnosed with MS at the age of 51, moderate case, missed planned treatments for a few years, but just began seeing her doctor and receiving adequate therapy.
When this candidate was originally diagnosed with MS, she did not manage the disease well. She skipped treatments and didn't see her doctor as frequently as she should have.
She began following her doctor's instructions and receiving correct therapy for her ailment two years ago. She applied but was turned down.
This was due to the fact that her medical records revealed a poor treatment history. We advised her to check with her doctor to see if her medical documents were up to date. He hadn't. The candidate reapplied after he changed his details. She obtained a rating policy after she did this.
While having MS makes getting life insurance more difficult, it is still doable. All you have to do now is be as strategic as possible with your application. Partnering with an insurance agent specializing in MS life insurance is one approach to improving your chances of becoming covered.