Having any chronic health condition such as lupus can cause a person to believe that getting life insurance coverage is impossible. But that’s hardly the case. You just have to know how to manage the condition and to make sure you apply to life insurance companies that are most likely to approve your application. If you do, you can get the life insurance policy that you need at a price that you can afford.
What is lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can damage the skin, joints, or organs inside the body. Lupus is chronic in nature, and the signs and symptoms tend to last from six weeks to several years.
Lupus is a disease that affects the immune system. The immune system is the body’s ability to fight off germs, bacteria and viruses. The immune system produces proteins (antibodies) that protect the body from these threats. However, the presence of lupus means that your immune system can’t differentiate between these threats and the healthy tissue in the body.
As a result, your immune system produces autoantibodies that destroy the healthy tissue. This can result in inflammation, pain, and impairment of various body parts. With lupus, the disease also tends to come and go (flares and remissions), which is a normal part of how the disease operates in the body.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, the following are facts about lupus:
- Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot “catch” lupus from someone or “give” lupus to someone.
- Lupus is not like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread into surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, as described above.
- Lupus is not like or related to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In HIV or AIDS the immune system is underactive; in lupus, the immune system is overactive.
- Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.
- Our research estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus. The actual number may be higher; however, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus.
- More than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually across the country.
- It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus.
- Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too. Most people will develop lupus between the ages of 15-44.
- Women of color are two to three times more likely to develop lupus than Caucasians.
- People of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus.
Though there is no cure for lupus, most people with the disease will nonetheless live full lives. Treatment includes medication such as corticosteroids, including prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone, and hydrocortisone. It can also include antimalarials, such as hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, as well as monoclonal antibody bulimia, or even just aspirin. Other drugs are often required to treat the conditions that develop as a result of the disease. This can include the use of diuretics, antihypertensive drugs, anticonvulsants (for seizure disorders), antibiotics, and bone-strengthening drugs for osteoporosis.
How life insurance companies are likely to consider lupus
Since lupus is generally not a fatal condition, your chance of being approved for life insurance is actually quite good. The primary issue will be the premium rate, which will most likely be adjusted higher to account for the higher risk that the condition brings.
The insurance company will be interested in the following information in making their determination:
- Your age at the time of diagnosis, and how long you have had the condition
- The specific type of lupus that you have
- The parts of your body that have been affected by the disease
- What medications you are taking to treat the condition, including the dosage of each
- The last time that you were being treated for lupus, if you are currently not receiving any treatment at all due to remission
- The history of remission and recurrence
The insurance company will conduct a medical background check to determine the exact extent of the condition, so it is always best to be completely honest on the application and provide as much information as possible.
Applying for life insurance with lupus
It’s important to be proactive in managing your health when you have a condition such as lupus. For that reason, you’ll need to regularly consult with healthcare professionals, take any prescribed medications, and do your best to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.
One of the complications with any condition is the existence of another risk factor that a life insurance company may consider to be unacceptable. For example, if you have lupus and you’re also a smoker, the insurance company may consider that combination to be an unacceptable risk.
For that reason, it’s important to make sure that you control your health to the degree that you can. Avoid bad habits such as smoking, control your weight, eat a balanced diet, and get regular exercise. The idea is to avoid the possibility that another health condition, such as hypertension or stroke, that in combination with lupus would be an unacceptable risk.
If you have lupus choose your insurance company carefully
The life insurance company that you choose to apply to will be one of the most important decisions you can make. Some insurance companies simply take a dim view of people with chronic health conditions such as lupus. You want to avoid those companies and work only with those who see consumers with conditions such as lupus to be a niche that they want to fill. Not only will your application be more likely to be approved with such companies, but you’ll likely see a much better premium rate.
Working in the life insurance industry for decades, we know which companies are likely to approve your application, and which will probably decline it. Put our experience to work for you, so that you can get the life insurance that you need at a premium rate you can afford.
This article originally appeared on MCMHA.org and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.
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