How to get life insurance with multiple sclerosis

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Multiple sclerosis is a serious health condition, and from a life insurance perspective, it can cause complications. Still, it is possible to get life insurance coverage even if you have the disease. It’s mostly a matter of understanding your condition, how life insurance companies view it, and what you need to do to get the coverage you need.

We’re here to help you do just that. Let’s take a look at multiple sclerosis, and how it can affect your application for life insurance.

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system. Within the central nervous system, the immune system attacks myelin, which is a fatty substance that surrounds the nerve fibers, and also attacks the nerve fibers themselves. Scar tissue forms on the damaged myelin, which is why the disease is referred to as “sclerosis”.

The damage to the fibers and the myelin interrupts impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord. Those interruptions are what cause many symptoms that are associated with multiple sclerosis.

The exact cause for the disease is largely unknown but is thought to be brought on by a combination of one or more environmental factors affecting a person who is genetically susceptible to the disease. The disease can be mild, moderate, or severe.

There are literally dozens of symptoms that are possible with multiple sclerosis. The more common ones include fatigue, numbness or tingling, weakness, vision problems, dizziness and vertigo, bladder problems, bowel problems, pain, cognitive changes, emotional changes, depression, speech problems, swallowing problems, tremors, seizures, and breathing problems.

Multiple sclerosis cannot be cured at the present time, but there are strategies and therapies that can help modify or slow the disease, manage symptoms, improve function and safety, and treat relapses. The most common therapies incorporate both medications and rehabilitation strategies.

There are a number of medications available for the disease that reduce the frequency and severity of relapses. They can also reduce the accumulation of lesions in the brain and on the spinal cord, and may slow the accumulation of the various forms of disability that results from multiple sclerosis.

Rehabilitation therapy is designed to help you improve your ability to perform effectively and safely at home and at work. It includes maintaining overall fitness and managing energy, while preserving accessibility, mobility, speech, swallowing, and memory.

How life insurance companies view multiple sclerosis

Having multiple sclerosis does not mean an automatic rejection for all life insurance companies. However, the insurance companies will want to gather a substantial amount of information about your condition, to determine its severity, and to properly rate your policy for premium purposes. In most cases, you will be approved for life insurance, but you’ll be “rated” and charged a higher premium.

When you complete your life insurance application, it is important that you be as thorough as possible. This is particularly important in regard to the level of the disease that you are at. The company will need to make that determination, and any information you provide will assist them in doing that. The information you supply on your application will be verified and supplemented through third-party medical provider sources.

The life insurance company will want to know the following:

  • Your age at the onset of symptoms, and how long you have been living with the disease
  • The total number of significant attacks and relapses that you have experienced
  • When your most recent episode occurred
  • The medications and therapies you are receiving to treat the disease
  • Your response to those treatments and medications
  • Your overall health

The level of your disease – mild, moderate, or severe – will have a major impact on the premium that will be charged for your policy.

Applying for life insurance with multiple sclerosis

As is the case anytime you are applying for life insurance and you have a major health condition, you’ll need to be completely proactive in the management of that condition. Naturally, the life insurance company want to see that your condition is under control and that you are receiving the optimal combination of therapies. This means that you are seeking medical treatment as necessary, taking any medications required, and participating in rehabilitation therapies as needed.

The life insurance company will want to see that you are living life as close to normal as possible, which is an indication that your condition is being successfully managed. This will, of course, requires that your overall health is good. That includes maintaining proper body weight, getting as much exercise as your condition will allow, and avoiding potentially hazardous lifestyle habits, such as smoking or consuming excess alcohol.

To the degree that you are functioning in a lifestyle that is reasonably close to what would commonly be defined as normal, your chances of both life insurance approval and reasonable premium rates will be greater.

If you have multiple sclerosis choose your insurance company carefully

Whenever you have a medical condition, the life insurance company that you apply to is always important. When it’s a condition such as multiple sclerosis, it’s even more important, since potential symptoms of the disease are so varied.

You want to be certain that any company that you apply to for coverage will be one that takes the most positive view of multiple sclerosis patients as possible. You should never be discouraged in this area either. Even if most life insurance companies prefer to avoid multiple sclerosis patients, there are a few out there that will approve your policy, and do so at the most reasonable rates possible.

We know which companies fall into that category, and will do what is necessary to get you the coverage that you need at a price you can afford.

This article originally appeared on MCMHA.org and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Featured Image Credit: Studio Firma.

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