Trying to shop for life insurance when you have multiple sclerosis can be daunting. It helps to consult experts in life insurance for people with MS, so they can guide you through the process. But it also helps to know what the actual insurance companies look for when underwriting this type of policy.
What do life insurance underwriters look for when they determine the rating for someone with multiple sclerosis?
- Type of multiple sclerosis. A person with Relapsing/Remitting Multiple Sclerosis is most likely to get a medically underwritten policy like someone of good health can get. The rates will be higher for people with multiple sclerosis, but rates vary widely from company to company. So it is very important to use agents experienced in writing life insurance for people with MS in order to get the lowest rate. There are several No Exam policies that work well for people with the Progressive forms of multiple sclerosis, as well.
- When diagnosed. Most companies like to wait a year after diagnosis so they can see the pattern the person’s MS takes before making an offer. However, there are also policies that one can get shortly after being diagnoses with multiple sclerosis.
- Symptoms. It seems that no two people with MS have exactly the same symptoms, and therefore underwriting life insurance for those with multiple sclerosis is complicated. The fewer the symptoms, the better the rate will be, and the more life insurance choices one has. Symptoms considered are: need of assistance for walking, depression, incontinence, nerve pain, memory loss, and whether one needs home health or institutionalized care. Whether or not you are capable of working fulltime is also a consideration for medically underwritten policies. There are policies to cover almost every symptom, so never assume you are uninsurable due to MS!
- Treatment. Medically underwritten products are easiest to get by people who have had good results with Copaxone, Rebif, Avonex, and other approved MS treatments. However, there are policies for people with no treatment, all the way to people who have had a stem cell transplant.
It can be frustrating for people with MS to buy life insurance when they are able to do what anyone else does, yet still find themselves paying more than someone with no health problems. But even people with perfect health pay higher rates if they have a parent with heart disease. There is no way around paying more, but agencies that specialize in multiple sclerosis life insurance can help you pay a lot less.