Getting Approved for Life Insurance With Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

by Jeff Rose on September 6, 2016

Getting Approved for Life Insurance With Multiple-SclerosisProtecting your family with life insurance is important no matter what type of condition you may have.

Having Multiple Sclerosis is no different, and affordable rates with the disease is possible!

What is Multiple Sclerosis or (MS)?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic degenerative disease of the central nervous system. MS is an inflammatory disease that affects the myelin sheaths around your nerves. The myelin sheaths are a protective covering that surrounds your nerves. Multiple sclerosis patients experience a process known as “demyelination” referring to the removal of these protective coverings. Once the nerves are stripped of their protective coverings, electrochemical functions that facilitate nerve conduction are gradually diminished and eventually lost. The nerve cells of the brain, optic nerve and spinal cord are the most affected.

MS is very unpredictable in nature. MS frequently goes into remission, and for some this remission can be permanent. For others, MS progresses rapidly, leading to death in a few months or years. For the majority of MS patients the degree of progression falls somewhere in between the two extremes.

What Impact Will Multiple Sclerosis have on Underwriting?

There are many things that affect the rate you will receive on life insurance with MS. One thing you may be shocked to hear is that life insurance companies tend to offer better rates to individuals that have had the disease for longer. This is because the disease is very unpredictable and affects everyone differently, so the longer you have had the disease the more insight the insurance company has on your condition.

The rate and severity of the disease progression in an individual can be determined only over time. Individuals with recent diagnosis or a recent attack are encouraged to postpone a formal application until at least one year. Premiums on ms life insurance will be higher for a more recent diagnosis.

Other Things Considered For Life Insurance Ratings

  • Age of onset
  • Frequency, duration, and severity of attacks
  • Subsequent changes in frequency, duration, and severity of attacks
  • Sex of proposed insured
  • Type of symptoms experienced
  • Degree of neurological impairments

Aside from the MS diagnosis, your insurance agency is going to look at your basic health vitals like weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and several other factors. They will also look at if you smoke tobacco, how often you consume alcohol, and your occupation. All of these factors go into determining if you’re accepted and your monthly premiums.

Best Case Scenario For Individual With MS

The best rates on life insurance for an individual with MS will be: someone who is under 35 during the first attack; only experiences one symptom during the first two years; only one episode during the first year; and whose event episode is of short duration.

Underwriting is less favorable to those who present with many symptoms during the first attack, have five or more attacks during the first two years, and whose symptoms appear to have a cerebral origin. After becoming bed bound, life expectancy is between 2-7 years and is uninsurable.

Life insurance is an extremely important purchase, and multiple sclerosis shouldn’t keep you from getting or affording the life insurance that you and your loved ones deserve. While you will be looking at higher monthly premiums, you can’t put a price tag on giving your family the coverage they need if something were to happen to you.

If you were to pass away, your family would be left with all of your medical bills, mortgage payments, credit card bills, and much more. For a family that is going through the emotional pain of losing a loved one, those added expenses can seem impossible to pay for, and in some cases they are. A life insurance policy will give them the money they need to pay off those debts and not feel the burden of more debt unexpectedly thrown at them.

When you’re looking for a life insurance policy, it’s important that you get a large enough policy to cover any expenses that you would leave behind. Add up all of your debts and future debts that you can predict and the total is a great starting point for your life insurance policy.

You never know what life is going to throw at your tomorrow. You can’t predict the future, but you prepare for some things. Life insurance gives you a safety net that you hope you’ll never need.

As you can imagine, Multiple Sclerosis is going to impact your life insurance premiums, but that doesn’t mean a policy is going to be unaffordable. There are several options for patients with MS that will fit comfortably into your budget.

Here is a table describing possible scenarios of Multiple Sclerosis life insurance premiums.

Diagnosis Common SymptomsOnset of Symptoms
2 Years or Less
Onset of Symptoms
3 to 5 Years
Onset of Symptoms
6 Years +
MildInfrequent attacks, long periods of
remission, no disability.
Table 6Table 2 - 4Standard to Table 2
ModerateAttacks with increasing frequency/
duration with some residual
neurological impairment but
individual is fully functional.
Possibly +/- Table 16
Table 6 - 8Table 4 to Table 6
SevereIndividual is wheel chair bound or
bed ridden, incontinence, complete
loss of independence
UninsurableUninsurableIndividual Consideration
Current AttackVaries.PostponedPostponedPostponed

An increase in table rating, ie(standard table 2 to standard table 3) will usually result in a 25% increase in premium.

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