What We Need To Know About Your MS
We are experts in knowing which questions to ask about your multiple sclerosis and how those answers will affect your life insurance premiums. We understand that no two cases of multiple sclerosis are the same, just as no two people are the same.
Every insurance company will view your MS differently and will assign different rates. How your unique case is presented to the insurance company by and independent life insurance agent will directly affect your premiums. We always recommend working with a life insurance specialist who knows the intricacies of multiple sclerosis. Please contact one of our multiple sclerosis life insurance specialists today.
Since all cases of multiple sclerosis are unique, we need to know as much information as possible in order to present your case to the insurance underwriters. Insurance rates are often determined by several factors including, but not limited to: the duration, frequency, and severity of the attacks at the onset of the attack, any ongoing symptoms, and response to modern drugs (if being used). Also taken into consideration is the degree of any neurological impairments due to the multiple sclerosis.
The insurance underwriters will take into consideration if your MS is mild, moderate or severe. A mild diagnosis is considered to be an individual who has no disability, has infrequent attacks, and long periods of remission. A moderate diagnosis is considered to be a person with MS who is fully functional but has some neurological impairment, and has attacks that are increasing in frequency and/or duration. A severe MS diagnosis is considered to be an individual who has a complete loss of independence, experiences incontinence, and who is confined to a wheel chair or a bed.
The following information is helpful in determining the degree of your multiple sclerosis:
• Date of First Diagnosis
• How Was Your MS Diagnosed? (MRI or Evoked Potentials)
• Approximate Date of Attack(s)
• Duration of Attack(s)
• Residual Effects (None, Minimal, Moderate, or Severe and Specifically What Impairment)
• If You Have a Disability, What is Your Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)?
• List Any Medications Taken, Dates Taken, Quantity Taken, and Frequency Taken
• Please List Any Other Medical Conditions or Factors That May be Relevant.
We will also need to know the type of multiple sclerosis with which you were diagnosed – Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS), Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS), Primary Progressive MS (PPMS), or Progressive Relapsing MS (PRMS).
Approximately 85% of people diagnosed with MS are first diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS). After 10-15 years, individuals who were originally diagnosed with RRMS, later get diagnosed with Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS). Approximately 10-15% of people are diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS (PPMS), with Progressive Relapsing MS (PRMS) being the most rare form of MS.
Because multiple sclerosis is so unpredictable, the longer the condition has been observed, the better the rates you will be offered by the insurance companies. The best rates are often given to individuals who are under the age of 35 during the first attack, and who have short, infrequent attacks. The fewer the symptoms, the better for rates.
Basic information, not specific to your multiple sclerosis, will also be gathered at the time of your application. This information will include things like your gender, build (height and weight), and any cigarette or tobacco use of any kind. The insurance companies will request your medical records from your doctor(s) and will review those to understand the degree of your MS.
We will also want to know which type of insurance you are requesting – term life insurance for multiple sclerosis or whole life insurance for multiple sclerosis, the length of the term of the insurance (if requesting a term life insurance policy), and the amount of life insurance you are requesting. If you are unsure of which type of multiple sclerosis life insurance policy to select or the amount of your life insurance policy, we would be happy to help you with this decision.
Once your information has been sent to the insurance company that is offering the best rates for your life insurance with multiple sclerosis, a paramedical exam will be ordered for you free of charge (paid for by the insurance company). A nurse, or in some cases a physician, will come to your home or business and collect some general information about you.
This information includes your pulse, blood pressure, and height and weight. They will also collect a urine and blood sample. These results will only be shared with the insurance company as the results are strictly confidential.
Additionally, some insurance companies may request X-rays, treadmill ECGs, etc, but this is not common. The exam usually lasts about 30 minutes. The insurance application will be complete once all of this information has been collected. An underwriting decision will usually be reached within a few weeks of taking the paramedical exam.