Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic and sometimes debilitating autoimmune disorder that affects the central nervous system. While treatments are available to help manage and treat the symptoms of MS, many individuals with this condition find it difficult to obtain life insurance due to their diagnosis.
This article will discuss how life insurance companies underwrite individuals with MS and how those living with this condition can obtain life insurance coverage.
Specifically, we’ll look at:
- The policy types available to those with MS
- The underwriting criteria used by several life insurance companies
- Sample application questions that reference MS
Life Insurance Options With Multiple Sclerosis
Unlike many other pre-existing conditions of a similar severity, underwriting for multiple sclerosis varies widely from carrier-to-carrier with regard to simplified issue (no exam) whole life insurance.
Of the 15 carriers that we partner with, one carrier flat-out declines those with MS. A handful of carriers, including well-known brands such as Mutual of Omaha, offer, at best, a graded death benefits plan to those who are currently being treated for MS.
Far on the other side of the spectrum, three of our carriers (e.g., Foresters Financial) have no issue with MS and unconditionally approve those with this condition.
The situation is more straightforward on the term life insurance side. Every one of our carriers declines individuals with MS, regardless of whether they currently have the disease or whether it was last treated years ago.
|Term Life Insurance||No|
|Final Expense Insurance||Yes|
|Guaranteed Issue Insurance||Yes|
How Common is Multiple Sclerosis in the United States?
Multiple Sclerosis is a relatively common autoimmune disorder in the United States. It’s estimated that nearly 1 million individuals are affected by MS, making it one of the country’s most commonly diagnosed neurological diseases.
While people of all ages can be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, there is an increased prevalence among adults between the ages of 20 and 50 years old. Additionally, women are more likely to develop MS than men.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society estimates that more than 2.8 million people with multiple sclerosis diagnosis worldwide. This number continues to rise each year due to a variety of factors, including improved diagnosis and increased awareness of the condition.
Why Life Insurance Companies Care About Multiple Sclerosis?
Life insurance companies are particularly interested in Multiple Sclerosis due to the potential complications and related mortality concerns associated with the condition.
People with MS may experience a range of physical and cognitive symptoms, including fatigue, pain, vision changes, bladder/bowel problems, tremors, and mental or emotional distress. MS has also been directly linked to developing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea impacts life insurance rates further when there are two health conditions to consider.
Additionally, certain medications used to treat MS can increase the risk of developing other diseases or conditions, such as stroke or coronary artery disease.
In more severe cases of Multiple Sclerosis, individuals may be at an increased risk for premature death due to the advanced progression of their illness. People with MS are more likely to suffer from disability or impairment that can limit their ability to work and maintain their quality of life.
For this reason, life insurance companies may take proactive steps to assess the risks associated with applicants diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This could involve additional medical testing or, in some cases, a higher premium or even denial of coverage.
Common Questions Asked by Carriers[acf:plan1_age_eligibility_description]
Term Life Insurance When You have Multiple Sclerosis
Term life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that provides a predetermined death benefit for a specified period of time. It pays a death benefit to the beneficiary if the insured individual passes away before the policy’s expiration date.
Term Life Insurance Application Questions About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis is not within the set of acceptable health conditions for term life insurance coverage from Mutual of Omaha or American Amicable.
Mutual of Omaha’s life insurance application specifically asks about multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions in their health questions and declines coverage for those diagnosed with or who have received treatment for such conditions.
Given that obtaining term life insurance is challenging, individuals with MS may want to look to simplified issue whole life insurance (also known as burial insurance or funeral insurance).
Final Expense Life Insurance when you have Multiple Sclerosis
Final Expense life insurance is a type of policy designed to cover funeral costs and other expenses associated with death, such as medical bills. It can provide peace of mind for people with multiple sclerosis by ensuring that their loved ones are not faced with the financial burden in the event of their passing.