In this article, we wanted to take a moment to answer some of the most common questions we get from folks applying for life insurance after being diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (MD).
Questions that will be addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (MD)?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (MD)?
- What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
- How can I help ensure I get the “best life insurance” for me?
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (MD)?
Yes, individuals who have been diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (MD) can and often will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. The problem is that there are multiple “types” of Muscular Dystrophy that an individual can be diagnosed with, each of which may affect the outcome of one’s life insurance application differently.
For this reason…
Before being approved for a traditional life insurance policy, most (if not all) life insurance companies will want to ask you a series of medical questions about your Muscular Dystrophy diagnosis so that they can get a better understanding of your disease and just how serious of a risk it will pose to them as the insurance company should they decide to approve your life insurance application.
This is also why…
You may want to consider avoiding applying for a no medical exam term life insurance policy as well, seeing how these policies tend to be more challenging to qualify for after someone has been diagnosed with a pre-existing medical condition like COPD.
Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy (MD)?
What you’re generally going to find is that most of the top-rated life insurance companies are going “care” if an individual has been diagnosed with MD because regardless of what “type” of Muscular Dystrophy, an individual might have been diagnosed with, it’s safe to say that all forms a pretty serious. Additionally, it’s also safe to assume that regardless of what “type” of MD someone may have been diagnosed with, chances are they are probably suffering from some pretty significant symptoms.
This is why…
We wanted to take a moment and briefly discuss what Muscular Dystrophy is, mention a few of the most common types one may be diagnosed with, and highlight some of the most common symptoms and complications of this disease.
This way, we can…
Gain a better understanding of what a life insurance underwriter will be looking for when deciding about your life insurance application.
Muscular Dystrophy (MD) Defined:
Muscular Dystrophy is a term used to describe a group of genetic diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. This occurs because abnormal genes interfere with the production of specific proteins needed to form healthy muscle cells.
Types of Muscular Dystrophy:
- Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy.
- Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy (MMD) or Steinert’s Disease, is the most common type of Muscular Dystrophy in adults and affects both genders equally. The most common symptoms of this “type” of MD may include:
- Muscle weakness,
- Damage to one’s central nervous system communications,
- Heart complications,
- Gastrointestinal complications,
Additionally, many of those diagnosed with this disease may experience a decreased life expectancy.
- Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
- Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is the most common type of Muscular Dystrophy in children. This form of Muscular Dystrophy is typically an aggressive form that will usually make its appearance between the ages of 2 to 6 and cause most patients to require a wheelchair by the age of 12.
- The most common symptoms may include:
- Muscle weakness,
- Physical deformities of one’s arms, legs, and spine,
- Respiratory complications,
- Cardiovascular complications.
Unfortunately, individuals suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy will typically succumb to their illness by their mid-twenties.
- Becker Muscular Dystrophy.
- BeckerIn this case, Muscular Dystrophy is considered a similar form of Duchene Muscular Dystrophy only in the disease typically appearing later in early childhood to one’s mid-20s and progressing more slowly than those suffering from Duchenne MD. Individuals suffering from Becker MD will usually develop heart complications. Still, individuals inflicted with this type of MS will often be able to continue to walk into their mid-30s and live further into adulthood. This usually depends on how serious the “cardiovascular issues” become.
- Limb-girdle Muscular Dystrophy.
- Limb-girdle Muscular Dystrophy is a form of MD that usually appears in one’s teens to early adulthood. Ultimately, individuals who suffer from Limb-girdle MD will typically lose the ability to walk on their own. Despite this, many will be able to live well into their middle ages to late adulthood.
- Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy.
- Facioscapulohumeral MD is a type of Muscular Dystrophy that typically begins by attacking the muscles in one’s face, shoulders, and upper arm bone. The severity of this disease can vary significantly, ranging from very mild to disabling. Fortunately, about 50% of those suffering from this condition will be able to continue to walk on their own throughout their life, and most will live an average life span.
- Congenital Muscular Dystrophy.
- Congenital Muscular Dystrophy is generally broken down into two different “types”, including,” Including Fukuyama and Congenital Muscular Dystrophy with myosin deficiency. These types of MD will usually be present at birth and can cause significant abnormalities in the brain. Individuals suffering from this form of MD will usually only survive into their early 20’s.
- Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy.
- Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy is a form of MD that appears later in life, usually in one’s 40s, 50s, and 60s. This disease usually affects the muscles in one’s eyes, face muscles, and sometimes those involving swallowing. In some cases, muscles in one’s arms and legs may become affected.
- Common symptoms may include:
- Increased risk of respiratory infections, including pneumonia.
Individuals suffering from this form of MD will typically live an average life span.
- Distal Muscular Dystrophy.
- Distal Muscular Dystrophy is a rare form of MD, and will usually only affect the “distal muscles” or those muscles furthest from one’s center. Fortunately, this disease is less severe than other forms of MD and typically won’t affect its victims’ overall life span.
- Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy.
- Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy is a rare form of MD, which is linked to a recessive gene along the X chromosome, making it much less likely for women to inherit this disease.
- Common symptoms may include:
- Upper arm and lower leg muscle weakness.
- Serious cardiovascular complications.
The severity of this disease can vary significantly from one patient to another, which is why there are no “norms” when it comes to predicting one’s life expectancy with this rare form of MD.
There is no “cure” for any form of Muscular Dystrophy. However, there are a variety of treatment options that one can pursue to help minimize some of the most harmful and damaging symptoms/complications associated with any one of these “types” of MD.
Before anyone gets upset or complains about the simplicity of the definitions we’re using here, it’s essential to understand that we here at IBUSA aren’t medical experts or doctors. All we are is a bunch of life insurance agents who are good at helping folks with pre-existing medical conditions like the ones described above find and qualify for coverage.
Which means that…
Because we’re not going to be the one “diagnosing” your condition and we’re certainly not going to participate in the treatment of your condition, all we need to do is understand that there are differences between these different pre-existing medical conditions and those differences are going to affect how a life insurance underwriter is going to consider you as a potential “risk”. The good.” news is that despite how simple our definitions of these diseases may be, this is something we have down pat!
Which is why…
When we are approached by an individual who has been diagnosed with any of these “kinds” of conditions, we’re going to know right away what questions a life insurance underwriter is going to want to know the answers to before they will be willing to make any decision about the outcome of your life insurance application.
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
Typical questions you’ll likely be asked may include:
- When were you first diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy?
- What “kind” of Muscular Dystrophy were you diagnosed with?
- What symptoms led to your diagnosis?
- How are you currently treating your Muscular Dystrophy?
- Over the past 12 months, have your disease progressed in any way?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other pre-existing medical conditions?
- Are you currently taking any prescription medications?
- In the past two years, have you been hospitalized for any reason?
- Are you currently working now?
- In the past 12 months, have you applied for or received any form of disability benefits?
What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
As you can see, many factors can come into play when trying to determine what kind of “rate” an individual might qualify for after having been diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. This is why it’s pretty much impossible to know what kind of “rate” an individual might qualify for without first speaking with them directly.
That said, however…
We can make some “assumptions” about individuals with MD when applying for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. For example, it’s pretty safe to say that anyone with MD who can qualify for coverage can only do so at a “sub-standard” or “high-risk” classification.
Individuals with MD who will be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy will typically need to be suffering from a case that has remained “localized” to a particular portion of one’s body and hasn’t become a “systemic” condition affection multiple areas or causing someone to suffer from a variety of different health issues including cardiovascular, respiratory in addition to muscular weakness.
The good news is…
Regardless of your situation, we here at IBUSA can help because we have tons of experience helping folks with pre-existing medical conditions like yours. We are committed to helping all our clients find the “best” life insurance policy they can qualify for. This brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment and discuss, which is…
What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
In our experience here at IBUSA, we have found that usually, the folks who seem to see the “best” life insurance policy for them are those that:
- Take their time reviewing their options.
- Ask a lot of questions.
Seek out those life insurance agents who not only have experience working with individuals who have been diagnosed with a wide variety of pre-existing medical conditions but also have access to dozens of different life insurance companies so that when it comes time to help a more “challenging” case, they don’t have to rely on a…
“One size fits all approach!”
The good news is that this is precisely what you’ll find here at IBUSA!
Now, can we help out everyone previously diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy?
No, probably not. But what we can tell you is that in addition to offering a wide variety of different term and whole life insurance policies, IBUSA has also worked very hard to establish relationships with many of the Best Final Expense Insurance Companies so that if someone isn’t able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, chances are there may be some other “type” of product that you CAN qualify for.
So, if you’re ready to see what options might be available, call us!