In this article, we will address some of the most common questions we receive from individuals who are applying for life insurance after being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The questions we will answer in this article are:
- Is it possible for me to qualify for life insurance after being diagnosed with ALS?
- Why do life insurance companies consider ALS a risk?
- What type of life insurance policy can I qualify for?
- How can I get the best life insurance policy for my needs?
Without further delay, let’s get started!
Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)?
Regrettably, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is one of the pre-existing medical conditions that makes it almost impossible to be eligible for a conventional term or whole-life insurance policy. In such cases, we at IBUSA usually have to resort to alternative products that do not consider one’s current health status when determining coverage eligibility.
Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)?
The main reason why life insurance companies are going to “care” if you have been diagnosed with ALS is because ALS is considered a progressive disease. That ultimately causes nerve cells to break down, which eventually causes its victims to lose the ability to control their muscles.
There currently isn’t a cure for ALS. For this reason, which is why ALS is generally considered a terminal illness. While new medical advancements are being made on a nearly daily basis to help slow the progression of this disease, as it stands now, ALS remains almost as deadly as it has always been.
For this reason, no life insurance company (to our knowledge) would be willing to provide a traditional life insurance policy to someone who has been diagnosed with ALS in the past without them having to wait 2 to 3 years before the policy would provide coverage for natural causes of death. However, there has been some discussion by some insurance carriers, that this may be changing in the future.
What “kind” of life insurance policy can I qualify for?
As we’ve previously mentioned, there may be one life insurance company (that we know of) that is now willing to approve those diagnosed with ALS for approximately 25,000 dollars in coverage without having to wait 2 to 3 years.
The “tricky” part is…
The exact details of how one would qualify for such a policy are a bit “fuzzy” now. This is why we here at IBUSA just like to state for the record that when we are approached by a client who has been diagnosed with ALS, this will be the first life insurance company that we reach out to with the expectation that it’s probably not going to work out!
You see, here at IBUSA, we like to keep individual expectations well-grounded. This is why we now want to focus our discussion on options that we know will be available to those who have been diagnosed with ALS and provide you with some insight into why some of these options may be a good idea and why, in some cases, they’re just not going to work out.
When it comes to helping out folks who have been diagnosed with ALS, you’re pretty much going to have two “for sure” options to choose from. The first option is not a TRUE life insurance policy at all. This is because this “option” will never actually provide a death benefit to your beneficiaries if you die from a “natural cause.”
Of products (notice that we don’t say life insurance policies) are called accidental death policies and will only provide a death benefit to an insured’s beneficiary if they die from an “accidental cause” such as a:
- Motor vehicle accident,
- A slip and fall accident,
- Victim of crime,
- Natural disaster,
- Etc, etc…
This means that they won’t provide coverage if you die from cancer, heart disease, stroke, or organ failure, which would be the most likely cause of death for someone who has been diagnosed with Amyloid disease. This is why these “types” of policies aren’t all that popular for folks looking to purchase a TRUE life insurance policy.
In all fairness, we should point out that Accidental Death Policies do provide a significant amount of coverage (accident coverage) at an affordable price, which is why, in many cases, one should at least “consider” purchasing one of these types of policies as a way of potentially supplementing a TRUE life insurance policy.
Another option that may also be available to some folks who have been diagnosed with ALS will be a Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policy. Now, these types of life insurance policies are TRUE life insurance policies. The problem is that these “types” of life insurance policies will contain a few restrictions that won’t be found within your typical term or whole life insurance policies and could be a “deal-breaker” for some.
You see, unlike accidental death policies…
These “types” of life insurance policies will “eventually” provide coverage against dying from natural causes, but only after insured life beyond a certain waiting period (which will be determined by the insurance company you choose and usually lasts 2 or 3 years), which is commonly referred to as a GRADED DEATH BENEFIT.
During this “waiting period”…
Your guaranteed issue life insurance policy will only cover accidental causes of death. While this might not be the answer that you’re looking for, one nice thing about these “types” of life insurance policies is that they will typically return all monies paid by an insured to your beneficiary if you die from a natural cause of death before the GRADED DEATH BENEFIT expiring.
Now, at this point, you may be saying to yourself…
“This is a total rip-off! Why should I have to wait 2 or 3 years before my guaranteed issue life insurance policy covers me for natural causes of death?
The reason why…
Guaranteed-issue life insurance policies contain a graded death benefit because you will not be asked any medical questions during the application process. You should be eligible as long as you live in a state where these life insurance policies are offered and you are a US citizen over 50 (sometimes 45).
Which means that…
Someone who is very seriously ill might decide to purchase one of these types of life insurance policies just days before they die from some natural cause. In cases like these, the insurance companies would have no way of protecting themselves from such a financial loss, which is why they use a Graded Death Benefit to ensure that folks don’t try to purchase these types of life insurance policies at the last moment.
We should note, however…
While these life insurance policies can be beneficial to those who can’t qualify for any other “type” of life insurance coverage, they do tend to be a bit “pricey” dollar for dollar when compared to different types of life insurance policies and will generally only allow an individual to purchase up to 25,000 dollars in coverage which may not make it worth it to some individuals. This brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment and discuss, which is…
How can I help ensure I get the “best life insurance”?
At IBUSA, we have found that people who take their time to review their options, ask questions, and seek out agents with experience working with various pre-existing conditions tend to see the best life insurance policy. It’s crucial to work with an agent who has access to multiple insurance companies and doesn’t rely on a one-size-fits-all approach to challenging cases.
Luckily, this is precisely what you’ll find at IBUSA!