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Can people with ALS Qualify for Life Insurance?


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

In this article, we wanted to take a moment and try and answer some of the most common questions we get from folks applying for life insurance after having been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Questions that will be addressed within this article will include:

  • Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)?
  • Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)?
  • What “kind” of life insurance policy can I qualify for?
  • What can I do to help ensure that 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 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)?

Unfortunately, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is one of those “kinds” of pre-existing medical conditions which is going to make it next to impossible to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. This is why in most cases, we here at IBUSA have found that we’ll usually have to rely on some kind of “alternative” product that won’t consider one’s current health status when determining who will and won’t be able to qualify for coverage.

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.

Unfortunately…

There currently isn’t a cure for ALS. For this reason, which is why this ALS is generally considered a terminal illness. And 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 nearly as deadly as it has always been.

For this reason…

Until somewhat recently 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.

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 of those that have been diagnosed with ALS for approximately $25,000 dollars in coverage without having to wait 2 to 3 years.

The “tricky” part is…

That the exact details of how one would be able to qualify for such a policy is a bit “fuzzy” at the moment. Which 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. Which 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 on why some of these options may be a good idea and why in some cases they’re just not going to work out.

So…

Basically, 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 actually a TRUE life insurance policy at all. This is because this “option” will never actually provide a death benefit to your beneficiaries in the event that you die from a “natural cause.”

These types…

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…

Which means that they won’t provide coverage in the event that you die from cancer, heart disease, stroke or an organ failure which would be the most likely cause of death to 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.

But…

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, these “types” of life insurance policies are going to 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 provide coverage for accidental causes of death. And 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 in the event that you die from a natural cause of death prior to 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 is because you will not be asked any medical questions during the application process. In fact, as long as you live in a state where these life insurance policies are offered, and you are a US citizen over the age of 50 (sometimes 45), you should be eligible.

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 kind of 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 as a way of ensuring that folks don’t try to purchase these types of life insurance policies at the last moment.

We should note however…

That while these life insurance policies can be very helpful 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 other 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…

What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?

In our experience here at IBUSA, what we have found that usually, the folks who seem to find the “best” life insurance policy for them are those that:

  • Take their time reviewing their options.
  • Ask a lot of questions.

And 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 helping a more “challenging” case, they don’t have to rely on a…

“One size fits all approach!”

The good news is that this is exactly what you’re going to find here at IBUSA!

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