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 ensure that 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 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!
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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?
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 a variety of pre-existing conditions tend to find 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 when it comes to challenging cases.
Luckily, this is exactly what you’ll find at IBUSA!
i need help my son has ALS i want to insure him
Please give us a call so that we can see if the have a product that your son may be able to qualify for.
Hi! I’m an 50 year old male and I have ALS do I have any options on burial insurance?
At your age, we should have some options available to you. We will have one of our agents reach out to you ASAP.