Dementia is a condition where the patient suffers from gradual loss of brain function. With time, he or she is not able to perform some of the basic activities that he or she once did. Therefore, he or she has to be helped to perform most of the daily activities by the family members.
And here is where we run into trouble.
You see Alzheimer’s disease is a disease of dementia and unfortunately most, if not all, life insurance companies are not going to be willing provide traditional term or whole life insurance coverage to someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia.
(We say most, because it’s theoretically possible that there may be an insurance company out there that will, we simply haven’t encountered one yet).
But what about Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policies?
Now for those of you who are not familiar with guaranteed issue life insurance policies, let’s just take a moment to briefly explain what these “types” of life insurance policies are.
Guaranteed issue life insurance policies are life insurance policies that do not require an applicant to take a medical exam or answer any health-related questions. Which means that individuals applying for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy will not have to be able to qualify “medically”.
Provided that you are a US citizen, live in a state where these types of life insurance policies are available and fall within the required age requirements, you should “theoretically” be able to qualify for these types of life insurance policies.
Now before you get too excited…
It’s important to understand that guaranteed issue life insurance policies will have some pretty significant disadvantages to them. Mainly:
- They typically will only provide up to around $25,000 dollars in coverage.
- They “tend” to be more expensive “dollar for dollar” than other traditional types of life insurance policies.
- And they will contain a Graded Death Benefit.
What is a Graded Death Benefit?
A graded death benefit is a clause written into a guaranteed issue life insurance policy which will create a waiting period in which an insured must wait until their guaranteed issue life insurance policy will begin to provide coverage for them in the event that they die from a “natural cause” of death.
What is a “Natural Cause” of death?
A natural cause of death is usually defined as an “illness based” cause of death. Examples of such causes would be: cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc…
Alternatively, one may die from “accidental causes” of death which may include: motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, natural disasters, etc…
Guaranteed issue life insurance policies will cover accidental causes of death immediately, but will not cover natural causes of death until the graded death benefit period has expired.
Now in most cases…
A graded death benefit will typically last between 2-3 years depending on the insurance carrier and may also include some type of re-imbursement payment for prior premiums paid by an insured should an insured die from natural causes during the graded death benefit period expires.
**** This is why it is always very important to specifically ask about the details of any graded death benefit when considering purchasing a guaranteed issue life insurance policy! ***
But there’s more…
In short, we have one goal here at InsuranceBrokersUSA, and that is to help you find the best life insurance policy that you can qualify for. And we try to accomplish this by first understanding what your goals are, then learning more about your health status and lastly provide you with several options which we feel will provide you with the greatest opportunity for success.
Because we’re an independent life insurance brokerage that is able to work with dozens of different life insurance companies, we’re not beholden to any “one” insurance company, instead we can pick and choose between dozens in an effort to help you find the “best” option for you.
But we need to…
Remember that an insurance policy is a contract. It’s a contract between the insured and the insurance company. You the insured are agreeing to pay a premium for insurance, and the insurance company is agreeing to pay a death benefit provided that the insured dies during the time that the insurance coverage is in place.
So, we need to ask ourselves?
“Can someone enter into a contract without being “mentally” competent?”
Or to “muddy” the waters even further, what constitutes being “mentally” competent?
We don’t know.
But we do know that our only goal here at InsuranceBrokersUSA is to help find the best life insurance policy that they can qualify for, we just don’t want to ever put ourselves or our clients in a situation where it could “appear” that an individual purchased a life insurance policy that they fully didn’t understand.
So, what do we do?
What we have chosen to do here at InsuranceBrokersUSA is first, write this article explaining how it may still be possible for individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia to find a life insurance policy that they may still be able to qualify for.
From there help these individuals identify a few insurance carriers that may be willing to provide them coverage.
We simply suggest that the individual contact the insurance companies directly so that the insurance company can decide for themselves who is “mentally” competent and who is not.
With that said… feel free to give us a call if you have any questions, we’d be more than happy to help you and your family out!