Life Insurance for Levodopa users.
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 they have been prescribed Sinemet CR or its generic form Levodopa or Carbidopa to treat Parkinson’s disease.
Questions that will be directly addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance after I’ve been prescribed Sinemet CR?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been prescribed Sinemet CR?
- What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What rate (or price) 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 after I’ve been prescribed Sinemet CR?
Because Sinemet CR is simply a medication that is used to help treat those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, what we can tell you is that having been prescribed Sinemet CR in the past is not going to “automatically” disqualify your from being able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
That’s the good news…
The bad news is that having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is certainly going to “complicate” one’s life insurance application but that doesn’t mean that you won’t still be able to qualify for traditional life insurance coverage.
Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been prescribed Sinemet CR?
Life insurance companies like to use one’s prescription medication history as “insight” into your overall health. Now when it comes looking at your Sinemet CR prescription, while it’s important to understand “when” you were first prescribed Sinemet CR, knowing “just” this doesn’t really tell an insurance underwriter much about how your Parkinson’s disease is progressing (or not progressing) as well as not provide him or her with much information about how your Parkinson’s disease if affecting your daily activities.
This is why…
What you’re typically going to find is that prior to an insurance underwriter being able to make any kind of “informed decisions” about your life insurance application, he or she is going to want to know the answers to a series of medical questions which should provide them with considerable insight into how “serious” your Parkinson’s disease is.
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- When were you first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease?
- Is Sinemet the only prescription medication that you’re using to treat your Parkinson’s disease?
- How long have you been taking your Sinemet?
- Has it helped slow down the progression or your Parkinson’s disease?
- How would you and/or your doctor characterize the progression of your disease? Not progressive? Slowly progressive or rapidly progressing?
- Over the last 12 months, what kind of changes in you condition (if any)?
- What activities (if any) does your Parkinson’s disease prevent you from being able to perform?
- In the past 12 months, has your Sinemet prescription or any other prescriptions related to your Parkinson’s disease, changed in any way?
- 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?
When it comes time to determining what rate you might be able to qualify for, the first thing that we’re going to want to determine is if your condition is worsening. If so, how rapidly your health is deteriorating will certainly play a factor in whether or not you’re going to be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
As a general rule of thumb, what you’re going to find is the most “lenient” life insurance companies out there are generally going to consider someone who has a “non-progressive” case of Parkinson’s disease as an increase risk. An increase risk that “in theory” ought to be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy at a Table A-C rating. Now at this point it only makes sense for us to take a moment and explain what a “Table Rating” is.
Table rating defined.
There are 16 different rate classes an individual can qualify for. Preferred or Preferred Plus being the best, then Standard or Standard plus being the next in line. From there we then enter into what are considered “higher risk” classifications which range from Table A being the “best” or “least expensive” table rating all the way to Table J which would be considered the “worst” or “most expensive” classification.
Before any of our readers get upset, we should point out that qualifying for a Table J rate class isn’t the end of the world, because it could be worse, you could just be denied coverage entirely. Which, unfortunately is usually what happens when an insurance underwriter determines that one’s Parkinson’s disease is advancing too rapidly.
This is why…
We here at IBUSA typically try to “manage” our client’s expectations and let them know that if we believe that they will be approved coverage, they should expect to qualify for coverage somewhere between Table D and maybe Table H. Ultimately the decision will like with the insurance underwriters, we just don’t want to “over promise” and “under deliver”.
Which brings us to the next topic we want to discuss really quickly here which is…
What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
Probably the most important thing an individual can do on their own to increase their chances at being able to qualify for the “best” life insurance for them is to first make sure that they find a true-life insurance professional who will work as an advocate for you. Agents like this will not only help guide you through the application process but also be perfectly “frank” with you about what options may or may not be possible for you.
You’ll also want to make sure that the agent you have chosen has access to dozens of different life insurance companies because after all, it really doesn’t matter how “great” of a life insurance agent you might have if they don’t have access to the “best” life insurance policy for you! Now does it?
Now if your agent does…
Have access to dozens of different life insurance companies, he or she should be able to “shop” your options with multiple insurance companies which in our experiences usually helps increase one’s chances for success.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re completely honest with your life insurance agent prior to applying for coverage. By doing so, you will be helping him or her narrow down what options might be the “best” for you as well as helping him or her determine “which” life insurance company will most likely provide you with the best opportunity for success!
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and see what we can do for you!