In this article, we wanted to take a moment 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/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 you from being able to qualify for a traditional 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. At the same time, it’s important to understand “when” you were first prescribed Sinemet CR, knowing “just” this doesn’t 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 before an insurance underwriter is able to make any “informed decisions” about your life insurance application, he or she is going to want to know the answers to a series of medical questions that 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 of 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 your 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 determine 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 you’re going to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
You see, 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 increased risk. An increased 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. This, 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 clients’ 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.” This 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?
The most important thing an individual can do on their own to increase their chances of qualifying for the “best” life insurance for them is to make sure that they find a true-life insurance professional who will work as an advocate for you. Agents like this will help guide you through the application process and 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?
But, 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 experience, 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!
Now, will we be able to help out everyone who has been prescribed Levodopa?
No, probably not. But what we can tell you is that in addition to offering a wide variety of different term and whole life insurance policies, IBUSA has also worked very hard to establish relationships with many of the Best Final Expense Insurance Companies as well. This way if someone isn’t able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, chances are there may be some other “type” of product that you CAN qualify for.
So, if you’re ready to see what options might be available to you, give us a call!