In this article, we wanted to take a moment to answer some of the most common questions we get from folks applying for life insurance after being diagnosed with Marfan’s Syndrome (MFS).
Questions that will be addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Marfan’s Syndrome?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Marfan’s Syndrome?
- 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 if I have been diagnosed with Marfan’s Syndrome?
Unfortunately, when it comes to those who have been diagnosed with Marfan’s syndrome, what you’re generally going to find is that most (if not all) of the top-rated life insurance companies are going to “automatically” consider someone ineligible for a traditional life insurance policy.
Which means that…
We’re going to need to consider some “alternative” products should we wish to try and find some way to insure an individual who has previously been diagnosed with Marfan’s Syndrome.
Why do life insurance companies care if I have been diagnosed with Marfan’s?
The main reason why a life insurance company is going to “care” if an individual has been diagnosed with Marfan’s Syndrome is that a large percentage of those diagnosed with Marfan’s Syndrome will also suffer from a variety of different cardiovascular conditions as well.
Which is why…
We wanted to take a moment and discuss what Marfan Syndrome as well as highlight some of the most common symptoms associated with this disease so that we can gain a better understanding of “why” most life companies will not consider someone with this disease eligible for traditional coverage.
Marfan’s Syndrome Defined:
Marfan’s Syndrome (MFS) is a genetic disorder that affects the “connective tissues” all throughout the body and is something that can affect different people in different ways. Most individuals suffering from Marfan Syndrome will tend to be tall and thin with abnormally long legs, arms, fingers, and toes. Many will also have very “flexible” joints and sometimes scoliosis as well.
Additional symptoms may include:
- Crowded teeth due to a high, arched palate,
- Extreme nearsightedness,
- Heart murmurs,
- As well as flat feet.
Serious complications may include an increased risk of:
- Aortic aneurysms,
- Aortic dissection,
- And valve malformations.
There isn’t a cure for Marfan’s Syndrome however as medical treatments improve, individuals nowadays do seem to be able to either minimize or delay many of the more serious complications associated with this disease.
Which is why…
Over the past few decades, the life expectancy of individuals has risen from the mid-’40s up to the mid-’70s which is what it is at now.
Despite this good news views most life insurance companies (if not all) are still unwilling to provide someone with this disease with a traditional life insurance policy.
Now at this point…
We usually like to take a moment and remind folks that nobody here at IBUSA has any kind of “official” medical training, and we’re certainly not doctors. All we are is a bunch of life insurance agents who just happen to be really good at helping folks with pre-existing medical conditions like this one, find and qualify for the life insurance coverage that they are looking for.
Not so great if you’re looking for answers to any specific medical questions. In cases like these, we would recommend that you contact a true medical professional who has the training to help. For everyone else, you’re in luck because now we’re going to get into some of the “nitty-gritty” about what you may or may not be able to qualify for.
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
What you’re generally going to find is that once a life insurance company determines that you’re suffering from Marfan’s Syndrome, there really isn’t a whole lot more they are going to need to know before denying your life insurance application.
Understanding “why” you are suffering from Marfan’s Syndrome isn’t really going to change all that much on their end. For this reason, what you’ll likely going to find when looking to purchase a life insurance policy suffering from Marfan’s Syndrome is that a lot of life insurance companies and/or agents aren’t going to be all that helpful.
This is mainly because…
They may not have any options for you, or they simply aren’t able to focus on smaller life insurance policies that may still approve you for coverage. Fortunately, here at IBUSA, because we do offer a wide variety of different life insurance products, once we learn that you are currently suffering from Liver Failure, we’ll usually just as you three different questions to see if you might be able to qualify for a Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance policy which might be something that may interest you.
Those three questions are:
#1. Are you a US Citizen?
#2. Are you between the ages of 40 and 85?
#3. What state do you live in?
What options might be available to me?
Now at this point, it’s important for us to “temper” one’s excitement because while it’s true that you may be able to qualify or a Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance policy or maybe even an Accidental Death Policy, it’s important to understand that while these products may seem like a great option for some, they’re also going to have some pretty serious “disadvantages” to them that we want to make sure that you are fully aware of prior to purchasing one.
Which is why…
After reading what we’re about to discuss we would invite you to then give us a call or visit one of our other articles that will go into greater detail about these “alternative products” so that you’ll know what you are “getting” should you decide to ultimately purchase one of these “types” of products.
Accidental Death and Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policies Defined
Accidental Death Policies
Since Accidental Death Policies tend to be a bit easier to understand while simultaneously being the most frequently “misunderstood” product out there, we wanted to begin our “alternative” products discuss with them so that anyone considering one of these “types” of policies will know exactly what they are paying for before applying for coverage.
So, let’s begin our discussion…
By stating very clearly that accidental death policies are NOT TRUE LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES. This is why you don’t need to be a licensed life insurance agent to sell them and why they aren’t going to provide you with any coverage in the event that you die of a “natural” cause of death.
Now at this point…
You may be asking yourself…
“What do you mean by NATURAL CAUSE of death?”
When we use the term “natural cause of death” we’re referring to an “illness-based” death like you would experience as a result of:
- Heart disease,
Or from some kind of complication that one might experience as a result of having been diagnosed with Marfan’s Syndrome!
These types of products…
Are you only going to provide a death benefit to your family if you die from an accidental cause or any cause of death that isn’t “illness based”. Examples that would typically qualify as an Accidental Cause of death would typically include:
- A motor vehicle accident,
- A slip and fall accident
- A natural disaster,
- Victim of crime,
Which is nice…
But typically, this isn’t what someone is looking for after they have been diagnosed with liver failure. On the plus side, these “types” of products are generally pretty affordable. They will allow someone to purchase a large amount of ACCIDENT insurance for a relatively small amount of money.
Which brings us to our next possible option, which is a…
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
A Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance policy, on the other hand, is A TRUE LIFE INSURANCE PRODUCT. This means that you do need to be a licensed life insurance agent to sell them, and “ultimately”, they will provide individual true-life insurance coverage. Now we say “ultimately” because when you purchase a Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policy, you’re purchasing a life insurance policy that has a “catch” to it.
In our experience here at IBUSA we’ve found that the best way to discuss these types of life insurance policies is by analyzing the three major disadvantages that these “types” of life insurance policies have aside from the fact that you generally have to be over the age of 50 and live in a state where these “types” of life insurance policies are available.
So, let’s dive right in…
Guaranteed issue life insurance policies are only going to provide a limited amount of life insurance coverage and will usually “cap out” right around 25,000 dollars in coverage. This means that if you’re looking to purchase more than 25,000 dollars in coverage, a guaranteed issue life insurance policy might not be right for you!
(Yes, individuals can purchase several different guaranteed issue life insurance policies from several different companies, but as we will now discuss, this can get really expensive).
Dollar for dollar, guaranteed issue life insurance policies aren’t always the most affordable when compared to other “types” of life insurance policies out there. Now we don’t want to imply that these “types” of life insurance policies are going to cost a fortune, it’s just that if you can qualify for another “kind” of life insurance policy, that coverage will usually cost less dollar for dollar than a guaranteed issue life insurance policy will.
Guaranteed issue life insurance policies contain a clause most commonly referred to as a Graded Death Benefit.
Graded Death Benefit Defined:
Graded Death Benefits are “clauses” written into most (if not all) guaranteed issue life insurance policies which state that a guaranteed issue life insurance policy won’t begin to cover an individual from “natural causes” of death until a certain waiting period has elapsed. This “waiting period” will usually last 2 to 3 years and is designed to make sure that someone who knows that they are very close to death from being able to purchase these “types” of life insurance policies.
This may seem extremely unfair; it’s important to remember that a guaranteed issue life insurance policy isn’t going to require you to take a medical exam or answer any health-related questions. So, at the end of the day, a graded death benefit really is the only thing that allows insurance companies to be able to offer one of these “types” of life insurance policies.
The good news is…
That while you may have to wait for 2 to 3 years for one a Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance policy to provide you true life insurance protection, these “types” of life insurance policies will provide immediate coverage for any “accidental causes” of death and may will also provide some kind of “return of premium” to the beneficiaries of the insured who do end up dying from natural causes before their Graded Death Benefit expiring. So, it’s sort of like buying a small Accidental Death Policy that will ultimately “turn into” a true life insurance policy after a period of time.
So, have we confused you yet?
If so, don’t fret we the purpose of this article wasn’t to try to make you an insurance expert, it was just to give you an idea of what questions you’ll want to pursue prior to making any decisions. This brings us to our last topic that we wanted to discuss here in this article, 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 works best for folks who have been diagnosed with a pre-existing medical condition where the “severity” of the condition is often “subjective” is for the applicant to make sure that they first find a true-life insurance professional who will work as an advocate for you.
Such an agent…
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 very same 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?
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”.
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and see what we can do for you!