Life Insurance with Parkinson’s Disease.
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 with Parkinson’s Disease (PD).
Questions that will be addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease?
- 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’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease?
Yes, individuals who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease can and often will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. That said however, because Parkinson’s Disease is complex and serious pre-existing medical condition having been diagnosed with it is definitely going to “complicate” one’s life insurance application process.
Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease?
The main reason why a life insurance company is going to “care” if an individual has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease is because while Parkinson’s Disease itself is NOT a fatal disease, being diagnosed with it definitely has the possibility of affection how one lives their live and will increase one’s risk of suffering from one of the “secondary” complications involved in this disease including an increased risk of:
- Developing a respiratory infection,
- Falling or related injury,
- Choking which can lead to death.
This is why…
We wanted to take a moment and briefly discuss exactly what Parkinson’s Disease is as well as highlight some of the most common symptoms/complications of this disease so that we can get a better idea of what a life insurance underwriter will be looking for when making his or her decision about your life insurance application.
Parkinson’s Disease Defined:
Parkinson’s Disease is defined as a progressive nervous system disorder whereby certain nerve cells (neurons) in the brain gradually being to break down and die. As a result, due to the loss of these neurons which produce dopamine, normal brain activity is impaired, and symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease will start gradually.
Common symptoms may include:
- Tremors, usually beginning in one’s hands or fingers,
- Bradykinesia, or slow movement,
- Rigid muscles,
- Impaired balance,
- Speech changes,
- Writing changes,
Serious complications may include:
- Cognitive difficulties,
- Depression and/or anxiety,
- Bladder and bowel problems,
There is no “cure” for Parkinson’s Disease, that said however, many individuals will be able to find some relieve in their symptoms utilizing a combination of medications, surgical procedures as well as other treatment options including lifestyle modifications.
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?
Common questions may include:
- When were you first diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease?
- Who diagnosed your Parkinson’s Disease? A general practitioner or a specialist?
- What symptoms led to your diagnosis?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other pre-existing medical conditions?
- Are you currently taking any prescription medications?
- In the past 12 months, how has your Parkinson’s Disease changed (if any changes have occurred at all)?
- In the past 2 years have you been admitted into a hospital for any reason?
- Have you suffered from any falls or bone fractures in the last 12 months?
- Do you have an active and valid drivers’ license?
- 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?
As you can see, there are a lot of variables that can come into play when trying to determine what kind of “rate” an individual who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. This is why it’s pretty much impossible to know what kind of “rate” you might be able to qualify for without first speaking with you directly.
That said however…
Most individuals who have bene diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease will usually fall into one of three different categories that we can make some “assumptions” about that will generally hold true.
The first group of individuals that we’ll commonly encounter will be those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, but have not developed any of the “significant” complications associated with this disease and seem to have been able to “halt” the progression of their disease. Folks in the category won’t have experienced any changes in their Parkinson’s Disease over the past 12 months and seem to have their Parkinson’s Disease “under control”.
In cases like these…
Clients will commonly be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy at a “high risk” or “sub-standard” rate (Table A-C).
This second group will look very similar to our first group, only in this situation, these individuals may be experiencing a slow progression of their Parkinson’s Disease. As a result, these individuals may still be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, only now they will most likely only be able to qualify for a rate lower than those who have their Parkinson’s Disease stabilized (Table D-H).
The last group that we’ll commonly encounter when trying to help someone that has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease will consist of those who have either begun to suffer from some of the more severe symptom of Parkinson’s Disease or their Parkinson’s Disease is progressing quickly over the past 12 months. In cases like these, what we’ll usually find is that most life insurance companies aren’t going to be willing to approve them for a traditional life insurance policy, which is why we’ll often suggest taking a look at a Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policy should a client still wish to purchase some life insurance coverage.
The good news is…
That regardless of your situation, we here at IBUSA can help because we have tons of experience helping folks with all sorts of pre-existing medical conditions like yours and are committed to helping all of our clients find the “best” life insurance policy that they can qualify for. Which 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?
In our experience here at IBUSA, what we have found that usually the folks who seem to find the “best” life insurance policy for them are those that:
- Take their time reviewing their options.
- Ask a lot of questions.
And seek out those life insurance agents who not only have experience working with individuals who have been diagnosed with a wide variety of pre-existing medical conditions, but also have access to dozens of different life insurance companies so that when it comes time to helping a more “challenging” case, they don’t have to rely on a…
“One size fits all approach!”
The good news is that this is exactly what you’re going to find here at IBUSA!