Life Insurance with Parkinson’s Disease.
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 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 a complex and serious pre-existing medical condition having been diagnosed with, it is definitely going to “complicate” one’s life insurance application process.
Which is why…
You may want to consider avoiding applying for a no medical exam term life insurance policy as well, seeing how these policies tend to be more difficult to qualify for after someone has been diagnosed with a pre-existing medical condition like Parkinson’s Disease.
Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease?
The main reason why most of the best life insurance companies are going to “care” if an individual has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease is because suffering from Parkinson’s Disease can increase one’s risk of developing a wide variety of “secondary complications”.
Secondary complications such as:
- Developing a respiratory infection,
- Falling or related injury,
This is why…
We wanted to take a moment and briefly discuss what Parkinson’s Disease is as well as highlight some of the most common symptoms/complications of this disease. This way, we can get a better idea of what a life insurance underwriter will be looking for when making their decision about your life insurance application.
Parkinson’s Disease Defined:
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder whereby certain nerve cells (neurons) in the brain gradually being to break down and die. Due to the loss of these neurons, which produce dopamine, normal brain activity will begin to become impaired, and symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease will gradually start.
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, many individuals will be able to find relief in their symptoms, utilizing medications, surgical procedures, and 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 two 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 many variables that can come into play when trying to determine what kind of “rate” an individual diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. This is why it’s almost impossible to know what kind of “rate” you might qualify for without first speaking with you directly.
That said however…
Most individuals who have been 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 will these individuals experience 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 will consist of those who have begun to develop more severe symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, or their Parkinson’s Disease appears to be progressing quickly over the past 12 months.
In cases like these…
What we’ll usually find is that most life insurance companies are either going to Deny one’s application or Postpone it for a few months to gain a better idea about how your condition is progressing. Clients who find themselves in this situation may choose to purchase a Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policy if they don’t feel that they will be able to qualify for coverage in the future.
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. This 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!