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?
- How can I help ensure I get the “best life insurance”?
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Can I qualify for life insurance if I’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease?
It is possible to qualify for life insurance with Parkinson’s disease. Still, your medical history and current health status may affect the specific terms of the coverage and the premiums you will be offered. Life insurance companies also use a variety of other factors to determine your risk level and set premiums, including your age, lifestyle, and family history, in addition to your medical history.
Now, about your Parkinson’s diagnosis…
The impact of your disease will depend on the specific details of your case. Some factors that may be considered include the severity of your condition, the length of time you have had the disease, and the effectiveness of your treatment. In some cases, life insurance companies may offer higher premiums or exclude coverage for certain conditions, while in other cases, they may provide standard coverage at standard premiums.
This is why…
It’s generally a good idea to shop around and compare quotes from multiple life insurance companies to find the best coverage for your needs and budget. It is also a good idea to consult with a financial advisor or insurance agent who can help you understand your options and choose a policy that meets your needs.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re completely honest and forthcoming when applying for life insurance, as providing inaccurate or incomplete information can result in the denial of coverage or the cancellation of a policy.
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 that 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 and highlight some of the most common symptoms/complications. This way, we can better understand what a life insurance underwriter will look for when deciding on your life insurance application.
Parkinson’s Disease Defined:
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder whereby specific nerve cells (neurons) in the brain gradually begin to break down and die. Due to the loss of these neurons, which produce dopamine, regular 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,
Unfortunately, there is no “cure” for Parkinson’s Disease; that said, many individuals will be able to find relief in their symptoms by 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 “official” medical training, and we’re certainly not doctors. All we are is a bunch of life insurance agents who are good at helping folks with pre-existing medical conditions like this one find and qualify for the life insurance coverage they are looking for. But it’s not so great if you’re seeking answers to specific medical questions. In such cases, we recommend contacting an actual medical professional with 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?
If you’re applying for insurance and have Parkinson’s disease, insurance companies may ask you several questions or request medical information about your condition. The specific information required may vary depending on the type of insurance you’re applying for, such as life, health, or disability insurance. Here are some of the types of information that insurance companies may request:
- Diagnosis and Treatment: The insurance company may ask for information about your Parkinson’s diagnosis, including the date of diagnosis, the severity of your symptoms, and the treatment you’re receiving.
- Medications: They may ask about the medicines you take to manage your Parkinson’s disease and any potential side effects.
- Medical History: They may also ask for your medical history, including any past medical conditions, hospitalizations, or surgeries.
- Functional Abilities: The insurance company may also want to know how Parkinson’s disease affects your daily functioning, such as your ability to work, perform household tasks, or engage in leisure activities.
- Driving Ability: They may also ask about your driving history, as Parkinson’s disease can affect your ability to operate a vehicle safely.
- Family History: They may ask about your family history of Parkinson’s disease and any other medical conditions that may run in your family.
- Lifestyle Habits: They may ask about your lifestyle habits, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, or exercise routine, as these can impact the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
It’s important to answer these questions truthfully and accurately. Insurance companies use this information to assess your risk level and determine your premium rates. If you’re unsure about what information you need to provide, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider or a licensed insurance agent.
What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
As you can see, many variables can come into play when trying to determine what kind of “rate” an individual diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. This is why knowing what kind of “rate” you might qualify for is almost impossible 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 condition.
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 qualify for a traditional life insurance policy. Still, 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…
We’ll usually find that most life insurance companies deny one’s application or postpone it for a few months to understand better how your condition is progressing. Clients in this situation may choose to purchase a Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policy if they don’t feel they will qualify for coverage in the future.
The good news is…
Regardless of your situation, we here at IBUSA can help because we have tons of experience helping folks with pre-existing medical conditions like yours. We are committed to helping all our clients find the “best” life insurance policy they can qualify for. This brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment and discuss, which is…
How can I help ensure I get the “best life insurance” for me?
Getting life insurance for Parkinson’s disease can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to increase your chances of getting the best life insurance policy possible. Here are some tips:
- Work with an experienced insurance agent: It’s essential to work with an insurance agent who is familiar with Parkinson’s disease and has experience working with individuals with chronic medical conditions. They can help you navigate the application process, find the best insurance companies, and negotiate favorable rates.
- Shop around: Don’t settle for the first insurance policy you come across. Shop around and compare rates and coverage options from different insurance companies. Ensure you understand each policy’s terms and conditions before making a decision.
- Provide complete and accurate information: When applying for life insurance, be sure to provide complete and accurate information about your Parkinson’s disease and overall health. Insurance companies may require a medical exam and will review your medical records, so being truthful about your condition is crucial.
- Consider a guaranteed issue policy: If you’re having trouble getting traditional life insurance due to your Parkinson’s disease, consider a guaranteed issue policy. These policies do not require a medical exam or medical questions, and acceptance is guaranteed, but they often have lower coverage limits and higher premiums.
- Improve your overall health: Making lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking can improve your overall health and help mitigate the effects of Parkinson’s disease. This can improve your chances of getting better life insurance rates.
In summary, working with an experienced insurance agent, shopping around, providing accurate information, considering a guaranteed issue policy or a group life insurance policy, and improving your overall health can all increase your chances of getting the best life insurance policy possible with Parkinson’s disease.