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  • Types of life insurance available for MS
  • March 6, 2015
  • What type of life insurance is available for MS?By Karla Sullivan

    Types of life insurance have variable options today like never before with the new guaranteed life insurance that, in some cases, does not require a medical exam and medical history questions are limited. However, there is no reason that anyone with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) should be declined a life insurance policy. They may qualify at a different rate.

    According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. Symptoms may be mild such as numbness in the limbs, or severe which includes progressive paralysis or loss of vision. Slurred speech, tremors, cognitive loss and bladder issues with the disease can be permanent or come and go.

    MS is a disease of the immune system but the specific target of the immune attack has not yet been identified. MS may be a combination of genetic, environmental and immunologic factors.

    · First degree relatives of someone with MS face a small risk of developing the disease

    · MS is more frequent in areas that are farther from the equator

    · It has been speculated that a viral infection initiates the MS process, followed by an autoimmune response in a genetically predisposed host

    There is no cure for MS at the present. MS has a relapsing-remitting pattern where patients may experience periods of remissions or frequent attacks over intervals that can include several years. The attacks themselves can cause persistent issues.

    In most cases, MS is a progressive disorder that begins with relapsing and remitting attacks and then enters a more progressive stage. Absent of other health problems, life insurance underwriting guidelines for most suggest that if the degree of severity is acute and the number of attacks are more frequent, the rating will increase.

    For example, if you have been diagnosed with MS, your test results support the diagnosis, treatment has been recommended, the episode has caused minimal impairment and you haven’t had an attack in 10 years, your rating can be standard, or an average person’s rate class, if no other conditions exist.

    Life insurance underwriting information includes the following:

    · Date of first diagnosis

    · Number of attacks or episodes

    · Date of last attack

    · Medications

    · Current neurological status which can be:

    1) Normal
    2) Minimal residual impairment
    3) Moderate residual impairment
    4) Severe residual impairment

    · Having recent  MRI brain scan reports available

    · If you have smoked cigarettes in the last 12 months

    · Other health problems

    Keep in mind is that insurance companies want to see that you are following up with your physician and have current records, according to Michael Bruce, Senior Life Insurance Analyst at LifeQuotes, Inc. The biggest things they look for are:

    1) Frequency of attacks and how long ago the last one was

    2) Residual impairments from the attacks and

    3) Progression. No progression is always more favorable.

    The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) recognizes March as MS Awareness Month. MSAA urges everyone to help raise awareness of multiple sclerosis throughout their communities.

    “Our mission at MSAA is to improve lives today for individuals living with MS and their loved ones,” says MSAA President and CEO Douglas Franklin. “Our services offer people with MS the assistance they need to live fuller lives with greater comfort, safety and knowledge.

    One of the ongoing fundraisers for MS is to swim. You can create your own swim activity and invite friends to join you in the activity, setting your own challenges and goals. Susie Jamharian was diagnosed with MS in 2004. She committed to swim 1,000 laps in one month to raise $3,600 to help individuals like her in the MS community. Visit Swim for MS for more information or look for other awareness activities that can make a difference.

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