Last Updated: May 2020
Qualifying for affordable life insurance with Multiple Sclerosis comes down to which life insurance company you use and how severe your MS is.
Multiple Sclerosis is considered high-risk life insurance but that does not mean you can’t be approved for life insurance coverage at decent premiums.
In this article we’ll cover:
- Life Insurance With MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
- Rates and Qualifying For Life Insurance With Multiple Sclerosis
- Life Insurance and Type of Multiple Sclerosis
- What Your Life Insurance Agent Needs to Know About Your MS
- Fact-Checking: Applying for Life Insurance with Multiple Sclerosis
- Have You Been Declined For Life Insurance With Multiple Sclerosis?
- Life Insurance Companies With Favorable Multiple Sclerosis Underwriting
Life Insurance With MS (Multiple Sclerosis)
Finding life insurance with Multiple Sclerosis can be a frustrating process.
There are so many different kinds of policies to choose from and thousands of different companies that all claim to have the “best policy for you,” but how are you supposed to decide between all of these highly rated companies, especially with a pre-existing condition like MS?
Can you get life insurance with Multiple Sclerosis?
Absolutely. Affordable life insurance with MS is all about using the right life insurance company.
If you’re searching for life insurance with multiple sclerosis and have been recently denied life insurance or received a quote for higher than expected premiums, then you’re in the right place.
We’ve been helping consumers find affordable life insurance with MS for years.
When shopping for term life insurance for people with Multiple Sclerosis, there are some important things to keep in mind.
Rates and Qualifying For Life Insurance With Multiple Sclerosis
To understand what we’re talking about below, you need an understanding of health classifications.
Understanding Multiple Sclerosis and Health Classifications
There are 12 health classifications:
- Preferred Best
- Standard Plus
- Table 1-8
As a rule of thumb, add 25% to Standard rates for each table rating. After Table 8, most companies will decline coverage.
Most controlled Multiple Sclerosis applicants qualify for around a Table 4 health class. Meaning it’s double the rate of Standard rates.
So if Standard is $50/mo, Table 4 would be $100/mo. Table 5 would be $125/mo. Table 6 would be $150/mo etc.
Now that you understand that, let’s dig into qualifying for life insurance with your specific MS.
Do you have “Suspected MS” or “Definite MS”?
Suspected Multiple Sclerosis means you had an MS attack, but no test results to support the diagnosis. There is no current evidence of the disease and no treatment has been recommended.
With Suspected MS, you’re looking at:
- Within 2 years of the attack: Table 3
- Within 3 to 4 years of the attack: Table 2
- After 4 years: Standard
Definite MS means you have at least 2 attacks with test results to support the diagnosis.
Definite MS could also include anyone who has been recommended treatment and has an impairment like it effecting how long you can walk.
With a Definite MS, you’re looking at:
- Within 2 years of your last attack: Table 7
- 3-5 years from your last attack: Table 5
- 6-10 years from your last attack: Table 3
- Over 10 year from your last attack: Standard
If the severity is more than minimal, the ratings will increase and a decline is likely in severe cases.
Please note that if you’re under treatment for an acute exacerbation or immune suppression, the life insurance company will postpone an offer until you’re through it.
Life Insurance and Types of Multiple Sclerosis
What Type of Multiple Sclerosis Do You Have? This will determine your rates as well. There are 4 types:
Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS): This is the most common and easiest to insure because it’s temporary periods of MS called relapses or flare-ups.
Secondary-Progressing MS (SPMS): Insurable, but best case scenario is a Table 3, with most cases we see in the Table 4-6 range.
Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS): Sometimes insurable, but usually a decline for coverage.
Progressive-Relapsing MS (PRMS): Usually a decline for coverage.
The points above are a general rule and shouldn’t deter you from applying for life insurance if you don’t fall into these specific categories. The disease affects everyone differently, so it is important to communicate the details of your MS to an agent.
What Your Life Insurance Agent Needs to Know About Your MS
We don’t expect you to take all this information we provided and know what to do it.
The following is a list of important information which will help an agent determine which insurance carrier will treat your MS most favorably:
- Age at diagnosis
- Number of attacks and date(s) of last attack(s)
- Any medications currently taking
- The diagnosis of MS (see above for descriptions)
- Any neurological damage? No damage? Minimal/Moderate/Severe residual impairment?
- Any other health impairment?
Pro tip: If an agent doesn’t ask you these questions, I would find another agent. They don’t have enough information to find the best rate.
A general question many agents will ask before digging into the specifics above is if you’re MS is mild, moderate, or severe.
- Mild: Infrequent attacks, long periods of remission, no disability.
- Moderate: Attacks with increasing frequency/duration with some residual neurological impairment but you are fully functional.
- Severe: Wheelchair-bound or bedridden and need assistance with daily activities.
They ask this because if severe, they know you won’t be able to qualify for fully underwritten coverage and will start talking about guaranteed issue life insurance products.
Fact-Checking: Applying for Life Insurance with Multiple Sclerosis
There’s a lot of myths out there spread by newer life insurance agents that don’t have the experience underwriting MS. They see a case, go to the wrong life insurance company, and base their knowledge off of one experience.
After helping dozens of consumers qualify for and get life insurance in force with MS, here’s what we know.
Fact #1: It is possible to obtain standard rates (term or whole life insurance). If it’s relapsing-remitting MS and enough time has passed.
Fact #2: No two insurance companies will view your case the same. They’ll all view your MS differently. One company may decline you and another company may give you affordable rates. Every life insurance company underwrites Multiple Sclerosis differently.
Fact #3: An independent agent has the best chance to get you the most affordable rates. They can compare the market and underwriting guidelines to secure you the best rate. Most life insurance agents out there are captive, meaning they only offer one company.
Have You Been Declined For Life Insurance With Multiple Sclerosis?
Don’t let a previous decline for life insurance deter your quest for coverage. If you think your MS is under control, your agent probably picked the wrong carrier.
If your MS is more severe and you truly can’t qualify for a life insurance plan, there are alternative policies available.
A popular choice for people who can’t qualify for term life insurance with Multiple Sclerosis is a graded death benefit life insurance policy that has a 2-year waiting period before full benefits are paid out.
There are also accidental policies that pay out on accidents only as an option.
Securing life insurance with Multiple Sclerosis takes an agent who experienced in underwriting your risk.
An experienced independent life insurance agent will know how to position your MS in a way that’s more favorable to an underwriter and also know which companies have the most lenient underwriting guidelines for those with Multiple Sclerosis.
Life Insurance Companies With Favorable Multiple Sclerosis Underwriting
For traditional term life insurance and universal life insurance, right now we’re seeing the best approvals with AIG and American National. Prudential sometimes is a player as well.
Keep in mind that in order to get a favorable health classification, which in turn means a better rate, it takes an experienced agent.
An experienced agent can write a compelling cover letter explaining your risk and highlight the positives in your MS diagnosis and lifestyle.
This information rarely comes through when underwriters only look at medical records.
Best Burial Insurance Company with Multiple Sclerosis
If you’re looking for a small whole life insurance policy ($5,000-$30,000 in coverage) often called burial insurance, final expense insurance, or funeral insurance, the goal is to qualify for 1st-day coverage without having to wait 2 years to receive benefits and pay more.
Most burial insurance will have a graded period with MS. Sentinel Security, an A.M. Best “A” rated life insurance carrier, won’t require a waiting period and they have some the most affordable rates on the market for this type of life insurance.
There is no medical exam and you’ll get a decision while on the phone.
You could potentially have coverage in force within 30 minutes.
Bottom Line, Obtaining Life Insurance With MS May Be Challenging But We Can Help
At Rootfin, we have helped individuals with MS obtain life insurance countless times.
It is certainly possible to do so and we would love to help you obtain coverage for your family too.
There are options and in some cases, very affordable options.
Complete the form on this page and a veteran independent life insurance agent will gather the necessary information and let you know the best options you qualify for.