Life Insurance With Parkinson’s Disease (Parkinsonism)

Parkinson’s disease, or Parkinsonism, is a disease which affects up to 1 in 200 people all across the United States, usually onset in the later years in life. When purchasing life insurance with Parkinson’s disease, you can expect to pay a slightly higher monthly premium, but you can likely still be insured one way or another.

If you’ve been previously turned down by one company or another, it doesn’t mean you can’t get insurance at all. It simply means you probably didn’t apply with the right company.

As an independent life insurance agency, we specialize in cases like these. If you’re looking for life insurance with Parkinson’s disease, let us help you.

Read below for more information about what we need from you, how Parkinsonism affects life insurance, and what ratings you can expect to be approved at.

Life Insurance With Parkinson’s Disease (Parkinsonism)

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disease. On average, the life span of someone who has been properly diagnosed with Parkinson’s is, on average, another 10 to 15 years from the original date of diagnosis. Therefore, it becomes a higher risk life insurance policy for a carrier to issue. Fortunately, with proper care and otherwise good health, these numbers are slightly increasing over time. Let’s first look at Parkinsonism and it’s affect one someone’s life to see some examples of what an underwriter is looking for when reviewing your application.

According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation:

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive movement disorder, meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time. Nearly one million people in the US are living with Parkinson’s disease. The cause is unknown, and although there is presently no cure, there are treatment options such as medication and surgery to manage its symptoms.

Parkinson’s involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain, called neurons. Parkinson’s primarily affects neurons in the an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. Some of these dying neurons produce dopamine, a chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. As PD progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally.

As the disease progresses, the biggest concern is the ability to control voluntary movements. Although it may start out as small motor control type movements, it worsens and begins to involve much more major movement. As it progresses, the Parkinson’s will begin to hinder common daily activities and limit the independence of the applicant. Here are other symptoms:

  • Tremors
  • Bradykinesia
  • Rigidity
  • Postural Instability

Before you start the process of buying life insurance with Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to have realistic expectations of what rating you can obtain. Because Parkinson’s is a progressive disease, there are different stages a person goes through, and each stage can be underwritten differently. The medical history of the Parkinson’s, it’s progression, and your overall health in general are all taken into consideration.

Ratings You Can Expect When Applying

Stage 1:  If you’re in the first stage of Parkinsonism, you experience mild tremors, usually just in one area of your body like the hands. Treatment is usually minimal or unnecessary, but if it’s required, its successful. If over the age of 60, the best case scenario is a Standard rating. If under the age of 60, you’ll likely be starting at Table 2.

Stage 2: If you’re buying life insurance with Parkinson’s disease which is already in stage 2, the tremors you experience are no longer localized, but are still minimal. Medication may be used on a limited or minimal “as needed” frequency, and treatment is also utilized on occasion. Rigidity may or may not be a factor at this stage. If over the age of 60, your best case rating would start at Table 2. Under the age of 60, your best case scenario is no better than Table 2 or Table 4.

Stage 3: If you’re interested in life insurance with Parkinson’s disease which has progressed to the third stage, you’re in the final stage which you can be insured under a traditional life insurance type of policy. The Parkinson’s now has moderate tremors regularly in more than one area. Rigidity is more severe, yet independence is not lost. Regular treatment and medication are probably. If over 60, Table 4 is the best possible rating you’ll achieve through most carriers, and someone under 60 would begin from Table 4 through Table 10 depending on many factors, such as current and onset age.

Stage 4: Not currently insurable without using a Guaranteed Issue life insurance policy.

Buying life insurance with Parkinson’s disease can be an uphill battle sometimes, but we can help make it much easier. If we can help you obtain an accurate quote, please contact us today. We can also help you to submit to the proper companies to make sure you have the best chance at a successful approval.

Leave a reply