Can I Get Life Insurance If I Have A Family History Of Alzheimers Disease
You may not experience much difference in getting life insurance if your family has a history of Alzheimers. You can contact an agent, go through your employer or approach life insurance providers directly.
Will having a family history of Alzheimers disease affect my policy?
Life insurance providers may change how your policy is treated if:
- More than one person in your immediate family has been diagnosed with Alzheimers.
- Someone in your immediate family was diagnosed with Alzheimers earlier in life.
This information can lead an increase in your risk class, which may result in a higher premium. The provider may also choose to exclude the condition from the policy, rather that raise the cost.
Can I omit my familys history of Alzheimers disease?
Withholding requested information is strongly discouraged. If the issuer finds out about it later, you could lose coverage or risk a future payout to your family or loved ones.
Can my insurer charge me more if I a DNA test reveals Im genetically at risk of developing Alzheimers?
Yes. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prevents health insurers from discriminating based on genetic testing, but it GINA does not apply to life insurers. This means your genetic makeup can affect your rates or eligibility.
Graded Period With Dementia Or Alzheimers
A no questions life insurance is always going to be your safest option when you have dementia. However, there is one very important caveat.
Every single company that sells guaranteed issue will impose, at a minimum, a two-year waiting period. This is called the mandatory graded period, which dictates when you will receive full coverage for a natural death.
This means that if death occurs within the graded period, the entire policy amount will not be paid out. Instead, your beneficiaries will receive a return of premiums plus interest. Typically, the total payout is 110% of the premiums that had been paid-to-date.
After the 2-year waiting period is up, then your loved ones are guaranteed the full policy amount. No questions asked.
The exception to the waiting period is if death occurs from an accidental cause, like a car accident. If this happens, the policy amount will be paid regardless of the date .
In our opinion, because of the mandatory graded period, it is always best to receive coverage ASAP. The sooner you can begin working through the graded period, the sooner you can receive coverage. Also, the monthly premium of your policy is determined based on your age, and we all know were not getting any younger.
Permanent Vs Term Life Insurance
There are significant differences in costs and benefits between permanent life insurance and term life insurance.
Permanent life insurance, such as a whole life policy, offers benefits that never expire. The trade-off is that youll have to pay a higher premium. With term life, coverage can last for a period of anywhere between five to 30 years. Because theres a termination date, term life insurance is more affordable than permanent life insurance.
Its tough for people with dementia to qualify for traditional life insurance. That said, if your condition isnt progressive and an insurer approves a policy, Adams suggests going with a whole life policy.
Whole life is definitely the only option I would recommend because the client will have to be on a waiting period. Once they have lived through that period, then the policy will pay out full benefits, she says. You would not want to put them into a plan with a termination date. Whole life will last them until they terminate not when the policy terminates.
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Can Individuals With Dementia Qualify For Life Insurance
Yes, most individuals with Dementia will be able to qualify for traditional life insurance, the type of insurance which requires a medical exam.
But youll need to apply with a life insurance company that is accustomed to impaired risk cases, not an auto insurance company that just happens to also offer life insurance.
How To Find The Best Burial Insurance With Dementia Or Alzheimers
At this point you already know that your only option is a guaranteed issue plan with either Gerber Life or Mutual of Omaha. Beyond that, if you need burial insurance for someone else that does not have Dementia or Alzheimers, do not default to a guaranteed issue plan.
The vast majority of people out there looking for burial insurance can and do qualify for a plan that has health questions. Guaranteed issue is not the best choice for most folks. What you need to do is work with a qualified advisor that can advise you about what your best option truly is.
To find the best burial insurance with Dementia or Alzheimers, or any health scenario for that matter, you need to work with an experienced independent broker that represents lots of insurance companies. Independent agencies like Choice Mutual have the freedom to run quotes from multiple providers in your state to see which one will give you the best deal.
Even if you choose not to work with us, just make sure you work with an independent agency that has lots of companies to choose from. If you do, you stand a very good chance of getting a good deal.
If you would like us to help you with your burial insurance needs, call us at 1-800-644-2926. We offer expert assistance with a hassle free no pressure process. If you would like us to call you, just fill out the quote form with your phone number, and we will be in touch shortly.
About Anthony Martin
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What Kind Of Coverage Is Available
In general, its going to be nearly impossible to get a traditional term or whole life insurance policies with Alzheimers. However, you can get a guaranteed issue life insurance policy regardless of your health condition. Guaranteed issue policies are generally short-term, inexpensive policies with small death benefits intended to cover funeral costs. These are sometimes called final expense life insurance policies. Some guaranteed issue policies are a bit larger, but they generally can get very expensive. Guaranteed issue policies do not require any medical exam and have extremely limited underwriting. As long as the insured person meets some very basic requirements, the life insurance company will issue the policy and will not decline. These typically work well for older adults who have already paid off their debts and are no longer supporting their family, as is the case for most Alzheimers patients.
Why Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance
Apart from the fact that you can apply for such a policy without worrying about your health conditions, there are other benefits to such coverage.
1. No Unpredictability
The best feature of a guaranteed acceptance life insurance policy is its consistency. It is understandable that you are not able to cope well with surprises at this stage.
Many seniors inform their agents that they are looking for something with less unpredictability. Luckily, this plan can help you achieve that goal.
In such a plan, you have to pay a fixed amount in premiums. This does not change regardless of the highs and lows in the market.
The bonus is decided upon at the time of application and therefore offers more stability. This also means that you should pay attention to the premium amount and be practical when determining the amount.
You must choose a premium that you can pay with ease over the coming years. Once this is done, you can enjoy consistency in your life insurance plan. You no longer need to worry about the well-being of your loved ones after your demise.
2. More Options
You might think that such a consistent coverage option has no room for flexibility. When, in reality, you can make different choices for your policy.
Many people believe that you have to pay a more significant amount as such a system is available for high-risk individuals only.
Thus, even with dementia, you can easily find a plan that fits your budget.
3. Final Expense Coverage
5. No Expiration
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Underwriting Factors That Affect Life Insurance For Dementia Patients
Pinning down a health class for life insurance is difficult because dementia is so complicated. We urge you to consult with several companies for your unique scenario.
Underwriting life insurance for dementia is difficult because there are so many factors involved. We will cover the factors here and indicate whether they will be favorable or not to your application.
Causes of Dementia
Scientists still dont know exactly what causes dementia. But here is a list of what scientists have linked to dementia. The underlying cause of your dementia will affect your rates.
Some of these factors are beyond anyones control. The doubling up of dementia with many of these other conditions results in difficulty finding traditional life insurance.
Using Reverse Mortgages For Alzheimers Care
The decision on whether or not to use ones home, through a reverse mortgage, to help pay for care is not an easy one. In many cases, it does not make good economic sense, but in other situations it does.
The two most important factors when considering a reverse mortgage to pay for Alzheimers care are ones marital status and their expected duration of need.
Reverse mortgages come due one year after the homeowner moves from their home. Given that most individuals with Alzheimers will eventually require residential care, it becomes a question of how many years until that point. Should one be at the early stage of the condition and wont require residential care for 5 years, a reverse mortgage might make good sense as a funding resource for occasional assistance around the home. However, if one might need to move within 2 years, a reverse mortgage would be considered an expensive source of funds. The exception to this rule is when the individual with Alzheimers has a healthy spouse who will continue to live in the home when the spouse with Alzheimers moves into a care facility. In this situation, a reverse mortgage could be a sound decision.
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Problems With Vision And Spatial Awareness
Alzheimers disease can sometimes cause vision problems, making it difficult for people to judge distances between objects. The person may find it hard to distinguish contrast and colors or judge speed or distance.
These vision problems combined can affect the persons ability to drive.
Normal aging also affects eyesight, so it is essential to have regular checkups with an eye doctor.
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Stage : Mild Dementia
At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood. Denial of symptoms as a defense mechanism is commonly seen in stage 4. Behaviors to look for include:
- Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
- Difficulty recognizing faces and people
In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations. However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress or anxiety.
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Compare Life Insurance Rates Easily
WITH THE NERDWALLET LIFE INSURANCE TOOL, YOU CAN:
- Get instant quotes for term life insurance.
- See a price comparison for multiple carriers.
Buying long-term care insurance is one way to plan financially for a time when you might need to pay for help to take care of yourself. But its not the only way to pay for in-home care, adult day care, assisted living or a nursing home.
Before you buy a policy, its a good idea to explore alternatives.
Dementia Vs Alzheimers: Symptoms
The early signs of dementia are usually not so evident and can be considered as mild. A person experiences symptoms like forgetfulness, where they find it difficult to keep track of time or forgets their way to a frequently visited place.
As the condition progresses, they tend to be more forgetful and confused wherein they may start to forget the face and names of their loved ones. The behaviour continues to change and might result in depression or aggression.
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Get Help Charting The Right Course
Financially planning for long-term care is tricky. Before you buy any insurance, talk to a trusted financial advisor to help you plan for long-term care expenses. A fee-only advisor doesnt earn commissions on product sales and can help you look objectively at the big picture.
The biggest risk of buying long-term care insurance is that you might spend tens of thousands of dollars on something you wont use. Policies pay for nursing homes, assisted living or home health care but what if you never need these services? New types of policies combine long-term care insurance with permanent life insurance, such as whole or universal life.
If you want both types of coverage and can front the money, these hybrid options are worth a look.
How To Qualify For Life Insurance For Dementia Patients
All insurance companies ask the question, have you been diagnosed with Alzheimers or any form of dementia? You will be ineligible for any term or whole life insurance policy if you answer yes. While there are whole and term life insurance policies for seniors, not if you have a history of dementia.
Dont think about lying on the application and saying you dont. If youve been diagnosed, the insurance company will find out. Its insurance fraud not to be 100% honest on your application.
Insurance companies look at your medical history and prescription history. Theyll put two and two together if theres any suspicion youve been diagnosed with a memory disorder.
So how do you qualify for life insurance if you have dementia?
Apply for a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. Also known as the no questions asked policy. Almost anyone can qualify for this type of policy, but there are downsides.
Youll have limited coverage options, and the premiums are much higher. If you dont have any life insurance and/or savings for your final expenses, you may need it, though.
Fortunately, to qualify, you only need to meet these simple guidelines:
- You are a US citizen
- You are between 50 85 years old
- You apply for the policy yourself or can sign and understand the application if someone else is buying it for you
Whats the Catch?
It sounds too good to be true, right?
Theres a waiting period, and its long.
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What Can I Do To Help Ensure That I Get The Best Life Insurance For Me
In our experience here at IBUSA, 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 dont have to rely on a
Problems Writing Or Speaking
The person may also have difficulty with words and communication. They may find it hard to follow or contribute to a conversation, or they may repeat themselves. They may also have difficulty writing down their thoughts.
The person may stop in the middle of a conversation, unable to figure out what to say next. They may also struggle to find the right word or label things incorrectly.
It is not uncommon for people to occasionally struggle to find the right word. Typically, they eventually remember it and do not experience the problem frequently.
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Anxiety And Depression Medications
Any one a number of anxiety medications will raise a few red flags when it comes to applying for life insurance. The main reason for concern is that the use of these medications could indicate one of several different conditions ranging from mild situational depression all the way to suicide ideation.
Generally speaking, once your life insurance application goes into underwriting, the insurance company will most likely order medical records from your primary care physician so that a better understanding of why you were prescribed one of these medications can be determined. However, knowing which insurance company is going to be more lenient when it comes to underwriting for life insurance with anxiety and depression becomes paramount.
Mood Or Personality Changes
Someone with Alzheimers disease may start to experience a low mood. They may feel irritable, confused, anxious, or depressed. They may also lose interest in things they used to enjoy.
They may become frustrated with their symptoms or feel unable to understand the changes taking place. This may present as aggression or irritability toward others.
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Choose Someone To Have Lasting Power Of Attorney
You can make one or more people an “attorney” to manage your affairs, including your money, property, and medical treatment, if it becomes necessary.
You can choose anyone you trust to be your attorney , but they must be over 18.
Find out more about power of attorney on our page about managing legal affairs for someone with dementia.
Dementia & The Need For Life Insurance
Dementia is the collective name for progressive brain disorders that affect memory, behavior and significantly affect life expectancy. Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and Huntingtons disease are some of the well-known forms of dementia.
Dementia & Life Expectancy
Sadly, individuals diagnosed with dementia have a significantly shortened life expectancy.
A recent study by researchers at the University of Cambridge followed more than 13,000 men and women, aged 65 and up, for 14 years. During that time, 80% of participants died. The study found that men lived an average of 4.1 years after diagnosis, while women lived an average of 4.6 years after diagnosis.
The studys conclusion suggests that once diagnosed, dementia patients life expectancy is about half of that of healthy individuals. Thus, making it all the more important to get life insurance coverage because death usually comes sooner rather than later.
The Financial Impact
Dementia not only steals your dignity and eventually your life, but it can also be financially devastating. The financial impact of dementia will likely spill over into the lives of surrounding loved ones too.
A 2018 C.A.R.E. study by Northwest Mutual shows some startling financial statistics regarding the cost of dementia care.
These statistics show the significant financial challenge that dementia patients face. They also show that the economic impact will likely affect your surrounding loved ones.