Friday, July 25, 2008

I was diagnosed with MS in 2003 I would now like to buy a life insurance policy. I was rejected by my group life insurance (SSQ) a few months ago.

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Daily Living with MS

Mr. Ottley

Insurance Broker
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Q :
I was diagnosed with MS in 2003 following a second optic neuritis attack, the first being in 2001. Since then, nothing. I would now like to buy a life insurance policy. I was rejected by my group life insurance (SSQ) a few months ago. What are my other life insurance options? Could special clauses or extra premiums be added? Do you know of an insurance company that is more willing to accept someone who has MS? Is there something other than insurance for someone who is not insurable such as with Unity Life of Canada (it is the only option that my insurer recommended)?

A :
Optional Group Life under an Employee Benefit program is usually underwritten on an “accept or decline” basis so anyone with any significant health issue is usually declined outright.

If you were to apply for an individual policy, the insurer would look at your specific situation and obtain medical reports from your attending physicians to determine whether they could make you an offer of coverage. Individuals with mild and moderate MS might be considered with a premium rating or surcharge. Some severe cases might also be considered however, extreme cases would be declined.

Insurers will normally use the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) to determine the severity of the case. The EDSS scale is a neurological scale designed to ‘measure’ or describe levels of disability in MS. Itis generally used by MS neurologists in MS Clinic settings. Please note that this is just a tool for them to quantify your particular situation and any underwriting decision will be based on your complete medical picture.

There are carriers who will offer coverage with “no medical required” however, they tend to offer low amounts of coverage at high premiums – you’re better off trying regular underwriters first and use these carriers as a last resort. Your local Life Insurance Broker should be able to assist you.

Since you are currently covered under a group contract, you should be aware of the following:

a) Your Group Life insurance will cease on the day you terminate employment unless you have qualified for the Waiver of Premium benefit. You are, however, allowed to convert your coverage to an individual Life policy with the group carrier at standard rates. This must be done within 30 days of your termination!

b) If your Health and Dental benefits are not continuing on, there are several carriers who will provide this coverage on a “no questions asked” basis however this must be applied for within 60 days of losing benefits.
7/25/2008 12:55:25 AM

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Anonymous Life insurance Canada said...

This is incredibly informational. Personally, I'd like to believe people with diagnoses such as this one should be eligible to receive life insurance at somewhere, however the premium here could be an issue. Offering long term care insurance in Canada, I tend to ponder on questions such as these myself. Thank you for the advice, and I wish you all the best.

7:20 AM  

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