Affordable Burial Insurance for Seniors with Multiple Sclerosis
As you navigate the important task of planning for your end-of-life expenses, we understand that burial insurance plays a significant role. By securing a burial insurance policy, you provide your loved ones with a death benefit that can alleviate the financial burden of your final arrangements or serve as an inheritance.
Living with multiple sclerosis can bring various challenges into your life, but finding appropriate insurance coverage doesn’t have to be one of them. We empathize with your situation and are here to assist you in finding a low-cost burial insurance plan that suits your specific coverage needs.
Essentials of Burial Insurance
Burial insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that remains in effect until your passing. Upon your demise, your beneficiaries receive a cash payment known as the death benefit. This benefit can be utilized in any way they deem necessary, primarily to cover the costs of your funeral, cremation, or burial. While burial insurance policies generally offer smaller coverage amounts compared to typical life insurance policies, they still provide an average coverage ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.
The affordability of burial insurance premiums makes it a viable option for individuals with limited or fixed incomes. For those with pre-existing health conditions, term life and whole life insurance policies tend to be considerably more expensive. The relatively modest death benefits of burial insurance enable insurance companies to offer these plans at lower monthly rates.
Burial insurance is recognized for its accessibility, as it is relatively easier to qualify for compared to other forms of life insurance. You won’t be required to undergo a medical examination, and the application process typically involves answering a health questionnaire. Even if you have a health condition that would otherwise prevent you from obtaining a standard policy, you may qualify for a graded or modified policy, or even a guaranteed issue policy. Guaranteed issue policies don’t require any health-related questions or medical underwriting. Although these plans are often more expensive than standard burial insurance policies, they provide a crucial benefit to individuals who would otherwise be unable to secure coverage.
Considerations for Multiple Sclerosis and Insurance
When applying for life insurance with a health condition like multiple sclerosis, certain factors can influence your chances of acceptance. In the case of burial insurance, factors such as assistance with daily activities, home health care, wheelchair usage, and the timing of your multiple sclerosis diagnosis and treatment will affect both your eligibility and the specific plans you should consider.
Assistance with Daily Activities
Daily activities, referred to as activities of daily living (ADLs), are a set of tasks used by home health and insurance agencies to assess an individual’s ability to live independently. These tasks encompass dressing, eating, bathing, medication management, transferring, and using the restroom, among others. Requiring assistance with three or more of these activities may qualify you for home health care assistance and trigger the activation of a long-term care insurance plan. Additionally, ADLs provide an objective assessment of your overall health.
When applying for burial insurance, you will be asked about your need for assistance with daily activities. If you require help with any of the ADLs, you may not qualify for a policy offering immediate coverage. In such cases, it is advisable to apply for a guaranteed issue or guaranteed acceptance policy. These plans do not involve medical underwriting, meaning your medical history is not taken into account. However, guaranteed issue plans tend to be more expensive due to the higher risk associated with insuring individuals with any health condition. Furthermore, these plans typically have a two-year waiting period, during which if you pass away, your beneficiaries will receive the premiums paid plus 10% interest instead of the full death benefit.
Home Health Care
In the eyes of burial insurance companies, home health care is considered equivalent to needing assistance with activities of daily living. While it is still possible to secure burial insurance if you require home health care, you will likely need to opt for a graded or guaranteed issue policy, which involves a two-year waiting period before your beneficiaries receive the full death benefit.
If you are currently receiving temporary home health care, we recommend waiting until it concludes before applying for a burial insurance policy.
Timing of Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis and Treatment
We understand that your health condition, the severity of your diagnosis, and the time since you were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and received treatment may have an impact on the burial insurance plan you qualify for.
For seniors who have been living with multiple sclerosis for more than 24 months prior to applying for burial insurance, their condition should not affect their acceptance into a burial insurance plan. These individuals will qualify for a level death benefit plan with first-day coverage, ensuring their beneficiaries receive the death benefit without any waiting period upon acceptance.
If you have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis within the last 24 months, you may find that most burial insurance companies decline level coverage. We understand that your condition is less predictable compared to those who have a longer history with the condition. However, you can still obtain a first-day benefit plan, although it will come at a higher cost.
We recognize that many seniors with multiple sclerosis require assistance with mobility and may rely on a wheelchair. It’s important to note that if you use a wheelchair, you may not be eligible for a first-day coverage burial insurance plan. However, you can qualify for a guaranteed issue policy with a two-year waiting period.
Medical Underwriting with Multiple Sclerosis
When you apply for burial insurance, we want you to know that there will be health-related questions. While burial insurance and final expense plans are generally more accessible than traditional life insurance because they don’t require a medical exam, they still involve medical underwriting. This process helps the insurance company assess your risk as a client. First, you will be asked to fill out a health questionnaire, and then a prescription history check will be conducted. This ensures that any undisclosed medical conditions are known and helps confirm your medical history.
Health Questions for Multiple Sclerosis
In addition to questions about heart conditions, stroke, cancer, depression, and other health factors, you will be asked about your history with multiple sclerosis. The condition may also be referred to more broadly as a neuromuscular disease. It’s important to answer each health question truthfully, as any discrepancies can affect your death benefit if the insurance company discovers any inconsistencies later on. Some examples of the questions you can expect include:
- Have you ever been diagnosed with or received treatment for multiple sclerosis?
- Within the last 24 months, have you had or been treated for multiple sclerosis?
- Have you ever been diagnosed or treated for any neuromuscular disease?
Medications that Reveal Multiple Sclerosis
When reviewing your health history, burial insurance companies take into account your prescription medication records. This information is used to confirm your answers to the health questions. If the insurance company identifies that you have taken medication for multiple sclerosis, they will consider you as an applicant with MS, regardless of how you answered the health questions. Here is a list of common multiple sclerosis medications they may review:
Burial Insurance Expected Acceptance Outcomes for Multiple Sclerosis
We understand that not all insurance providers will accept applicants with health conditions like multiple sclerosis. However, with burial insurance, there are still options available to you. If you are declined for a first-day coverage plan, you can always consider applying for a guaranteed issue or guaranteed acceptance plan.
Full Acceptance, First Day Coverage
Some burial insurance companies accept individuals with multiple sclerosis as frequently as those without the condition. In this case, you would receive the same first-day coverage as everyone else, with no additional premiums.
Higher Premiums, First Day Coverage
Certain companies may adjust the premiums slightly higher to account for the increased risk of insuring someone with multiple sclerosis. However, you would still receive the same first-day coverage under this outcome.
Higher Premiums, Graded Payout
Graded plans are commonly offered by burial insurance companies. These plans have a limited death benefit payout during the first one or two years, typically 30% to 40% in the first year and 70% to 80% in the second year. After this initial period, your beneficiaries would receive the full death benefit. Graded plans generally come with higher premiums compared to those for individuals without multiple sclerosis.
Higher Premiums, Waiting Period (Guaranteed Issue)
Sometimes, insurance companies may require higher monthly premiums and impose a waiting period of two to three years for a modified version of their burial insurance policy. If you pass away during this waiting period, your beneficiaries would receive the amount you paid in premiums plus around 10% interest.
Guaranteed issue plans offer a similar approach but with substantially lower premiums. These plans are a good option for seniors in advanced stages of multiple sclerosis who would otherwise not qualify for a level or graded plan. Insurance companies offering guaranteed issue plans do not ask health questions or check medical history.
There may be burial insurance companies that simply do not accept individuals who answer “yes” to multiple sclerosis questions or have a history of diagnosis, treatment, or medication related to the condition. If you are declined for a level policy, you can turn to a graded policy. If you are not accepted for a graded policy, a guaranteed issue plan would be the next option. Rest assured, you will be able to purchase burial insurance—it is only a matter of price and waiting periods.
Burial Insurance Riders
When purchasing burial insurance with multiple sclerosis, you may want to consider adding an insurance rider. The terminal illness add-on benefit protects your death benefit if you pass away due to a terminal illness. The nursing home care add-on benefit provides coverage for assistance with daily activities and potential transfer to a nursing home. We recommend discussing these insurance riders with your agent to determine if they align with your needs.
Finding Burial Insurance with Multiple Sclerosis
We understand that finding affordable burial insurance with multiple sclerosis may initially seem challenging. However, once you are familiar with the available plans and how they work, you can easily compare your options. As mentioned earlier, factors such as your medical history, wheelchair usage, timing of diagnosis and treatment, and need for assistance with daily activities can impact your eligibility for level coverage plans.
If you have been diagnosed or received treatment for multiple sclerosis within the last two years, you may save money by considering a guaranteed issue policy. These plans generally have lower premiums compared to modified burial insurance plans offered elsewhere.
A graded plan is often the best option when searching for burial insurance with multiple sclerosis. With reasonable premiums, these plans gradually increase the percentage of the death benefit from the first year into the second year, ultimately providing full access after two or three years. The value of this graded benefit can exceed the cost of premiums with interest, making it more favorable than the pricier guaranteed issue or modified plans.
When conducting your search for burial insurance with multiple sclerosis, you can filter out plans that deny applicants with MS. From there, you can explore the plans that best suit your coverage needs and budget.
We are here to assist you in your search for burial insurance. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment and discuss your options.