Life Insurance For People With Multiple Sclerosis In 2024

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Written by
Bob Phillips
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If you have Multiple Sclerosis and are wondering about your life insurance options, we can help. The insurance world can be complicated, but not to worry, this article should help clear up any confusion on the subject. We’ve researched and mined for data about life insurance options for those with Multiple Sclerosis in an effort to provide you with the information needed to purchase a policy that is best suited for your needs.

The landscape of life insurance for those with Multiple Sclerosis has been altered by advancements in the realm of medicine, including a better understanding of this condition and its treatment. Let’s take a look at your life insurance options, coverage details, qualifying for life insurance and more, to guide you in securing the best policy for your individual needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Life insurance premiums are normally higher if you have Multiple Sclerosis

  • Life insurance for people with Multiple Sclerosis is available

  • Underwriting for life insurance if you have Multiple Sclerosis may be more elaborate and a lengthier process

Can I Get Life Insurance If I Have Multiple Sclerosis?

Yes, you can get life insurance coverage if you’re living with Multiple Sclerosis. This was not always true in the past, but advancements in medicine plus a better understanding of Multiple Sclerosis itself has changed the insurance industry’s position over time. Numerous leading providers offer whole life and term insurance options for those with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

Although it’s encouraging that there are life insurance options for those with Multiple Sclerosis, the thing is that all life insurance carriers do not offer this coverage. In fact, some may deny it. But don’t get discouraged, because this doesn’t translate to mean you can’t get life insurance at all.

Quite a few insurance providers have seen a need for insurance for people with Multiple Sclerosis, and have begun offering policies designed specially for those living with this health condition.

Important: “Life insurance for Multiple Sclerosis is available, though the coverage might be limited and potentially more expensive.”

How Does Having Multiple Sclerosis Affect My Life Insurance Eligibility?

Although standard life insurance might not be completely available to people with Multiple Sclerosis, insurance companies do exist that provide special coverage. These insurance carriers offer traditional life insurance coverage for applicants with Multiple Sclerosis, especially if they’re managing their condition well. Additionally, people with Multiple Sclerosis might meet the qualifications for group life insurance, or guaranteed issue.

If you are living with Multiple Sclerosis, you need to research and gain a better understanding of specifically what to look for when you’re in the market for life insurance coverage. It might be something of a challenge, but the financial protection you’ll gain from a life insurance policy is priceless. If you are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis after you purchase and are maintaining an active life insurance policy, a company cannot cancel your policy due to this diagnosis. There are only two reasons a life insurance provider can cancel a policy:

  • Fraudulent statements on an application
  • Failure to pay premiums

Nor can an insurance company raise your premiums if you are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis after obtaining coverage.

Important: “A life insurance policy can’t be rescinded or have the rates raised if you’re diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis after the policy has been issued.”

Life Insurance Underwriting Process For Individuals With Multiple Sclerosis

A working knowledge of the underwriting process involved in getting life insurance if you have Multiple Sclerosis will help you find a policy that is best for your particular needs. Below are 5 key steps that are involved in the underwriting process for those with Multiple Sclerosis who want to purchase life insurance:

  1. Medical Exam: This is the first step in the process of underwriting for life insurance. You’ll be required to have a medical examination in order for the insurance company to make an assessment of your physical condition overall.  Naturally, the focus will be on how well, or how poorly, you are managing your Multiple Sclerosis.
  2. Review of Medical History: The insurance carrier will want access to your medical history. They’ll be particularly interested in how rapidly or slowly your condition is progressing.
  3. Lifestyle Evaluation: The insurer will look at your lifestyle habits, including  smoking, drug use, or how much, as well as how often, you drink alcohol. A healthy lifestyle can benefit the acceptance of your application.
  4. Risk Assessment: Going by the collection of data, the insurance provider will determine the risk level of insuring your life. The price of your premiums will be directly affected by the assessment.
  5. Policy Issuance: The insurance provider will offer coverage if you pass the requirements of their underwriting process. Your policy might be accompanied by  higher premiums or exclusions, based on your risk assessment.

What Do Life Insurance Companies Consider When You’re Applying With Multiple Sclerosis?

When you apply for life insurance as someone diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, it’s important for you to realize that insurers will take a close look at various key components.
One of the most critical factors taken into consideration by insurers is how you are, or aren’t, managing your condition. They’ll likely request access to your medical records in order to review them. If they see that you are proactive about your health, it could mean a sizable savings on your premiums, or even whether or not your application is approved or denied. Your lifestyle is a deciding factor in whether or not you’re issued coverage, too.

Here are some things that will play a role in an insurer’s decision regarding issuing a policy to someone with Multiple Sclerosis:

  • How many seizure-type attacks have you had?
  • How old were you when first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis?
  • When was your most recent attack?
  • What treatments have you had for MS?
  • What medications are you taking for your condition?
  • How have you responded to treatments?
  • Has your condition gotten better or worse?
  • Do you currently or have you ever smoked cigarettes?

Best Types Of Life Insurance For People With Multiple Sclerosis

There are multiple options available in life insurance if you have Multiple Sclerosis, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is designed to provide you with coverage for a specified period of time, 10-25 years being the most common. Term life insurance is usually less costly than whole life insurance. If you have Multiple Sclerosis, term life might be the best option for you, especially if you need a sizable amount of coverage but are on a tight budget.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance offers life-long coverage. It also provides a cash benefit that accrues and becomes more valuable as time goes by. Its death benefits are guaranteed and coverage never expires, which is good. Whole life insurance almost always comes with higher premiums than term life insurance.

Group Life Insurance

Most people acquire group life insurance through an employer, union or other organization where there are multiple members. For those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a group policy may be the best way to get life insurance minus the typical underwriting process of a private policy. Since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you can’t be denied coverage or excluded for coverage from a pre-existing condition in a group policy.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance is basically just what it sounds like: guaranteed. This type of life insurance offers coverage to nearly anyone, no matter their health. Someone with Multiple Sclerosis could find this type of life insurance an acceptable option. The down side is that it generally has more costly rates and less coverage than other types of life insurance.

Final Expense Life Insurance

Final expense life insurance specifically covers end of life expenses, including burial and/or funeral costs. Such policies tend to have lenient underwriting stipulations, which can be helpful to people with Multiple Sclerosis who might be struggling to qualify for other, more traditional types of insurance.

Important: “Living benefit riders can also be a lifeline for individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis. These optional additions to your policy can allow you to access a portion of your death benefit while still alive to help cover treatment expenses.”

How To Buy Life Insurance If You Have Multiple Sclerosis

Following these four steps will simplify buying life insurance for Multiple Sclerosis:

Research Your Options

Begin by doing some research of life insurance companies that provide policies for those with Multiple Sclerosis. Some insurers offer whole and term life insurance coverage, so you need to know the differences between the two types  and which seems best for your needs.


Understand the Underwriting Process

You should know that the majority of life insurance applications will mean that you acknowledge your Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. The underwriting process might well be more rigorous and could lead to higher rates.


Consider Employer or Group Coverage

If it is available to you, think about obtaining group life insurance via your workplace. Group policies often provide insurance coverage no matter your health condition, such as Multiple Sclerosis.


Apply for Coverage

When you’ve selected a company and policy that suits your particular needs, your next step is to complete the application for coverage. This may entail answering in-depth health questions, as well as having a medical exam.


How Much Does Life Insurance Cost If You Have Multiple Sclerosis?

The table below shows the average rates possible for a male diagnosed less than ten years ago, with mild to moderate relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS).

20-Year Term Life Insurance Rates For People With Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS)

Age $500,000 Coverage Amount
25 $62.00
30 $65.00
35 $75.00
40 $107.00
45 $160.00
50 $244.00
55 $403.00
60 $689.00
65 $1,324.00

How To Qualify For Life Insurance With Multiple Sclerosis

In order to qualify for life insurance if you have Multiple Sclerosis, providers usually want you to furnish proof that you’re managing your condition. Typically, this involves providing medical records that show you’re being proactive about symptom management in whatever areas show Multiple Sclerosis symptoms, also that you’re going for regular follow ups with your primary care provider and specialists, and taking your prescription drugs as ordered. Multiple other factors such as:

  • Age
  • Overall health status
  • Lifestyle choices like smoking, using drugs or excessive alcohol
  • Family medical history

If you have Multiple Sclerosis, be mindful when filling out an application for coverage that you may get a better rate or at least not be declined if you emphasize that you’re doing all you can to thrive in spite of your condition. For example, if you have a gym membership, try to mention it.

Ditto for a regular walking or running routine, dance lessons, hiking…anything you do to stay as fit as you possibly can, including a healthy diet. Put the spotlight on your efforts to live a normal, healthy lifestyle.

Can Insurance Companies Deny You Coverage For Having Multiple Sclerosis?

Yes, you can be denied coverage for life insurance if you have Multiple Sclerosis. Many providers will issue a policy to you if you have MS, but your rates could be considerably higher than the average rate. Part of what many companies base your insurability on is the level and progression of your disease. If your health is deemed too risky, your application can be declined.

Advancements in the medical field have markedly better treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. This has led to an improved longevity and a correlating shift in the way insurance providers look at insurability for people with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

What Will Insurers Ask About Your Condition?

Insurance providers will ask a lot of questions if you are applying for life insurance coverage and have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It’s best to be up-front and completely honest about your condition. If you try to skate on your diagnosis and not divulge it, you’re certain to be caught out and at that point your policy would be canceled.

Here are a few of the questions you’re likely to be asked when applying for life insurance if you have Multiple Sclerosis:

  • Have you ever had any sort of treatment for Multiple Sclerosis?
  • What medications are you taking for Multiple Sclerosis?
  • Has there been any improvement or progression in your Multiple Sclerosis?
  • Do you smoke now, or have you ever smoked?
  • Do you have a history of abuse of prescription or recreational drugs?
  • How frequent have seizures been, if any?
  • When did you have your most recent flare-up of Multiple Sclerosis?

Life Insurance Options If You Are Denied Coverage

If you have Multiple Sclerosis and have been denied life insurance coverage, you still have options available. One such option is a guaranteed issue policy, which doesn’t require a medical exam or even ask health questions. Another viable option is a graded death benefit that raises eligibility for the death benefit over a period of time.

Group life insurance through an employer might be an option for you, as these policies usually provide insurance coverage no matter what health conditions you have, including Multiple Sclerosis. There are also specialized services such as Insuranceopedia, which assists people diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in finding life insurance by getting quotes from various well respected providers.

If you have been diagnosed with MS, you may want to consider a Living Benefit Rider on existing life insurance. This is an add-on to your policy that provides access to a portion of your life insurance death benefit while you’re still living, provided you meet particular criteria. Most insurance providers offer an accelerated death benefit rider for a terminal illness, at no charge. Different companies have their own requirements for when this rider can be activated.

Important: “Guaranteed issue policies are an excellent option if other companies have denied your application for whole, universal, or term life insurance policies.”

Tips for choosing the right policy

Here Are 3 Simple Tips That Can Shorten Your Search:

  1. Know Your Needs: Take stock of your financial needs when determining how much life insurance coverage to purchase. Factor in how much you owe that would have to be settled in case of your death, how much to replace your incomes income, as well as future expenses like college tuition for your children..
  2. Explore Policy Types: Take a long look at graded death benefit policies, along with guaranteed issue insurance. These life insurance policies are designed for people living with illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis. Also, group life insurance often covers you regardless of health conditions.
  3. Use Specialized Services: Take advantage of free services like Insuranceopedia, which provides quotes from various insurance carriers to help you with rate comparisons, to locate an affordable policy suitable for your needs.

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

MS, or Multiple Sclerosis, is a disease of the central nervous system that affects the spinal cord and brain by destroying the protective coating on your nerves. This destruction slows the directions from the brain to the body, which in turn creates difficulties for brain motor workings.

MS is rarely fatal or even totally debilitating. Some people with Multiple Sclerosis will have moderate symptoms for multiple years of their lives but not be incapacitated. However, other people with the disease might experience rapid development of symptoms and quickly lose the ability for self care.

People often ask if MS is hereditary. The answer is no, strictly speaking it is not. However, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, if you have a close family member with MS, this increases your chances of developing the condition.

Statistically, there’s a 0.1% chance of you having Multiple Sclerosis. But, this percentage increases to 2.5- 5% if you have a parent or sibling with the disease.

Multiple Sclerosis Is Broken Down Into 4 Phases:

  1. Clinically Isolated Syndrome— These are the first symptoms, which are caused by swelling in the Central Nervous System.
  2. Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis— This course is by far the most common. CNS symptoms may worsen, and more attacks follow.
  3. Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis— This phase typically follows relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis. At this point, a person’s Multiple Sclerosis might be labeled either active or inactive
  4. Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis— This is the most intense course of the disease, when damage to the spinal cord affects every facet of life

Other Health Concerns That Can Affect Your Life Insurance

When you make an application for life insurance, insurance providers will do an evaluation of your health condition to determine how much of a risk it will be to insure you. Below is a list of seventeen common health conditions that can significantly affect your life insurance policy:

  • Cancer: Cancer can significantly affect insurability, dependent on the stage and type.
  • Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes almost always raise premium rates
  • Heart Disease: This is a very common condition that may cause higher premiums or denial of coverage altogether, depending on the severity
  • Obesity: High BMI, or Body Mass Index, may mean higher premium costs
  • High Blood Pressure: Hypertension may not have much effect on your policy if it’s well-managed
  • High Cholesterol: May lead to higher premiums if not well-controlled
  • Asthma: Dependent on the severity of symptoms, asthma might affect insurance premiums
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia: These conditions can play a large role in insurability
  • Depression: Mental health conditions such as depression may impact insurance coverage
  • Kidney Disease: Chronic kidney disease, CKD, may cause  more costly insurance rates
  • Lung Disease: Chronic conditions like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, may increase insurance premiums
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: A chronic autoimmune condition, it may lead to higher premiums
  • Stroke: History of stroke could elevate insurance premium rates
  • Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea might cause increased insurance rates if it isn’t well managed
  • HIV
  • Substance Use Disorders: A history of drug/alcohol abuse can impact insurability
  • Liver Disease: Conditions such as cirrhosis or fatty liver might affect your life insurance policy cost


Do People With Multiple Sclerosis Qualify For Life Insurance?

Basically, this largely depends on the insurance company. Some life insurance companies will issue policies to individuals who have Multiple Sclerosis, and some won’t. The stage of the disease usually influences the cost of your policy.

What Insurance Is Best For Multiple Sclerosis?

If you have been denied traditional life insurance due to a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, you might consider a guaranteed issue policy that requires no medical exam or health questions.

Is Multiple Sclerosis Classed As a Critical Illness In Insurance?

Yes, it is. As it’s a lifelong condition that affects the Central Nervous System, Multiple Sclerosis is considered a critical illness.


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