How To Get Life Insurance With Epilepsy In 2024

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Bob Phillips
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If you are living with epilepsy, you might be wondering what your options are for life insurance. The world of insurance can be a bewildering place, loaded with unfamiliar technical terms and even more confusing medical speak. We’re here to help.

We’ve researched and compiled data on the subject of life insurance for epilepsy that should help you find your way through all of the baffling information. We’ve spent many hours delving into the subject of life insurance and how it works for various health conditions, epilepsy included.

The landscape of life insurance for epilepsy has been vastly improved by modern advancements in medicine, along with better knowledge of the condition. We’ll start by taking a look at your coverage details, options for life insurance, qualifying for life insurance coverage and more, all things that should help you get a life insurance policy that suits your particular needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Life insurance is available for those with epilepsy

  • Life insurance rates are normally higher for those with epilepsy

  • The life insurance underwriting process for epilepsy may be longer and more complicated

Can People With Epilepsy Get Life Insurance?

Yes, they can. Those with epilepsy can get life insurance. This wasn’t always the case, though. Back in the day, before progress in the medical field along with a better understanding of epilepsy changed the insurance industry’s view of the condition, people with epilepsy were often denied coverage. Nowadays, numerous front line insurance carriers provide whole life insurance along with term life insurance for those with epilepsy.

It’s heartening to know that life insurance options are there for those who suffer from epilepsy, but keep in mind that not all life insurers will offer this coverage. No worries, because there are a lot of insurance companies that do offer policies for epilepsy.

So, if you have this condition, rest assured that you can get life insurance if you want or need it. Your premiums may be a little higher, but nothing too over the top.

Important: Life insurance for epilepsy is available, though the coverage might be limited and potentially more expensive.

How Does Having Epilepsy Affect My Life Insurance?

Traditional life insurance policies might or might not be available if you have epilepsy, but there are insurance providers that offer special coverage. These providers offer standard rate life insurance coverage for those with epilepsy, especially if they are proactive in managing their condition.

People with epilepsy might also meet the requirements for group life insurance, or guaranteed issue.

Anyone with epilepsy who is researching to find out what to look for when shopping for life insurance can count this time well spent. The research might be a challenge, but the financial peace of mind and protection you’ll get from having life insurance in place will be priceless.

An important note: If you were diagnosed with epilepsy after purchasing a  life insurance policy, the company cannot cancel the policy because of your diagnosis. There are 2 reasons a life insurance carrier can cancel your policy:

  • Failure to pay your premiums for insurance
  • Fraudulent statements made on your insurance application

An insurance company can’t raise your premiums if you are diagnosed with epilepsy after purchasing coverage.

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

Life Insurance Underwriting Process For Epilepsy

If you have been diagnosed with epilepsy and are looking into buying life insurance, it may help you to have a basic understanding of the underwriting process. Here are 4 key points you will need to address in the underwriting process:

  1. The date of your last seizure
  2. The frequency of your seizures
  3. What kind of seizures you have
  4. The severity of your seizures

What Do Life Insurance Companies Consider With Epilepsy As a Diagnosis?

If you have epilepsy and are in the market for life insurance, you should understand that insurers will carefully scrutinize the information provided.

An important point that insurance carriers consider is how you are managing your condition. They’ll typically ask for access to your medical records, and conduct a physical examination.

Here are some factors that will have a direct bearing on whether or not you are issued a life insurance policy, and your rates, if you have epilepsy:

  • How much time has elapsed since your last seizure
  • Type of attacks
  • Durations of attacks
  • Medications you take

One of the most critical points for those with epilepsy, when it comes to purchasing life insurance, is how well controlled it is. For instance, how often you have seizures. The less seizures you have, the more likely you won’t be declined for coverage and the lower your rates will be.

So, always let it be known for underwriting purposes that you are compliant about taking your seizure meds and observing a healthy lifestyle.

Best Type Of Life Insurance For People With epilepsy

People with epilepsy have choices for life insurance coverage. Although you could be denied coverage, depending on your frequency of attacks and other medical problems whether connected to epilepsy or not, it’s more likely you’ll be able to get coverage, but at a higher rate.

Here are the types of life insurance you may want to think about:

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance offers coverage for a specific period of time, usually 10-25 years. This type of life insurance comes with a cheaper price tag than whole life insurance, but it may be a better choice if you have epilepsy. This might be the case if you want a fairly hefty amount of coverage at lower rates than whole life insurance.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is designed to provide coverage for your whole life. Unlike term life insurance, it doesn’t run out at a certain time. Another point in its favor is that it accrues a cash value that builds over time. Also, and this is noteworthy, your death benefits are guaranteed. You can count on higher premiums for whole life insurance, especially if you have epilepsy.

Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance is an attractive option if it’s available to you through your employer, union or other type of group. It’s particularly good if you have a condition such as epilepsy because there is no in-depth application to fill out, or a physical examination.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

If you have epilepsy, you won’t have to worry bout being denied coverage with Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance. As its name implies, it’s actually guaranteed and provides coverage to basically anyone, with any health condition. Guaranteed Issue life insurance usually comes with steeper rates and less coverage than other types, but it’s a feasible alternative to traditional insurance for those with a health condition like epilepsy.

Final Expense Life Insurance

Final Expense Life Insurance takes care of costs such as burial or funeral costs, end of life expenses, and more. This type of policy usually has more lenient underwriting than  traditional life insurance. If you have epilepsy, this might be an appealing option if you can’t qualify for other life insurance.

Important: Living benefit riders can also be a lifeline for individuals living with epilepsy. 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 Epilepsy

Follow these 4 simple tips to buying life insurance with epilepsy:

Research Your Options

First, research and find some reputable life insurance carriers offering coverage to those with epilepsy. A lot of providers offer term life insurance along with whole life insurance, so it’s best to know the difference between these two types. You can check them out and decide which would be best to fill your needs.

1

Understand the Underwriting Process

Most life insurance applications have questions that will divulge your health records and medical history. So, the underwriting is likely to be more in-depth if you have been diagnosed with epilepsy, and may mean paying higher rates.

2

Consider Employer or Group Coverage

If you have access to life insurance through your employer, it might be wise to take advantage of it. Group life insurance policies offer coverage regardless of your health conditions. To gild the lily, rates are normally much lower than private insurance policies.

3

Apply for Coverage

When you have chosen a life insurance provider offering the coverage you need, it will be time to submit your application. This might mean answering various health questions, as well as undergoing a required medical exam.

4

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost If You Have Epilepsy?

Anyone living with epilepsy might be called upon to submit a treatment plan ordered by a doctor, to get the best rates. Other companies might not require this, depending on assorted factors such as type of cancer, date of diagnosis, length of time with no recurrence, and other data.

You can probably rightly assume that your premiums for life insurance will be higher than others without epilepsy. But, this is a situation where it may be prudent to shop around as rates can vary widely between one insurer and another. Life insurance is something worth looking into if you want to get more bang for your buck, so invest some time in a little research.

Here are some rate examples for various age groups and both genders:

Age Gender $500,000 Coverage Amount
20 Female $33.81
Male $42.65
30 Female $44.34
Male $43.10
40 Female $53.50
Male $67.19
50 Female $121.89
Male $156.83
60 Female $292.97
Male $408.89

How To Qualify For Life Insurance With Epilepsy

Anyone with epilepsy who wants to qualify for life insurance should know that you might not be issued a policy by every insurer. However, you can find some good companies that will issue coverage to you, if you’re willing to do some research. One thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to life insurance underwriting, risk assessment is the major consideration.

There are quite a few factors that go into an insurer’s risk assessment of your health. You could help your chances of having your application approved if you let it be known that you observe a lifestyle conducive to keeping epilepsy under control.

If you are newly diagnosed with epilepsy, don’t run right out and try to get life insurance. Most life insurance companies will delay issuance of coverage for at least 3-6 months after diagnosis.

Rates usually improve based on how long it has been since your last seizure. The more time has elapsed since your last episode, the lower your rates in most cases.

Can Insurance Companies Deny Coverage If You Have Epilepsy?

Yes, life insurance carriers might opt to decline coverage, depending on the severity of your epilepsy as well as other comorbidities you might have.

You can still get life insurance even if you’re turned down for traditional coverage, but prepare yourself to pay increased rates.

What Will Insurers Ask About Your Condition?

People with epilepsy applying for life insurance will be asked to undergo an intensive underwriting process. Here are some questions that might be asked if you’re making an application for life insurance:

  • When were you first diagnosed with epilepsy?
  • How often do you have seizures?
  • When was your last episode?
  • What type of seizures have you had?
  • Do you have any history of status epilepticus?
  • Have you ever been hospitalized for epilepsy?
  • Have you had any mental deterioration or personality changes from epilepsy
  • When was your last EEG, MRI, or CT scan completed?
  • What were the results of the tests?
  • What medications and dosages do you take?
  • Do you have any other health issues?
  • Are you a smoker or a nonsmoker?

Whether or not your application for coverage is accepted will depend largely on how you answer these questions. Be truthful. If you try to conceal your diagnosis of epilepsy, the insurer will find out and cancel your policy.

Epilepsy: Life Insurance Options If You Are Denied Coverage

A graded death benefit policy may be a viable option for you if you have been denied coverage due to having epilepsy. This type of insurance increases its worth is payouts over time, so the longer you keep it, the greater its value.

If you have access to it, group insurance is probably one of your best options if you were declined for traditional life insurance. In most cases there is no qualifying application or health questions, neither are pre-existing conditions excluded from coverage.

Another option is to invest the money you would pay for life insurance premiums into an account that would accrue interest. The earnings as well as the capital would be available to your beneficiaries upon your death.

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

Choosing a life insurance policy if you have epilepsy is something that you want to get right, so here are some tips to help you make the best choice and expedite your search:

Here Are 3 Tips To Make Your Search Easier:

  1. Know Your Needs: Be realistic when you calculate how much life insurance you  need. It’s better to overestimate than to underestimate. For example, expenses such as how much debt would have to be paid after your death, how much money it would take to replace your income, and such expenses as school tuition for your children, an emergency fund, and more.
  2. Explore Policy Types: A guaranteed issue policy or graded death benefit policy, could be a good choice if you have applied for traditional life insurance and been declined. These types were designed for people living with critical illnesses, like epilepsy. Group life insurance may be another wise choice for you because it will usually issue coverage without a health exam or underwriting.
  3. Use Specialized Services: Specialized services such as Insurance, that will furnish quotes from various insurers to help you do rate and benefit comparisons are very helpful in finding the right life insurance policy for you.

What Is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a brain disorder characterized by recurrent and unprovoked seizures.

It’s a very common neurological disorder affecting more than three million people in the U.S. The cause for most of those with epilepsy is unknown, or idiopathic, and usually diagnosed after at least two seizures.

The time that has elapsed since your last seizure, the type and severity of your attacks, and the medications you take to control the condition will determine your rate.

There are several types of epilepsy, including:

  • Focal Onset Seizures: Affect one side of the brain
  • Aware Seizures
  • Impaired Awareness
  • Generalized Seizures: Affect both sides of the brain
  • Absence
  • Myoclonic
  • Tonic-Clonic
  • Unknown Onset Seizures: When seizures first start, they may be classified as unknown until more information becomes available.

It is imperative that you know what type of seizures you have, to get the best life insurance rate.

Other Health Concerns That Can Affect Your Life Insurance

Insurers will evaluate your epilepsy and calculate the risk to determine whether or not they will insure your life. Usually, this entails filling out an application and undergoing a medical examination. Here is a list of 17 health problems that may affect issuance of a policy, or rates of life insurance:

  • Obesity: Being overweight, with a high Body Mass Index, (BMI) could make your  premium higher
  • Heart Disease: Heart disease is a common health problem and can mean being denied life insurance coverage or increased rates
  • HIV: Advancements in medical treatment have meant that insurance providers offer life insurance policies to people who are HIV positive
  • Asthma: Depending on the severity, asthma could impact your life insurance rate
  • Cancer: Based on the type and stage of cancer, it can have a major effect on being approved for life insurance coverage
  • Diabetes: Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes typically cause higher premiums
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol: If your cholesterol isn’t well controlled, or is consistently over 200, you’ll have higher insurance premiums
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia: These conditions can be accompanied by physical illness like kidney failure, so they can impact insurability for life insurance
  • Kidney Disease: Being diagnosed with CKD, or Chronic Kidney Disease, usually means increased insurance premiums
  • Depression: Mental health conditions such as depression, schizophrenia and others may affect life insurance premiums
  • Lung Disease: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, can mean higher insurance premiums
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune condition, and could lead to more costly premiums
  • Stroke: A history of stroke, or CVA (Cardiovascular Accident) may increase insurance rates
  • Liver Disease: Cirrhosis of the liver, fatty liver, or other liver disease can affect the cost of your insurance
  • Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea can cause your insurance premiums to increase
  • Substance Use Disorders: A history of drug and/or alcohol abuse may impact your rates and insurability

FAQs

Do You Qualify For Life Insurance If You Have Epilepsy?

Some insurance companies will consider insuring someone with epilepsy, while others won’t. Much depends on how long you have been seizure-free.

An estimated 50% of people living in the US and under the age of 65 have a pre-existing condition. Choosing an insurer for life insurance is a major decision that often becomes much more complex if you have a pre-existing condition. Although younger people in better health often qualify for more affordable life insurance, having one or more pre-existing conditions doesn’t always disqualify you from being eligible for coverage.

What Insurance Is Best For epilepsy?

If you have been declined for traditional life insurance coverage because you have epilepsy, you might consider a Guaranteed Issue policy. There’s no requirement that you have a medical examination or answer any health questions.

Is Epilepsy Classed As a Critical Illness In Insurance?

Yes. Epilepsy, although not as incapacitating as it once was, is still considered a critical illness.

Sources

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