Life Insurance for Someone with Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple SclerosisLife Insurance and Multiple Sclerosis

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society about 1 million people in the US have MS.  It is very possible to get life insurance for someone with Multiple Sclerosis. The rating will be dependent on the severity of the disease.

In MS the immune system attacks the myelin sheath, which is the protective coating that surrounds nerve fibers. Why this happens is unknown at this time. Damaged nerve fibers can disrupt the normal electrical impulses between nerves and the brain. This disruption is what causes the associated symptoms of MS.  Symptoms develop as nerve conduction slows and then fails completely. The typical attack is relatively sudden in onset, persists for 3 to 12 weeks, then clears. Classically, MS has a relapsing-remitting pattern. There are periods of remissions and periods of exacerbation that occur at unpredictable intervals over a period of several years. Multiple attacks can cause an accumulation of symptoms.

Life insurance ratings for MS

Although many MS patients can live normal life spans, it has been determined by many life insures that there is an increased mortality risk. Life insurers have concluded that mortality risk increases with severity. Mild cases, in which the patient  has no symptoms, will receive the most favorable ratings. Underwriters will rate moderate cases, in which the patient is moderately disabled but can walk unassisted, slightly more than mild cases. And severe cases, in which the patient requires aid to walk or even be wheelchair bound, will receive the highest rating.  Life insurers will decline extreme cases.

Examples of possible life insurance ratings for someone with MS

Suspected MS but with no test results to support the diagnosis (no current evidence of disease and no treatment recommended):
  • Table C if within 2 years of the attack
  • Table B if 3 to 4 years of the attack
  • Non-rated after 4 years
Definite MS, at least two clinical events and/or with test results to support the diagnosis, OR anyone for whom treatment has been recommended AND has minimal impairment, is ambulatory, independent, and stable:
  • Table G if within 2 years of the last attack
  • Table E if 3 to 5 years from last attack
  • Table C if 6 to 10 years from last attack
  • Non-rated after 10 years since last attack

While under treatment for an acute exacerbation or while under treatment with immune suppression: postpone.

Rate an MS case learn how to handle impaired life cases