Obtaining Life Insurance If You Are Over 50 And Have Epilepsy
The Epilepsy Network reports Epilepsy causes approximately 50,000 American deaths each year.
This means Epilepsy causes a higher number of annual deaths than drunk driving, skin cancer, breast cancer, or prescription overdose.
However, the remaining 2.9 Million Americans living with Epilepsy do not have a higher mortality rate than their peers.
They can and do live long and healthy lives despite their neurological disorder.
The great news is life insurance companies recognize this reality too.
So life insurers are not likely to decline an Epileptic’s application as long as their illness is kept under control.
No matter your situation, buying a cheap life insurance plan always begins with finding the right insurance carrier for your unique situation.
After that it’s really a matter of understanding the application process and allowing a skilled insurance agent to guide every step of the way.
The sooner you learn all the ins-and-outs of buying affordable life insurance over 50 with epilepsy then the sooner you can get insured.
Buying life insurance will certainly give both you and your loved ones a feeling of peace and security. So let’s get started!
Epilepsy & Life Insurance Applications
So here are the facts…
The Epilepsy Foundation states Epilepsy is the 4th most common neurological disorder after migraines, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.
CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy) estimates 1 in 26 Americans will become an Epileptic within their lifetime.
As you may already know epilepsy is diagnosed after a person has at least two seizures, for any reason.
Children and senior adults are most often affected by this seizure disorder.
Life insurance companies are focused on the type of seizures you experience and the frequency of those seizures.
Everything else the life carrier will ask are basic questions you would expect to find on an insurance application.
Life Insurance Application Questions
The first part of your application experience will involve filling in your age, height, weight, smoking status, overall health history, and general lifestyle questions.
Basically, the insurer is using these details to begin building a profile of you as an applicant.
The life insurance company wants to determine if your mortality risk is high, low, or average in comparison to others of a similar age.
Once you disclose your Epilepsy diagnosis then the insurance company will need to obtain more information.
The life insurance company will want to know:
- What was the date of your initial Epilepsy diagnosis?
- What age were you when initially diagnosed with Epilepsy?
- What is the date of your most recent seizure?
- How frequently do you have seizures?
- What symptoms accompany the Epileptic episodes?
- What is the known cause of your Epilepsy?
- Did a stroke, fever, trauma, tumors, infectious disease disorder, or something else cause your seizures?
- Or is the cause of your Epilepsy still unknown (aka idiopathic)?
- How long do your seizures normally last?
- Have any seizures lasted longer than 30 minutes?
- Were you ever hospitalized as a result of a seizure?
- How has your doctor described your Epileptic seizures?
- Are your seizures Absence, Tonic-Clonic, Atonic, Grand mal, Petit mal, Partial seizure-simple, Temporal Lobe or complex?
- What is the category of your seizures (Status Epilepticus, Generalized, Partial)?
- What types of treatments or medications have been prescribed to treat your Epilepsy?
- What steps you have taken since your diagnosis to improve your overall health? For example, losing weight, quitting tobacco, or beginning an exercising routine.
Risky Activities for Epileptics
You will be asked by the life insurance company if you partake in any dangerous activities.
For example, the insurance carrier will want to know if you enjoy mountain climbing, scuba diving, or surfing.
The insurance carrier will also ask how frequently you participate in these extreme sports.
They may also ask more details about your profession if it is considered high risk (such as a pilot or a police officer).
Participating in risky behavior is something the insurance company takes seriously.
Epileptics already experience higher rates of death from accidents during a seizure such as drowning, falling, or choking.
So, if you have Epilepsy and then add into the equation a dangerous sport or profession, your risk of mortality only increases.
This will certainly factor into your rating and premium.
In addition to completing an application form you will need to complete a medical exam too, unless you apply for a no exam life insurance policy.
The medical exam is normally conducted at your home when it is convenient for you. The entire process typically takes less than 30 minutes.
You will be weighed and measured. In addition, the medical examiner (usually a nurse) will collect urine and blood specimens. They will also take your blood pressure and pulse.
If you decide to purchase a no exam life insurance plan then you will be able to skip the medical exam. However, you will still need to answer the medical questions.
On the flip side, you will usually have to pay more for premiums with a “no exam” life insurance policy.
This is because the life insurer is taking more of a risk on you without seeing the results of a medical exam.
How much will life insurance cost with Epilepsy?
As I mentioned earlier, your seizure type and frequency has the most significant impact on the rates you may be approved for.
This is because studies show Epileptics have a shorter life expectancy depending on their seizure classification.
Information like that is vital to insurance companies taking on new customers.
I can help figure you determine the best company for you to apply with.
I’ve helped many people with epilepsy obtain life insurance at affordable rates.
As a result, I am very familiar with which insurance companies will look most favorably upon your particular application, all things considered.
Let’s take a look at what rate class you may be approved for.
Keep in mind, the better the rating then the lower the premiums.
- Preferred Plus & Preferred – Typically those individuals with Epilepsy of any form will not qualify for the Preferred Plus or Preferred rating
- Standard – Usually for those diagnosed with Generalized Absence or Simple Partial (Consciousness Not Impaired) and last seizure more than 3 years ago
- Sub-Standard (aka Table Rating) – Usually for those diagnosed with Generalized Absence or Simple Partial (Consciousness Not Impaired) and last seizure less than 3 years ago. Also, Complex Partial (Consciousness Impaired) or Generalized Tonic-Clonic with last seizure being 6 months to 3 years ago.
A “Table Rating” can fall into one of up to 16 different levels below “Standard” typically.
This does vary from insurance company to insurance company.
Each level increases the overall premium by about 25% on average. Again though, this percentage can vary among insurers.
Remember, your rating will be based on ALL your personal information, not just your Epilepsy.
It’s important to note, if you were diagnosed with any of the following you will probably have your application “postponed” by the insurance carrier:
- Complex Partial (Consciousness Impaired) diagnosis with last seizure less than 6 months ago
- Generalized Tonic-Clonic diagnosis with last seizure less than 6 months ago
- Any diagnosis with a seizure less than 6 months will normally be postponed
If your application is “postponed” for a certain period of time then you can reapply at that time.
Metabolic Brain Disease and Status Epilepticus are usually declined. It does not matter when the most recent seizure happened.
How to Prepare for Your Life Insurance Application
Here are a few tips that may help you in preparing for a life insurance application.
- Be honest! Withholding information never works since the life insurance company will do a lot of research into your medical history.
- Stop smoking! Tobacco users often pay more than DOUBLE what non-smokers pay.
- Visit your doctor as recommended, follow treatment plans, comply with prescribed medications, and keep your medical records updated. Each of these actions will show the insurance company you are making an effort to control your seizure disorder.
- Control your health in other ways like losing weight, eating well, and lowering blood pressure and/or cholesterol. Do whatever you can to keep yourself well so you can live a long life!
- Don’t wait one more day to buy life insurance! If you experience a positive change in your health status then you can apply for a “reconsideration” of your rating.
The Next Step
Epilepsy is a complicated illness with multiple causes and a variety of effects. Each Epileptic experiences their diagnosis in a different way.
Therefore, people over 50 looking for life insurance with Epilepsy will each have a unique outcome.
However, the majority of those applicants will still be able to secure an affordable life insurance plan.
The process of buying a life insurance policy can be intense but it does not last forever.
However, the financial security you are establishing for your family will last well beyond your lifetime.
I can help. Give me a call. Your family will thank you!