Scleroderma and Over 50 Life Insurance
Are you one of the estimated 100,000 people in the U.S. suffering from Scleroderma?
Well, you’re in the right place.
I have plenty of insider info on what to expect when applying for 50+ life insurance with Scleroderma.
As you know, Scleroderma is a rare condition that affects each patient differently.
So life insurance companies spend a lot of time trying to better understand your unique experience with Scleroderma, including how it impacts your overall health and activity level.
To consider you for a life insurance policy, carriers will want to know more about your specific diagnosis, symptoms, treatment, and ability to function despite your condition.
All of these various factors will influence your final life insurance rating and premiums.
In my experience, the best case scenario for someone with Scleroderma is a Standard Rating and average premiums. This usually applies to applicants with Localized Scleroderma.
Keep reading for more insight into how Scleroderma is handled by the majority of traditional life insurance carriers.
Or just pick up the phone and call me to talk about what life insurance rating you might receive!
Life Insurance Overview: Scleroderma
Here is a snapshot of how many insurance carriers handle Scleroderma applications.
- Impact on Application: Typically Moderate to Significant
- Best Rating: Usually Standard Rating (average rates)
- Worst Rating: Substandard Table 2 to Table 8 (50% to 200% rate up)
- Main Factors: Type, Symptoms, Treatment, Activity Level
Next up are frequent life insurance ratings and pricing for applicants over the age of 50 with Scleroderma.
How Does Scleroderma Affect My Rating and Premium?
Before I get into the possible rate class you’ll be approved for, you’ll need to understand how life insurance ratings work.
The easiest way to explain this is to look at the grid below.
This chart breaks down each of the possible insurance ratings, which applicants usually qualify for a particular rating, and what the rating means for your premiums.
|Rating||Reason For Rating||Premium Pricing|
|Preferred Plus||Healthiest, Lowest Risk Applicants||Best Pricing Possible
|Preferred||Very Healthy, Low Risk||Better Than Average|
|Standard||Controlled Medical Condition||Average Pricing|
|Sub-Standard (aka Table Rating)||Chronic Illness (Moderate to Severe)||Below Average Pricing, about a 25% rate up per Table|
Insider Tip: Sub-Standard (aka “Table”) Rating generally includes up to 16 different levels below the “Standard” Rating. In turn, premiums typically increase by approximately 25% per table/level.
Obviously, each insurance carrier may have their own slightly different guidelines.
Typical Ratings for Scleroderma
Here’s the lowdown on life insurance ratings for those living with Scleroderma.
Preferred Rating: Most life insurers will NOT assign a Preferred Rating to applicants managing a Scleroderma diagnosis – no matter the type, the treatment, or the impact on your overall lifestyle.
Life insurers know that Scleroderma is a rheumatic autoimmune disease which is systemic in nature. This results in Scleroderma frequently impacting many cells, tissues, and organs simultaneously.
These basic features of Scleroderma automatically makes you a high risk applicant and, therefore, eliminates the option of a Preferred Rating.
Standard Rating: This is the best case scenario for anyone with Scleroderma. Receiving a Standard Rating means you’ll also receive the average pricing for your policy.
Life insurers generally reserve the Standard Rating for those with Localized Scleroderma that do not take steroids or immunosuppressive drugs.
As you probably know, Localized Scleroderma comes in four different forms: linear Scleroderma, Morphea, Generalized Morphea, and En Coup de Sabre.
Localized Scleroderma predominantly affects the person’s skin.
The symptoms may range from mild to severe and may be frequent or infrequent.
People with Localized Scleroderma may find their quality of life impacted by limited joint function, skin changes, and/or pain.
Insurance companies will want to know how your diagnosis has impacted you in all those categories.
Substandard (Table) Rating: The majority of Scleroderma applicants end-up with a Substandard Rating.
Of course, each person has a different story to tell and they are, therefore, rated at different Table ratings depending on their individual case.
Let’s take a closer look…
“Limited” Scleroderma falls under what’s known as Generalized Scleroderma (aka Systemic Scleroderma or CREST Syndrome).
This category may go by different names but it all comes down to the same traits. Generalized Scleroderma harms the skin on a patient’s face, hands, feet, as well as their intestines, lungs, and esophagus.
Life insurers take Generalized Scleroderma very seriously and will put you into a Substandard Rating as a result.
- Generalized Scleroderma is usually a minimum of Table 4 Rating with a 100% rate up in premium
- Generalized Scleroderma applicants that take steroids or immunosuppressive drugs usually receive a Table 6 Rating (150% rate up).
Can You Be Declined For Life Insurance With Scleroderma?
For the most part, most people over 50 years old, and even those over 60, 70, and even 80 with Scleroderma will not be denied life insurance. There are plenty of coverage options available these days!
But I want to prepare you for the following…
Sine Sclerosis (aka Sine Scleroderma) applicants have a very rare condition that ONLY impacts their internal organs, causing scarring and complications.
For this reason, many traditional life insurers will DECLINE coverage.
As a result I would recommend alternative types of life insurance policies that could accommodate Sine Sclerosis sufferers, at a reasonable price.
No matter which Scleroderma diagnosis you’ve received, give me a call so we can figure out the best over 50 life insurance plan for you.
What can it hurt to get expert advice at no cost to you?
Insider Tip: Your life insurance rating will be based on your Scleroderma AND all your other health conditions. Plus, life insurers will take into consideration your lifestyle choices. The riskier your case appears then the worse your rating will be.
Scleroderma Case Studies
Case Study 1
Female Age 62, Non-Smoker. Diagnosed with Localized Scleroderma 7 years ago. Hand and face skin impacted only. Minimal impact on lifestyle. Disease shows no progression. Applicant consistently follows up with doctor. Excellent test results and prognosis.
Standard Rating with average premiums
Case Study 2
Male, Age 55, Non-Smoker. CREST diagnosis 2 years ago. Mild case, not progressing and internal organs unaffected. No treatment required.
After finding the most lenient carrier, able to secure a Substandard Table 4 rating with 100% rate-up.
Life insurers will ask for basic applicant information like the following:
- Marital Status
- Height, Weight
- Job Duties
- Tobacco Use
- Alcohol or drug use
- Medical history, including prescriptions
- Past surgeries
- Past hospitalizations
- Family health history
- Preferred hobby
- Driving record
Insider Tip: If you smoke then you’ll qualify for “tobacco rates”. Be aware, these are normally significantly higher than non-smoker rates.
Don’t let this scare you! Smokers typically have the option to apply for a reclassification of their rating once they’ve successfully stopped using tobacco for 12 consecutive months.
I’m here to guide you through the application process. I will help you to find the best policy terms and best policy for you.
The Scleroderma Questions
Insurance companies will want to become familiar with your Scleroderma experience. It’s very important to be forthcoming with all the information the life insurer requests.
Here are some of the Scleroderma questions asked of applicants…
The Simple Questions
- What type of Scleroderma do you have?
- What parts of your body are impacted?
- Would you say your symptoms are progressing or stable?
- What’s your long-term prognosis?
- Any complications from Scleroderma?
- Ever been hospitalized because of this disease?
- Have you had any recent medical testing done? What were the results?
Life insurance carriers will continue to dig for more details such as the below questions.
What was the date of diagnosis and progression of your Scleroderma?
The life insurer will want to know how long you’ve been living with Scleroderma.
Partly because they want to be sure this is not a new diagnosis and that it is a correct diagnosis.
That’s because it’s not unheard of that people are incorrectly diagnosed with Scleroderma when they actually have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, or Rheumatoid Arthritis.
What Scleroderma treatments are you using?
Life insurers know that prescribed treatments vary by the severity and locale of the disease. Some applicants may be able to use aspirin for discomfort while others need steroids or even chemotherapy.
If your Scleroderma has caused other ailments such as high blood pressure or thyroiditis, be sure to tell the insurance company. They will want to know about ALL medications you are taking.
How has Scleroderma impacted your daily activity?
Insurance carriers will ask if you are fully active or sedentary. They will want to know if you rely on a wheelchair, cane, or walker to get around because of your Scleroderma.
Insider Tip: Be 100% honest. It will make the application process a lot smoother.
Are you ready to get started?
Now you know a lot more about obtaining affordable life insurance with Scleroderma when you are 50+.
Hopefully at this point you are feeling 100% more confident in your ability to secure life insurance.
Are you ready to get started with protecting your family’s future?
Take a minute to start a FREE over 50 life insurance quote right now.
Or just give me a call so I can help with your life insurance needs. I’ll discuss various coverage options and help you get an application started today.