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Getting Life insurance with Muscular Dystrophy

Researcher & Writer
April 08, 2020

Whenever you have a health problem, your eligibility for life insurance could be affected. Muscular dystrophy is no different. If you have muscular dystrophy and want to apply for life insurance, you could face some difficulty, but don’t worry; you aren’t automatically ineligible because of your disease. Please note: for those with a more severe case of muscular dystrophy, choosing burial life insurance from among the top final expense companies may be your best---and only---choice.

What is muscular dystrophy?

Muscular dystrophy is a not a disease, but a group of diseases, that impact skeletal muscle strength. Symptoms will vary, depending on the type of muscular dystrophy, but they can include:

  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Lack of balance
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Falling or stumbling
  • Respiratory problems
  • Calf deformation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Heartbeat irregularity

There are nine types of muscular dystrophy, but the most common is called Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It is also the most severe, and occurs mainly in boys. While not all types of muscular dystrophy will impact life expectancy, patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy will likely not live beyond 45 years of age.

Other types of muscular dystrophy that cause shortened lifespan include:

  • Congenital muscular dystrophy
  • Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy – causes cardiac conditions that can be life-threatening
  • Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy – only in extreme cases

If you have any of the aforementioned types of muscular dystrophy, then it is likely that you will have a harder time when applying for life insurance. Life insurance companies may reject you, or may offer you a limited policy at a premium.

Types of muscular dystrophy that do not normally cause shortened lifespan include:

  • Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy
  • Myotonic muscular dystrophy
  • Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy
  • Distal muscular dystrophy
  • Becker muscular dystrophy

If you have any of these types of muscular dystrophy, then your chances of getting a life insurance company to underwrite your policy are much higher, though of course, not guaranteed. Shortened life expectancy is not the only risk factor a high risk life insurance company must consider. Whenever you have a serious illness like muscular dystrophy, there are non-direct factors such as the risk of falling down and causing yourself serious injury and/or accidental death, surgical complication, heart problems and so on. A life insurance company will look at all of your medical records, and assess your overall health before deciding whether or not to underwrite your life insurance policy, and at what annual cost.

What will a life insurance company ask me?

If you have any type of muscular dystrophy, a life insurance company will further investigate your medical history and current state. They will do so by asking you some questions. It is your responsibility to answer the questions as honestly as you can and to the best of your ability. If you lie to a life insurance company to get them to underwrite your policy, it may void your policy when your loved ones come to need it. To help you prepare, we have put together a list of some common questions a life insurance company might ask you about your muscular dystrophy:

  • When were you diagnosed with muscular dystrophy?
  • What kind of muscular dystrophy do you have?
  • Have you ever been hospitalized for your muscular dystrophy?
  • Do you have any other medical conditions as a result of or that could affect your muscular dystrophy?
  • In the past 12 months, what symptoms have you experienced? Have your symptoms become worse or have new symptoms occurred?
  • What medications (if any) are you currently taking?
  • What is your treatment plan?
  • What is the prognosis you have been given by your doctor?
  • Have you had any medical tests done in the last 12 months? If yes, which ones and what were the results?

Your answers to these questions will impact your eligibility for life insurance. If you have seen an increase in symptoms over the last one year, for example, it is likely that you will be charged a premium even if you have a type of muscular dystrophy that does not shorten one’s lifespan. If you have any kind of respiratory or heart problems, then you will have a much harder time getting life insurance. If you have localized muscular dystrophy that results in muscle spasms or even joint deformity, but have no other symptoms, you will have a much better chance of getting life insurance coverage at a somewhat affordable price.

In addition to asking these questions, a potential life insurance provider will likely ask you to complete a physical wherein you will be required to give blood and urine samples for further testing. The life insurance provider may also want to speak with your current doctor.

Based on their findings, the life insurance company will decide if they would like to offer you a life insurance policy or not. It is important to remember that life insurance companies come to their own, independent conclusions; one life insurance company may decline to cover you, but another may offer you a policy.

How do I find a life insurance company that will underwrite my policy with muscular dystrophy?

Life insurance companies are all different, and when you are trying to apply for life insurance with muscular dystrophy you need to find the right one for you. This can be a very difficult task considering there are dozens upon dozens of life insurance companies in the market; how can you possibly know which one will suit your very specific needs? 

It's important to work with a qualified agent with a firm understanding of the various policies offered by dozens of the best life insurance agencies in the United States. This helps you increase your chances of finding a muscular dystrophy friendly life insurance company to underwrite your policy, despite possible setbacks. It also ensures you will get the best types of life insurance policies for your situation and budget.

So, what are you waiting for?  Give us a call today or visit our Life Insurance Quotes page and see what we can do for you.

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