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Parkinson’s Disease and Life Insurance

Researcher & Writer
April 08, 2020

Whether or not you get covered by a life insurance company after getting diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is up to the insurance company. If you are in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, they may offer you coverage for a specific number of years. If you have full-blown Parkinson’s disease, it may be more difficult for you to find an insurance company to cover you. Some insurance companies are more like to cover a patient with Parkinson’s disease than others. In almost all cases, if a life insurance company decides to underwrite you for a life insurance policy, then you will almost certainly pay a premium because you have Parkinson’s disease.

In this article we'll discuss the considerations that insurance companies take when deciding whether or not to provide coverage and what other options for life insurance look like for someone with Parkinson's disease.



Applying for life insurance with Parkinson’s Disease

If you have Parkinson ’s disease and you don’t have life insurance, then you may be considering getting it. However, you may also wonder whether or not you will even qualify for it, since you will be considered high risk life insurance.

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After a Parkinson's Disease diagnosis

Parkinson’s disease has many stages of deterioration until the patient is totally dependent on others. Treatment can have a great impact on slowing down deterioration. Without treatment, symptoms may attack the motor system very aggressively from the onset. However, with an advanced method of treatment, an individual’s prognosis can be much better and total breakdown of the motor system can be prolonged.

Some of the symptoms that may occur in later stages include:

Motor system symptoms

  • Problems swallowing
  • Shaking of hands and limbs
  • Trouble walking steadily, loss of balance
  • Speech problems
  • Change in handwriting

Other symptoms

  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Cognitive Decline
  • Mood Altercations

Life insurance for patients with Parkinson’s Disease

The main reason it is difficult for life insurance companies to underwrite policies for applicants with Parkinson ’s disease is because their life expectancy is lower than a person without the disease. While it may take a long time for the disease to fully debilitate an individual, it does come with a myriad of other risks that are directly and indirectly related to the disease itself.

Risk Factors

Currently, Parkinson’s disease is manageable, yet not curable. Management options, however, can be good. Some of these management treatment options may delay the majority of degeneration for years, possibly even more than a decade. People with Parkinson’s disease may use one or a combination of any of the following treatments:

  • Levodopa: Levodopa helps the patient maintain motor control for a longer period of time. This is usually used at a later stage since at some point the body may become unresponsive to the medication. Nausea may be a side effect
  • Dopamine Agonists: Like levodopa, dopamine agonists help patient maintain motor control. May be orally administered or through a patch. Hallucinations may be a side effect
  • MAO-B inhibitors: This is used for motor control prior to switching to levodopa.
  • Surgery: this was common prior to the use of drugs, and is much less common today. Some still may consider brain surgery such as deep brain stimulation and the implantation of a brain pacemaker.
  • Rehabilitation: Many people supplement their treatment with basic physical exercise to promote flexibility and mobility.

This being said, a life insurance company is sure to take into consideration your management treatment plan when considering to cover you with one of their policies. They may offer you a policy valid for a certain number of years rather than a whole life plan. It is completely up to the insurance company whether or not to offer you coverage.

Will I get Life Insurance with Parkinson’s Disease?

If you have Parkinson’s disease and are considering to purchase a life insurance policy, your best bet is to find out as much information as you can from a number of different life insurance companies. Because it is relatively likely that you will get rejected by at least some insurance companies, it is important to have all of your options open. It is also important that you get the best possible life insurance policy for the money you are able to afford.

One primary reason for buying a life insurance policy is to ensure that your funeral costs and family needs are provided for and you can only do that if you get the best types of life insurance policies for your situation.

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