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Purchasing Life Insurance after being diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy

Researcher & Writer
July 29, 2017

Bell’s palsy is one of those pre-existing medical conditions where in most cases, being able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy isn’t going to be a problem.

In fact, assuming that you have fully recovered from your condition, you should theoretically be eligible to receive a Preferred or Preferred Plus rate class on your life insurance application, assuming that you would otherwise qualify.

The problem that we’ll sometimes encounter though is that in some cases, a client’s Bell’s palsy may be linked to a more serious condition, or may not have fully resolved itself at the time of the client’s application.

In cases like these, it’s difficult to know for sure what the potential outcome of the life insurance application will look like until we know more information.

Bell’s palsy defined

Bell’s palsy is a medical condition that is defined as paralysis or severe weakness of the 7th cranial nerve that controls the facial muscles on the side of the face.  Paralysis can occur on equally on either side of the face, and in rare cases can actually affect the entire face.  Bell’s palsy is the most common cause of facial paralysis and is typically not related to a stroke.

Due to the nature of Bell’s palsy, it can basically occur at any age, however it does seem to be more common for folks between the ages of 16-60 years of age.  Bell’s palsy will also affect nearly 40,000 Americans each and every year!

Common symptoms of Bell’s palsy will typically include:

  • Facial paralysis typically on one side of the face or another.
  • Difficulty eating or drinking.
  • Inability to make certain facial expressions.
  • Facial twitches.
  • Headaches.
  • And a sensitivity to sound.
Causes of Bell’s palsy

While the cause of Bell’s palsy is not entirely clear, it is believed that most cases are caused by the herpes virus that is also linked to the common cold sore.

What is clear, is that during a Bell’s palsy attack, inflammation of the 7th cranial nerve will occur which causes it to become inflamed, swollen and compressed which then leads to the partial paralysis of the face.

Bell’s palsy has also been linked to:

  • HIV virus.
  • Herpes zoster virus.
  • Epstein-Barr virus.
  • And Lyme disease.

Due to the possible “variable” causes of Bell’s palsy, it can sometimes be difficult to know for sure what “type” of life insurance policy you may or may not be eligible for as well as what “rate” class you may be able to qualify for.   Particularly if your Bell’s palsy hasn’t fully resolved itself at the time of your application.

The good news is that…

In most cases, Bell’s palsy will “heal” itself without any sort of treatment within a couple of weeks or months.  And while certain medications such as:

  • Corticosteroids, used to reduce inflammation.
  • Antiviral medications.
  • And over the counter pain medications.

May be prescribed to help alleviate any symptoms and potentially speed up ones’ recovery may, in many cases “time” to recover is all that is necessary.

Bell’s palsy and life insurance

As we’ve stated before, if you’re applying for life insurance after you have fully recovered from suffering a Bell’s palsy attack, assuming that you don’t have any other serious underlying medical conditions that may have caused your Bell’s palsy (HIV, sarcoidosis, or lyme disease) you should “theoretically” be eligible for a Preferred or Preferred Plus rate class.

Now we say “theoretically”, because you’re still going to need to meet the remaining requirements to qualify for such a rate including:

  • Having a health height and weighty ratio.
  • No other pre-existing medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, stroke or diabetes.
  • No tobacco or nicotine use within the past 12 months.
  • No felony convictions.
  • Etc, etc…

So…basically, fully recovered Bell’s palsy clients are going to have the same chances of qualifying for a Preferred or Preferred Plus rate class on their life insurance application as anyone one else would.

Now for those who haven’t…

Fully recovered from their Bell’s palsy or contracted their Bell’s palsy from a more serious medical condition, applying for life insurance may become significantly more difficult.

In the cases of those who simply have not recovered yet, it may make more sense to simply postpone applying for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy until which point you are fully recovered.

Another option is to consider either simplified issue or guaranteed issue life insurance from one of the best final expense or burial insurance companies.

Additionally, younger clients who are currently without any life insurance coverage, but will be eligible for coverage soon may want to consider purchasing an accidental death insurance policy while they wait to be eligible for complete coverage.  This way they will at least have some insurance coverage until which point they can become fully insured.

For those who’s Bell’s palsy is linked to a more serious condition, understanding the true cause of their condition will be paramount in understanding whether or not they will be eligible for life insurance coverage immediately or whether they need to consider guaranteed issue whole life insurance as an alternative.

Also, knowing the root cause of their Bell’s palsy will also be key in determining which life insurance company will most likely provide them with the greatest opportunity for success.

“Did we help you find coverage that you can qualify for?”

Now will we be able to help out everyone?  Probably not, but that isn’t going to stop us from trying and doing our absolute best to make sure that you and your family are well protected!

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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