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Wondering if your scleroderma will prevent you from getting affordable burial insurance?
Here’s the truth
It very likely won’t. Being totally forward, there are some major complications that derive from scleroderma that could cause you to pay more money, but it’s rare.
The overwhelming majority of scleroderma clients we have helped over the years easily qualified for preferred rates and full first day coverage.
Today, we will break it all down for you, so you know exactly what to expect, and how to get the best rates in light of this condition.
In this article, we’ll show you how final expense companies underwrite this condition, what impact certain complications could have, what your expectations should be, and how to find the best policy.
Article Quick Guide
For the purpose of this article, we will only use the word scleroderma. You can have any of the following forms, and it won’t matter. In regards to burial insurance, the outcome is the same regardless of which specific type you have.
- Localized Scleroderma
- Linear Scleroderma
- Systemic Scleroderma (Systemic Sclerosis)
The effects of scleroderma can range greatly. For some patients, the effects are mild and not cause for concern. For others, they can be so severe they become life threatening.
So here’s the deal
Getting burial insurance with scleroderma is absolutely possible. Furthermore, barring some very severe side effects (such as CHF), you will easily qualify for full first day coverage, and pay the lowest rate offered by most insurance companies. While there are certain complications that arise from this condition that could cause you to pay more money and possibly endure a waiting period, they are few and far between thankfully. No matter what, you can get coverage. That’s a fact.
And here’s some more good news
At no point will you have to retrieve your doctor records, or endure a medical exam. When you apply for a final expense policy, there are only health questions. Generally, the insurance company will give you an official approval in less than 20 minutes.
Life with scleroderma can sure be a pain depending on how the condition effects you. Fortunately, this disease very likely won’t present the slightest challenge for you when it comes to buying burial insurance. It’s very rare that scleroderma patients don’t qualify for the best rates and full immediate coverage.
As you are no doubt aware, every funeral insurance company will assess your health as a part of the application. Ultimately, they will run a prescription history check, ask you health questions, and analyze your MIB file for any records that might be relevant.
Once they have all this information, they can give you a firm yes or no about whether or not you qualify.
The Health Questions
There’s two things you need to know about the health questions on a burial insurance application.
First, if you say yes to any of them, it will mean a higher monthly premium. Furthermore, it could also mean having to endure a waiting period before the policy will pay out a death benefit.
Second, life insurance companies only care about the conditions mentioned in their health questions. That means if they do not ask about a health issue, it means they are more than willing to accept it.
For example, you won’t see any final expense application ask about cholesterol issues. Why is that? It’s because they simply don’t care if someone has cholesterol issues. The same applies to any other health issue that does not appear in their health questionnaire.
Here’s the bottom line
It’s unbelievably rare for any burial insurance company to ask about scleroderma.
So what does that mean?
It means that the overwhelming majority of final expense companies have no issue accepting someone with this condition. It means you are eligible for their lowest rate and full first day coverage that has no waiting period (unless you have some other health issues that get complicate things).
If by some chance you encounter an insurance company that does ask about scleroderma, the question will likely read something to this:
Have you ever had, been treated for, or been diagnosed with scleroderma?
Just remember to find a company that does not ask about this condition. Fortunately, that will be extremely easy because 98% of companies don’t!
Prescription History Check
Basically, the insurer will review your pharmacy report. This will give them clear insight about all the medications you have taken. They are well aware of the health issues various drugs are meant to treat.
They do this primarily to validate what health issues you have if any.
In regards to scleroderma, there are different medications you could be prescribed depending on how severely it has effected you.
Before we get into the pills you may have been given, it’s important to remember this rule about a prescription history check.
If you fill a prescription, the insurance companies will assume you take the pills. Moreover, they will also assume you have whatever condition the pills are designed to treat.
What does that mean in plain language?
Basically, if you fill a medication but don’t take it, it won’t matter. The insurance companies won’t believe you if you try to tell them that you don’t take it. They will always assume you have the condition that the pills were created to treat.
For example, if you filled a prescription for Nitro (a common pill to treat chest pains), the insurance company will assume you take them. Furthermore, they will also assume you have chest pains (which is a big problem). This will result in higher premiums.
You couldn’t just tell them that you don’t take the Nitro. If you didn’t need them, the doctor wouldn’t be prescribing them to you.
Below are all the various drugs a scleroderma patient might be given, and an explanation of how burial insurance companies will react to them.
Nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs
Drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen are absolutely no issue with any company. Literally, not one wille ver care that you are taking these drugs.
Steroids like prednisone are also a complete non issue. You won’t experience any blow back from any final expense life insurance company because of these kinds of medications.
Drugs meant to treat high blood pressure are also meaningless. No burial insurance company cares about drugs like lisinopril, metoprolol, or any other hypertension drug you may be on because of your scleroderma.
Although this condition can cause great irritation to your esophagus, the drugs meant to treat acid reflux won’t present you with any challenges. Just like all the aforementioned classes of drugs, acid reflux medications are perfectly okay with every final expense life insurance company.
Any kind of ointment or cream for scleroderma is meaningless. They don’t care about these.
Immune system suppressants
This class of drugs is going to be a bit tricky. In a nutshell, the various immune suppressant drugs cause insurers to assume different things about you.
It’s important to remember this about these immune suppressants:
These drugs are usually not used for scleroderma. Because these drugs are typically used to treat other health issues, they will assume you have those other health conditions.
You aren’t dead in the water so don’t panic. The truth is the presence of immune suppressant drugs in your prescription history will likely (it’s not 100%) cause the insurance companies to assume one of two things about you.
- An organ or tissue transplant
So what do you do?
Truthfully, you don’t need to do anything! The reality is, if necessary we will get a letter from your doctor that proclaims that you were given these drugs for scleroderma and not for an organ transplant or cancer.
Please note, we will do this not you! We’ve done this many times before. It usually only takes a few business days before we get the letter back.
Once we have the letter, we can proceed with your application. The insurance company will not view you as a transplant or cancer patient because of the letter. That will mean immediate coverage and their lowest rates.
Here are some of the most common immune suppressant drugs we see that might require us to get a letter from your physician in order to get you approved for a good rate.
- The List Goes On…
Other Risk Factors Associated With Scleroderma To Consider
Scleroderma affects everyone in a unique way. This disease not only affects the skin, but it has the tendency to damage various parts of our internal organs. There are a wide range of complications that could arise due to this chronic condition. Below are some of the big ones that could seriously impact your ability to secure low rates on a burial policy
Amputation By Disease
If you have had any part of your body amputated because of the scleroderma, you will have a pay a higher monthly premium. There is one company that will still offer you full first day coverage, but everyone else will make you wait two years before your policy will pay any benefits.
Kidney failure can either be acute (temporary) or chronic. If your kidney failure was acute, it will force you to pay a higher premium if it was within the last 2 years. Once it’s been more than 2 years, it will no longer be an issue.
If the kidney failure is chronic, you will not be able to avoid having to pay higher premiums. Thankfully, there are still some companies that will offer you 100% first day coverage.
If you have developed congestive heart failure because of your scleroderma (or for any reason for that matter), you simply cannot avoid having to pay much higher premiums. In addition, you cannot get coverage that fully protects you from day one.
The best you can do is secure a policy where it partially protects you during the first two years. For example you could get a graded plan that pays out 30% if you pass during year one, and 70% during year two. After two years, it would protect you in full forever.
Outside of a graded plan (which is only offered by one company), you are looking at a full two year waiting period.
If you have ever had or been advised to have a lung transplant (or any transplant really) you cannot qualify for any plan with any company that has underwriting.
In this scenario, your only option is what’s called guaranteed issue life insurance. This is a policy that has no underwriting at all. They literally just issue the policy.
These plans do have a mandatory two year waiting period and they do cost more. For anyone who has been recommended to have a transplant (even if you haven’t had it done yet), this is your only option.
Blood Clots In Fingers
As you probably know, developing blood clots in your fingers from the scleroderma can happen.
Here’s the deal with blood clots
Some companies care about them, and some don’t. In all likelihood, it probably won’t be an issue. We would just match you with one of the burial insurance companies that does not ask about blood clots.
As you can see by the mountain of information presented here, buying burial insurance is not as simple as just choosing a death benefit and signing up. There is much more to it than that.
In the end, there are many variables that come into play, and you must consult with an agency that has the experience and tools to manage these variables.
So here’s what you need to do…
To find the best burial insurance with scleroderma it’s critical that you work with a qualified independent burial insurance agency that represents many different final expense companies.
The reason we suggest this is simple. You need a qualified advisor that can assess your entire health profile. They will then determine which companies have underwriting that is most accepting of everything you deal with.
Finally, they will compare prices from each of these companies to see which one is truly best for you.
Doing this on your own won’t save you time or money. This is especially true when if you deal with any health issues.
For example, at Choice Mutual we represent over 15 different burial insurance companies. In addition, this is all we do and have been doing so for the last seven years. At this point, we have a masterful knowledge of how each company underwrites.
We can quickly gather all the information we need about your health to determine which companies will offer you the best deal.
Your insurance wouldn’t cost more because you bought from us, and our services are totally free. You literally lose nothing, and gain everything.
Even if you choose not to work with, just find an independent agency that specializes in final expense insurance and they represent no less than 10 companies.
If you want some expert help finding the best burial policy, give us a call at 1-800-644-2926. We’ll give you a no pressure consultation, and let you know which companies are best for you.