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Life insurance for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Your ability to get coverage depends on your current health and family history.
Life insurance can cover dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but options are based on your diagnosis and current health.
How do I get life insurance that covers dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?
Life insurance companies generally treat all forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease the same. Your approach to finding coverage likely depends on whether you already have a diagnosis or are looking for a policy that covers it in the future.
An independent insurance agent.
If you already have a diagnosis, you may benefit from working with an independent insurance agent who specializes in high-risk individuals. Someone seeking coverage for later in life can work with a general agent to find a policy that fits their needs.
When you sign on to an employer’s life insurance plan, it’s typically a group policy that includes coverage for pre-existing conditions. This coverage can be helpful for those who are still working and living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. But you may not be able to keep your policy if you leave your job — and if you can keep your policy, you’ll likely pay high premiums.
Look into the details of your plan before signing up to be sure it includes the coverage you need.
Working with a provider directly is also an option. The type of plan you’re shopping for — simplified life, guaranteed acceptance, traditional or instant approval — will likely be different. Traditional plans may be difficult to qualify for if you already have a diagnosis.
What’s the best life insurance if I have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease?
A good bet may be guaranteed issue life insurance, also called guaranteed acceptance. As the name suggests, acceptance is guaranteed as long as you meet the provider’s qualifications.
You often must be older than 40 to qualify for a guaranteed issue policy. You won’t be subject to a medical exam, though most guaranteed issue policies are limited compared with other types of plans, and you’ll likely find eligibility for a lower amount of coverage.
A quick heads up: Applying for a life insurance policy often involves confronting invasive questions about your physical and mental health and your experience with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The process can stir up fear, worry and other unexpected feelings. Consider leaning on your loved ones if you need support when dealing with questions about your health and confirming any details your insurer asks for.
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Can I get life insurance if I have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease?
You may not experience much difference in getting life insurance if your family has a history of Alzheimer’s. You can contact an agent, go through your employer or approach life insurance providers directly.
Will having a family history of Alzheimer’s disease affect my policy?
Life insurance providers may change how your policy is treated if:
- More than one person in your immediate family has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
- Someone in your immediate family was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s earlier in life.
This information can lead an increase in your risk class, which may result in a higher premium. The provider may also choose to exclude the condition from the policy, rather that raise the cost.
Can I omit my family’s history of Alzheimer’s disease?
Withholding requested information is strongly discouraged. If the issuer finds out about it later, you could lose coverage or risk a future payout to your family or loved ones.
Can my insurer charge me more if I a DNA test reveals I’m genetically at risk of developing Alzheimer’s?
Yes. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prevents health insurers from discriminating based on genetic testing, but it GINA does not apply to life insurers. This means your genetic makeup can affect your rates or eligibility.
If you were tested through a doctor, the results may be in your medical records, and insurers may ask for them. If you weren’t tested through a doctor, note that you’ll need to disclose that information if your insurer asks
How do I get a life insurance policy for someone with Alzheimer’s disease?
When you’re looking to get your loved one life insurance, you generally have two options: apply and purchase it themselves, or take out a policy in their name and be the owner of it.
Going with the first doesn’t mean you can’t help. Part of what makes getting life insurance difficult is finding and comparing reasonable options. Doing the bulk of the research can make it much easier on your loved one when it comes time to decide on and apply for a policy.
To take out a policy for another person, you must get their consent and prove insurable interest. Insurable interest is typically easier to prove when you’re the person’s next of kin and for smaller policies.
What type of medical information will I have to provide?
The information required varies by insurer and type, but you’ll answer common underwriting questions about your:
- Current medical conditions
- Medical history of your family
- Current medications
Will having dementia or Alzheimer’s disease affect my life insurance rates?
Yes. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are considered a permanent disability due to their effect on a person’s cognitive and physical abilities. Seeking coverage after a diagnosis can come with higher premiums.
Add that guaranteed acceptance plans on the whole are more expensive than traditional life insurance policies.
Can I get an early benefit payout for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease?
Yes, but eligibility to receive money early depends on your policy. Because dementia and Alzheimer’s are often accompanied by chronic acute cognitive and physical impairment, they’re considered a lifelong disability. As such, two main options generally apply based on how far along the condition has progressed.
Taking out a loan against your policy
After a specific time under a plan, you may be able to borrow against it. This loan is up to a predetermined percentage of your total benefit amount and must be paid back when the policy expires.
Accelerated death benefit
If your loved one received a terminal diagnosis with a life expectancy of six to 12 months, an accelerated death benefit may become available. This benefit allows a payout of a stated percentage of the total coverage amount, sometimes up to 95%.
Repayment isn’t required with this benefit, and it’s typically paid out tax-free. Check the policy before requesting a withdrawal to confirm the details of the benefit.
You can find life insurance coverage for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The steps you’ll take depend on your needs. Compare your life insurance options to find the strongest coverage you’re eligible for.
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