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Jall Find out more about Jall
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  • Life insurance

    Sorry if this is a repeat of an old question, but is there any life insurance company whose underwriters don't go apoplectic when they see HCM in a medical record. I am fortuantely a NYHA fucntional class I (no disability), but have gotten turned down or been given bad ratings in the recent past. Does anyone know the name of an insurer who will fairly evaluate hcm insureds?

    jall
    Jall

    Diagnosed with unobstructed HCM in 2004 after a bad experience playing tennis
    Graduated to obstructed HCM by Dec, 2008.

    Life outside of HCM: Law, Photography, Tennis, Music, raising kids and camping

  • #2
    Re: Life insurance

    Tough, but if you are employed you can usually get a basic life insurance policy during open enrollment without any questions at all. It is not too much, but covers funeral, etc. Our insurance person, a friend, told my husband that he is very lucky that he already had life insurance in place before his diagnosis, implying that he wouldn't give it to him.
    Amy
    Husband (50) diagnosis HCM 6-07, CHF, A fib 12-07, ablations x 2
    Medication controlled most of the time.
    Transplant is in the near future.
    Kids 24 and 20, both normal echos.

    Mayo Clinic-Rochester
    University of Nebraska Medical Center-Omaha NE

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    • #3
      Re: Life insurance

      Jall,

      Tough question, one I've had to deal with. I have 2 school-aged kids so insurance is definitely a front-burner issue for me. Fortunately I was able to get a term-life policy prior to being diagnosed with HCM, and I also have some life insurance through work. However, I did try to get additional term life insurance after being diagnosed -- and was refused. I did contact an insurance agent after my myectomy and forwarded him an article on the retrospective study done by the Mayo folks showing that those who had undergone a myectomy basically had a life expectancy no different than the general population. I understand that he's just the agent, and the underwriters will make the decision... but I thought I'd plead my case any way. He said he'd get back to me. Still haven't heard from him.

      I hope that some day the Mayo study will have an impact on our insurability. Heck, I gotta believe that those of us who have had surgical intervention of some type (or have a decent classification such as yourself) are at least as good a risk as the smokers out there -- and the insurance companies don't hesitate to offer insurance to smokers, albeit at a higher rate.

      My credit union did offer its members some fairly inexpensive accidental death insurance that didn't require any kind of medical screening, and while not as good or as inclusive as life insurance, it was better than nothing. You may want to enquire about that type of insurance, since many (though granted, not all) of us are more likely to succumb to accidents than our HCM, at least in the window of time until the last kid graduates from college.
      Myectomy and mitral valve repair, April 2007, St. Luke's Hospital (NYC)

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      • #4
        Re: Life insurance

        I went and got life insurnace for my two boys prior to me getting the genetic testing. The policy I got has the ability to be increaed to 250K coverage after the age of 18 W/O MEDICAL.

        I think their coverage (at the ages of 5 & 7) is 15K each. It costs me about $50/mo per kid. But the thought of them being uninsurable later in life made me sick. I don't know which way the genetic laws are going to go, but am playing it safe.

        Now that I have the insurance in place I am going to get the testing and then if we get lucky and find the gene, have them tested.

        Boy HCM can be a PITA sometimes :/

        Dave

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        • #5
          Re: Life insurance

          Well, I can identify one company which is not particularly HCM friendly. Guardian Insurnance, which does our firm's life and disability, would only issue a limited benefit policy for me ($100k life max). I talked with an insurance agent who said different companies treat conditions differently. He mentioned one company whose president was an alcholoic and the company would routinely overlook people with bad livers. So I will continue to look and if I can identify a carrier which will issue a policy at a decent price, I'll post thier name in this thread.

          Jall
          Jall

          Diagnosed with unobstructed HCM in 2004 after a bad experience playing tennis
          Graduated to obstructed HCM by Dec, 2008.

          Life outside of HCM: Law, Photography, Tennis, Music, raising kids and camping

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Life insurance

            I have accumulated adequate life insurance over the years by converting my employee group policy to an individual policy whenever I have changed employers. I also converted a group disability policy to an individual policy. Some employers are now offering group long-term care policies that may be convertible. So it pays to check with your HR department to see what your insurance conversion options are when leaving an employer.

            Time was when such a conversion was automatically possible without answering any health questions, but I understand that with some group life insurers, automatic conversions are no longer the norm without some sort of additional underwriting.

            Sometimes coverage cannot be increased during your term of employment without additional underwriting, so be sure to select the maximum coverage you can afford right at the beginning of a new job, while enrollment is open. Even if there's no underwriting rule in place for increased coverage at the start, those rules can change while you're employed.

            The group conversion policy you will be offered will normally be the most expensive whole life or universal life policy the insurance company offers--more expensive than term life, but if you need the peace of mind of insurance protection, you may feel the cost is justified. Some of these policies have cash-value features that allow you to stop paying for them out-of-pocket after some years, while retaining the insurance protection.

            Paul in NYC
            Paul in NYC

            Systolic murmur early childhood; abnormal ECG 1970 (age 17); diagnosis by CC 1973; myectomy (Stanford) 1975; EP study, RFA SNRT, ICD 1996; cardioversion a. flutter 1997; ICD upgrade 2000; RFA SVT 2001; RFA a. flutter 2005; ICD upgrade, defective v-lead extraction & replacement 2005; RFA a. flutter (2nd pathway) 2007; recalled Medtronic Sprint Fidelis v-lead extraction & replacement 2008.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Life insurance

              After a fairly long search process, I finally got approved with Prudential, but at thier worst rate. Ratings run from A (superior) to G (the worst). Apparently an HCM diagnosis will get you a denial or a G rating. I am told each insurance company has kind of their own medical condition that they play favorites with (ie write where other don't). Prudential is known for taking more realistic looks at heart diseases. So, there may be coverage but it definately comes at a price. The group life option at work is a better option if it is available. I also had an agent suggest taking out a bunch of credit cards and taking the small limits policies that are often offered with credit cards which don't require physicals.
              Jall

              Diagnosed with unobstructed HCM in 2004 after a bad experience playing tennis
              Graduated to obstructed HCM by Dec, 2008.

              Life outside of HCM: Law, Photography, Tennis, Music, raising kids and camping

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Life insurance

                Wow, that's a tough one. My son had HCM and luckily his father and I took out a family policy when he was born and then later, we split the family policy to individuals. We continued to pay until he got married then he took over the premiums.

                Irony???? The day he died I found the policy and told him to take it home with him because, "God forbid, you never know..." That was one of the last things I said to him. When his wife came home from the hospital after he passed away that afternoon, the policy was sitting on the dining room table.

                Anyhow, thank goodness for that policy and his policy at work. He was able to take additional coverage, so he had 3x his salary. Of course, it won't replace him or his earning potential (to put it frankly), but it's better than nothing. She's able to keep the house because of that policy since he couldn't get mortgage cancellation insurance.

                This is a lousy thing. My husband had cancer and is in the same boat.

                Good luck and let us know if you find anyone.

                LindaG
                Son died of cardiac shock second to HCM at age 36.
                Live Well...Laugh Often...Love Much

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Life insurance

                  Glad you got yourself covered and protected. I am sorry that life insurance protection for one w/ HCM comes @ a high price.

                  Pam
                  Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
                  Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
                  Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
                  SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
                  [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
                  Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
                  Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
                  Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Life insurance

                    One other note. When I was in my twenties I took out two life insurance policies (prior to me even knowing about HCM). One was a term policy and one was a whole life.

                    The term was going to expire soon and my financial advisor took a look at it and said this policy is convertable to a whole life WITHOUT the need of a medical.

                    So we recently converted that policy and now I have both policies in play for the rest of my life (assuming I can keep up w/the payments, whole life policies are not cheap).

                    I guess the lesson learned is get an expert to evaluate the policies that you have available to you. Someone else on this thread talked about the work insurance. There are options there as well.

                    Dave

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Life insurance

                      Hope this helps, I recently got term life insurance through State Farm. They rated me not nearly so bad as Farm Bureau did 12 years ago when I was in my early 20's. I'm getting 4x the coverage for a little less money. My agent also got us a rider put on my wifes policy for our baby before he was born. When he's 18 he can get different life ins. policies without a physical.

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