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  • Life insurance

    To paraphrase talk radio, I'm a long-time lurker on these boards but a first-time poster. Thanks for all the great advice y'all provide.

    Background:
    I'm a 32 y.o. male, diagnosed with hocm 4 years ago. On atenolol, more or less asymptomatic for now. No health issues other than hocm. Fingers crossed.

    My question:
    Wife and I are about to have baby #1 and have many parental concerns. On the financial front, I'd like to bump up my group life insurance coverage. When I first started my job, my basic coverage (2x my salary) came without requiring proof of good health. To increase my coverage now, however, I'd have to prove good health.

    Has anyone with hcm/hocm tried to get life insurance (or increase their existing coverage) and had to fill out one of these forms? Did you successfully get covered? Were the rates obscene? I'm hesitant to fill this form out for fear of having my coverage dropped altogether.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Life insurance

    djs,

    I just went though this myself. Have the 2 times through my work, and tried to get term life through an other insurance company.
    Got in contact with an agent. Filled out the form, hit the box for heart problems. Then he called me and asked me what I had.
    I told HOCM, he looked it up in his cook book and told me that I would be in table 10 or up. There are 16 tables and 16 is the highest.
    Without having a visit from the nurse or having a doc look at my records he said it would be $75+ a month for 20 year term. After the nurse and the doc looking at my chart it could be more then that.
    I left it at that for now, hopefully somebody else will post the right answer we want to hear....

    BTW I'm 30

    Fred

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Life insurance

      Try and buy as much insurance as you can, but be aware that most places are not going to approve extra coverage if you have to prove health.

      Northwestern Mutual's, for example, underwriting book lumps all cardiomyopathy together and has one word for it: Decline.

      If you ever change jobs, see if you can take the coverage with you (called "portable coverage") or the new job may offer portable as well.

      Don't forget that your wife needs life insurance, too, as you would need to hire a lot of help to replace her if something happened to her.

      good luck,
      S

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Life insurance

        Originally posted by Sarah
        Try and buy as much insurance as you can, but be aware that most places are not going to approve extra coverage if you have to prove health.

        Northwestern Mutual's, for example, underwriting book lumps all cardiomyopathy together and has one word for it: Decline.

        If you ever change jobs, see if you can take the coverage with you (called "portable coverage") or the new job may offer portable as well.

        Don't forget that your wife needs life insurance, too, as you would need to hire a lot of help to replace her if something happened to her.

        good luck,
        S
        Sarah,

        She already earns a lot more than me AND has more coverage than me (4x her salary I think). That makes her both very valuable and VERY covered .

        I note your comment about Northwestern Mutual with interest. Few things in America bug me more than our insurance system (both health and life ins.). I just feel that insurance cos. use underspecified actuarial models that cannot be applied to particular individuals. For example, the idea that they group HOCM in with all CM (including ischemic CM) is hilarious. In other words, an otherwise healthy hocm patient is grouped together with a fat smoker who has CM b/c of his 3 heart attacks? Argh. I hope that I'm oversimplifying. Nevertheless, this is yet another reason to increase public knowledge of HCM/HOCM. We need to gather more epidemiological data on non-symptomatic folks. Until then, public perceptions of HCM will be dominated by athletes dying in the middle of practice.

        Thanks for your advice. Pardon my rant.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Life insurance

          Originally posted by Fred
          djs,

          I just went though this myself. Have the 2 times through my work, and tried to get term life through an other insurance company.
          Got in contact with an agent. Filled out the form, hit the box for heart problems. Then he called me and asked me what I had.
          I told HOCM, he looked it up in his cook book and told me that I would be in table 10 or up. There are 16 tables and 16 is the highest.
          Without having a visit from the nurse or having a doc look at my records he said it would be $75+ a month for 20 year term. After the nurse and the doc looking at my chart it could be more then that.
          I left it at that for now, hopefully somebody else will post the right answer we want to hear....

          BTW I'm 30

          Fred
          Fred,

          Thanks for sharing your experience. Hopefully, someone else can enlighten us on the end game.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Life insurance

            Hey, this is the place to rant! No worries.

            You think that's bad? Well, I WORKED for NML and (this was pre-Health Reform Act of 1996) there was no pre-existing condition coverage for a whole year and I needed to be cardioverted two months after I started there, so I GOT MARRIED 18 months earlier than I planned to, so I could do so.

            But if I lived in Canada, I would see my doctor once every three years, which seems a little on the thin side to me.

            Can't win.

            S

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Life insurance

              DJS,
              It is good to hear from a fellow "lurker". I haven't tried to apply for additional coverage since being diagnosed but I assume if there was underwriting, I would either be rejected or the price would be exorbitant.
              I have worked in health insurance for 20+ years. I have learned that the best buy for insurance coverage is the type that is known as fraternal insurance. It is useally offered to religous and fraternal organizations. The plans usually accept their members with little or no underwriting and the price is lower because they do not have to advertise. Hope this helps.
              Betsy

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Life insurance

                Betsy,

                I don't think any organization that I'm a member of offer this but things can always change. I'll keep my eyes open.

                Thanks for the advice.

                David

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Life insurance

                  Professional associations sometimes offer insurance, too, like the Writer's Guild or other job-related orgs.

                  S

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Life insurance

                    Many large organizations offer group plans... before you ask..I have tried however...no go I think the name is enough to scare them all away!
                    Employer coverage is the best bet for cost effective covereage.
                    Be well!
                    Lisa
                    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                    Currently not obstructed
                    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Life insurance

                      Hi;

                      I was declined by my insurance carrier for any additional coverage! No surprise. But due to the advice on this board, I had my 3 children covered for $100,000 each in a policy that can be upgraded without a physical, throughout their lifetime.(in the event they get diagnosed.) You may want to consider getting junior coverage ASAP after he arrives. I always like to play it safe.

                      Tricia

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Life insurance

                        Hi Tricia!
                        Have not heard from you in a while...how are you doing?

                        Lisa
                        Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                        YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                        Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                        lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                        Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                        Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                        Currently not obstructed
                        Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

                        Comment

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