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LIFE INSURANCE WITH LUPUS
Many individuals struggling with chronic illness mistakenly believe they are not candidates for life insurance. They couldn’t be more wrong! This is particularly true for those whose lives are impacted by lupus.
At lupuslifeinsurance.com, we work specifically with clients dealing with the impact of lupus in their dailiy lives. We leverage our experience and commitment to this group to identify and cultivate key relationships with life insurance carriers that historically approve coverage at competitive rates for this difficult to insure group.
When you work with us, you are working with a professional team having empathy for your situation and an advocate that will work tirelessly to secure financial protection for you and your family.
WHAT IS LUPUS?
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that can affect multiple organ systems and whose cause is unknown, although genetics certainly play a significant role. There is currently no cure for Lupus, but it can be effectively treated with drugs and most people lead active, healthy lives. Autoimmune diseases arise when the body identifies itself as “foreign”, creating antibodies and other inflammatory mediators that target healthy cells. These same mechanisms normally are isolated to attack on microbes, viruses, and other foreign materials. Lupus is characterized by intermittent periods of illness, called flares, and remission, with most of treatment aimed at heading off flares and managing their severity.
SYMPTOMS OF LUPUS
Lupus systems can be very diverse, ranging from mild to severe, that are typically intermittent. The most common symptoms include painful and swollen joints, unexplained fever, and extreme fatigue. Skin involvement is a hallmark, particularly across the nose and cheeks, often characterized as a “butterfly rash.” Other symptoms that may present are photo-sensitivity, unusual loss of hair, and circulatory problems in response to cold or stress (Raynaud’s Phenomenon). The kidneys (nephritis), lungs (pleuritis), and central nervous system can also be involved to varying degrees in many patients.
Diagnosing lupus is challenging and can take months or even years for doctors to piece together the clinical history for definitive diagnosis. No single-test is determinative of a lupus diagnosis, however, assays for auto-antibodies (antibodies directed against “self”) are a cornerstone. The most common auto-antibody is called ANA, or antinuclear antibody, which reacts with elements in the nucleus of healthy cells, causing disruption in cell function and leading to some of the observed symptoms of lupus. Although necessary for a lupus diagnosis, the presence of ANA’s are not specific as they are also observed in other autoimmune diseases as well as some infections. ANA’s are simply a single-piece of a complex puzzle. Most laboratory tests are relatively non-specific for lupus, so clinicians must rely on a “preponderance of the evidence” to make a definitive diagnosis.
The effectiveness of treatment has increased dramatically in recent years, arming clinicians with more options to treat flares and manage the systemic disease. Treatment objective are aimed at preventing flares whenever possible and managing them to address fatigue, pain, minimize organ damage and other complications. Treatment plans are not universal or “one-size-fits-all”, rather must be tailored to the individual patient. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are often used to address inflammation, but the mainstay of therapy are corticosteroids. Corticosteroids function by suppressing the immune system, blunting the inflammatory response. Use of corticosteroids must be closely monitored as long-term use can lead to untoward effects such as osteoporosis, hypertension, and diabetes. Anti-malarials are another type of drug possessing efficacy in some patients, particularly in treating fatigue, joint pain, skin rashes, and lung inflammation. Systemic immunosuppressives can be used to block certain aspects of the native immune response and are typically reserved for patients experiencing kidney and central nervous system involvement. As one can imagine, extended immunosuppression can lead to difficulties in fighting infection and eliminating tumorous cells. Finally, alternative therapies that include diet control, fish oils, and exercise, are helpful for some patients.
LUPUS AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Notwithstanding the symptoms and potential side-effects of treatment, individuals with lupus can maintain a high-quality of life. Patients who don’t do well are those that neglect regular medical check-ups and fail to “listen to their bodies” when they feel flares coming. Drug therapies such as prednisolone and hydroxyquinolone have greatly increased survival rates and quality of life for those who understand their disease and are committed to staying as healthy as possible. Maintaining vigilance benefits both the patient and clinical teams so they can identify trends that may be useful in predicting flares, heading them off, or at least managing them most effectively.
LIFE INSURANCE WITH LUPUS
Lupus deeply affects the lives of those who have it, without question, physically, emotionally, and financially. It could be argued that individuals affected by lupus and other chronic conditions are in greater need of the financial protection that life insurance brings as medical costs and lost work days may lead to accrual of debts and the need for greater assets. Despite the impact of the disease on an individual, this is most definitely an insurable condition. Our agents work closely with our underwriters of our partner carriers, conveying you as an entire person, and not simply as someone with a chronic illness. This personal, comprehensive approach has allowed us to find the necessary life insurance protection for individuals with lupus.
If you are affected by lupus, please contact one of our agents and we will work with you to find the necessary product, protection, and peace of mind you are seeking.
TERM LIFE INSURANCE VS WHOLE-LIFE INSURANCE WITH LUPUS
Most of the policies we have placed for individuals with lupus have been term policies which, for the premium dollar, provide the greatest benefit. This is pure insurance for the term of the policy. Many policies we have been able to secure for our clients also have convertible riders in them allowing the conversion of the term policy to a whole life policy at a predesignated time. The conversion to a whole-life policy transforms the finite term protection into lifetime protection. It should be noted, whole-life policies tend to be relatively expensive, however, they do accumulate cash value which can be borrowed against should the need arise.
Contact one of our agents to learn more about what policy constructs might be available to you.