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For those looking to learn more about obtaining life insurance with Systemic Lupus, you are in the right place. We understand that there are increased concerns when it comes to life insurance if you have Lupus, but rest assure, it is an insurable condition! In this post, you are going to learn more about Systemic Lupus, what factors play a role in receiving life insurance coverage, and what information insurance underwriters will need.
What is Systemic Lupus?
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, autoimmune disease that causes inflammation to various parts of the body. It is the most severe of the four forms of Lupus, and one of the most common, making up about 70 percent of all Lupus diagnoses.
Similar to other autoimmune conditions, SLE occurs when your immune system malfunctions and mistakenly attacks normal, healthy tissue. The disease oftentimes displays symptoms that are similar to arthritis; with pain and swelling around the joints. In more severe cases, SLE can cause damage to the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, skin, and more.
The exact cause of SLE is unknown, although genetics and environmental stimuli are believed to play a major role. Although not linked to a certain gene, those with SLE usually have family members with other autoimmune diseases. Lupus is most often developed between the ages of 15 and 44, although there have been cases of older adults and younger children contracting the disease. Overall, women are ten times more likely than men to contract SLE, and women of color are two to three times more likely than Caucasian women. It is not contagious, and therefore cannot be contracted by coming into contact with an individual that has the disease.
Symptoms of Systemic Lupus
SLE is sometimes referred to as the “great imitator,” because of its wide range of symptoms that appear similar to other medical conditions. Since any part of the body can be affected by Lupus, it has an array of clinical manifestations that vary depending on which part of the body it is attacking. Because of this, diagnosis can be tricky.
If you have SLE, you have most likely experienced periods of flare (when the disease is active) and periods of remission (when the disease is dormant). During flares, symptoms can vary and may be more intense. Some of the most common symptoms that occur during these flares include:
- A rash on the cheeks and nose, known as a “butterfly rash”
- Other skin lesions
- Sensitivity to the sun
- Oral ulcers
- Severe fatigue
- Pleuritis or pericarditis (inflammation of the lining of the lung or heart)
- Kidney disorder (proteinuria)
- Neurologic disorders (seizures, psychosis)
- Blood disorder (low blood counts)
- Immunologic disorder
- Positive antinuclear antibody (ANA)
- Positive blood test for other immune system disorders
- Swelling, stiffness, and/or pain in joints
- Chest pain when breathing deeply
Increased Risks of Systemic Lupus
Other symptoms of Systemic Lupus depend on which part of the body the disease is attacking, such as the lungs, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, or central nervous system. Because it is capable of causing damage to other parts of the body, other, more serious issues can occur, including:
- Kidney failure
- Memory issues
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Lung problems (pneumonia or pleurisy)
- Other infections
Getting Life Insurance With Systemic Lupus
Obtaining life insurance protection can be difficult if you have been diagnosed with SLE. Since there are increased risks associated with the disease, it is important that you work with a life insurance agent that is experienced in underwriting Systemic Lupus.
Life insurance rates for those with SLE will depend on the severity of the disease, the age of onset, and the response to treatment since diagnosis. By default, Systemic Lupus does not qualify for a Preferred rate.
Below is an outline of the different ratings available for those with SLE:
- Age 20 or under at onset – DECLINE
- Age 20 and over at onset
- Diagnosed in the last 12 months – Postpone
- Diagnosed 1-2 years ago – Table 8 range
- Diagnosed 3-4 years ago – Table 6 range
- Diagnosed 4-5 years ago – Table 4 range
- Diagnosed 5+ years ago – Possible Standard (although rare) or Table 2 rating
Some additional information that will help determine your rating:
- If you are over age 60 when onset of SLE occurs – subtract 2 Table ratings
- If you are treated with a higher dose of steroids – add 2 Table ratings
- If you are on disability – DECLINE
- If certain organs are affected, such as lungs, kidneys, cardiovascular, or CNS involvement – DECLINE
In life insurance, a “table rating” is the life insurance premium that is charged to people who cannot qualify for standard rates. Clients with SLE fall into this category. Each numerical table increase is usually a 25% increase over the standard risk class rates. Depending on your unique case, you will fall into one of the table ratings above. For clients with SLE, the following are the cost increases you can expect:
- Table 2 rating: Standard rate + 50%
- Table 3 rating: Standard rate + 75%
- Table 4 rating: Standard rate + 100%
- Table 5 rating: Standard rate + 125%
- Table 6 rating: Standard rate + 150%
- Table 7 rating: Standard rate + 175%
- Table 8 rating: Standard rate + 200%
The best case scenario for people with Systemic Lupus is if no current treatment is required. In most cases, the best rate available is Table 2. To better determine which table range you will fall in, we suggest calling to speak with an experienced life insurance agent. Before you do, though, there are some important pieces of information that you should be equipped with.
What We Will Need To Know About Your Systemic Lupus
Since it is our goal to find you the best possible rate, we will need some detailed information from you. When you contact us, please be prepared with as much information as you can put together. Some questions that we will ask, include:
- Date of diagnosis
- Age at diagnosis
- Type of Lupus (Systemic or Discoid?)
- Affected areas (e.g. skin, kidneys, blood vessels?)
- Treatments (the types of treatment as well as when)
- If the condition has disappeared completely (if yes, date of last required treatment)
- If the condition has ever disappeared, has it relapsed? (if yes, we need dates and details on severity, area, etc.)
- What medications are you taking? And in what doses and frequency? (e.g. NSAIDs, Antimalarials, Steroids, Immunosuppressives?)
- Do you have other underlying health concerns? (e.g. cancer, etc.)
- Have you smoked cigarettes in the last 12 months?
Remember, the more information you can provide us upfront, the better service we can provide you.
What To Do Next To Get Life Insurance Protection With Systemic Lupus
We understand that navigating the life insurance process can be frustrating, especially when you’ve been diagnosed with Systemic Lupus. When looking for quotes on life insurance, it’s best to work with an independent life insurance broker or agency. These types of companies have unique access to dozens of insurance carriers, helping you to instantly compare your options and find the best rates.
If you have Systemic Lupus and are in the process of looking for life insurance, we can help. At lupuslifeinsurance.com, we pride ourselves on the personal relationships that we’ve developed with underwriters who are experienced in writing policies for individuals with SLE. These relationships, coupled with personal attention and the highest quality service, will help you on your mission to obtain security in a life insurance policy.
Life insurance is one of the biggest and best purchases that you’ll ever make for your family. Nothing is more important than finding a policy that fits your needs and provides your family with the security they need in case anything were to happen to you. Prepare your family for life’s unexpected turns, and know that they’re in good hands.
To learn more about obtaining life insurance coverage with Systemic Lupus, simply fill out the form on this page. It will only take a few moments, and one of our experienced agents will be in touch with you shortly. You are also welcome to contact us directly if you have questions about getting life insurance with SLE, or even questions about life insurance in general. We can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 877.574.9920 for a free no-commitment consultation.