Mitochondrial Myopathy

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:14 pm   Post subject: Mitochondrial Myopathy  

At the suggestion of a financial advisor, my wife (29) and I (33) decided to increase our term individual life insurance last April. We both already have 500k 30 year terms. The agent put mine through ING and was processed very fast. She put my wife's through Prudential, because she already had a recent policy with them, and they take forever.



While in underwriting, my wife had back pain. We went to a neurologist who ordered a battery of tests. MRI normal. No seizure activity. But due to muscle weakness she referred her to a nationally known neuromuscular specialist in this area.



Right then, they pulled the medical records - and she's been denied because they were waiting for that consult. She met with that neuromuscular specialist who noticed all her muscles are weak, but can't figure out what it is. They told her to see a cardiologist, opthamologist, and pulmonologist for muscle weakness. All three said she was fine (the opthamologist says after going glasses free for this long, she may finally need reading glasses). The pulmonologist suggested she see an ENT doctor and a speech pathologist because once in a while she has some swallowing issues. The speech pathologist suggest she see a gastroentrologist, which is pending. The ENT found nothing wrong with her, but while she was there, she saw on the notes that the first neurologist had written a suspicion of mitochondrial myopathy. Haven't heard back on what the neuromuscular specialist wants to do next (he went on vacation for 2 weeks).



Prudential has said they will not pull her medical records again, but would consider her application if her neurologist writes a letter. What should the letter say?



Any advice would be appreciated.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:10 pm   Post subject:   

Until there is a clear diagnosis, it might be tough to get a firm offer from an insurance company. That said, I would take any offer they might give you just to get the coverage in force if it's needed because you don't know what the outcome will be yet, and it is possible that she could be a decline or heavily rated in the future depending on what the condition is. If your agent is independent, they should be able to shop the medical history for you with 10-15 companies and find the best offer. If your agent can't do that, I'd probably try to find a new agent who can.



As far as the letter goes, a diagnosis and how it relates to her health in the future would help. If there is no diagnosis, Prudential will probably postpone an offer until there is one. You may want to have your agent ask Prudential exactly what information they might be looking for in the letter.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:45 pm   Post subject:   

Thanks for your reply, and specifically, that without a diagnosis, they likely won't give her a policy. If the diagnosis was mitochondrial myopathy, do you know what they would do?



The agent (from SelectQuote) said they just needed a letter saying that the neuromuscular consult wouldn't cause any problems. However, I'm not sure she can write that, since they are still wondering about a diagnosis. I think their next step is a muscle biopsy (not fun for my wife).



This policy would be a 20 year term, 500k. I am VERY glad we got her a policy 9 months ago that is a 30 year term, 500k, with the best health rating. She is a teacher and gets into the pension plan this year. I'm hoping that, like my work, new people can get group coverage with minimial medical underwriting.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:10 am   Post subject:   

I'm just goint to parrot what dgoldenz wrote. A good agent will be very helpful in getting the best offer. The problem is that an insurance company won't give an offer without a diagnosis.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:34 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Thanks for your reply, and specifically, that without a diagnosis, they likely won't give her a policy. If the diagnosis was mitochondrial myopathy, do you know what they would do?



The agent (from SelectQuote) said they just needed a letter saying that the neuromuscular consult wouldn't cause any problems. However, I'm not sure she can write that, since they are still wondering about a diagnosis. I think their next step is a muscle biopsy (not fun for my wife).



This policy would be a 20 year term, 500k. I am VERY glad we got her a policy 9 months ago that is a 30 year term, 500k, with the best health rating. She is a teacher and gets into the pension plan this year. I'm hoping that, like my work, new people can get group coverage with minimial medical underwriting.




An agent from SelectQuote will probably tell you anything....they are just a call center. From what the agent told you, it sounds like they don't know what they are doing. The consult itself might not cause problems, but the insurance company is going to want to know exactly what the underlying diagnosis is once the consult has been completed. SelectQuote represents a lot of insurance companies, but they are very unlikely to be willing to go to the lengths that need to be done on this case. They will probably tell you to continue the underwriting with Prudential and if it doesn't work to just apply to more companies. What they won't tell you is that doing so can put damaging information in her record on the MIB (Medical Information Bureau) that insurance companies use to verify health information. If she is declined by a company (or multiple companies), that information may go into her record and would have to be reported on any future applications. An independent agent (not a call center) can shop the medical history for you so that you can get a tentative offer BEFORE completing an application. They should be able to lay out all of the options for you.



Based on the information given, I would strongly suggest looking at a permanent policy. You are still not sure what her diagnosis is and how it may effect her 20-30 years from now, when she may become uninsurable. If her health declines and she is 20-30 years older when the policy is re-written, it will be very, very expensive compared to what you can lock in now, assuming she can get an offer.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:26 am   Post subject:   

Thanks for the scoop on Select Quote. I knew about MIB, and that's why I did the insurance in the order that I did, since I suspected she had some medical issues after we got married. I took out the 500k policy first, because I thought that's all she needed, and there was no medical underwriting. Then I tried to get her a disability policy - got outright rejected. Then I heard we should get more, and got into this situation. Then I booked an appt for her because of her back pain.



I'm not as concerned about insurance 30 years from now, because won't have dependents. Our current policy is convertible to a permanent. By then, she'll have built up a good pension in the school system, and me, good savings.



If not Select Quote, then how do I find a good agent who can determine which company is best given her medical condition?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:55 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
I'm not as concerned about insurance 30 years from now, because won't have dependents. Our current policy is convertible to a permanent. By then, she'll have built up a good pension in the school system, and me, good savings.




I can't tell you how many times we've heard this and ended up replacing a policy that was sold with these intentions....if everyone's life went exactly the way they planned, nobody would need the insurance at retirement age. However, life is full of unexpected events, including those beyond your control. Many people who recently retired have lost a huge chunk of their retirement savings in the stock market....is it easier to replace that money by going back to work, or using the life insurance to do so? Long term care costs are projected to be over $250k per year in 20 years for a "reasonable" facility. You get the idea.



The current policy may be convertible, but it would be converted at the premium of her current age when it is done. For example, if she converted at age 50, she would pay the permanent policy premium of a 50-year old, which is approximately 2.5x the cost of doing it now. Obviously, this is a personal decision, but we have had far too many clients who wish they would have done things differently when they had the chance to do so. If there was no medical underwriting on the first $500k policy, there also may be a very limited conversion options, possibly 5-15 years depending on the company. If she went past the conversion period and became uninsurable, you would have no options to continue the coverage (at a price you'd be willing to pay, that is).



As far as finding a good agent goes, there is no guaranteed way to find one....you can always submit for another quote online, but you never know who will actually call you. What state are you in?
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