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Long Term Care Blog

Underwriting Stroke History for Long Term Care Insurance

by Jack Lenenberg

Stroke Long Term Care

Can a stroke survivor qualify for long term care insurance?

While problematic, it is possible to obtain long term care insurance with stroke history.

A stroke is the second leading cause of long term care insurance claims accounting for 15% of claims in nursing homes and 11% of claims for home health care.  Only Alzheimer's disease accounts for a higher propensity of claims than stroke victims.

My cousin, in fact, had a major stroke and received care in a nursing facility for over 6 years.

Thus it is understandable that most long term care insurance underwriters will decline applicants with a prior history of stroke.

There are a handful of underwriters that will, however, approve applicants that have a history of a stroke in their medical records.

Differentiating between a stroke and a mini-stroke

With long term care underwriting it is extremely important to determine whether your  prior incident was a stroke (Cerebrovascular accident or CVA) or a mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack or TIA).

A stroke or a CVA is the rapid loss of brain function due to disturbance to the blood supply to the brain.

Residual effects from a stroke can cause an inability to move limbs; an inability to form speech, as well as visual disturbances.

A mini-stroke or TIA, on the other hand is "transient," i.e. temporary.   TIA symptoms are similar to a CVA, but they occur quickly and may only last a few minutes.  TIAs are a temporary interruption of blood flow to the brain.  Permanent disability is not caused.

The warning signs for a TIA are similar to the warning signs for a stroke. 

You may experience sudden numbness of your face, arm or leg; sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance; or sudden confusion or trouble with speech.Stroke

TIA symptoms will pass eventually.

Long term care insurance underwriting of stroke (CVA) and mini-stroke (TIA).

A history of a TIA is usually insurable for long term care insurance with most underwriters.  There are certain conditions that need to be met, however.

Typically, the long term care insurance underwriter will require that the TIA be limited to one episode only.  The underwriter will want to be assured that you are fully recovered from the TIA and there are no residual effects.

Many underwriters will require a period of stabilization for 12 months after the date of incident prior to being eligible to apply for long term care insurance.  Some underwriters will require longer stabilization periods.  Some underwriters will decline a history of TIA altogether.

With a history of CVA the majority (but not all) underwriters will decline coverage.

A handful of underwriters will approve applicants with a history of CVA.  Typically, a stability period of 24 months will be a prerequisite to your application receiving approval.

With TIA and CVA underwriting it is important to not  have any co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease, and heart valve disorder.  Even if fully recovered from the stroke or mini-stroke if co-morbid conditions are also evident within your medical records your application could be declined.

Inquire about your eligibility for coverage

Long term care insurance underwriters view medical history differently.  The underwriting guidelines and pricing vary tremendously from company to company.  If you have been told before that you are unable to qualify for long term care insurance, it could possibly be that you spoke with the wrong agent.

I am an independent specialist that can help you explore your options with all of the leading long term care insurance companies including Mutual of Omaha, Mass Mutual, Genworth, John Hancock, Lincoln Moneyguard, Pacific Life Premier Care, State Life, Transamerica, Life Secure and more.  To recive free quotes or to discuss your health history please call me at (800) 891-5824.

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Jack Lenenberg