How is Multiple Sclerosis covered by Trauma Insurance?
Trauma Insurance will provide a lump sum payment in the event that you are diagnosed with a serious illness that is listed on the policy. Most policies will cover up to 50 different medical conditions.
The definition of what constitutes Multiple Sclerosis (MS) differs within various insurance policies let alone from company to company. All insurance companies require a diagnosis from a neurologist and most require further evidence that the policyholder experienced at least one episode of neurological deficit. Some require that the episode must last for a minimum of six months before a claim is considered. Other insurers state claims won't paid unless the claimant needs daily assistance and is no longer able to function independently.
Most companies that provide trauma insurance or also knows as critical illness insurance, include MS as a specified medical condition they'll cover you against along with around 40 other conditions that include cancer, heart attacks and stroke and this is what they'll do, it's just the conditions included in the 'small print' that you need to be aware of.
What are the benefits of having cover in place?
Multiple Sclerosis affects around 16,000 Australians between the ages of 20 and 50. It involves the central nervous system and effects nerve impulses to the brain, optic nerves and the spinal cord. The benefit paid under a trauma insurance policy can be used for many things such as making your home wheel chair accessible and any other lifestyle changes needed to make your life easier.
Trauma insurance can provide protection in a number of ways:
- How will Multiple Sclerosis affect you. Multiple Sclerosis can affect your life in a variety of ways. It can cover everyday living expenses if you are forced to take time off work or work at a reduced capacity and it can help additional medical expenses that you may face.
- How much can I be paid? The level of cover you are eligible to receive can vary between policies. Generally you can take out between $50,000 and $2 million in cover.
Can I get Trauma Insurance if I suffer from Multiple Sclerosis?
You will need to declare any conditions that you suffer from at the time of application. Unfortunately if you already suffer from Multiple Sclerosis, it is unlikely that you will be eligible to receive trauma insurance for that condition and will not be covered for related conditions. You will still be able to take out trauma insurance to cover other crisis events but not be eligible for a claim for multiple sclerosis.
When will a trauma insurance policy payout for multiple sclerosis?
Diagnostic criteria varies between insurers. This is problematic because everyone is affected by MS differently and might show very different symptoms at different times. In ASIC's recent investigation into life insurance claims it identified the following requirements in various policies:
Some insurers may require the condition to have been diagnosed by a neurologist or other relevant specialist, rather than a physician. The cost of these tests is not necessarily covered by any form of insurance.
Some policies will require the policyholder to show specific symptoms such as
- More than one episode of defined neurological deficit
- More than one episode of well-defined neurological deficit with persisting neurological abnormalities
Understanding multiple sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis is an illness that is well known in Australia. The specific details of Multiple Sclerosis are:
- What is Multiple Sclerosis? Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that will affect the central nervous system. Specifically, Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease that randomly attacks the central nervous system which will include the brain and spinal cord.
- What causes Multiple Sclerosis? While there has been a large amount of research conducted on Multiple Sclerosis there is no known cause for the illness. The immune system will usually fight off diseases in the human body. In the case of Multiple Sclerosis, the immune system attacks its own myelin, causing disruption to nerve transmission. While no known cause of Multiple Sclerosis, environmental and genetic factors are thought to both cause the diseases.
- What are the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis? The severity of Multiple Sclerosis will vary depending on the person. Some people may find that they will only experience minimal symptoms while others will debilitate quite quickly. Some of the symptoms that people will Multiple Sclerosis will experience extreme tiredness, impaired vision, loss of balance and muscle coordination, slurred speech, tremors, stiffness, bladder and bowel problems, difficulty walking, short-term memory loss, mood swings and, in severe cases, partial or complete paralysis.
- How will Multiple Sclerosis affect your life? While many people with Multiple Sclerosis will have varied symptoms it does have the ability to cause significant change in your life. If you have Multiple Sclerosis then you may find that you will lose the ability to function without help.
Symptoms and signs of multiple sclerosis
The symptoms pointing to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) differ greatly between different sufferers, even how it affects the same person at different times. These symptoms however can include, in severe cases, partial or complete paralysis. In less severe cases, the loss of short term memory, walking difficulty, bowel and bladder problems, joint and muscle stiffness, tremors, speech becoming slurred, loss of muscle coordination and balance, impaired vision and extreme tiredness.
There are some people who experience a quite rapid progression of the disease that leads to total disability in a relatively short time, while others remain minimally affected for many years. The vast majority of sufferers fall somewhere between the two extremes. However, all sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis will experience a combination of similar symptoms, the four most common being:
- A gradual progression of the disease known as Progressive-Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis. This form of MS progresses gradually with one or more relapses taking place over time.
- Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis is another form of the disease where the sufferer occasions no distinct attacks. The onset is slow but steadily worsens. This form of MS sometimes levels off and stabilises itself without getting any worse while other people have it continue worsening over many months or years.
- Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis starts out as a relapsing-remitting type of MS. It later changes course to become more consistently progressive. It can continue either with or without relapses.
- A particularly debilitating form of the disease is called Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. This form of MS has clearly defined relapses, or exacerbations, that can go on for days or weeks at a time before subsidising with either partial or full recovery. Usually there's no further progression of the disease between the attacks. This inactivity can last for months, even years in some cases.