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According to the National MS Society, more than 2.3 million people are affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS) worldwide. In the United States, a recently completed prevalence study, funded by the National MS Society, has estimated that nearly 1 million people over the age of 18 live with a diagnosis of MS.

Are you or someone you love affected by multiple sclerosis? Quotacy is here to dig through the different life insurance companies to help you find life insurance coverage.

Buying Life Insurance with Multiple Sclerosis

If you have multiple sclerosis, your best chances of getting affordable life insurance is to apply through a broker, like Quotacy. Brokers are not tied to one life insurance company and are able to shop the market.

We want you to get approved and will work hard to help you get coverage. While we can’t guarantee we will be able to find a life insurance company willing to offer you affordable life insurance, we will try our best. Start the process by getting a free term life insurance quote or keep reading for more in-depth information about life insurance and multiple sclerosis.

Your best chances of getting life insurance coverage is to shop your application around to more than one insurance company, which Quotacy takes care of behind the scenes.

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What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory autoimmune disorder of the brain and spinal cord, characterized by neurologic dysfunction caused by damage to myelin, the fatty substance surrounding nerve cells that normally facilitates nerve transmission. For this reason, MS is referred to as a demyelinating disorder.

MS occurs about twice as frequently in women as men, and tends to be diagnosed between the ages of fifteen and fifty. The exact cause of MS is unknown, but it may result from a combination of genetic, environmental, and immunologic factors:

  • First degree relatives of someone with MS face a small risk of developing MS themselves.
  • MS is more frequent in areas that are distant from the equator.
  • It has been speculated that a viral infection initiates the MS process, followed by an autoimmune response in a genetically predisposed host, but this is not clear.

Discrete episodes of neurologic dysfunction, called relapses, occur in MS. Although signs and symptoms can vary, some of the findings during relapses might include visual disturbances, including optic neuritis which is inflammation of the optic nerve, gait disturbance, spasms, numbness and tingling, fatigue, heat insensitivity, weakness, trouble speaking, tremor, vertigo, bladder and/ or bowel dysfunction, balance difficulty, pain, depression, and others.

What Are the Types of Multiple Sclerosis?

Major subtypes of MS are relapsing remitting, secondary progressive, primary progressive, and progressive relapsing.

At diagnosis, most people have the relapsing remitting type of MS, which is characterized by discrete relapses with near or total remissions and no disease progression between relapses.

Many with relapsing remitting MS will eventually enter the secondary progressive phase characterized by a progressive course and which may be associated with significant disability.

The primary progressive type is characterized by progressive disease at the onset with a steady decline in function rather than discrete episodes of relapse.

Progressive relapsing MS is associated with progressive disease at onset with acute relapses and disease progression between the relapses.

Diagnosing and Treating Multiple Sclerosis

Common tests done in evaluation of MS include brain MRI, spinal tap to study the spinal fluid proteins and immunoglobins, and measurement of sensory nerve conduction. There is no cure for MS. Treatment is focused on slowing down the process and alleviating symptoms. Common medications are steroids, interferon, and glaterimer acetate. Drugs to control bladder function, spasticity, and depression may be necessary.

Underwriting Multiple Sclerosis

Underwriters decide how much coverage and at what cost to offer the applicant, unless they decide to decline or post-pone the application. Offerings range from the best rate of Preferred Plus down to Standard. If you’re a tobacco user, then offerings include Preferred Tobacco and Standard Tobacco.

It’s possible that applicants with multiple sclerosis may be “table rated”. The table rating system typically means that your pricing for life insurance will be the Standard price plus 25% for every step down the table you are. Tables descend A-P or 1-16 depending on which format the insurance company uses.

Table Rating (alphabetical) Table Rating (numerical) Pricing
A 1 Standard + 25%
B 2 Standard + 50%
C 3 Standard + 75%
D 4 Standard + 100%
E 5 Standard + 125%
F 6 Standard + 150%
G 7 Standard + 175%
H 8 Standard + 200%
I 9 Standard + 225%
J 10 Standard + 250%

The underwriter considers a number of factors when evaluating applicants with multiple sclerosis, some of which include the subtype, number of attacks per year, stability of neurologic function, symptoms, complications, treatments prescribed, and evidence of disability. It is helpful if complete neurology records are provided. If recent information indicates little in the way of functional impairment and stable MRI findings, a more favorable consideration may be possible.

Case Study # 1

John Doe is a 50-year-old who had relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis diagnosed twelve years ago, had not had an episode in the past ten years, has no symptoms, a normal neurologic examination, and had a favorable follow up with the neurologist two months ago.

This would be considered as “benign” MS and he could qualify for Standard Plus. If John applied for $250,000 in coverage with a term length of 20 years, we can estimate his monthly premiums to be approximately $53.

Case Study # 2

Jane Doe is a 35-year-old who had relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis diagnosed five years ago, has had one episode per year, has been in remission for the past ten months, has a normal neurologic examination, and has no disability and no symptoms.

She would likely be offered Table 2. If Jane applied for $250,000 in coverage with a term length of 20 years, we can estimate her monthly premiums to be approximately $35. (This Table 2 premium amount is calculated by taking her estimated Standard costs ($23) and adding on 50%.)

Case Study # 3

John Smith is a 30-year-old who had progressive relapsing multiple sclerosis diagnosed two years ago, is wheelchair bound, taking natalizumab, and who was recently hospitalized with an exacerbation and received intravenous corticosteroids.

John Smith would likely be declined. Some carriers may be willing to offer a high-risk table rating, such as Table H or higher.

The previous examples are for illustrative purposes only. Each life insurance company has a different set of guidelines they follow when underwriting an applicant. Because of these different guidelines, when one company may decline an applicant, another company may decide that applicant can qualify for Standard rates.

A benefit to working with Quotacy is that we work with multiple A-rated life insurance companies. Your best chances of getting life insurance coverage is to shop your application around to more than one insurance company, which we take care of behind the scenes.

Quotacy’s team has years of experience getting clients life insurance coverage, including those with complicated medical histories. Our in-house underwriter has worked in many carrier home offices, knows how to navigate each individual’s health history, and knows which life insurance company would be the best option for your individual case. If you are ready to buy life insurance coverage, get a term life insurance quote now and let’s start the process.

If you have any questions regarding underwriting Multiple Sclerosis, feel free to contact us or jot us a message in the Comment section below. If you are looking to get an idea on the cost of life insurance if you have MS, it costs nothing to run a quote and apply online. You will have a dedicated Quotacy agent shop your case with our top-rated life insurance companies to ensure you receive the best possible price.


About the writer

Headshot of Natasha Cornelius, a life insurance writer, for Quotacy, Inc.

Natasha Cornelius

Marketing Content Manager

Natasha is a writer and content editor at Quotacy. She is also co-host of Quotacy’s YouTube series. She can't get enough of life insurance and outside of work is also working toward her Chartered Life Underwriter designation. Connect with her on LinkedIn.