Spinal stenosis affects many people throughout the United States. To qualify for spinal stenosis life insurance, you need an agent familiar with the underwriting requirements for the top life insurance companies in the United States.
Life insurance companies will look at your spinal stenosis and other medical impairments when deciding what life insurance rates you will pay.
In this article, we will review what spinal stenosis is, how it impacts your body, and how these two factors relate to your ability to get life insurance with spinal stenosis, and the premiums you will pay.
What is spinal stenosis?
Stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of a channel within your body. When the word “stenosis” is combined with the word “spinal”, we arrive at the term spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the bone channel within your spine. The spinal nerves and spinal cord are located within this bone channel.
How do I get spinal stenosis?
Some people are born with the congenital form of spinal stenosis. Most people, however, develop spinal stenosis as they get older. At first, these people may not feel any effects of the narrowing of the spinal cavity. However, as people age, most patients with spinal stenosis will eventually notice weakness, numbness, or radiating pain as the nerves and spinal cord is compressed.
Lumbar stenosis versus cervical stenosis
Lumbar stenosis is located in the lower back area. Cervical stenosis is located in the neck area.
Lumbar spinal stenosis – when the spinal nerve roots in your lower back become compressed, symptoms may include numbness, tingling, or weakness that radiates from your lower back into your buttocks and legs. These symptoms are generally compounded with physical activity.
Symptoms may also include leg pain when walking, neurogenic claudication, weakness when walking, and relief of symptoms when sitting. Many patients describe an increased tolerance for pain when walking flexed forward such as leaning forward while pushing a shopping cart; leaning forward with support can relieve pressure on the spine as this example indicates.
Lumbar stenosis is most prevalent in the L4-L5 and L3-L4 areas of your spine. It can, however, occur in any area of your spine. Lumbar stenosis is a degenerative disease and may eventually affect other vertebral segments of your lumbar spine.
Spinal stenosis pain located in the neck area is called cervical spinal stenosis. Cervical stenosis means that there is potential compression of the spinal cord located in the neck area. Spinal cord compression in the neck area can lead to significant health problems such as extreme weakness, or paralysis.
When treating patients with cervical stenosis, if you exhibit signs of spinal cord compression, you may be a candidate for more invasive medical treatments, such as surgery.
How does spinal stenosis progress as I age?
Spinal stenosis refers to degeneration of the spine that occurs over time. As patients with spinal stenosis age, the symptoms of spinal stenosis become more prevalent.
Spinal stenosis is a gradual process that rarely results in immediate symptoms. Spinal stenosis is a medical condition that results in gradual changes that impact your ability to perform physical activities in the future.
Many spinal stenosis patients develop a forward flexed posture as they grow older to compensate for pain and nerve impingement.
Symptoms of spinal stenosis:
- Develops slowly over time (slow onset of symptoms).
- Pain comes and goes (typically not continuous pain).
- Occurs during certain activities (walking, biking, holding head upright, or standing upright).
- Pain is relieved by rest (sitting or lying down) and/or when the body is in a flexed forward position.
- Numbness and tingling.
- Weakness and affected areas.
- Treatment of spinal stenosis.
Treatment of spinal stenosis is beyond the scope of this article. However, there are medical treatments and medications available to relieve symptoms. The best recommendation for treatment is to follow your doctor’s medical treatment plan and maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
How does spinal stenosis affect life insurance?
As your level of impairment increases and your spinal stenosis impacts your ability to perform daily tasks, it will affect your spinal stenosis life insurance rates. Insurance companies will want to know what kinds of medications you are on. Long-term use of narcotic medicines may result in higher premiums.
Because spinal stenosis is a degenerative disease that progresses slowly over time, the insurance companies will want to know your diagnosis date, medical treatment plan, and your current level of impairment.
What if I have severe spinal stenosis?
Insurance companies will want to know your current level of impairment, physical restrictions, your medical treatment plan, and if any medical procedures have been advised for the future (surgery, etc.).
Insurance companies will also want to know if you are still able to work, are restricted from doing any physical activity, are on disability, and all other aspects related to what physical tasks you can perform.
When is the best time to buy life insurance with spinal stenosis?
Some patients have hereditary spinal stenosis. This means that they were born with a particularly narrow spinal canal, or that their genetics makes them more susceptible to developing spinal cavity narrowing. If your family has a medical history of spinal stenosis, and you have not yet developed spinal stenosis, now is the best time to purchase life insurance.
When you have no symptoms, no physical impairments, and no record of spinal stenosis in your medical records, you will get the best life insurance rates available.
If you already have spinal stenosis, the best time to purchase life insurance is right now. Because spinal stenosis progresses slowly over time for most patients, the best time to purchase life insurance will always be sooner, rather than later.
If you have just been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, the best time to apply for life insurance is right now when your level of impairment is minimal.
What else will affect my life insurance rates beside spinal stenosis?
Insurance companies will want to know any other medical issues you may be experiencing. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, this may impact your life insurance rates. If you’ve ever had a stroke, COPD, cancer or other serious medical event, it will impact your life insurance rates.
Insurance companies will also want to know your age, height, weight, any medications, driving record, and criminal background before approving you for a life insurance policy.
What is the best way to check my eligibility and life insurance premiums?
The best way to get the lowest spinal stenosis life insurance premiums and highest coverage amounts is to work with an experienced life insurance agent that has access to many different insurance companies. Agents that only represent one life insurance company have fewer options for clients then life insurance agents with access to many insurance companies.
Different life insurance companies view physical problems and medical impairments differently. Some life insurance companies will have more liberal underwriting guidelines if you are overweight, some will have more liberal underwriting guidelines if you have diabetes, some will have more liberal underwriting guidelines if you have high blood pressure.
Finding an agent that understands which company will give you the best rates and the best chances of approval is critical when shopping for life insurance with spinal stenosis.
Being diagnosed with spinal stenosis need not limit you from the most affordable life insurance options available.
At Life Wealth Win, we specialize in healthy to high-risk life insurance cases. We can help you understand your life insurance options with spinal stenosis or any other medical problems.
We work with clients across the nation to get the best life insurance rates possible. If you have spinal stenosis, we can help you get the best life insurance rates.