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Motor neurone disease: Will critical illness insurance cover it?

When a person insured with critical illness insurance is diagnosed with motor neurone disease, that person will receive the full amount of the sum insured. But the claim will only be payable if the motor neurone disease is contracted before a certain age. In most cases, the insured is only eligible if the disease is diagnosed before the age of 60.

What Is Motor Neurone Disease?

Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, this disease is marked by the worsening of the condition and functions of the motor neurones. Motor neurones are nerve cells that control the body’s movements. They can be found not just in the brain, but also in the spinal cord and the brain stem.

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Motor Neurone Disease Statistics

  • There are 2 people out of every 100,000 that are diagnosed with MND annually.
  • At any one time, there are 7 out of every 100,000 people with MND in the UK.
  • MND usually strikes people over the age of 40, with the highest prevalence with people between the ages of 50 and 70.
  • MND strikes more men than women.

Source: http://www.mndassociation.org

Motor neurone disease causes the person to lose control of his muscles. This loss of muscle control will usually start with the loss of fine motor skills or from the legs and then will start attacking the upper body. Eventually, the patient will find it hard to perform daily functions such as eating, going to the bathroom, speaking, walking and even breathing. The patient also exhibits an uncontrolled twitching, his muscles also weaken and waste away.

The disease will be painful (both physically and emotionally) and the patient will need the support of his loved ones.

The disease tends to act quickly, and can take some three to four years from inception to thoroughly cause severe disability and death. Although this disease cannot be cured, its symptoms can be alleviated and therapy can help slow the progression of the disease. That is why it is important to know the symptoms so that when it is recognized, the patient can go to the doctor as soon as possible. Although the progression of the disease cannot be stopped, there are some who are inflicted that live longer, with the help of treatment.

Motor neuron disease can hit not just people of ages above 60. In fact, the disease can afflict people from all age groups. The disease can also be genetic and the symptoms may even show at birth or when the toddler is of the age when he should learn how to walk. In adults, the symptoms can appear at 40 years of age.

Critical Illness Cover for Motor Neurone Disease

Why get critical illness cover for motor neurone disease?

The expenses required for therapy and adaptive equipment is considerable and getting critical illness cover will certainly help in providing for the costs related to a having Motor Neurone Disease.

Adaptive equipment you can buy from the proceeds of your critical illness policy:

Being unable to move will necessitate some adaptive equipment, especially for your home.

  • Bedroom: Specialized beds with positioning aids, call systems
  • Bathroom: Shower chairs, aids for bathing and toileting, commode, bath transfer chairs
  • Key areas in the home: Wheelchair ramps, stair lifts, other lifting and transfer devices, remote controls for appliances and lighting
  • Communications: computer aids such as dictation programs, voice activated programs, input devices that replace the mouse and keyboard
  • Respiratory aids
  • Lift chairs (recliners)
  • Wheelchairs or scooters (including scooter lift)
  • Specially adapted vehicles

Making a Claim

Based on the Association of British Insurers’ definition, Motor Neurone Disease is payable if it meets the following:

  • it strikes the claimant before a certain age
  • it is diagnosed by a Consultant Neurologist
  • it must be marked by permanent clinical impairment of motor function

How Critical Illness Insurance Can Help

With the proceeds from the critical illness insurance, the patient can afford to pay for:

  • Replacing one’s income so that day-to-day expenses and needs are covered
  • Pay off a mortgage
  • Adaptive equipment in the home
  • Supportive therapy (including speech, physical and occupational therapy) to make the patient more comfortable
  • Enable one to fulfil his wishes while the disease has not resulted in Total and Permanent Disability (i.e. travel)

You can also avail of State Benefits for disability caused by the Motor Neurone Disease. Read more in the article Critical Illness Insurance and State Benefits.

Last updated on: 18.1.2013

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