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Nov 17, 2008
Learn about ALS
San Diego
If you had a chance before being diagnosed to get various insurance in place...which would you buy? I have life (1M) and health...but what about the random policies such as short / long term disability? Mortgage Insurance? etc.? Just curious what you guys recommend.
QS ... I have never heard of turning to people with a fatal disease for financial advice. We're all really brilliant, of course, but these kinds of decisions depend on your budget, your long-term goals and your discretionary income.

I signed up for a long term care policy when I was 60 through a group plan at work, and have kept it ever since. I figured I'd never qualify as an individual, because of my age and because I'd had a heart attack at age 58. It's paying off now, but frankly I don't know if I will ever recoup the premiums I've shelled out. It pays for someone to come in and do housework or help me dress, etc., as well as care facilities, so it's helpful ... but if you take in "opportunity costs" (i.e., what I could have earned by investing the money in bonds or CDs or other things instead of insurance premiums), I suspect it would be a money-loser.

Even if you're young, these policies are expensive. And the younger you are, the longer you will have to pay premiums. I am glad I have that policy, and to me it was worth the premiums for the peace of mind, and as I say, it is paying off, but this is really a personal decision.

Insurance is good, but if you're loading up because you think you have a fatal disease, what will you do if you don't have ALS? Cancel all the policies, then start over if you later fear another disease?

Insurance should be a part of your portfolio. My advice, which is worth exactly what you're paying for it :) is to assume that you're going to live to be 100, and plan accordingly for retirement.

But wait! There's more ! I also advise getting guidance from a financial planner, rather than from some random strangers on the Internet.
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I agree with Beth's concerns. I also want to point out that many of the insurance options available not only cost an arm and a, many of them have a clause that states so many years have to pass before the policy will actually pay off.

You will have to decide what your situation needs and what you can afford.

I truly hope you don't get the diagnosed of ALS.
My advice: If you're thinking about this, act quickly while you can. You can always cancel later if you change your mind.

My understanding is that the insurance company can deny a policy based on health evidence whether there is an official DX or not. So don't think that just because a DX is only pending you will qualify.

A month ago I sat down with an insurance broker to get a Long Term Care policy for my wife, knowing that of course I wouldn't qualify. He asked her several health-related screening questions that I would have passed with flying colors in March, even though I knew I had a serious problem then:

Which medications are you taking?
Have you been in a wheelchair in the past 5 years?
Have you been hospitalized in the past 5 years?
Have you had any surgeries in the past 5 years?
Do you have chest pains?

All these questions rule out 99% of the diseases, but ALS is not the typical disease and their questioning isn't designed to catch it. The first 2 rule me out now, but back in March I qualified fully! Kicking myself for not applying back then, thinking there's no way...
It is funny this comes up. The wife and I last summer before she started to get ill were discussing our insurance coverage. We have life and disability on every debt that we have such as mortgage, car, consolidation loan and credit cards. I was thinking we are way over insured. I thought what are the chances and we paid and are paying a lot of money for something we will never use. Boy was I wrong. I am so glad I listened to her and we have this coverage. One insurance policy is paying our consolidation loan to the tune of 450 dollars a month. Another insurance is making our car payment at the tune of 450 dollars a month. We didn't get them to pay our mortgage as I am gainfully employed and didn't want to risk anything to do with the house as well as our credit cards. Since her disability plan with her employer pays her a little over 50 % of what she was taking home (she gets almost 2100.00 a month now) this is a huge burden off us. Her CPP disability has been approved and she will be getting roughly 900+ from the government that her insurance company will be deducting penny for penny when that kicks in. Most people would suffer greatly if they lost even 10% of their monthly income let alone 50% of it. We are not getting ahead, but we are certainly not falling behind. We have life insurance attached to all these debts as well and we both are named on each debt so if either one of us passes they will be paid. A bit of a morbid thought, but the last thing either of us wanted to do was pass leaving the surviving spouse with a huge debt load and unable to sustain our simple lifestyle. I tell all my healthy friends, if it is available get it. Never say never. I am glad I listened and it is a huge life saver for us now.
Thank you for advice

I agree with the person that said you can always add the insurance and then remove it later down the road. I have some major concerns due to speech, swallowing and voice issues, but have not been diagnosed or evaluated yet. Might as well load up on insurance while I can...worth the gamble I think as long as the policies actually payout if the worst case is true and I am diagnosed. I have a new wife and would never want to leave her in anything other than a strong financial position. Got short term disability, long term disability, 1.5m life, long term care and health insurance...getting time to play ball I think and get my body checked out!
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