… Continued …
Moderate case (medium substandard) is the next level after mild substandard case. In this scenario, the primary complications of the disease have occurred. These may include cartilage damage or/and bone erosion. These complications may cause mild disability.
If you take DMARD medicine or steroid in long term to control your rheumatoid arthritis (RA), this may be rated at moderate case, too.
The more expensive rate is when the disease is categorized into severe substandard. In this scenario, you have been on long-use of methotrexate, steroids, or other medications. Patients with severe RA may show obvious deformities.
When the disease is worse a decline, you may not be able to qualify for traditional life insurance, but this is not the end. There is still a chance to qualify for a graded death benefit policy.
If you still don’t know the rating class of your RA, here are some FAQs to help make assessment!
How many years you have had the disease?
As mentioned before, RA is a chronic condition. The bad news, there is still no cure for the disease. In other words, it is irreversible and therefore it requires a long lifetime management.
But though it is currently incurable, some new medications are available to help control it better. The use of biologic agents and DMARDs may make the disease go into remission. And less flares you have, the lower risk of joint damage and other compilations.
The goal of the treatment is to control the inflammatory process of the disease and prevent the complications (see more the complications in this post)!
More years you suffer from RA, the greater chance to take more medications and greater risk of developing serious damage, disability, and other complications. Even some treatments for RA could pose the risk of serious side effects, too.
What are the treatments you take to control the disease?
The kind of RA medications you are taking can affect your insurance rate. If the use of NSAIDs alone is enough to control the disease, you go into mild substandard rating, as noted before.
Less medication you take means less cost of the treatment. It also can be interpreted that the disease is not severe and less likely to cause the complications such as heart disease or kidney problem.
On the other hand, if there are more medications you take to control the disease (such as the use of steroid or DMARD in long term), further assessment may be required to determine the appropriate health class.
Have you taken any relevant tests in the past 1 year?
If you take imaging tests in the last 12 months, such as MRIs, X-rays, or CT-scan, you can use this guidance to help assess the rating class of your overall health. These tests can help show some complications from RA particularly like cartilage destruction or bone erosion.
Is there any obvious deformity right now?
Another thing that can help make the assessment is the present of any deformity. For instance, if you now have distortion of in wrists or finger joints, this may be considered into mild to medium standard rating.
But if the distortion occurs in the major parts of the body such as knees or hips, this has greater chance to cause disability. That’s why, it may be classified into severe substandard. Even in worse scenario, it may get a decline!
*For more advice, see a knowledgeable and independent insurance agent!