How does my health affect my ability to buy long term care insurance?

To qualify for long term care insurance you must be able to answer “no” to all the following four questions:

  1. Do you use mechanical devices, such as:  a wheelchair, walker, quad cane, crutches, hospital bed, dialysis machine, oxygen, or stairlift?
  2. Do you currently need or receive help in doing any of the following: bathing; eating; dressing; toileting; transferring; maintaining continence?
  3. Do you currently have, or have you ever had a diagnosis for or symptoms of: (a) Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, loss of memory, or organic brain syndrome? Or (b) multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) or Parkinson’s Disease?
  4. Have you been diagnosed or treated by a member of the medical profession for AIDS or the HIV+?

If any of these questions is answered “yes,” coverage is automatically denied.

Beyond these four questions, the long term care insurance application asks approximately 20 questions regarding the applicant’s medical profile and health history. Depending on Unum’s assessment of the applicant’s responses and (possibly) review of a statement from the applicant’s personal physician, coverage may be rated (i.e., premiums may cost more) or coverage may be declined.