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Joyous

Future Insurance Coverage

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If I'm "technically" diagnosed with this, will I have any difficulty getting health or life insurance in the future?

On the other hand, will finding the real cause of and resolving depression allow me to take out life insurance policies in the future since I'll be able to explain that the depression was situational, a symptom of another condition which has been treated and won't return (unless I eat gluten, of course)?

If anyone has any experiences to share about getting health or life insurance after getting diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I'd appreciate it. :)


Joy

Not gluten free yet because I'm waiting to be tested.

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If I'm "technically" diagnosed with this, will I have any difficulty getting health or life insurance in the future?

Possibly--this HAS happened to people diagnosed with celiac. They were turned down by both helath and life insurance, and celiac was used as the excuse by the insurance companies.

On the other hand, will finding the real cause of and resolving depression allow me to take out life insurance policies in the future since I'll be able to explain that the depression was situational, a symptom of another condition which has been treated and won't return (unless I eat gluten, of course)?

The insurance companies apparently couldn't care less. They are in the business of making money, not protecting your health. As far as I can tell, they are also strongly linked to the pharmaceutical industry--they are happy to pay for whatever drugs the doctor wants to prescribe to mask all your symptoms, but they couldn't care less that all you needed to do was take poison out of your diet,

It's the same with vaccines for children--the insurance company will pay for the child to receive 26 vaccines in the first 18months of life. Over half of these vaccines are completely unnecessary (for example, giving a 4-hour-old infant 3 a vaccine for Hepatitis B when neither the infant or the parent is at risk? or making 2 MMR's mandatory when 1 gives lifetime immunity?), some are not as effective as they would like us to believe, and some have a high incidence of dangerous side effects. But neither the insurance industry nor the pharmaceutical industry will admit to any of this, and will not admit liability when a child has a severe reaction.

Draw your own conclusions!

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A lot could be said to "not" be officially diagnosed...especially for life & health insurance issues.


Husband has Celiac Disease and

Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -

The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis

Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,

most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as

being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."

Serious Depressive state ensued

Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003

Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.

Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle

Developed neuropathy in 2005

Now has lymphadema 2006It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

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The thing is, I have really awesome insurance right now, and seeing a gastrointestinal specialist may help to find other possible problems, and if I get officially diagnosed it'll be easier to convince my son's dad (who I'm no longer with) that our son should be tested and/or put on a gluten free diet. But if the diagnosis won't help me get life insurance (having discovered the root of past depression and knowing that it was only a symptom of something else)... I don't know. I'm undecided at present.


Joy

Not gluten free yet because I'm waiting to be tested.

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My friend sells life insurance so I had her check into it for me. She said Celiac Disease was not on her list of exclusionary pre-existing conditions... her underwriters didn't care about it and I can get a policy if I want one. :P


  • Gluten-free since 6/12/07
  • Positive Blood Test
  • Sjogren's Syndrome
  • DH
  • HLA-DQ 2,3 (Subtype 2,8) DQ2 and DQ8

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I sold health and life insurance for a couple years, but I've also been out of it for about four years so take that into consideration :P

With life insurance I don't know that a Celiac Disease diagnosis would be a deal breaker. I'm sure there's a question on the form about whether or not you've been diagnosed with an auto immune disease. Answering yes and specifying Celiac Disease is not as big a red flag as being diagnosed and treated for depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc., the "biggies". That there was a root cause for the depression isn't going to matter much to the underwriters. They just see depression and make a judgment based on that. They work off actuary charts and they don't take into account what you or I might consider mitigating circumstances.

The same is true to a certain degree with health insurance. Things like depression, high blood pressure and weight are always red buttons for health insurers. Also, as someone else pointed out, if you're insured through an employer, you're part of a group policy so you can't be canceled unless you leave that employer, and if you go to work for another employer who offers benefits, that health insurer MUST accept you as part of the group policy as long as you meet all the requirements and fill out all the forms correctly and in a timely manner.

Also, if there was no official diagnosis or treatment of depression by a doctor, you can honestly answer "No, I have not been diagnosed with or treated for depression". Just being depressed is not the same as being diagnosed as depressed. I used to tell everyone who applied for insurance through me "Just answer the specific question ONLY, think about your answers first, and answer in as few words as possible. DO NOT elaborate." At the same time, always answer questions truthfully. You can do yourself more damage by fudging the truth. If they find you did not answer truthfully about one thing, then all your other answers will be suspect.

Trying to purchase individual insurance is a whole nother story these days. It is extremely hard to get and keep an individual policy with any kind of pre-existing condition. I don't envy anyone trying to do that.

Violet

The thing is, I have really awesome insurance right now, and seeing a gastrointestinal specialist may help to find other possible problems, and if I get officially diagnosed it'll be easier to convince my son's dad (who I'm no longer with) that our son should be tested and/or put on a gluten free diet. But if the diagnosis won't help me get life insurance (having discovered the root of past depression and knowing that it was only a symptom of something else)... I don't know. I'm undecided at present.

"My mother always told me, it's okay to play with a man's mind

as long as you put it back where you got it when you're done with it."

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Trying to purchase individual insurance is a whole nother story these days. It is extremely hard to get and keep an individual policy with any kind of pre-existing condition. I don't envy anyone trying to do that.

That's exactly what I'm going to need to do, unfortunately. Right now I take 2 psychiatric medications, too. I'm hoping to stop taking them relatively soon, but I'm not sure how much longer I'll qualify for my current health insurance, which is through the state. I'm going to be making more money in the spring, so I won't qualify any more. I think they let you pay more for the insurance and keep it for a while if you no longer qualify, but I don't know how long they let you keep it.


Joy

Not gluten free yet because I'm waiting to be tested.

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I am going for individual life and disability coverage for the first time since being formally diagnosed (intestinal biopsy) over 10 years ago. So far, the only question from the Life Insurer Underwriter is "What is Celiac and which Dr. diagnosed it so we can obtain the medical files". I listed Celiac on the health questionnaire as a gluten intolerance, which it is...not as an autoimmune "disease". "Disease" is a bad word to use for any type of insurance coverage. I also explained that this is so common in the populace that stores such as Whole Foods carry gluten free products. Not sure where this will end up yet because they are scrutinizing other 'imperfections' such as early stage skin cancer removals and the fact that I have had other surgery (with great results).

I am actually more interested in the disability insurance coverage as statistics show that we are much more likely to not be able to work from an interim physical issue rather than be killed outright from something (dependent on age group, obviously). I am curious if any of you celiacs out there have acquired disability insurance at reasonable rates.

Also, have any of you thought to band together (perhaps through this web site) and lobby the major insurance carriers about this food intoloerance so that we are not discriminated against for this issue? I'd be willing to participate.

I am a food freak in that I scrutinize everything I eat to make certain that gluten does not lurk. And, I have managed to maintain optimal health because of this. Not easy to do as I travel for business and eat out alot. But it can be done and I do it. Would be frustrating and unfair to be discounted just because a diagnosis in my medical file says "Celiac".

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I currently have BCBS a private policy, not through an employer. I called BCBS to see if I could add maternity, to the policy I already HAD. They said "YES". I got pregnant, and they revoked ONLY my maternity. Even though I DID disclose the Celiac, and it was the policy I ALREADY had, they would NOT let me keep the maternity. They said that adding maternity is getting a whole new policy, and I was no longer eligible to have BCBS bc I have Celiac. So...I kept the BCBS policy I already had bc I need insurance and they can't cancel my existing policy, but I had to go on medicade for my maternity coverage. Its really embarrasing. I pay three hundred dollars a month for my BCBS and I have to be on medicade to deliver my baby. How embarrasing!!!

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Here's my 2 cents on this topic. I was thinking of getting an individual policy when my wife retires from her job. We currently have insurance through her company. I used to work for the same company. For over 25 years I used very little in the way of benefits because I did not need to do so. I used the coverage off and on for the year prior to my diagnosis of Celiac in May '05. The most expense was the final testing (double scoping) about a week before I was told I had Celiac. Anyway as best we can tell our coverage did not go up after I went on the diet and recovered. I did however use benefits for some post diagnosis depression. Anyway for the past three years my health has been good and my only medical expenses are yearly physicals and dental checkups. I take no prescription drugs and feel fine.

That said if I go to try to get coverage in the future I do not know what I may be facing. I really only want a major medical type policy and are willing to pay out of pocket a high deductable for any visits to the doctor or prescription medicine should the need arise.

Except for the time that my pre-Celiac symptoms required me to make a lot of trips to my family doctor I have spent little in the way of time or expense in the medical profession. I do not know how much the insurance profession will hold my brief period of pre/post diagnosis and testing "against" me as far as a future policy is concerned.

The point I am trying to make is this. Say for instance someone went undiagnosed for years and the majority of their visits to the doctor/hospital were due to Celiac. We are talking about a lot of money spent not to mention the high probability of a low quality of life during that time. If you saw their medical record would you want to insure that person. It would seem on paper that this person is always ill. On the other hand if you went to your doctor years ago and that person thought maybe you had Celiac and suggested the diet to you and you recovered and had a better quality of life then what do you think your chances would be to get a better policy today. I don't think it should be held against a person if they did not get "effective" service through the medical system prior to their diagnosis. Until the insurance companies get a better understanding of Celiac and methods of effective early detection then I'm afraid we are in for a struggle.

For anyone out there who may suspect that they are gluten sensitive/intolerant or Celiac then you need to consider all the options available prior to getting an "official" diagnosis. If you feel that a diagnosis is the only thing that would make you try the diet or be compliant then by all means go for it. If however you think that going on the diet and having it solve your problems would be proof enough then you might be better off in the long run. I know which way I wish I could have gone and it is not the way it went (being malnourished to the point of being "officially" diagnosed). I personally know of someone who was "unofficially" diagnosed by his family doctor 35 years ago and is doing fine. I know it (early detection) is possible but unfortunately is also very rare and not very profitable for the medical profession.

Tom

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