Rheumatoid Arthritis & Life Insurance

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Life Insurance, Critical Illness Cover and Income Protection for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Also Known as: RA

Linked with: Carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, anaemia, autoimmune disorders, cervical myelopathy, cardiovascular disease, gum disease

Possible Symptoms: Fatigue, painful and swollen joints, stiffness in joints, flare-ups

Life Insurance

When you apply for Life Insurance, rheumatoid arthritis should be detailed to the insurer; including the time of last symptoms, medications that are used and how regularly you have flare-ups. Your policy will be accepted with anything from ordinary rates through to special terms (increased premium) depending upon the medication that you take and any other significant medical disclosures that you make.

Rheumatoid arthritis Life Insurance applications that detail mild symptoms, low strength medication and demonstrate that the condition is well controlled, can result in standard terms in certain circumstances. Stronger medications such as anti TNFs (e.g. imflixmab), or anti-disease modifying drugs (e.g. methotrexate), will probably result in the policy being accepted with a small premium loading.

Critical Illness Cover

When you apply for Critical Illness Cover, rheumatoid arthritis will be reviewed by the insurers in a similar manner as with Life Insurance. The insurance provider will be particularly interested in the medications that you take, severity of your condition and if there are any other significant disclosures in your medical history. If you currently take strong medication or have regular flare-ups it is likely that you will be offered special terms on the policy, which will involve either a premium increase or an exclusion of rheumatoid arthritis and related conditions from your policy claims set.

Rheumatoid arthritis Critical Illness Cover applications that detail a severe version of the condition, additional medical disclosures or a range of strong medication could see your application being declined.

Income Protection

Income Protection for those with rheumatoid arthritis will be assessed on strict guidelines and you will need to place your application with a specialist insurer who may consider the cover, not all will. Many Income Protection claims are related to musculoskeletal conditions, leading insurers to be somewhat cautious of providing cover to those with existing illnesses that are closely related to this category. Insurance providers will place additional focus upon the medications that you use, regularity of flare-ups, any time you have had off work and your occupation. If you are offered cover it will almost certainly come with an exclusion on any claim related to your rheumatoid arthritis.

Accident, Sickness and Unemployment cover may be more suited to your needs if you find the Income Protection policy terms not to your liking. This cover will provide short-term income protection of 12 to 24 months and you do not need to provide details of your medical history at the point of application. This means that the cover can be more readily available and cheaper than Income Protection. However you must be fully aware that any claim made on this policy will exclude any illness or injury that is caused by your rheumatoid arthritis. Whilst the cover is not medically underwritten at the time of application, any claim will be subject to medical underwriting.

Summary definition

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that is characterised by the inflammation of joints within the body; primarily the hands, knees, feet and wrists. The condition is diagnosed when the body’s autoimmune system starts to attack the membrane (synovium) that surrounds joints, causing swelling and inflammation that can be painful and restrict movement. There is no specific known cause for the onset of rheumatoid arthritis but there is some research to suggest that a genetic disposition, the female hormone oestrogen and being a smoker, could all increase the risk of developing the condition.

Possible Effects on Lifestyle

Some potential problems experienced by individuals who have rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Inflammation of the lungs, heart and eyes
  • Weight loss
  • Rheumatoid nodules
  • Difficulty cutting up food
  • Difficulty dressing and undressing

Medications and Treatments

  • Abatacept (Orencia)
  • Acemetacin (Emflex)
  • Adalimumab (Humira)
  • Adcortyl
  • Arthrotec
  • Aspirin (Anadin Original, Disprin, Nu-Seals)
  • Azathioprine
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex)
  • Certolizumab pegol (Cimzia)
  • Chloroquine
  • Chloroquine Phosphate (Avloclor)
  • Ciclosporin (Neoral, Sandimmun)
  • Codeine/Paracetamol (Tylex)
  • Dexamethasone
  • Dexamethasone sodium phosphate (Dexsol)
  • Dexibuprofen (Seractil)
  • Diclofenac potassium (Voltarol Rapid)
  • Diclofenac sodium (Econac, Motifene, Pennsaid, Voltarol, Voltarol Dispersible)
  • Enbrel
  • Etanercept
  • Etodolac (Eccoxolac, Lodine)
  • Etoricoxib (Arcoxia)
  • Fenactol
  • Flurbiprofen (Froben)
  • Golimumab (Simponi)
  • Hydrocortisone acetate (Hydrocortistab)
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate (Plaquenil)
  • Ibuprofen (Anadin Ibuprofen, Brufen, Calprofen, Cuprofen, Hedex Ibuprofen, Nurofen)
  • Imuran
  • Indometacin (Pardelprin)
  • Infliximab
  • Kenalog
  • Ketoprofen (Ketocid, Ketovail, Orudis, Oruvail)
  • Leflunomide (Arava)
  • Lidocaine/Methylprednisolone acetate (Depo-medrone with Lidocaine)
  • Mefenamic Acid (Ponstan)
  • Meloxicam
  • Methotrexate (Maxtrex)
  • Methylprednisolone (Medrone)
  • Methylprednisolone acetate (Depo-Medrone)
  • Misoprostol/Naproxen (Napratec)
  • Nabumetone (Relifex)
  • Naprosyn
  • Naproxen
  • Naproxen/Esomeprazole magnesium trihydrate
  • Paracetamol
  • Penicillamine (Distamine)
  • Piroxicam (Feldene)
  • Prednisolone (Deltacortril)
  • Prednisolone acetate (Deltastab)
  • Prednisolone Sodium Phosphate
  • Remicade
  • Rituximab (Mabthera)
  • Sodium Aurothiomalate (Myocrisin)
  • Sulfasalazine (Salazopyrin)
  • Tenoxicam (Mobiflex)
  • Tiaprofenic Acid (Surgam)
  • Tocilizumab (Roactemra)
  • Vimovo
  • For more information on specific health conditions, pastimes, occupations and countries please select here:

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

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