You know that meningitis you had in college?  Or that prescription you were given for anxiety 20 years ago during your divorce?  Well, if it’s on record, it’s game for insurance companies to consider it when they issue you an insurance policy and charge you premiums.  So, ANY history, once written down, has its pros and cons for your costs and benefits.  Here are some examples:

Pros

  • Step by step timeline of your medical history including testing, diagnostics, medications and notes
  • Today, digital records make it easier for your doctors to pull your history to make better prognosis and diagnostic decisions

Cons

  • Doctor records may be incorrect; and therefore, your records may be wrong or incomplete
  • Many people never know what is in their records until…….

Medical underwriting!

When applying for life, disability or long-term care coverage, medical records are often required to clear medical underwriting.  This is where the story begins.  How it’s presented to insurance companies will have an impact on the policy you ultimately are issued and what it will cost.

As we age, we build a medical history and associated medical records.  For example, what did you tell your doctor 20 years ago?  When your doctor asked if you have ever used illegal substances, what did you say?  When your doctor asked potentially challenging questions, was it written down?  Does the wrong answer (or one without a full context) make a difference?  It certainly could!

White coat syndrome is a term most of us know.  When the doctor asks a question, we give an answer.  We may not fully understand the impact that this information could have years and decades later for our financial security.

Recommendation and Solutions

Here are some tips for how to avoid the pitfalls of information that could be challenging as you go through medical underwriting for your insurance policy:

  • Be thoughtful what you and your doctor discuss that is written into your records
  • If there are mistakes in your records, ask the doctor to amend them immediately and send you a copy of the change
  • Keep your records for future use
  • If you can access your records, always a good idea to read through them and contact your doctors to correct any errors

And if you think it’s too late to employ any of these solutions, give us a call.  We have managed to help many people curate their medical stories in a way that represents them in the best light for insurance purposes.  We can be reached at info@langfinancial.com.  We look forward to it!

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