COVID-19 Effects on Life Insurance and Your Health.
Life insurance and COVID-19
With COVID-19, there's fear and anxiety because the virus is so infective and many of us don't have the vaccine yet.
We understand this uncertainty and we have put together this page to help answer questions about COVID-19, it's effects on life insurance, long term care insurance and the virus' potential long term consequences to your health.
Will my life insurance cover me if I pass away from COVID-19?
Yes! COVID-19 is like any other virus/illness and in the event you pass away your family will receive the death benefit.
Can I receive my life insurance living benefits early if I have COVID-19?
At this juncture, insurance companies will not advance death benefits early due to COVID-19. However, if you develop a life threatening condition secondary to a COVID-19, you may be eligible.
COVID-19 has been shown to create bloods clots which have resulted in heart attacks, strokes, dementia, and kidney failures.
If I had COVID-19, can I still apply for life insurance?
Yes, you can still apply for life insurance if you had COVID-19. Many insurance companies are mitigating their risk, so they will have perspective clients wait 30-180 days post infection and submit a report from their current physician clearing them of ongoing infection or complications of COVID-19 with their application.
Am I able to apply for life insurance if I travel internationally?
If you intend to travel internationally, only after all international travel is fully completed and you are in the United States for 30 days with no COVID-19 symptoms, will a life insurance application be considered.
Long term care insurance
Does long term cares insurance cover COVID-19?
It will cover you if you need assistance with daily living activities. It doesn't matter what the cause is to warrant help, but it is there to help pay associated costs.
Can I receive long term care benefits, if I have COVID-19?
In the event you become ill with COVID-19 and need long term care, your benefits would be fully available within the parameters of the policy.
If I had COVID-19, can I still apply for long term care insurance?
Yes, you can still apply for long term care insurance if you had COVID-19. However, because studies are showing that post COVID-19 patients are suffering from complications long after the virus recovery, many insurance companies are mitigating their risk so they will have perspective clients wait 30-90 days post infection, are implementing an age cutoffs, and requiring physician's reports post infection.
Am I able to apply for long term care insurance if I travel internationally?
If you intend to travel internationally until the end of 2020, your case will be postponed. Only after all international travel is fully completed and you are in the United States for 30 days with no COVID-19 symptoms will a long term care insurance application be considered.
The COVID-19 virus attacks the body indirectly and directly...
COVID-19 is a Severe Acute Respiratory syndrome also known as SARS CoV2
which attacks the lungs and air sacs of the lungs
the coverings (epithelial linings) of blood vessels and organs
an important protein on many cells called the ACE2 receptor
COVID-19 has many similarities to the 2003 SARS virus and the 2012 Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS) which caused lung damage and lingering long term effects on it's patients.
With an indirect attack, COVID-19 destabilizes the body's immune system by attacking a protein on the outer surface of many cells.
The protein is called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 or the ACE2 receptor.
The ACE2 receptor is the "control value" of many cells and a vital element which regulates blood pressure, wound healing and inflammation.
The COVID 19 virus blocks the ACE2 receptor, akin to taking the “brakes off” the body's ability to control the body's defense (immunological) processes.
Blockage of the ACE2 receptor pushes the immune system into overdrive with no regulation, causing thickening and clotting of the blood.
COVID-19 attacks blood vessels and organs directly.
When COVID-19 infects blood vessels it causes them to leak and organs to become inflamed and damaged.
The global viral infection generates a counterattack from the body increasing the amount of clotting factors, proteins, and cells to flood the blood.
This leads to more clots and blockages to vessels and major organs resulting in stokes or organ damage.
Long term complications after COVID-19
They are called "long haulers"
COVID-19 is a devastating illness creating long term health complications many months after they have recovered from the virus, we call these people the "long haulers".
Former COVID-19 patients continue to have respiratory difficulty, heart problems, digestive issues, kidney damage, muscle weakness, nerve impairment, and "cognitive fog".
Feb 4, 2020 3-D rendering of ground glass appearance in 41 year old. Appears in Radiology.
COVID-19 attacks the lungs air sacs "alveoli" causing inflammation and heavy fluid production. The heavy fluid inhibits the exchange of oxygen causing patients to have difficulty breathing with some cases leading to pneumonia or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome ARDS. In the worse cases, patients are put ventilators to assist in their breathing.
For some post Covid-19 patients, they are still suffering from shortness of breath, burning lungs or dry cough.
On many of the lung CT scans of post COVID-19 patients, scarring and a "ground glass" pattern emerges suggesting damage to the lungs.
Many of the patients' from the 2003 SARS outbreak had similar long term complications, in which one study in China found that 1/3 of the SARS patients "never had the pulmonary function come back to normal".
COVID-19 savages the heart in several different ways.
Heart cells can be invaded, damaged or destroyed.
Inflammation of the heart muscle affects the ability of the heart to function properly.
The virus binds ACE2 receptors removing the safeguard of angiotensin II, the hormone that helps regulate blood pressure.
Stress on the body can release the hormones epinephrine and adrenaline which can have deleterious affects on the heart.
In a study of Heart Rhythm, it was found that 20-30% of the hospitalized patients had elevated levels of troponin, which is a heart muscle protein. Elevated levels indicate heart damage.
Most recently in an article in JAMA Cardiology they found 78 of 100 post COVID-19 patients demonstrated heart damage on radiographic imaging 10 weeks after recovering from the virus.
Many of the participants were very healthy prior to contracting the virus.
Brain and memory
COVID-19 attacks the brain and nervous system in a multitude of ways either directly or by triggering a immunologic response.
The first stage is direct virus attacks on nerve coverings resulting in loss of sensations such as taste or smell or weakness in extremities.
Secondly, COVID-19 triggers the body’s inflammatory response that leads to blood clots which has caused strokes and brain damage.
Lastly, COVID-10 creates a large inflammatory response called a cytokine storm that damages the blood brain barrier. This allows many of the inflammatory cells, molecules and potentially the virus to enter the brain.
With the three pronged attack by COVID-19 on the nervous system and brain, many people continue to experience altered taste and smell as well as muscle numbness and weakness long after the virus is gone.
Some of the of the most prevalent cognitive complaints are the "brain fog", dizziness, headaches with some experiencing mood swings including anxiety or depression.