Process of Diagnosis and Treatment Plan
The first thing your underwriter is going to want to know is the medical trajectory of your epilepsy: What was the date of your first seizure? Have you since been formally diagnosed? How long ago was the diagnosis? Was there a specific treatment plan?
Any information that you can provide about these early interactions with a doctor are crucial to beginning the conversation about your epilepsy.
The Type of Seizure
Much of the time, life insurance professionals looks to healthcare field to gather information on conditions like epilepsy. From what they’ve gathered, there are a few distinct types of seizure disorder that may come with different life insurance plans.
While you may be well-versed in your particular diagnosis, it’s also helpful to learn more about other types when you’re going through an application for life insurance:
Petit Mal or Absent Seizures: This very rare type of seizure is characterized by 15 or so seconds of abnormal brain activity. There are generally no warning signs, and looks like a brief moment of non-responsiveness, like daydreaming
Focal Onset Aware Seizures (previously called Simple Partial): This seizure occurs only on one side of the brain in which the person remains conscious, and lasts about 1 or 2 minutes.
Focal Onset Impaired Awareness Seizures (previously called Complex Partial): As the name implies, this type of seizure is similar to the previous one but without the same level of functioning and awareness. They usually last mere seconds to up to 2 minutes.
Gran Mal or Tonic-Clonic Seizures: Significantly more physical than other forms of seizure, this one consists of a phase of full-body muscle tightening and loss of consciousness followed by spasms. The entire seizure may last for 3 to 4 minutes. Note: When laypeople think of epilepsy, this is generally what they imagine. So, it’s important to be able to inform your provider exactly what your seizures look like.
To an insurance company, these differences can be influential in assessing risk. The difference in length of the the seizure, impact on motor functioning, and level of consciousness during and after are all important indicators of Within each of these categories, there is a great deal of variety in functioning. Some people may also experience more than one within a given time period, with one type preceding another. And because of these differences in individual cases, it’s very important to be honest about how seizures manifest in your life.