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Professional Organization Statements Supporting Transgender People in Health Care (Lambda Legal) (Link Checked 7.12)

see also Transgender-Inclusive Benefits for Employees and Dependents(Link Checked 7.12)

Professional Organization Statements Supporting Transgender People in Health Care (Lambda Legal) (Link Checked 7.12)

see also Transgender-Inclusive Benefits for Employees and Dependents(Link Checked 7.12)

Susan Alves, Ph.D.
The Bulfinch Group
140 Kendrick Street, Suite C-1 East
Needham, MA 02494
Office: (781) 292-3277
Fax: (781) 449-4462

While Susan Alves, a financial specialist with The Bulfinch Group, enjoys working with a variety of individuals, families and business clients, she particularly focuses her practice on the needs of transgender individuals. Susan seeks to advance her clients understanding of the holistic nature of their financial life, balancing the interdependent aspects of protection, cash flow, assets and liabilities. She provides real and flexible strategies to help her clients achieve their goals with more certainty and less risk. Representing Guardian Life Insurance Company and other fine carriers, she is able to assist transgender people as they negotiate the process of applying for and purchasing life insurance to protect their loved ones.

A graduate of Northeastern University with a M.A. and a Ph.D. in English, Susan taught high school and college English for 25 years. She is a longtime resident of Jamaica Plain who now lives in Roslindale with her two daughters. Susan is involved in various activities at the Chestnut Hill School and Beaver Country Day School. She is a member of the Greater Boston Business Council, the Family Equality Council, and serves on the board of the Boston Pride Committee. (Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY.)

The following section was prepared by Susan Alves, Ph.D. in consultation with MTPC

Why buy Life Insurance? If you have someone in your life who relies on you not just emotionally, but financially as well, you should consider having life insurance. You would be insuring that if you die, they would receive a financial cushion to help them carry on without you. Consider how this may help your partner, spouse, child, parent, or your business partner. How does being transgender influence the process of applying for life insurance?

When a transgender individual applies for life insurance they go through the same process as any other applicant. All applicants fill out an application and go through underwriting. Underwriting is the process by which the insurance company reviews the person’s application, current health, family history, medical records and driving history.

Not all life insurance companies view all applicants in the same way. Some insurance companies are more flexible if a person has a family history of cancer or medical issues such as diabetes. Some insurance companies are more welcoming than others of applicants who are transgender.

What are the steps of applying for life insurance?

If you are a transgender individual thinking about life insurance, you should work with a trusted insurance specialist who is familiar with the underwriting policies of the major life insurance carriers. Have a conversation with this insurance agent so that they can best understand your needs, concerns and overall health history. The life insurance specialist will know which companies will best suit your particular situation as well as what type of life insurance and amount of death benefit makes the most sense for you.

The next step is to fill out an application for life insurance and submit it. A paramedical exam will need to be scheduled and completed.

A paramedical exam consists of a series of health questions (many of which are repeated from the life insurance application), as well as gathering a blood and urine sample. This exam is done by a representative of a licensed third party agency and is most often be done in the privacy of the applicant’s own home at a convenient time (although you can schedule the exam to happen at the offices of the paramedical agency or at your place of work).

Once the application is submitted and the paramedical exam is complete, the underwriting begins behind the scenes. This can take 4-6 weeks on average. During this time it is somewhat common for the underwriter to have a few questions about your application, health or family history. If there are questions, your insurance professional will act as an intermediary – communicating the underwriter’s questions to you and communicating your answers to the underwriter.

What happens after an insurance company makes an offer?

When you are approved for life insurance, the company to which you made an application will make an offer to you. Usually your insurance agent will be the first one to tell you about the offer.

At this point, you (and your partner and/or spouse) will sit down with your insurance specialist to figure out the details. For example, does it make sense for you to have life insurance for a temporary period of time or for permanently? Do you need all of the death benefit for which you’ve been approved or would less better suit your situation? Are you trying to cover a specific need (mortgage, other debt or business buy-out) or will this life insurance become a key part of your overall financial strategy? These and other questions can be considered carefully with your advisor who is well versed in the range and use of life insurance.

Once you’ve made a decision regarding what type of life insurance and how much death benefit makes sense, your agent will request that a policy be issued for you. When the policy arrives, your insurance agent will meet with you to deliver it. You will need to sign a paper acknowledging receipt of the policy and write a personal check for the life insurance premium (usually either a monthly amount or the annual amount). Once signed and paid, your life insurance is in place.

You can feel secure that you have cared for the people in your life who rely on you not just emotionally, but financially as well. If you were to die, you have provided your spouse, partner, child, parent and/or business partner with a financial cushion to help them carry on without you.