Monday, May 05, 2008

Accutane Dangers

While doing a pre-screen for a client I discovered something that gave me pause.

Each carrier has their own underwriting rules. What one carrier considers a major health risk another may minimize.

Carriers make their underwriting guides available to producing agents in order to minimize the "hassle factor" for clients once the application is submitted.

As part of my service, I take a preliminary application from all clients and review it for potential issues that can result in excluded coverage, rate ups or even rejection of the application.

Some carriers have a list of medications that result in an automatic decline. I routinely check this list as a "heads up" that problems may be on the horizon.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Accutane, a popular med used for acne, can result in an automatic decline. This led me to do a bit of research which really opened my eyes.

It seems that Accutane has been linked to certain birth defects including, hydrocephaly (enlargement of the fluid-filled spaces in the brain); microcephaly (small head and brain); mental retardation; heart defects; ear and eye abnormalities; cleft lip and palate; and other facial abnormalities. "Accutane and the other retinoids can cause these birth defects in the early weeks after conception, a time when a woman often doesn't know she's pregnant," he said.

This information comes to us by way of the March of Dimes website. But similar warnings are also available at CDC and AODC sites.

Clearly the use of Accutane can not only have an adverse impact on ones ability to secure individual major medical coverage, but can have an impact on your unborn children.
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