Getting Life Insurance After a Mental Illness
Medications are a huge warning sign to life insurers that you may have a mental illness:
- Xanax or Zoloft for anxiety
Paxil or Prozac for depression
Lithium Carbonate, Depakote, or Abilify for Bipolar
Seroquel or Prolixin for Psychosis
There is a (small) chance that history won't affect your life insurance premiums when you apply for a new policy. If the mental illness is borderline and a very small part of your life, your symptoms were mild and you responded well to treatment, you may qualify for standard or even preferred rate class life insurance premiums.
Don't count on getting the best (super preferred) rates. Insurers know traumatic life events like divorce, war, or death of loved ones can lead to short-term depression, but that does not make you high risk for life.
Life insurers become concerned about mental illness if:
- You were on multiple medications at once
- Your mental illness has no documented treatment
- Suicide attempts in the past
- No history of medication successfully controlling the illness
- Combinations of certain mental illnesses
- Severe mental illnesses, requiring tranquilizers to function
- They are combined with evidence of other medical problems
- there are long periods of unemployment
- there is also drug or alcohol abuse
- clinical depression or
- recurrent problems brought on by bipolar disorders
If you've experienced some of the issues above, an experienced
high risk life insurance agent can give you an idea of which companies will cover you. But they must be familiar with the insurers underwriting guides. Often companies won't release these underwriting guides even to their sales agents, so the only way their representative will know is by having your type of case denied or approved.
Even though there is no "cure" for mental illness, you can still do things to get lower rates.
Most tips for getting good rates with a mental illness center around showing the insurer:
- Your full medical records
- You have a stable job
- Other positive outcomes of treatment
- You're being treated and taking medication that is successfully controlling your illness
You can function relatively normally from day to day
When you were to diagnosed
Who is treating you
What type of treatment you are undergoing
How long the treatments have gone on
How you are responding to the treatment
How your treatment is followed up on
Waiting periods for life insurance after mental illness diagnoses:
Wait for at least a few months after your initial diagnosis and treatment before applying for life insurance. Insurers want to see how you are respond to treatment
Wait at least three months if illness is mild and you respond well to treatment.
Wait one to two years after a suicide attempt before applying for a policy
Life Insurance Companies can insure people wit mental illness, provided they are well controlled. Without treatment, the insurers may offer very expensive coverage or deny your application.
For those with mental illness who have undergone successful treatment and have their condition under control, affordable life insurance is possible.
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