Your health history will play a major role in determining whether or not you are approved for life insurance coverage. Any diagnosis of a mental illness, or other mental condition is included in your health history.
Although a mental illness does not automatically make you unqualified for life insurance, your doctor may need to provide more documentation, including medication requirements. As with homeowners and automobile insurance, your life insurance coverage and rates will be unique to you and your lifestyle.
What is considered a mental illness?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a mental illness is one which “affects a person’s thinking, feeling or behavior.” Half of all mental illnesses are present before age 14, and 75% at age 24.
Life insurance could be affected if you are diagnosed with any of these mental health conditions.
- Anxiety disorders
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
- Bipolar Disorder
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD).
- Dissociative Disorders
- Eating disorders
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disease (OCD).
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
- Schizoaffective Disorder
How does mental health impact life insurance
Shopping for life insurance requires that you evaluate your mental and physical health as part of the underwriting process. This is done by answering questions on the application for life insurance. While question format varies by company, you can expect questions like:
- What year were you first diagnosed with your mental illness?
- Which severity of your mental illness (mild to severe?)?
- Are you currently being treated for it?
- How frequent are your episodes? When was the last episode?
- Are your symptoms affecting your ability to do daily tasks?
- Are you currently following a treatment plan?
Higher life insurance premiums may be due to certain mental conditions, such as severe depression or anxiety, schizophrenia, OCD and OCD .
A visit to a mental health professional can increase your chances of getting life insurance at a lower rate. This is especially true if you’re following the treatment plan and have a steady employment history.
Life insurance with guaranteed issue
You have other options if your mental health condition prevents you from being approved for life insurance coverage. Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance is a form of whole-life insurance that does not require a medical exam or health questions.
A few personal questions will be asked, similar to the basic form for standard insurance. You can get guaranteed issue life insurance within minutes and you can keep it as long as the premiums are paid.
Some life insurance companies do not offer guaranteed issue insurance. Most cap coverage at $25,000 and $50,000. This type of insurance is whole-life insurance and is therefore more expensive. This type of coverage is the most expensive, as there is no health screening.
Do I have to lie about my mental illness diagnosis?
A life insurance application should not contain any lies, especially regarding a mental illness diagnosis. To confirm your medical information, life insurance underwriters will use databases such as the Medical Information Bureau (MIB). It could lead to serious consequences if it is discovered that you lie on your application. If you apply for coverage, other insurance providers may also find out that you have lied to them.
A suicide clause is included in life insurance policies. This clause protects the income of their family and prevents people from buying life insurance with the intention to commit suicide. For the first two to three years of a policy, companies may also include a contestability clause.
This clause allows the company’s investigators to look into any death claim that is based on misrepresentation. Your beneficiary might not receive your death benefit if the company finds that you falsely applied for it. They may be able to get your premiums up until your death but lose the death benefit.
Questions frequently asked
Is it possible to get life insurance for someone suffering from bipolar disorder?
You can get life insurance if you have bipolar disorder. Additional questions about your mental health will be asked, such as whether your illness is under control or how long. To determine whether or not you are approved for life insurance, underwriters will also look at factors like your hospitalization history, treatment plan, occupational and social functioning, and other factors.
What is stopping you from getting life insurance?
Life insurance denial can be caused by several factors. You could be denied life insurance if you lie on your application, if you are under the age of 65, if your health conditions change, a high-risk driver, or if you apply for too many insurance .
Can life insurance be denied for anxiety?
If your anxiety isn’t being managed well and it is affecting your ability and willingness to work, you may be denied life insurance. You can still get life insurance if your doctor has prescribed a treatment plan. You may be eligible for the best rates if you are otherwise healthy. This will depend on the life insurance company’s underwriting guidelines.
How can insurance companies determine if you have a preexisting condition?
To be considered for life insurance coverage, you must sign an application. If you apply for guaranteed issue life insurance, you consent to having your medical records reviewed and approved by the underwriters. Even if you do not have to undergo a medical exam in order to apply for life insurance coverage, your records and MIB profile will still need to be reviewed before the company offers coverage.
What if I have PTSD and want to get life insurance?
A person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD) can be approved for life insurance. Like other mental illnesses, the underwriter will review your medical history as well as answer any health questions you have. You may not be eligible for the best rate depending on how severe your PTSD is and how it has affected your life.
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