Do you need life insurance but you’re taking anxiety medication? Are you shopping for life insurance with an anxiety disorder diagnosis? Or maybe you’ve already been denied life insurance for anxiety?
Big Lou® is here to help. In this article we’ll help you understand how life insurance companies underwrite for anxiety conditions, how they view applicants that take anxiety medications, and the best way to get life insurance if you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety disorder or take medication to treat anxiety.
Anxiety is the Most Common Form of Mental Illness
Anxiety is the most common form of mental illness in the United States. It affects over 40 million adults or 18% of the population. Many people with an anxiety disorder also suffer from a co-occurring disorder or physical illness like bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, ADHD, and stress.
Only one-third of anxiety sufferers receive some form of treatment. This is important as life insurance companies are unable to accurately rate people who suffer from anxiety but don’t seek treatment or don’t report their anxiety to their insurance company.
Big Lou® is just like you—he’s on meds too. Big Lou® is ubiquitous. He’s been there and done that. Big Lou® is every man and woman. He’s been through divorce, depression, health glitches, obesity, and—you guessed it—anxiety. Big Lou® is an expert at helping real people just like you save money on their life insurance.
Do Insurance Companies Charge More if You Have Anxiety?
Whether or not an insurance company charges a higher price because of your anxiety depends on a number of factors including the information uncovered during the application process.
When you apply for life insurance you’ll have to give the insurance company a lot of personal information. That means going through the process of providing a complete family history and medical information (including your medical records). If you have anxiety this is the part of the process where things can get complicated.
There’s many different forms of anxiety, and each type will be viewed differently by the insurance company. This is because anxiety impacts each patient differently—so the degree of risk for one anxiety sufferer could be vastly different from another. Where you fall on the spectrum of severity will impact your life insurance price.
What Factors Affect My Price and Class Rating?
The factors influencing your premium are as follows:
- The severity of your condition and it’s impact on your health and lifestyle.
- The presence of co-existing conditions and mental illnesses.
- The type of anxiety you suffer from.
- The length of time you’ve experienced symptoms of anxiety or other mental health issues.
- Whether or not you’re currently taking medication, or have taken it in the past, and the type of medication you take.
- The results of any relevant diagnostic tests (liver tests, kidney tests, etc).
The form of anxiety that you suffer from will likely impact your policy premium. Some of the various forms of anxiety and related mental illnesses are:
- Generalized anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Social anxiety
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Major depressive disorder
- Persistent depressive disorder (PDD)
After you submit your application and take a medical exam and blood test the life insurance underwriter will determine your health class rating. This is the moment of truth. Depending on the severity of your anxiety and the type of anxiety you suffer from you could be assigned a poor health class rating…And your policy premium will be higher based on that health class rating.
Furthermore—this information will follow you around forever. Insurance companies share information on applicants so they can best determine the level of risk each policyholder represents. What does this mean? If you’ve applied for insurance and were rated as a poor risk, that could impact any future life insurance application you make.
Applying for insurance without the help of a trusted insurance broker is a bad idea. You could make a mistake that will cost you for your lifetime. A good life insurance broker will listen to your personal story, uncover the details that impact your life insurance, educate you on the process, and devise a plan to get you the policy you need.
Prequalification and Anxiety Issues
You may want to consider getting pre-qualified instead of going right into the application process. We’ve written about prequalification in the past–but here’s a quick rundown as it relates to life insurance and anxiety issues.
If you’re worried about a poor classification, getting declined for life insurance, or having a permanent blemish on your record you may want to get prequalified for life insurance. A prequalification is an accurate rate from an underwriter, in writing—without having to submit a formal application. Your information is submitted to underwriters anonymously so you don’t risk getting declined or impacting your health records.
Does Taking Anxiety Medication Impact My Life Insurance?
If you take any medications to treat your anxiety your life insurance application and health rating class will be impacted, depending on the scenario. Some commonly prescribed medications for anxiety are:
How your application is impacted depends on a number of factors including how long you’ve been taking the medication, when your symptoms were last present, and whether or not the medication causes additional health concerns.
How Does the Life Insurance Underwriting Process Differ with Anxiety?
No matter what your condition, the life insurance underwriting process is generally the same. As we mentioned above you’ll have to answer questions about your family’s medical history, submit all of your medical records, and take a medical and blood test.
5 Steps to Take Before Applying for Life Insurance if You Have Anxiety
Before applying for life insurance you should get clear on your medical history, family history, and any medications you’ve taken. Try to establish a reasonable level of self-awareness so that you can collaborate with your life insurance broker to uncover any issues that may impact your life insurance application.
- Review your medical records—especially your doctor’s notes. Make sure everything in your file is accurate.
- Get a full list of any medications you’ve taken in the past and any medications you’re currently prescribed. Many times doctors will try more than one anxiety medication to achieve a result that works, know your history.
- Be honest and upfront with your broker. They are there to help you get the best outcome. Give them all the information you have about your condition, history, and anything relevant to the life insurance process.
- Don’t apply with your “home and auto” agent. Mainstream insurance companies don’t commonly write impaired risk life insurance. Applying with your existing “home and auto” agent could cause problems if your application is rejected, or if you receive a poor health class rating.
- Make sure you are visiting your doctor regularly and are in compliance with your treatment protocol. Demonstrating compliance with your treatment regimen is a good sign for life insurance underwriters.
Life Insurance and Mental Illness
Mental illness is the most common form of illness in the United States. Mental illness and complications from medications taken to combat mental illness make securing life insurance more challenging. That’s why we’ve decided to share our 25 years of experience helping people who suffer from mental illness secure the right life insurance at the best price.
This article covers the issues surrounding anxiety and life insurance. To learn more about other mental health issues and life insurance please visit this page.