In this article, we wanted to take a moment and answer some of the most common questions we get from folks applying for life insurance after being prescribed Chantix (or its generic form Varenicline) to help one quit smoking using tobacco products.
Questions that will be directly addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance after I’ve been prescribed Chantix?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been prescribed Chantix?
- What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
- What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Can I qualify for life insurance after I’ve been prescribed Chantix?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Yes, but you might run into some issues along the way.
What kind of issues do you ask?
Issues that could greatly increase what you might be expected to pay once you’ve been approved for coverage. You see, Chantix, or its generic form Varenicline, is one of the medications which can stir up a lot of problems when it comes to applying for a “traditional” term or whole life insurance policy. The main reason for this is because Chantix is a medication that is specifically used to help folks quit smoking.
Whether you are aware of it or not, tobacco use is commonly one of the most consequential factors that will come into play when it comes time determining what one might be expected to pay for their life insurance. Regardless of whether or not you’re applying for a traditional life insurance policy or a no medical exam term life insurance policy.
In fact, it’s not all that uncommon for a tobacco user to have to pay up to 3 to 5 times more for their life insurance than a non-smoker of similar health might!
Depending on whether or not an individual has been diagnosed with some other “type” of pre-existing medical condition (heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc…) current or recent tobacco use could be considered cause for some life insurance companies to decide not to offer coverage at all!
Which brings us to our next question:
Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been prescribed Chantix?
Life insurance companies are interested in the fact that you’ve been prescribed Chantix because its use will often designate a time when someone first decided to quit smoking. Also, even though Chantix itself does not contain any nicotine within it, its use does cause a patient to experience “symptoms” similar to actually using nicotine (which is why it helps folks quit using nicotine) that make many life insurance companies consider it’s use as equivalent to using a nicotine or tobacco product.
That for many life insurance companies, the continued use of Chantix is considered the equivalent to using tobacco. This means that even though you may have been tobacco or nicotine free for an entire year, your Chantix prescription may still cause you to be considered an active “smoker” (and force you to have to pay higher rates)!
The good news is…
That there are some life insurance companies out there that don’t consider Chantix cause for labeling you a tobacco user, as well as some companies that don’t lump all tobacco users into the same category.
This is why…
Many life insurance companies (and us here at IBUSA) will want to ask you a series of questions about when and why you started taking Chantix as well questions about what “kind” of tobacco products you did or currently use.
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
Common questions you’ll likely be asked regarding your Chantix prescription and tobacco use will likely include:
- What kind of tobacco or nicotine products did you, or are you currently using now?
- Examples being: Cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, pipes, nicotine gum, etc…
- In the past 12 months, have you used any type of tobacco or nicotine products?
- When where you first prescribed Chantix?
- When was the last time that you used any kind of tobacco or nicotine products?
With this information in hand…
We here at IBUSA will now be much better prepared to understand what “rate” you may or may not be eligible for.
What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
When it comes time to helping someone who has been prescribed Chantix within the past 12 months qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy, the main objective first is to try to find them an insurance company that will first approve their life insurance application with a “non-tobacco” designation.
Receiving a “non-tobacco” designation will have the greatest impact on one’s expected rate by far. From there, we’ll want to take a look at what other factors may come into play such as one’s:
- Height and weight,
- Family medical history,
- Previous or existing health conditions,
- Driving record,
To determine “which” life insurance company may ultimately turn out the be the “best” for you.
Many factors are going to come into play in determining whether or not you’ll qualify for a non-tobacco rate. Factors such as:
- When you last used a nicotine or tobacco product. If it has been within the past 12 months, most if not all, life insurance companies will consider you a smoker (product dependent).
- What type of tobacco or nicotine product was used? Certain tobacco product users can earn a “non-tobacco” rate assuming their usage doesn’t exceed certain limits set by individual insurance companies.
- Which insurance company you choose to apply with. Some insurance companies are much more lenient with tobacco use than others.
What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
First and foremost, the best thing that you can do to help improve your chances of securing the “best” possible life insurance policy for yourself is to be sure to be completely honest with your life insurance agent right from the beginning.
This is because if you are completely honest from the beginning, your life insurance agent will have a better chance of guiding you to the “right” life insurance company for you. Unfortunately, what happens many times is that because “tobacco rates” are much higher than “non-tobacco” people will often “shy away” from all the facts and instead “fib” a little bit.
The problem is…
That when then occurs and the insurance companies discover “irregularities” with what a client is stating and their medical exam results or results from previous life insurance applications (yes, insurance companies do communicate with one another. See IMB report) it often eliminates many options we would normally have available to us had the client been completely honest from the beginning.
Here at IBUSA, we work very hard to maintain relationships with dozens of different life insurance companies so that when it comes time to helping our clients find the “best life insurance policy” that they can qualify for, we don’t have to rely on just one or two different options. Instead, we can look at dozens of different options and then decide which one you feel will be the “BEST” for you!
Now, will we be able to help out everyone who has been prescribed Chantix?
No, probably not. But what we can tell you is that in addition to offering a wide variety of different term and whole life insurance policies, IBUSA has also worked very hard to establish relationships with many of the Best Final Expense Insurance Companies as well.
If someone isn’t able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy, chances are there may be some other “type” of product that you CAN qualify for.
So, if you’re ready to see what options might be available to you, just give us a call!