Life Insurance with Bipolar Disorder.
In this article, we wanted to take a moment and try and answer some of the most common questions we get from folks applying for life insurance after being diagnosed Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression.
Questions that will be directly addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance after I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with Dipolar Disorder or Manic Depression?
- 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’ dive right in!
Can I qualify for life insurance after I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression?
Yes, individuals who have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression can and often will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. In fact, in some cases they may even be able to qualify for a Standard Plus rating!
The problem is…
Most of the top rated life insurance companies that you’re probably familiar with are going to be a bit “hesitant” about insuring someone that has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. This is why it’s going to be important that you be extra carefue about “which” life insurance company you choose to apply with because when it comes to dealing with a pre-existing medical condition like Manic Depression, not all life insurance companies are equal.
It’s also why…
You may want to avoid applying for a no medical exam term life insurance policy simply because these “types” of life insurance policies can be more difficult to qualify for if you have been previously diagnosed with some type of pre-existing medical condition.
Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with Dipolar Disorder or Manic Depression?
Seeing how being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression isn’t quite the same thing as being diagnosed with some kind of “life-threatening” medical condition, its easy to understand why some folks may be a little “confused” about why a life insurance company is going to be so interested in the fact that someone has been diagnosed with a condition like Bipolar Disorder.
For this reason…
It makes sense to take a moment and examine exactly what Bipolar Disorder and/or Manic Depression is and try to explain exactly why some life insurance companies get really “nervous” about offering coverage to individuals who have been diagnose with this condition.
About Bipolar Disorder.
Bipolar Disorder is a pre-existing medical condition which is defined as a “psychiatric” disorder that causes patients to experience extreme shifts in mood, energy and activity levels. During these “episodes” where one is experiencing these mood swings, it’s not all that uncommon to go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows each lasting a few weeks or months!
Symptoms of this disorder may include:
- Extreme mood swings,
- Difficulty focusing,
- Easily angered,
- Loss of interest in social activities,
- Suicide ideation or attempts,
- Eating disorders,
As well as an increased propensity for participating in risky or unsafe behaving including:
- Drug and alcohol abuse,
- Impulsive sexual activity,
- Suicide ideation and/or attempts,
- Impulsive spending or gambling,
- Participation in adrenaline sports or activities,
There aren’t any definitive “cures” for those suffering from Bipolar Disorder. However, there are a variety of different medications one may take as well as many different psychotherapeutic approaches which do seem to help people gain better control over their condition thereby allowing them to live an “normal” and productive life!
Which is why…
In many cases, applicants who have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder will be able to qualify for coverage but after reviewing some of the symptoms of this disease, it’s easy to see why a life insurance company might hesitate to consider an individual who has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder a “Preferred” applicant.
Most Bipolar applicants who do end up being able to qualify for coverage will usually only be able to do so at a “high risk” classification, which will usually be determined based on an individuals prescription medication history, their medical records and the answers they give to the insurance underwriter at the time of their application.
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
Common questions you’ll likely be asked may include:
- Where were you first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder?
- Who diagnosed your Bipolar Disorder? A general practitioner or a specialist?
- What symptoms led to your diagnosis?
- What treatment options have you/are you pursuing?
- What medications (if any) are you currently taking?
- Have any of your medications changed in any way within the past 12 months?
- In the past 2 years have you been admitted to a hospital for any reason?
- When was the last time you suffered from a Manic or Depression “episode”?
- Have you ever considered suicide or attempted suicide?
- Do you have any history of drug or alcohol abuse?
- Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?
- Do you have any issues with your driving record? Issues such as multiple moving violations, a DUI or a suspended license?
- In the past 2 years, have you declared bankruptcy?
- Do you currently participate or plan on participating in any dangerous hobbies or activities? Activities such as skydiving, hang gliding, bungee jumping or rock climbing?
- Are you currently working now?
- In the past 12 months, have you applied for or received any form of disability benefits?
Now at this point…
We usually like to take a break for a moment and remind folks that nobody here at IBUSA has any kind of “official” medical training and we’re certainly not doctors. Which is why we are by no means experts on the topic of Bipolar Disorder!
All we are…
Is a bunch of life insurance agents who just happen to be really good at helping folks with pre-existing medical conditions like this one, find and qualify for the life insurance coverage that they are looking for. So please forgive us is we don’t seem to grasp the full complexities of this disorder or happen to leave something out about this condition which is paramount to fully understanding it’s complexities, it’s not because we do so on purpose, it’s probably just because we’re not trained medical professionals!
Which is ok…
Because we’re not trying too, and for us, the only real important things to consider when it come to understanding Manic-Depressive Disorders is how life insurance companies are going to consider them during the underwriting process. And that part we got down pat!
So, let’s now…
Get back to where we left off which is on…
What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
What you’re going to find when applying for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy after having been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder is that the most “lenient” life insurance companies will typically “cap” one’s approval rate at a Standard Plus rate. Meaning that an individual who has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy at a “better than normal” rate.
“Which isn’t all that bad all things considered!”
The problem with, this is that not everyone who has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder will be able to qualify for this rate for several different reasons.
In order to be able to qualify for a Standard Plus rate as a “Bipolar applicant” you’re going to need to be able to demonstrate that your condition has remained stable for a minimum of one year, and you’re going to also need to demonstrate that your condition hasn’t added any additional “baggage” to your application:
Baggage such as:
- Previous felony convictions,
- Previous drug or alcohol abuse,
- Issues with your driving record,
- Etc, etc…
In addition to being able to demonstrate that you have your Bipolar Disorder under control, you’re also going to need to be able to qualify for a Standard Plus rate based on other health related topics. For example:
- Have you been diagnosed with any other pre-existing medical conditions?
- Have you ever suffered from a heart attack or stroke?
- Have any of your immediate family members ever been diagnosed with cancer, heart disease or diabetes?
- What is your current height and weight?
- In the past 12 months, have you used any tobacco or nicotine products?
The last reason why someone might not be able to qualify for a Standard Plus rate after they have been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder is because you may end up applying for life insurance with the “wrong” company for you! This is why it’s so important to do your due diligence before actually applying for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy and ask…
“Which life insurance companies tend to be the most lenient towards Bipolar applicants?”
The good news is…
That regardless of your situation, we here at IBUSA can help because we have tons of experience helping folks with all sorts of pre-existing medical conditions like yours and are committed to helping all of our clients find the “best” life insurance policy that they can qualify for. Which brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment and discuss which is…
What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
In our experience here at IBUSA, what we have found that usually the folks who seem to find the “best” life insurance policy for them are those that:
- Take their time reviewing their options.
- Ask a lot of questions.
And seek out those life insurance agents who not only have experience working with individuals who have been diagnosed with a wide variety of pre-existing medical conditions, but also have access to dozens of different life insurance companies so that when it comes time to helping a more “challenging” case, they don’t have to rely on a…
“One size fits all approach!”
The good news is that this is exactly what you’re going to find here at IBUSA.
Now will we be able to help out everyone who has been previously diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder?
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 Burial Life Insurance Companies as well so that in the event that 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!