Plan for Tomorrow | How does a mental health condition affect life insurance?
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How does a mental health condition affect life insurance?

Apr 30, 2024, 4:25:22 PM | Reading Time: 4 minutes

One in five people in the U.S. live with a mental health condition. Even with a proper treatment plan, some people may worry having this diagnosis may affect their ability to get life insurance. Fortunately, it is still possible to qualify for coverage and help ensure loved ones have the protection they need for a more secure financial future.

How does a mental health condition affect life insurance?

Will I qualify for life insurance if I have a mental health condition?

There can be incidences where a life insurance company will deny coverage due to an ongoing mental health condition, but the decision is typically made by reviewing recent medical history and specific details of the condition. A mental illness does not automatically disqualify a person from life insurance eligibility. Each insurance company has their own underwriting guidelines, so talking to a financial professional can help find which coverage may be a good match.

What disqualifies you from getting life insurance?

When an insurance company looks at a life insurance application, they review factors like age, gender, lifestyle, and medical history. A person could be denied life insurance coverage or have a higher premium for coverage if they fall into a high-risk category. This may include having a risky occupation or hobby or being diagnosed with a certain medical condition, which may deem an applicant as too high a risk for an insurance company to insure.

How mental illness can affect life insurance eligibility

Life insurance is available for those living with mental illness, although options might be limited depending on if the condition is managed and the applicant is under supervised medical care. Depending on the type of coverage, the application process may include a medical exam and a questionnaire about medical history.

Can I get life insurance if I’m on antidepressants?

Medications like antidepressants are a commonly prescribed solution to treat various mental health conditions. Life insurance companies typically will approve coverage for those with a mental illness taking prescribed medication, but it’s a good idea to consult with a financial professional first to find a policy that meets personal needs and budget.

“Life insurance is crucial for so many people. It’s important not to let the fear of being turned down keep you from applying,” said Chris Regione, chief underwriter. “We insure many clients that have been diagnosed with a mental illness. We look at diagnosis, severity, and type of treatment. Mental illness is one of many factors that goes into underwriting for life insurance, so it isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker.”

Do I have to disclose my mental health for life insurance coverage?

It’s important to disclose a mental illness on the application and answer questions honestly. Failing to disclose a pre-existing condition could result in a request being rejected or if coverage is in place, the policy could be cancelled or there may be issues if a claim is filed. In addition, this may be considered insurance fraud and could make it difficult to get approved for life insurance in the future.

An insurance company may ask for specific information, including:

  •  The name and severity of the condition
  •  Date of diagnosis
  •  Medications and treatment plan
  •  Symptom severity
  •  How condition affects everyday life
  •  History of self-harm

Navigating life insurance with depression, anxiety, or other mental illness

Mental health conditions that can impact life insurance eligibility may vary depending on the insurer. Common mental health issues include:

  •  Anxiety
  •  Depression
  •  Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  •  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  •  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  •  Bipolar disorder
  •  Schizophrenia
  •  Borderline personality disorder

Remember, having a mental health condition does not mean an applicant is instantly disqualified from receiving coverage. Insurers will likely want to know more about the condition, the person’s treatment plan, and their ability to maintain a job and live independently.

Many insurance companies recognize that mental health conditions can be managed successfully and will provide life insurance options for those seeking financial protection. This may include a term life policy offering coverage for a set period of time or a permanent life option that offers protection for a person’s life. Talking to a financial professional can help you explore possible options and find the coverage that is right for you and your loved ones.

The term financial professional is not intended to imply engagement in an advisory business in which compensation is not related to sales. Financial professionals that are insurance licensed will be paid a commission on the sale of an insurance product.