Having a mental illness can often be an uncomfortable subject for people to talk about, especially when someone is asking specific details about the illness and treatment. If you’re thinking about enrolling in a life insurance plan you’re also probably worried that your mental health issue will impact your coverage options. So what do you do if you have a mental illness and need life insurance but are worried about applying for coverage?
Understanding what insurers are looking for in your life insurance application
The first step is to understand what insurers are looking for when they assess your application. You may actually be surprised to find out that your mental health illness isn’t as much of an issue as you expected. What life insurers are really trying to identify is the risk level of issuing you life insurance coverage. So in the case of mental illnesses they’ll look at a number of factors including the type of illness, the cause, the treatment history, and how the illness is responding to treatment. For example, if you took medication to treat depression after going through a stressful event in the past your insurer may see this as a low risk. However, if you’re receiving on-going treatment for a severe mental illness that isn’t improving an insurer would likely see this as a high risk.
How does having a current or past mental illness impact your coverage options?
Having a mental illness can increase the amount you’ll pay for health insurance coverage and in some cases prevent you from getting a medically underwritten plan altogether. The key thing to note here is that having a mental illness does not guarantee that your insurance coverage will cost more. Some of the mental illnesses that may impact your coverage include:
Commonly known as manic depression, this mental illness causes extreme mood swings that can lead to risky behaviour. Poorly controlled bipolar disorder has been shown to increase the risk of early death; because of this some insurers may refuse coverage or charge a higher premium for insurance. To qualify for coverage you’ll need to show a history of successful control of the symptoms with treatment.
Characterized by periods of long-term depressive thoughts, major depression is of interest to insurers as sufferers have an increased chance of suicidal thoughts. Insurance for those suffering from major depression may be more expensive and come with a clause that voids coverage if the policyholder takes their own life. Again insurers will be looking for a history of treatment that helps control symptoms.
Those suffering from Paranoid Schizophrenia may experience periods of psychosis where they hear voices or noises. Just like the other illnesses mentioned above potential insurers will need to see a history of successful control of the illness with prescribed medication in order to provide medically underwritten coverage. Premiums will generally be higher for sufferers of Paranoid Schizophrenia.
Finding affordable life insurance coverage
The most important thing to remember when applying for life insurance when you have a mental illness is not to worry about the application process. Mental illnesses are very common in the US and insurers are fully prepared to handle the process in a quick and respectful way. Whatever your health history it’s vital to compare quotes from multiple insurers in order to find the best premium rates for your coverage needs. Use IntelliQuote’s online quote form to get instant free quotes from many of the best-rated insurers today.