How Health Conditions Treated with Marijuana Affect Life Insurance

Written by MJ Life Insurance

The most important thing to know about how health conditions treated with medical marijuana affect life insurance is that life insurance companies will rate you on the health condition itself and not your use of marijuana.

This article is going to look at a comprehensive list of medical conditions where you may have been prescribed marijuana as part of your treatment. We are going to be looking at this from how a particular medical condition will be rated by a life insurance company.

We have selected the following rating guidelines from one of the most progressive life insurers we use and show how they would look at rating a particular medical condition. The following ratings which show how health conditions treated with marijuana affect life insurance should be taken as guidance only.

To get an idea of cost – use the Instant Quotes form on this page. The lowest rates from the leading life insurance companies will be instantly displayed.

how to get life insurance with medical marijuanaThere are multiple factors which can influence how a policy is underwritten. Every life insurance company has their own guidelines when it comes to underwriting a policy. How health conditions treated with marijuana affect life insurance rates will vary from individual to individual.

The only sure way to get accurate advice for life insurance regarding any medical condition is to contact an independent life insurance agent such as the ones here at MJ Life Insurance. MJ Life Insurance specializes in marijuana as well as in high risk and pre-existing health conditions.

Our agents can save you a lot of time and money in getting the best rating at the lowest rates. We have access to over 70 of the most progressive and lenient life insurers in the industry. Call us first at (888) 987-8447 to learn more about how health conditions treated with marijuana affect how you will be rated.

Even if you don’t have a medical marijuana card, we know of all the most marijuana friendly companies in the industry. If your medical condition is severe or life-threatening, then there are other types of life insurance policies where we can help you find coverage. (You will see information about this after the medical conditions section.)

How Health Conditions Treated with Marijuana Affect Life Insurance Rates

First, we are going to give a few pointers about how medical condition treated with marijuana affect life insurance rates. Most companies use anywhere from 14 – 16 different types of life insurance rates for which you might qualify.

Throughout this article when we talk about underwriting guidelines, one rating which you might note will be designated as “Non-Rated” or “No-Rating.” This includes the 4 best ratings for which may qualify and consist of:

  • Preferred Plus
  • Preferred
  • Standard Plus
  • Standard

The other type of rating is known as “Rated” life insurance rates and includes your “Table Rates.”

Table Rates and How They Work

Table rates are the term for extra premiums applied to people who are higher risk applicants. These are the ratings which are below a “Standard” rate.  Most companies use approximately 10 different table rates which range from Table A (which is the least expensive table rate) to Table J which is the most expensive table rate.

These ratings are not cast in stone because the medical criteria companies use can vary. A small difference in a medical reading can mean the difference of being assigned Table Rating A or B, depending on the guidelines in use by each company.

Each level of table rating is an extra 25% premium. (This applies to most companies. Some of them have different percent increases so check with your insurance agent.)

Medical Marijuana and Medical Condition life Insurance Ratings

The following is a list of various but not all medical conditions. We will provide a brief but detailed summary of how you might be rated and assessed for a policy. This should be used as a guideline only, so do not assume your situation will perfectly mirror the following ones. Call us first at (888) 987-8447 for more information about your situation with a specific medical condition.

The following conditions are covered in this article, listed in alphabetical order.

  1. Alcoholism
  2. Asthma
  3. Atrial Fibriliation
  4. Breast Cancer
  5. Cardiomyopathy
  6. Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke)
  7. Cholesterol
  8. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  9. Colorectal Cancer
  10. Coronary Artery Disease
  11. Crohn’s Disease
  12. Depression and Anxiety Disorders
  13. Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
  14. Epilepsy
  15. Heart Failure
  16. Hepatitis
  17. High Blood Pressure
  18. Kidney Function
  19. Liver Enzyme Tests
  20. Multiple Sclerosis
  21. Myocardial Infarction
  22. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  23. Pancreas Diseases
  24. Pancreatitis
  25. Parkinson’s Disease
  26. Prostate Cancer
  27. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  28. Testicular Cancer
  29. Transient Ischemic Attack
  30. Ulcerative Colitis

Alcoholism and Marijuana Medical Card

life insurance while taking medical marijuana for alcoholismFor the majority of people who consume alcohol, there is no effect on your lifespan. However, alcohol can also be an addictive substance. This can lead to substance abuse and can result in a broad range of potentially life-threatening situations.

To assess the degree of alcohol impairment, underwriters will refer to a variety of records including medical reports, a social profile, motor vehicle reports, laboratory results, and physical findings. They will review these findings as they examine the risk relevant to the alcohol consumption.

Alcoholism is a disease which can both be progressive and fatal. Various physical and neurological disorders can occur such as:

  • Cardiac conditions including atrial fibrillation, Cardiomyopathy, and hypertension
  • Nervous system disorders including seizures, blackouts, delirium tremens, tremors, psychosis and balance impairment
  • Gastrointestinal issues such hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver, bleeding, cancer, varices, and esophagitis
  • Psychiatric disorders such as violent behavior, depression, suicide and anxiety

Underwriting Guidelines for those who are using marijuana to treat alcoholism will take into account active participation in AA programs, and other treatment methods. Lifestyle stability will also be considered. As a general rule, patients who avoid alcohol without relapse can expect a return to normal life expectancy from between 7 – 10 years. This will be taken into consideration.

Underwriting Guidelines for Alcoholism

Rating for a life insurance policy will take in multiple considerations and can range from a Standard rating to Table F rating. It will all depend on the severity of physical, psychiatric and social infractions along with the degree and treatment of physical impairment, manner and type of treatment, DUI’s, relapses, and blood test results.

Asthma and Medical Marijuana Card

Asthma occurs because of a narrowing of the smaller airways. About 2% of the American population is afflicted with this condition. The most likely cause is some form of allergy.

Asthma is generally chronic and can lead to permanent scarring in the lungs. Most people manage the disease through steroid inhalers to control inflammation. Doctors monitor it through X-Rays and/or a PFT (pulmonary function test).

Underwriting Guidelines for Asthma

When evaluating the risk and extent of asthma, underwriters will look at how the disease rates as follows:

  • Mild Asthma – Non-Rated
  • Moderate Asthma – Table B
  • Moderately Severe Asthma – Table D – G
  • Severe Asthma – Decline

Atrial Fibrillation and Medical Marijuana Card

This condition is also known as arrhythmia. It produces a characteristic irregular pulse. Atrial fibrillation may be intermittent (paroxysmal) or permanent (chronic). The disease may result due to some form of heart disease although that is not always the case.

Atrial Fibrillation can be a result of the following:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Fever
  • Mitral valve disease

A chronic form of atrial fibrillation does carry a mortality risk. It creates a higher risk of developing blood clots which can cause a stroke. Multiple recurrences of this condition can lead to a chronic condition.

Underwriting Guidelines for Atrial Fibrillation

If your AF is intermittent and you have no underlying heart disease with a normal ECG, or have gone a year with a successful Pulmonary Vein Isolation you will probably not receive any rating. A Table C rating is possible if the condition is paroxysmal or chronic providing there is no underlying heart disease, and you have a normal echocardiogram.

Should you receive a diagnosis of mild-moderate underlying heart disease or with a mild-moderate abnormal echocardiogram, you will receive a table rating based on the severity of your AF.

People who have a severe underlying heart or lung disease will likely receive a decline.

Breast Cancer and Medical Marijuana Card

life insurance with medical marijuana for breast cancerFor women, this is the most common cancer which they might experience. Breast cancer is generally revealed through the use of mammography which is when an X-ray is taken of the breast and uncovers a mass or growth. The tumor is examined through a sample known as a biopsy. The tumor is then rated and classified according to its size, involvement with other tissues (metastasis), status node and distant metastasis.

Underwriting Guidelines for Breast Cancer

Non-invasive cancer has a better prognosis than a tumor which is invasive. Each case will receive an evaluation based on the following criteria.

  • Tissue of origin
  • Grade of cancer
  • Stage of cancer
  • Time since diagnosis of cancer
  • Type of treatment
  • Follow-up care
  • Hormone receptor status
  • Age of diagnosis
  • Time since treatment ended
  • Recurrences or relapses of cancer

A recent diagnosis of breast cancer will likely receive an automatic decline. Grade 1 cancer has the best prognosis while Grade 3 & 4 cancers have the worst prognosis. The longer you have been cancer free since receiving treatment means you will likely receive a better rating.

Cardiomyopathy and Medical Marijuana Card

A cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart muscle does not pump properly. It can be acute or potentially life-threatening. This condition can lead to heart failure resulting in fatigue, shortness of breath, and reduced activity levels. The condition may become chronic but stable or can become progressive which can lead to an early death.

The most common cause for this condition includes:

  • Viral Infection
  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy
  • Peripartum Cardiomyopathy

This condition occurs more commonly in women and often temporarily in pregnant women.

Underwriting Guidelines for Cardiomyopathy

Transient cardiomyopathies are generally based on whether the condition has any residual effect on the heart. A person who fully recovers from the condition and remains stable for at least 6 months with a normal echocardiogram should expect a rating offer from Low-substandard to Standard.

Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke) and Medical Marijuana Card

A cerebrovascular accident is more commonly known as a stroke. This condition occurs when the blood flowing to the brain becomes obstructed. This condition can cause permanent brain damage. When the symptoms occurring from a stroke are temporary, the condition is referred to as a “transient ischemic attack” also known as a TIA.

Strokes often result from:

  • Atherosclerosis (which is plaque in the arteries)
  • An embolism
  • Thrombosis (which is a clot)

The risk factors for the increased likelihood of a stroke occurring includes:

  • Smoking
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Carotid disease
  • Valvular heart disease

Underwriting Guidelines for a Stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident)

Underwriters will likely assign a rating which decreases the longer the person has undergone recovery.

Most individuals who show significant signs of recovery and possess the ability to perform most of their daily activities may expect the following:

  • 1 to 6 years after – (Table C or D with additional financial assessment)
  • 7+ years after – (Tables B or C)

Cholesterol Levels and Medical Marijuana Card

Cholesterol levels are measured by the amount of of fatty substances in the blood known as triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides are also known as hyperlipidemia which can be a cause of coronary heart disease.

Cholesterol and other types of lipids can begin to coat the blood vessels which narrows and affects the flow of blood. This condition is also called arteriosclerosis and can result in chest pain and possibly a heart attack.

The rating you receive will be based on your age, family history, height/weight ration and the especially the measure of both LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (High-density lipoprotein). LDL cholesterol causes fatty build up on the blood vessels while HDL cholesterol carries cholesterol away from the walls of the blood vessels. The lower your cholesterol levels – the better your rating.

Underwriting Guidelines for Cholesterol Levels

The following approach may be used by an underwriter when evaluating the readings of your cholesterol levels.

Table B Rating – May apply where

  • HDL < 24
  • Triglycerides >1000
  • Total cholesterol > 300
  • Total cholesterol to HDL ratio >8.0

Ratings will increase as these values become worse and a rating up to Table E may apply.

A ratio which is >11 may receive a decline.

Also, ratings for older people can be taken into consideration where the level consideration is reduced for those ages 66-75 and may not be even applicable for those over the age of 75.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Medical Marijuana Card

life insurance with medical marijuana for COPDThis is a degenerative disorder of the lungs which includes a combination of several diseases including:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Emphysema

This disease is largely related to smoking tobacco products. People who become afflicted with the disease will sustain a rapid progression of the disease with continued use of tobacco products.

COPD is measured through the use of a Spirometry Test which measure air exhaled into a tube. The first second of a forced exhalation is known as FEV1.

COPD is classified into the following 4 groups:

  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Severe
  • Extreme

Underwriting Guidelines for COPD

The ratings below are for individuals who cease smoking and take into consideration their symptoms, medication FEV1 percentage as compared to normal.

  • Minimal – (Very slight symptoms) – No Rating
  • Mild – (Occasional throat clearing or respiratory infection) – Table B
  • Moderate – (Dyspnea with mild exertion) – Table D
  • Severe – (Dyspnea with mild exertion) – Table G
  • Extreme – (Disabled and Dyspnea at rest) – Decline

Colorectal Cancer and Medical Marijuana Card

Colorectal cancer is a slow but progressive cancer which develops over 7 – 15 years. Incidents and deaths resulting from this cancer have been decreasing as result of early screening and the removal of polyps through the procedure of a colonoscopy.

People with a family history of cancer or polyps are more likely to develop colorectal cancer. The colon has 4 layers, and the prognosis for the disease worsens when the deeper layers of the colon become cancerous.

Underwriting Guidelines for Colorectal Cancer

There may be 2 different forms of rating systems that may be applicable. Ratings will be based on age, the stage, the grade of cancer, and the diagnosis date.

A general rule in how underwriters will consider colorectal cancer is as follows:

  • Carcinoma in situ
    • Under the age of 65 – No Rating
    • Over the age of 65 – No Rating
  • Stage l and Stage 2 A
    • Under the age of 65 – Tumor Table C
    • Over the age of 65 – Tumor Table D
  • Stage 2 B
    • Under the age of 65 – Tumor Table B
    • Over the age of 65 – Tumor Table C
  • Stage 3 – (Best case only with two or fewer positive lymph nodes and normal CEA)
    • Under the age of 65 –
      • 0-5 years – Decline
      • 6th -10th Year – Table B adjustable
      • After 10 Years – Table B
    • Over the age of 65 –
      • 0 -2 Years – Decline
      • 3rd Year – 7th Year – Table B adjustable
      • After 7 Years – Table B

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and Medical Marijuana Card

Coronary artery disease entails the thickening of the arteries and can begin in adolescence. It results from fatty streaks which occur in the inner lining of the artery wall. The disease progresses by developing a lipid or fatty core which becomes covered by a fibrous cap which is also known as “arterial plaque.”

The arterial plaque grows and narrows the blood flow. A thrombus or clot may occur when unstable plaque ruptures. Rapidly forming clots can also occur which can cause acute cardiac episodes such as a heart attack. Other symptoms such as angina may also occur.

The flow of a person’s blood supply with this condition varies from person to person. The blood flow and state of the disease can be determined with a coronary angiogram.

Underwriting Guidelines for COPD

The underwriting process for this disease is a complicated process and dependent on the assessment of the following:

  • Plaque burden by catheterization
  • Number of events and stability
  • Systolic LV function
  • Diastolic LV function
  • Exercise tolerance
  • Current symptoms or abnormal stress Testing (with or without scan or echo)
  • Other vascular disease

Crohn’s Disease and Medical Marijuana Card

Crohn’s disease is also referred to as regional enteritis. It can occur in any portion of the gastrointestinal tract, from mouth to rectum. The disease most frequently occurs in people between 20 and 40 years of age.

The most common areas of the gastrointestinal tract which may become inflicted include:

  • Terminal ileum
  • Colon
  • Anorectal regions

Treatment of this condition is similar to that for ulcerative colitis. As much as 50% of those who incur this disease will require some form of surgical intervention within 5 years of initial diagnosis. Surgery may not be curative.

Underwriting Guidelines for Crohn’s Disease

  • 6 Months or Less from Diagnosis and/or Severe Episode
    • Younger than 45 Years – Postpone
    • 45 Years or Older – Postpone
  • More than 6 Months from Diagnosis or Severe Episode and Stable Symptoms
    • Younger than 45 Years – Table C with considerations
    • 45 Years or Older – Table B with considerations
  • Single Episode of Crohn’s  (More than 10 Years Ago – No Medication for 5 Years)
    • Younger than 45 Years – no rating
    • 45 Years or Older – no rating
  • Two Severe Episodes in the Past Year or 3 Severe Episodes in the Past 2 Years
    • Younger than 45 Years – Table F
    • 45 Years or Older – Table F
  • Others – Evidence of Sclerosing Cholangitis or Dysplasia on Biopsy
    • Younger than 45 Years – Decline
    • 45 Years or Older – Decline

Depression and Anxiety Disorders and Medical Marijuana Card

life insurance with medical marijuana for depressionThe majority of mood and anxiety disorders are relatively common. Mild or moderate disorders are easily treatable and have little or no effect on a person’s lifespan. More severe conditions include the potential risk of suicide, cardiovascular disease, and substance abuse. These are also taken into account.

There are a variety of depressions and mood disorders including:

  • Depressive Disorder (unipolar)
  • Bipolar Disorder (manic depressive)
  • Dysthymia which is a chronic low-grade form of depression

Additionally, many people incur other forms of anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, social phobia, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder (SAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The highest risk period occurs in the early stage of the disorder and within 2 years of a hospitalization period.

Underwriting Guidelines for Depression and Anxiety Disorder

Recurrences are relatively standard for both mood and anxiety conditions. The majority of these conditions are treated with anti-depressant drugs.

Underwriters will look at the period from when the condition was diagnosed, the degree of impairment, frequency of recurrence, type and effect of treatment, treatment compliance, hospitalization, number of dates of any suicide attempts.

A low grade and well-controlled disorder where the person can function will be rated relatively favorably.

Moderate disorders with no suicide ideation within 6 months, and able to function with minimal to moderate symptoms and no hospitalization may expect a Table B rating. Severe disorders which might entail significant symptoms, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) or hospitalization with longer periods of disability may expect a Table D rating. More serious symptoms such as recurrent psychiatric disorder, attempted suicide within the past year, ECT or hospitalization, and 2 or more suicide attempts may expect a decline.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 and Medical Marijuana Card

Diabetes Mellitus (DM) Type 2 involve abnormal sugar metabolism. The condition results in causing “Hyperglycemia” or high blood sugar. Chronic hyperglycemia can result in strokes and heart attacks caused by atherosclerosis.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 can also cause renal disease, peripheral neuropathy, and blindness. The disease generally occurs over the age of 30 but is becoming increasingly common in obese children and adolescents. This disease can often be treated through a change in diet and exercise. Oral medications may also be prescribed. Insulin may be prescribed in the latter stages of the condition.

Risk factors for this disease are older age, obesity, positive family history, and history of gestational diabetes.

Underwriting Guidelines for Diabetes Mellitus Type 2

Underwriters base their decision on your current age and duration of the disease.

  • Ages 18 -34
    • 0 – 14-year duration – Table D
    • 15+ year duration – Table E
  • Ages 35 – 49
    • 0 – 7-year duration – Table B
    • 8 – 14-year duration – Table C
    • 15+ year duration – Table D
  • Ages 50 – 65
    • 0 – 14-year duration – Table B
    • 15+ year duration – Table C
  • Age 66+
    • 0 – 7-year duration – Non-Smoker Plus
    • 8 – 14-year duration – Table A
    • 15+ year duration – Table B

Epilepsy and Medical Marijuana Card

Epilepsy is a seizure disorder. The disease occurs from abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Epilepsy can occur from a variety of causes such as genetic and birth factors, an infection or toxin, alcohol withdrawal or a trauma. Other causes include a circulatory disorder, degenerative disease or a tumor.

Epilepsy can consist of 2 types including:

  • Acquired – Stems from the conditions described above
  • Idiopathic – No evidence of a brain lesion

This condition can be controlled through medication which may be required for life. These drugs can also result in side effects. Some conditions can be more sever and may require hospitalization or surgery.

Underwriting Guidelines for Epilepsy

The underwriting guidelines for this condition depend on the underlying condition or cause.

Underwriters will rate epilepsy without any other significant impairment as follows:

  • Complex Partial (Consciousness Impaired) Generalized Tonic-Clonic  – Schedule A
  • Generalized Absence Simple Partial (Consciousness Not Impaired) – Schedule B
  • Metabolic Brain Disease Status Epilepticus – Schedule C

The Schedule system is designed as follows:

  • Schedule A Adequately investigated, well controlled, on treatment:
    • Within 6 months of diagnosis – Postpone
    • Within 2 years of last seizure – Table D
    • 3rd through 5th year – Table B
    • After 5th year – Non-Rated
    • Any mental deterioration, personality changes, or more than 6 seizures per year – Decline
  • Schedule B:
    • Within 2 years of last seizure – Table B
    • After 2 years – Non-Rated
  • Schedule C:
    • Within 5 years – Usually Decline
    • After 5 years – Individual Consideration

Heart Failure and Medical Marijuana Card

life insurance with medical marijuana for heart failureHeart failure occurs when the heart muscle cannot supply oxygen-carrying blood to meet the needs of the human body. This can occur in either the left or right ventricles of the heart. The most common reasons for this condition include:

  • Ischemic Cardiomyopathy
  • Poorly controlled hypertension
  • Myocarditis
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Valve disease
  • Hyperthyroidism

The most common treatment is the use of drug therapy. Other forms of treatment are surgical and include a pacemaker, defibrillator implants, coronary artery bypass or angioplasty. Some forms of this condition are curable, but not all.

Underwriting Guidelines for Heart Failure

The following approaches may be undertaken when underwriting this condition for a policy:

  • Heart failure, present, right or left – Decline
  • History of left heart failure (with or without right heart failure), due to cardiac disease, recovered as follows:
    • Postpone underwriting for 1 year. Afterwards the rate will depend on whether condition is stable or rising ejection fraction (EF) on this basis:
    • EF ≥ 55% – Non-Rated
    • EF 50-54% – Table C
    • EF 45-49% – Table E
    • EF 40-44% – Table G
    • EF < 40% – Decline
  • Left heart failure (with or without right heart failure), due to non-cardiac disease, recovered – Rate for cause only
  • Left and right heart failure, due to congenital heart disease or valve disease, surgically repaired and fully recovered – Rate for cause only
  • Right heart failure without left heart failure
    • Acute, due to pulmonary embolism, recovered – Rate for the greater of cause, residual impairment or therapy
    • Current anticoagulant therapy (i.e., Coumadin, Heparin) could be rated Table B.
    • Antiplatelet therapy (e.g., aspirin, Ticlid) is not rated.
  • Acute, due to myocardial infarction, recovered – Rate for myocardial infarction.
  • Chronic or others – Rate for individual consideration

Hepatitis and Medical Marijuana Card

This condition results in an inflammation of the liver and is a caused by a viral infection. There are 3 types of hepatitis including

  • Hepatitis A or (HAV)
  • Hepatitis B or (HBV)
  • Hepatitis C or (HCV)

Symptoms vary significantly. Some who have the above form of this condition may experience symptoms mild enough they may not be aware they have the condition. The only certain way to expose you have the disease is through blood testing.

The disease is generally acquired in the following manners:

  • HAV – Contaminated food or water
  • HBV – Blood transmission or sexual contact
  • HCV – Blood transmission

Infections which persist more than 6 months are considered chronic. Chronic infection can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Continued consumption of alcohol can exacerbate a liver condition.

Underwriting Guidelines for Hepatitis

People who have a diagnosed chronic condition of Hepatitis B and C may expect a decline. To receive approval for a standard life insurance policy the following conditions must be met:

  • Person must recover spontaneously
  • Condition curable through anti-virus therapy
  • Have only a mild form of the disease

A person may be non rated if the following applies:

  • Spontaneous resolution of HBV and HCV if no evidence of virus in blood
  • HCV is cured by anti–viral therapy and RNA is negative 6 months after end of drug therapy

Table ratings will apply as follows:

  • Hepatitis B surface antigen remains positive but liver enzymes remain normal – Table B Rating
  • Other chronic cases of Hepatitis will be rated from Table B to Table H based on age, liver enzyme elevation and liver biopsy results.

All cases involving liver cirrhosis will receive a decline.

High Blood Pressure and Medical Marijuana Card

Blood pressure is defined as the amount of pressure of blood as it travels through the heart and its circulation through the body. Two measurements are used including:

  • Systolic – which indicates the amount of pressure when the heart contracts
  • Diastolic – which indicates the pressure between extractions

A normal blood pressure for adults is generally around 127 systolic / 78 diastolic. High-risk high blood pressure (hypertension) can be anything over 139 systolic / 89 diastolic.

High blood pressure means the heart has to work harder. This can cause strain on the heart resulting in cardiac issues such as a greater risk for heart attacks, or as increased potential for having a stroke.

High blood pressure is primarily managed through medication, dietary changes, and physical exercise.

Underwriting Guidelines for High Blood Pressure

Along with your blood pressure readings, an underwriter will also take a close look at your cholesterol levels, ECG readings, and your family history.

Generally, people who have a 12-month average blood pressure reading based on the following will not be rated:

  • 18 – 34 years old (140/90)
  • 35 – 49 years old (150/90)
  • 50 – 69 years old (150/95)
  • 70+ years old (160/95)

Otherwise, the underwriting criteria will be determined on the hypertensive chart which the insurer uses.

Kidney Function Tests and Medical Marijuana Card

Kidney function tests will rate the levels of 2 types of waste products found in the blood including:

  • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
  • Creatinin

If these values rise, this will be a clear indication that kidney function has become impaired. The levels based upon a person’s age will determine the underwriting criteria in how these individuals will be rated on a case by case basis.

Underwriting Guidelines for Kidney Tests

The following situations will receive a decline if  the following applies:

  • Elevated creatinine over 2 mg/dl
  • If there is evidence of progressive decline in kidney function, i.e., rising creatinine and/or decreasing creatinine clearance.

Otherwise an evaluation will be postponed for evaluation of renal disease if:

  • Urine is abnormal (positive hemoglobin)
  • RBCs, any casts (other than hyaline), or ratable protein (albumin) and KFT’s are abnormal

Liver Enzyme Tests and Medical Marijuana Card

One of the common medical areas which are reviewed during a life insurance medical exam includes liver enzymes. Elevations of liver enzymes could be indicative of impaired liver function. The tests used include:

  • SGOT (serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase), also known as AST (aspartate aminotransferase)
  • SGPT (serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase), also known as ALT (alanine aminotransferase)
  • GGTP or GGT (gamma-glutamyl transferase or transpeptidase)

Elevations of SGOT and SGPT are usually indicative of some manner of liver damage. GGTP is an extremely sensitive enzyme used for the detection of early liver disease or damage. Some of the more common diseases with liver impairment include:

  • Hepatitis, especially viral hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Fatty liver, often associated with diabetes, obesity, elevated blood fats, or excess alcohol
  • Liver cancer or metastases
  • Alcohol use
  • Some medications, such as Dilantin, Phenobarbital, allopurinol, and many others
  • A variety of infiltrative diseases of the liver
  • Biliary obstruction, including conditions such as gallstones, primary biliary cirrhosis, cancer, and cholangitis

Underwriting Guidelines for Liver Conditions

The main objective when it comes to the underwriting is to establish the underlying cause and then classify the risk.

If there is no known cause, the ratings will be based on the results of the tests as follows:

  • Bilirubin:
    • ≤ 6.0 mg/dl – No Rating
    • > 6.0 mg/dl – Decline
  • Alkaline phosphatase:
    • Age > 20 years ≤ 3X laboratory reference range – No Rating
    • Age ≤ 20 years ≤ 5X laboratory reference range – No Rating
    • Others – Individual Consideration
  • AST:
    • ≤ 5X normal – No Rating
    • > 5X normal – Decline
  • ALT:
    • ≤ 4X normal – No Rating
    • > 4X – 5X normal – Table B
    • > 5X normal – Decline
  • GGTP:
    • ≤ 4X normal – No Rating
    • > 4X – 5X normal – Table B
    • > 5X normal – Decline

If the cause is unknown and there is elevation of two or more (AST, ALT, GGTP) with no elevation of bilirubin or ALP, then the rating is for the highest enzyme.

  • ≤ 2X normal – No rating
  • > 2X but ≤ 3X normal – Table B
  • > 3X but ≤ 4X normal – Table D
  • > 4X but ≤ 5X normal – Table F
  • > 5X normal – Individual consideration

Multiple Sclerosis and Medical Marijuana Card

life insurance with medical marijuana for multiple sclerosisMultiple Sclerosis or MS is a disease of the nervous system which may be either chronic or recurrent progressive. MS generally appears between ages 20 and 50. The cause is unknown.

The condition is known medically as nerve demyelination which entails the loss or protective covering around a nerve. Various physical symptoms begin to appear as the nerve conduction slows and then completely fails. MS onset can be sudden and many attacks will last a duration from 3 – 12 weeks.

Various bodily functions can become impaired resulting in motor weakness, visual blurring or double vision, light headedness, along with memory and attention deficit.

Multiple attacks of the disease can cause persistent symptoms. The disease is progressive in nature.

Underwriting Guidelines for Multiple Sclerosis

Providing there are no other physical impairments involved the following are the guidelines for underwriting this condition:

Suspected MS

  • Table C – If within 2 years of the attack
  • Table B – If within 3 – 4 years of the attack
  • Non-Rated – If after 4 year from the attack

Definite Diagnosis of MS

  • Table G – If within 2 years of the last attack
  • Table E – If within 3 -5 years of the last attack
  • Table C – if within 6 – 10 years of the last attack
  • Table B – if after 10 years of the last attack

Should the degree of the condition be more than minimal, the rating will increase while most severe cases of MS will likely receive a decline.

Myocardial Infarction and Medical Marijuana Card

A myocardial infraction or MI is also known as a heart attack. Most heart attacks occur as a result of some form of heart disease. They happen when the blood supply to the heart becomes completely blocked. A heart attack can also occur from a thrombosis or blood clots which breaks away causing the blockage. This loss of blood can cause cell damage and may result in death.

Some heart attacks are silent and be unknown as having occurred to the person. Some people can experience a coronary artery spasm. The cause is uncertain but this condition can also result in a heart attack.

Underwriting Guidelines for Myocardial Infraction

The guidelines for underwriting a policy for an MI will vary from individual to individual because multiple factors must be taken into account. Those which may result in a higher rating include:

  • Younger ages
  • More than one heart attack
  • Ongoing episodes of angina or chest pain
  • New ECG changes
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Uncontrolled hypertension or other cardiovascular or renal disease
  • Decreased left ventricular function
  • The degree of coronary artery disease
  • Complications such as persistent arrhythmia’s+ or poor lipid control

A more favorable rating may occur if the person has a normal follow-up stress electrocardiogram. People who have a history of MI can expect a rated policy.

Other individuals who have a single vessel disease and have normal left ventricle function along with reduced cardiac risk factors may be approved for a “standard” rating.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Medical Marijuana Card

This condition is also known for short as OSA. Symptoms for this condition often include excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), loud snoring and cessation of breathing. There are 2 types associated with the cessation of breathing including:

  • Apnea – This is the complete cessation of breathing
  • Hypopnea  – This is a partial cessation of breathing

There are some serious physical conditions that can incur with sleep apnea including:

  • Hypertension
  • Lung damage
  • Right heart failure
  • Heart rhythm irregularities

The mortality risk may increase when sleep apnea acts in combination with cardiac, cerebrovascular, or pulmonary diseases can increase mortality. Obesity is also known to be a contributing factor with sleep apnea. The degree of severity is measured through the use of overnight polysomnography (sleep study or PSG).

The condition is treatable through dietary changes and avoiding both alcohol and stimulants before sleep. Other methods of treatment include mechanical breathing devices such as oral devices, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or BiPAP (bi-level positive airway pressure).

Underwriting Guidelines for Sleep Apnea

Ratings will be dependent on the degree of severity of this condition. Most favorable cases may be Non-Rated. People who comply with treatment regimens and who have normal blood pressure, and no other complications may also be Non-Rated and may even be eligible for a Preferred rating.

Other cases may be rated anywhere from Table B to decline.

Pancreas Diseases and Medical Marijuana Card

The pancreas is an organ which produces pancreatic juices. These juices perform 2 functions. The first is to aid the digestive process. The second function of the pancreas is to produce insulin which processes carbohydrates.

There are a number of medical conditions which can impact this organ including:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Stones or cysts
  • Tumor
  • Pseudo cysts
  • Cancer

Treatments for these various conditions will vary according to the type and degree of affliction ranging from medication to surgical procedures.

Underwriting Guidelines for Pancreas Diseases

The underwriting process will depend of the particular condition and extent of the infliction as follows:

Abscess and Stone(s) Present or history, asymptomatic, without complications, fully recovered  -Postpone one year from diagnosis or from any surgical procedure such as debridement, ERCP, or stent placement; then no rating. Others will require individual Consideration.

Cyst, Pseudo cyst, single, asymptomatic, malignancy ruled out – Table B

History, resolved, no complications  -No rating

Others: without work-up to exclude malignancy (symptomatic, recurrent or multiple) or with complications such as diabetes, malabsorption, pancreatic insufficiency, etc. – Individual Consideration

Pancreatitis and Medical Marijuana Card

Pancreatitis may be acute or chronic. Symptoms can consist of severe abdominal pain. The most common cause for pancreatitis is from acute alcoholism or the condition may stem from stones in the bile duct.

Underwriting Guidelines for Pancreatitis

The affect and consumption of alcohol will play a definite role in how policies are underwritten. The following guidelines may apply for a person who has pancreatitis.

If not due to alcohol or malignancy and no surgical procedures such as drainage per endoscope (ERCP) or pancreatectomy; no complications such as diabetes, pseudocyst, or malabsorption,  asymptomatic, without complications, the following applies:

  • Acute Pancreatitis – recovered and asymptomatic within 8 weeks, 1–2 episodes only, cause identified and corrected – No rating
  • Chronic Pancreatitis – (lasting more than 8 weeks) or recurrent (more than two acute episodes) pancreatitis and within 6 months of last occurrence
    • Postpone 6-12 months
    • 1st year after – Table G
    • 2nd year after – Table E
    • 3rd year after – Table C
    • 4th year after – Table B
    • Thereafter –  No rating

With surgical treatment including pancreatectomy or endoscopic drainage and person is now recovered then the condition will be considered as chronic pancreatitis.

Others: with complications, no work-up to rule out malignancy – Decline

Due to alcohol, now abstinent and without complications such as diabetes, pseudocyst, mal absorption, etc. 1–2 episodes of acute pancreatitis, recovered and asymptomatic – Rate for alcohol abuse

Parkinson’s Disease and Medical Marijuana Card

Parkinson’s disease affects the central nervous system. It generally appears after age 45 but can appear at younger ages. Parkinson’s disease is characterized by four main clinical features:

  • Tremors
  • Rigidity
  • Stiffness
  • Slowness of movement

The physical manifestations of this disease can progressive and can eventually prevent the performance of simple physical tasks. The disease will become progressively disabling with the passing of time. The cause of this disease is unknown.

The only current treatment is through drug therapy and the effectiveness of most drugs will diminish in their effectiveness. Dementia may also develop with Parkinson’s. Overall, there is reduced mortality rate for those who are afflicted with Parkinson’s disease.

Underwriting Guidelines for Parkinson’s Disease

An underwriter considers that there are 5 stages for this disease as follows:

  • Stage I  – Unilateral involvement
  • Stage II – Bilateral involvement but normal stance
  • Stage III  – Bilateral involvement with mild postural imbalance, but able to lead an independent life
  • Stage IV – Bilateral involvement with postural instability; requires substantial help
  • Stage V  – Severe disease; restricted to bed or wheelchair

If there is gait disturbance, the mortality is higher. Policies will be rated according to the Stage and physical impact of the diseases accordingly:

  • Stage I, II or very slowly progressive – Table B
  • Stage III, or moderately progressive with no dementia – Table C to D
  • Stage IV, or rapidly progressive over several years – Usually Decline
  • Stage V, or dementia present – Usually Decline

Prostate Cancer and Medical Marijuana Card

The prostate is a gland and is about the size of a walnut. The organ surrounds the urethra at the base of the bladder. Prostate cancer is commonly found in males and generally develops in older males after age 50.

This cancer can be curable if discovered in its early stage through a screening process. The prognosis is favorable if the cancer is treated in its early stages. Surgical treatment involving the removal of the organ may be required.

A rising PSA suggests that a tumor is currently present and a persistently low (preferably undetectable) PSA suggests successful control.

Underwriting Guidelines for Prostate Cancer

The following should be considered as a general guideline and may vary from person to person:

  • Best Case After Radical Prostatectomy – Cancer is confined to prostate and completely excised. After one year of surgery and the person’s age at application ≥50 years, Gleason score ≤6, and current PSA at undetectable levels  – No Rating
  • Best Case After Radiation Treatment – Cancer is determined to be confined to prostate. After more than one year after radiation treatment, age at application ≥50 years, Gleason score ≤6, and PSA ≤0.2 for at least one year with no rise – No rating
  • Best Case Under Close Active Surveillance By a Urologist – Cancer is confined to prostate, age at application ≥60 years, Gleason score ≤6, and PSA ≤ 10 then ratings will be based on the age of the applicant as follows:
    • Ages 60 – 64 (Table B)
    • Ages 65+ (Table A)

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Medical Marijuana Card

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic and inflammatory disease which impacts the connective tissue. The disease can affect multiple joints. The disease is generally diagnosed for people in their 30’s to 60’s but can occur at any age.

Many people experience a partial disability within the first 5 years. Some of these people will have to stop working within 10 years of diagnosis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease which impacts someone’s expected lifespan. The condition affects a person’s longevity similar to coronary artery disease or a stroke. It can result in weight loss, fever and low blood counts. Additionally, this form of arthritis may affect other organs, and the prescribed medications can have a toxic effect on the body.

Underwriting Guidelines for Rheumatoid Arthritis

How a life insurance underwriter rates someone with rheumatoid arthritis will depend on the severity of the disease. Someone who has very mild rheumatoid arthritis with no functional disability, no organ impairment, and is treating it with anti-inflammatory medications will not receive a rating.

Patients with moderate impairment and receiving treatment in the form of steroids, methotrexate or gold may expect a Table B to Table D rating. People who have a severe form of RA (which includes disease of the organs or extreme functional mobility issues) may expect a decline.

If you have been declined for rheumatoid arthritis or another disease, speak with your life insurance agent about guaranteed issue life insurance.

Testicular Cancer and Medical Marijuana Card

This form of cancer is relatively rare and usually occurs in younger males ages 15 – 35. Medical advances have significantly reduced the mortality rates for this type of cancer.

The most common form of this type of cancer is a germ cell form of cancer which is prevalent in 95% of cases. Treatment is usually in the form of either chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Underwriting Guidelines for Testicular Cancer

Providing there are no other underlying medical conditions and no evidence of cancer has occurred, the underwriting guidelines may be as follows:

  • The first 3 years from recovery will be based on Tumor Table D
  • Stage 2 cancers will be postponed for underwriting from 0 -2 years
  • Stage 3 cancers will be postponed for underwriting from 2 – 4 years

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) and Medical Marijuana Card

A TIA is temporary neurological deficit which does not result in any permanent impairment. Attacks may last several minutes or a few hours. They are generally the result of a small embolism or clot which afflicts either the carotid or cerebral artery. But ultimately it disappears without any residual neurologic impairment.

These form of TIA’s are more common in elderly individuals. When an attack occurs, physicians will follow up with a variety of test procedures including CT or MRI scan to look for evidence of atherosclerosis.

Underwriting Guidelines for a Transient Ischemic Attack

A person who has been afflicted with this condition is considered to be at a greater risk for a full stroke. Various medications and surgery may alleviate or correct the condition to various degrees of success. However, the risk for mortality is generally greater when a TIA occurs.

Other medical issues such the control of blood pressure, cholesterol levels and the existence of diabetes can impact the underwriting of a policy.

Generally, the following guideline may apply for the following situations:

  • Single Episode
    • Following 0 – 6 years from episode – Table D or Table C
    • Following 7 – 10 years for date of episode – Table C or Table B
    • After 10 Years of episode – No Rating
  • Multiple Episodes – Table D or Table E

Ulcerative Colitis and Medical Marijuana Card

Ulcerative colitis is where the colorectum incurs recurrent inflammations. It  generally develops between ages 25 – 40. A milder form of this disease known as ulcerative proctitis is limited to the rectum while the more serious form of this condition involves the entire colon.

Ulcerative colitis patients have a greater risk of colon cancer particularly if the disease has been in existence for more than 10 years. Treatments for the condition may vary and can include:

  • Anti-diarrheal agents
  • 5-ASA compounds
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Surgery – a total colectomy or removal of the colon with or without colostomy is considered curative

Underwriting Guidelines for Ulcerative Colitis

The following guidelines may be applicable for those with ulcerative colitis:

  • Not Rated – A single episode of colitis 10 years or more ago where no medication has been prescribed for 5 years
  • Table B – More than 2 years if no significant episode or medication other than ASA
  • Table B – C – From 6 months to 2 years and/or any sever episode (higher table rating is for Pancolitis which involves the entire colon)
  • Table F – Applicant has had 2 severe episodes in past year, or 3 severe episodes in the past 2 years
  • Postpone – Where condition is less than or equal to 6 months from the date of initial diagnosis or any severe episode
  • Decline – Where there is evidence of sclerosing cholangitis or dysplasia on biopsy

Guaranteed Issue Options or Accidental Death Options – Last Resort

There are 2 insurance options for people who might be declined for a policy. The first option is called “Guaranteed Issue” or “GI” life insurance. The second option is “Accidental Death Insurance.”

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

life insurance with medical marijuana

It can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out life insurance. Talk to an independent life insurance agent who can shop the market for you and make your life a little easier.

These types of life insurance policies were created for those with severe or life threatening health conditions. They are policies for people who have been or are likely to be declined for life insurance coverage. They are an excellent option for providing coverage for final expenses, debts, uninsured medical expenses, or provide a small financial safety net or legacy for their surviving family members.

The advantage of GI policies is that they do not require the normal life insurance medical exam. To apply you may or may not need to answer just a few medical questions.

You also can get approval for the policy very quickly. Many companies can approve these policies within as little as 48 hours.

Premiums may be somewhat more expensive.

Most of the GI options are whole life policies. That means you are covered for your whole life without having to worry about premiums increasing in the future. The younger you are when you start a guaranteed issue policy, the lower the premium. Guaranteed issue policies typically start at age 50 and older.  However, we have one company that offer a guaranteed issue option for people 18 and older. Contact us with any questions and we’ll make sure you get the best life policy for your particular situation.

Almost all GI policies come with a 2-year waiting period. This means that you have to survive a full 2 years before your beneficiaries will receive the full amount of the face value of coverage.

Accidental Death Insurance Policies

One of the main benefits in buying accidental death policies is that the application process is easy and you can get guaranteed approval with some but not all insurers. Many companies can offer same day approval or approval in as little as 48 hours.

Another benefit of accidental death insurance is that there is no medical exam. Many companies will not even ask any health or occupation questions. This can vary from company to company.

These policies are also very affordable. You can get coverage from $50,000 to as high as $500,000. Most insurance companies also guarantee that premiums will never increase. The cost is based on your age and not health.

Accidental death policies also come with a variety of riders to enhance your coverage. However, the one drawback is that Accidental Death insurance covers accidents only and does not cover death from health conditions.

How MJ Life Insurance Finds the Lowest Rates for Medical Conditions Treated with Marijuana

There are over 850 life insurance companies in America. Each of these companies has their own underwriting guidelines. These companies can vary significantly in how they rate you for any particular medical condition.

When it comes to how health conditions treated with marijuana affect life insurance, the manner in how you are rated will effect what you pay for a premium.

Underwriting guidelines are also changing all the time. As medical advances improve the likelihood of survival and a better prognosis, MJ Life Insurance keeps track of all these changes.

Because of our specialized knowledge and access to dozens of life insurers, we can research the market to find the most liberal underwriting guidelines for your particular medical condition. And, regardless of your reasons for buying life insurance, we can find a policy at the lowest rates for any medical condition – from a mild medical condition to a severe of life threatening medical condition. If you take marijuana as medicine, there are companies for you.

MJ Life Insurance has access to the most marijuana friendly life insurance companies.  Call us if you have any questions as we will treat any and all information you provide in the strictest of confidence. We are happy to help you in any way we can.

Call us right now to get a quote. We can even start your application over the phone. We know how health conditions treated with marijuana affect life insurance rates so contact MJ Life Insurance today at (888) 987-8447.

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About MJ Life Insurance
About MJ Life Insurance

Our Mission:  To help marijuana users get approved for life insurance at the lowest rates. MJ Life Insurance is comprised of life insurance experts that understand the application process, underwriting details and company selection to best help our clients. Contact us with any questions and we will be your advocate to secure the best rates on your life insurance.

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