When beginning your search for life insurance for depression and anxiety with medical marijuana, one of the first questions is: how private is this information?
Any information you give about your health is legally protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. One of the provisions is that any information you provide which pertains to health or life insurance or your medical records is completely confidential between you, your doctor, and the insurance company.
This information cannot be released to anyone else. Not your spouse. Not your boss. Most certainly not any legal authorities.
How Does Medical Marijuana Affect Affect Life Insurance Rates?
If you smoke recreationally, that’s one thing. However, life insurance companies look at recreational cannabis and medical marijuana differently. With recreational marijuana, insurance companies look at the frequency of use.
Medical marijuana, on the other hand, is viewed as a treatment. Your doctor prescribes it, after all. When you have a prescription for cannabis, the insurance company only cares about your medical condition.
In this case, they will look at your depression or anxiety, and the marijuana is next to irrelevant for most cannabis-friendly life insurance companies.
There are only about a dozen marijuana-friendly life insurance companies at the moment. But more are changing their underwriting guidelines every year.
How to Save Money on Life Insurance for Depression and Anxiety with Medical Marijuana
There are several ways anyone can save money on life insurance, even with depression or anxiety. Use these tips to make sure that you don’t spend a penny too much on protecting your family.
Use a Life Insurance Needs Calculator
Dozens of life insurance posts will tell you to buy 3 to 7 times your annual income. You will see some sites recommend 3 to 5 time your income. Others will argue that some people need 20x their yearly salary. How do you know which number applies to you?
Instead, you can use a life insurance needs calculator that will take into account how many children you have, the income needed for a surviving spouse, and debts to calculate precisely how much you need.
It’s smarter to calculate than guess when it comes to money.
Term is Cheaper than Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance (on average) is ten times as expensive as term life insurance. First of all, it lasts your whole life. That means the insurance company is guaranteed to pay out at some point, they just don’t know when. Permanent policies also have a cash value accumulation that you can use as it builds up over time.
Term insurance, on the other hand, only has death benefits. You can add extra features, but you don’t have to. It also only lasts for a set number of years, and you may very well outlive your term. Because the life insurance company is betting on you surviving your term, they can afford to charge less. Much less.
To choose, consider your reasons for life insurance. Are they reasons you’ll outgrow? You will pay off your mortgage someday. Your children will become self-sufficient adults. Maybe you want to provide for your spouse after you pass, whenever that may be. The reason you are looking into life insurance determines the type of life insurance you should buy.
Be Upfront About Any Medical Concerns
If you don’t disclose a medical condition up front, you are doing yourself a disservice and wasting your own time. If you tell your agent about any medical concerns when you start comparing companies, then your agent can immediately throw out the ones which overcharge for your condition.
Plus, they’ll see your medical condition on the insurance application anyway. It doesn’t matter what medical condition you have, your insurance agent will be focused on finding the companies with the best underwriting guidelines for you.
Independent Agents Can Show You Options
You can identify a captive agent by the big insurance company name over their door. Captive or company agents work for that one life insurance company, they can’t sell you life insurance from anywhere else.
Independent agents work for their clients. They can pick and choose which companies they work with. That way, they can find the company with the best underwriting guidelines for each client. Every company charges differently. There is no one-size-fits-all.
There are many life insurance companies which will not even accept applications for mental illnesses. While most companies do, the underwriting guidelines can vary wildly. Particularly with anxiety and depression, working with an independent agent who can narrow down the best companies for you will save you both money and time.
Take the Life Insurance Medical Exam
You can get no-exam life insurance policies. The only difference between that and a traditional life insurance policy is the no-exam policy lets you skip the medical exam. However, policies without medical exams are more expensive.
They can range from a couple dollars a month for someone in their late 20s or early 30s to $20 to $50 more each month as you move toward your golden years. It’s important to weigh the cost difference versus the convenience.
If you’re considering no-exam life insurance so you can skip the life insurance drug test keep in mind if you lie about anything on your application, the company can claim insurance fraud and your beneficiaries will get nothing.
Overall, if you want to save as much money as possible, then take the medical exam.
Underwriting Life Insurance for Depression and Anxiety with Medical Marijuana
Millions of Americans have occasional and minor bouts of depression or anxiety. For others, these conditions may tend towards chronic conditions and require more aggressive treatment. Medical marijuana provides relief from the symptoms of both depression and anxiety for many people.
Underwriters will evaluate every instance of either condition on a case by case basis. Circumstances vary between individuals so a generalized rating cannot be applied.
The underwriter will need to know the following information to figure out which health class you qualify for:
- The specific condition for which you were diagnosed
- Date of diagnosis
- What medications your doctor prescribed (including medical marijuana)
- Other underlying medical conditions
- All types of treatment
- How the condition has impacted your professional or personal life (if at all)
- Whether you have been hospitalized because of this condition
- Are you seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist
- Have you ever attempted or had thoughts of suicide
This information enables the underwriter to rates your disorder into one of the following three categories:
Mild or moderate disorders respond well to most treatments. Most people with mild to moderate depression or anxiety can easily qualify for affordable life insurance policies.
Previous Mild Depression/Anxiety Disorder
You can qualify for all of the standard and preferred health classes with no rating if you meet the following criteria:
- Short duration
- No relapse
- No current medical conditions
Current Mild Depression or Anxiety Disorder
This case involves a current, mild condition. If you are responding well to the treatment your doctor prescribed and have a good prognosis, then you may qualify for a standard rating. Some disorders, like mild anxiety, can qualify for a better health class.
It all depending on the specific diagnosis.
Medium Depression or Anxiety Disorder
Medium depression and anxiety is where health class assignments begin to vary. The health class assigned here will heavily depend on the degree of symptoms and the manner of treatment.
Most people with medium anxiety or depression will probably receive a table rating. These are typically known as a substandard health class or rating. While they vary between companies, they usually use either a numerical or alphabetical means to denote the rating classification.
Companies have roughly 10 table ratings. The table rating can range from 1 to 10 or from A to J. The number 1/letter A is the best of the substandard ratings. As you move from one letter/number to the next, the premiums increase by around 25%. Again, everything varies by company.
If your condition is medium, controlled, and does not severely impact your life, then you may qualify for a Table A (or 1) rating. More severe conditions slide down the letters/numbers.
Severe Forms of Depression or Anxiety
Here, symptoms are likely to have a much more significant impact on your quality of life, and even your life expectancy.
Depending on the contents of your medical records, you may still qualify for a table rating.
The following situations make it extremely difficult to qualify for traditionally underwritten life insurance:
- Recurrent psychiatric disorder
- Attempted suicide
- ECT or hospitalization
- 2 or more suicide attempts
Most insurance companies will decline people in the circumstances listed above. That doesn’t mean that life insurance is beyond your reach. There are still other options.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
This form of life insurance is for people with life-threatening medical conditions or who might otherwise be declined for traditional life insurance. There is no medical exam. The applications rarely ask health questions.
On a guaranteed issue policy, everyone who falls within the required age range gets approved. The age ranges typically run from 18 to 75. However, some companies restrict life insurance on the upper end, so make sure to look up the “issue ages” for the policy you want. Ask us for help anytime.
Some restrictions set guaranteed issue policies apart from traditional life insurance. The biggest is the two-year waiting period. You must survive for at least two years after you take out the policy for your beneficiaries to receive full benefits. Before the two-year mark, companies will pay your beneficiaries 110% of the premiums paid to that point.
The amount of death benefits you can take out are also limited. Most companies will issue this type of policy with a maximum of $50,000 in benefits. Some companies will limit benefits to $25,000. Premiums are also more expensive for the lower benefits.
However, with Guaranteed Issue life insurance, there are no health questions. They don’t ask or care about marijuana use. If you can’t qualify for traditional life insurance, guaranteed issue will be better than no coverage.
How MJ Life Insurance Can Help Find Life Insurance for Depression and Anxiety with Medical Marijuana
We are a group of independent agents who can help you shop the market and help find the company with the best underwriting guidelines for your situation. The MJ Life team specializes in helping people who smoke cannabis for recreation and for medicine.
We can take a 100% confidential, in-depth look at your history and tell you what you can expect. Get multiple quotes from one of the few cannabis-friendly life insurance companies in the country.
Take the guesswork out of finding life insurance and give us a call right now at (888) 987-8447.