You may wonder if you can get life insurance with depression or anxiety in your medical files.
Because these illnesses affect many Americans, they don’t necessarily put you in the high risk category for obtaining life insurance, though some cases may. You can still get traditional life insurance with affordable premiums if you suffer from anxiety or depression–and we can help.
Life insurance companies look at the statistics when determining your risk of mortality. Many medical conditions shorten your life span. Anxiety and depression don’t necessarily increase your possibility of dying any earlier, though certain cases can affect a persons ability to think clearly and safely.
An insurance company who has experience working with individuals who have anxiety and depression can help to personalize your policy depending on your needs. The ideal agent will ask the right questions to help you get the most coverage at the lowest cost.
Why Is Life Insurance With Depression or Anxiety More Difficult?
Depression and anxiety are mental disorders. Some symptoms of depression include sadness, irritability, feelings of hopelessness, and thoughts of suicide. Symptoms can also manifest themselves physiologically in the form of fatigue, loss of appetite or cognitive impairment. People with anxiety disorder experience symptoms like panic, worry and confusion.
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance reports approximately 15 million adults in the U.S. deal with major depression each year. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 18% of the U.S. population is affected by anxiety disorders.
Many people who suffer from depression can also diagnosed with anxiety. Depression can also be associated with other medical conditions, too. People with serious illnesses, like cancer, may become depressed. In fact, one-quarter of people with cancer have dealt with depression since their diagnosis. People who already have heart problems may be at an increased risk of cardiac arrest if they are stressed or depressed.
However statistics show minor depression and anxiety don’t necessarily directly decrease your life span. According to the CDC, about 1 in 10 Americans take antidepressants. However, these individuals are not always suffering from severe depression.
The cases where depression or anxiety lead to loss of life are usually in times of erratic behavior, or suicide.
Applying for Life Insurance with Anxiety or Depression
Life insurance underwriters take risk into consideration when determining the amount of coverage and premium costs individuals can be approved for. The more risk you pose, the higher the price will be. Although anxiety and depression are treatable, many people go undiagnosed, and unknowns can raise prices, too.
If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, disclosing it to your life insurance agent is the best course of action. Hiding your medical history is unadvised and may prevent you from obtaining a payout in some circumstances. Revealing the details about your medical status can actually help the agent give you the best possible price.
If your mental condition is well managed and monitored by a health professional, your insurance rating should be relatively good. To determine your rating your agent may ask you questions similar to the following:
- What condition were you diagnosed with?
- At what age were you diagnosed?
- How long before your diagnosis did you have symptoms?
- Do you take medications for your symptoms (like antidepressants)?
- Do you have any other medical conditions?
- What types of treatments have you undergone?
- Have you been hospitalized for your condition?
- Has your mental illness affected your job or family life?
- How often do you meet with a health professional?
Taking medication for anxiety or depression typically lets the insurance agent know you are in control of your condition. If you’re on medication, it can actually improve your rating, so long as there is a history of consistent dose and regimen.
If you continually change medications or their dose, it can appear as though you and your doctor are still trying to stability the prescriptions effects.
However, depression or anxiety may be an indicator of another medical problem. If it is the case, you will be required to answer further questions about your medical status.
What Ratings To Expect
Preferred or Preferred Plus – This is the rating assigned to people in perfect health. If your symptoms occurred several years ago and your condition is well managed, you may fall in this category if you have absolutely no other health problems.
Standard – Many people with anxiety and depression fall into this category. The standard rating is often given to people with average health, and the rate where most consumers get approved.
Mild Substandard – People who fall into this category usually pay about 50% more than people in the Standard category. If you were diagnosed more than a year ago and your symptoms are continuing to worsen, you will usually fall in this category or in the Medium Substandard category, which falls below this one.
Cases where the long term effects of your condition are still cloudy can result in Substandard rates, too.
Severe Substandard – If you have been experiencing physiological symptoms of anxiety or depression, such as fatigue or loss of appetite, you may be rated as severe substandard. This is because people in this category may be at a higher risk of committing suicide or developing a cardiovascular problem.
People in the Severe Substandard category usually pay 150% more than those in the Standard category.
Although you may be tempted to hide your mental condition from the life insurance agent, it’s better to share every detail, especially if you have been diagnosed by a doctor. Insurance underwriters will inspect your medical records for prescription medication history and symptoms.
When you do go to the doctor or mental health professional, keep a record of everything you discuss. Document any medications you take and how they affect your symptoms. When it is clear your symptoms are improving, the underwriter will know your anxiety and depression are not weakening your health or increasing your risks.
Use an independent insurance agent to find your life insurance, like us. Independent agents have access to more life insurance companies than captive agents, who work for just one. They have more flexibility to look into all of your options, and shop your rate for you.
When it comes to life insurance for anxiety or depression, there are no generalized rules. Everyone has a different experience with mental illness. Getting life insurance depends largely on your health in other areas and the ability to manage your mental health.
If you are seeking life insurance and you have anxiety or depression, be ready to discuss your medical history in detail. Comparing different policies will help you find the one which works best for you.
We’ll help you do this, and get the coverage you need at a fair price.