Not all life insurance policies are created equal. And not all medications are created equal, either. The combination of the wrong company and the wrong medication could lead to sky high insurance premiums for you, or even being totally denied a life insurance policy.
How is that possible? Simple. Insurance companies do nothing but crunch numbers continually on the likely lifespan of people with all sorts of conditions and diseases, and the medications that they take effect those numbers. Actuaries measure the probability of death and disability based on these statistics, and what they discover and distill into formula is the gospel law for the insurance industry. And these numbers are constantly upgraded based on the latest statistical trends of the population.
For instance, with the sizable increase in opioid addiction across the world due to the introduction of dozens of cheap synthetic opioid drugs, insurance companies are now extremely hesitant to insure those who have taken these drugs, such as Fentanyl, Lortab, and Oxycontin; whether you have taken them in the past or are taking them now, your insurance premiums will be going up. Per Brian Greenberg, President of True Blue Life Insurance, use of opioid drugs indicate “chronic pain”, which results in either 50 – 400% more in the cost for the policy, or a decline of coverage. And if you are trying to purchase a new policy or add to your current policy, you may find it impossible to do, depending on other factors such as alcohol and tobacco consumption.
On the other hand, if you use marijuana recreationally or for a medical condition, you will have little trouble getting a policy as long as your other health and medication indicators are positive. This seems to make very little sense at first glance, but the reasoning behind it is sound — at least to the insurance companies.
First of all, there are now some marijuana-friendly insurance companies; they are the ones you will be getting your policy from if you use the weed. Their actuaries have done the numbers and found that marijuana use does not greatly impact lifespan. It certainly can impact a person’s lifestyle, but actuaries are not set up as moral judges — only cool and calculating machines that determine the odds of life and death.
Secondly, those who use marijuana for medicinal purposes have already been thoroughly vetted by medical personnel for any pre existing or red flag medical conditions. In fact, in most states it is harder to get a prescription for medical marijuana than it is to get one for an opioid!
Diabetic medications are also on insurance company’s ‘watch list’. The fact that you have diabetes itself will do little to raise your insurance premiums — it’s the medications you take to help control it and the success you are having controlling it that can boost premiums into the stratosphere. Certain statins and insulin-based medication that must be injected to be effective are so disliked by actuaries for their potentially fatal side effects that the mere act of taking them will automatically double premiums for most people. And if you are overweight and taking diabetic medications of any kind it is becoming increasingly hard to find an insurance company that will consider you for life insurance at all.
The best way around this, when possible, is to control your diabetes through stringent diet methods. In many cases this can be done, and there are many doctors and other qualified diabetes experts who can suggest a specific diet free of starches and sugars that is often very successful. Those who are able to control their diabetes in this manner will find that insurance companies rarely raise their rates at all.
Depression and dementia medications are red flags to the insurance industry. That is because those on such medications are ‘wild cards’ when it comes to estimating lifespan accurately. Actuaries are unable to properly estimate probable lifespans for such individuals, and so make life insurance available to them is a very costly proposition.
For fairly obvious reasons, HIV medication also triggers alarms for an insurance company. The complications arising from HIV are extremely numerous, and many of them are life-threatening. Also, the increasingly expensive cocktail of medications needed to control the symptoms of HIV are giving insurers great pause — it is not uncommon for an HIV sufferer to be on medications that cost two thousand dollars per week. This is definitely not the kind of customer an insurance company is looking for to sell life insurance to.
But the most important thing to remember when purchasing a life insurance policy is always to tell the truth and be transparent about your medication history. Insurers have ways of finding it out, and if you have been untruthful on your application you can be denied, or your beneficiaries will be denied.