Life Insurance with Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia

Affordable coverage is possible!

If you have a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, acquiring life insurance may be difficult, frustrating, or daunting at the very least. Many people living with these conditions have reported being declined by life insurance companies or being charged excessive rates for minimal coverage. While it’s true that the process is not an easy one, it is not impossible.

Much depends on the seriousness or severity of your condition and the success of treatment methods. For example, whether you are on medication or going to therapy. Even if these conditions have a huge impact on your daily life, you may qualify for standard life insurance policies. As a last resort, there are guaranteed issue polices that may suit your needs.

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The Challenge of Applying For Insurance With Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder
Navigating Conversations Regarding Your Diagnosis With An Insurance Agent
How To Get Life Insurance Living With These Conditions
Cost and Policy Options According to Levels of Severity

So, the question becomes: how do you make the best possible case for yourself, as a person diagnosed with schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder, to receive the best life insurance coverage available to people with these diagnoses?

The first step is to be one step ahead of the insurance agent. You should know exactly what questions they’re going to ask, what concerns are at the forefront of their minds, and what the ins and outs of insurance policies are that grant coverage to people with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

The Challenge of Applying For Life Insurance With Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are two of the least understood mental health diagnoses out there and, because of this, they are oftentimes misrepresented and stigmatized. This alone makes the process of applying for life insurance seem isolating, nerve-wracking, or even impossible. Life insurance can be particularly anxiety-provoking with its underwriting process, medical examinations, and checks into your health history.

The first thing that you need to know is that there are policies out there that will help you. There is not one ‘singular’ experience for people who are diagnosed with these mental illnesses. Many people who live with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are very functional and minimally affected. Others may need medication or therapy to control their effects.

When you work with your insurance agent to construct a plan, the first step is to know exactly how the agency will attempt to define or categorize this diagnosis.

Navigating Conversations Regarding Your Diagnosis With A Life Insurance Agent

By understanding how your diagnosis is perceived and understood by the general public, you can better navigate conversations with your insurance agent and discuss how your particular experience of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia both aligns and differs from commonly understood symptoms.

Schizophrenia is defined as a long-term mental illness typically understood as a type of psychosis wherein the person isn’t always able to distinguish their own imaginings, thoughts, feelings, and ideas from external reality. Symptoms include hallucinations, beliefs not grounded in reality, a loss of interest in “normal’ activities or people, and a tendency to care little about the physical self.

Bipolar disorder is also referred to as manic depressive disorder. It is characterized by alternating episodes of mania and depression. Bipolar disorder is a condition that affects mood, causing it to swing from one extreme to the other very quickly. Episodes of mania include feeling high, abnormally energized or productive, and perhaps hyperactive; depressive episodes are lethargic and generally low.

Both of these mental illnesses can be disruptive which makes life insurance companies hesitant to offer coverage in severe cases, especially when suicidal tendencies or behaviors are involved.

How To Get Life Insurance Living With These Conditions

First off, you’ll need to make sure that your insurance agent understands as much as possible about your experience with these conditions. The more they understand, the more that they can help you navigate the policies.

You may also be asked to contact your health provider to release documents related to your medical condition. In addition, you may be asked a slew of questions related to your recent mental health history, including questions about prescriptions, your medical record, your ability to function on a daily basis, the frequency with which you experience symptoms of your illness, and recent hospitalization records.

If you can make a case that your symptoms are under control, whether via medication or other methods, then you may not have much a problem acquiring insurance. If you are going through a recovery process and have made positive developments in your health, that recovery narrative may work in your favor as well.

It’s important that you’re as open as possible with your agent during the process. Remember that they are going to be measuring your claims against all of your medical documentation so don’t fabricate claims that aren’t going to hold up. If your assessor finds that you are fabricating evidence or making false claims about your current mental health or history, you may be denied coverage altogether.

Cost and Policy Options According to Levels of Severity

High-severity cases of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are likely to receive a guaranteed-issue with a graded death benefit, no questions asked. This policy costs quite a bit more than most others.

Graded death benefit insurance is the last resort for people who may otherwise have a difficult time getting insured due to their medical health. People suffering from severe mental health conditions should strongly consider this option, even if its premiums are higher because some coverage will be awarded.

Mild-severity cases typically offer a graded death benefit with some questions asked as a part of the assessment process. The cost will be at a median level. Most people opt for this policy if they wish to be transparent about their condition. For low-severity cases, you may be eligible for universal, whole, or term life coverage at a lower cost.