How to Obtain Affordable Life Insurance with Bipolar Disorder
Finding an affordable life insurance policy with bipolar disorder may seem like an impossible task, but there is hope.
Every life insurance company sets its own approval guidelines, and some insurers are more lenient with applicants who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder than others.
Applying with the right insurer could save you money and prevent your application from being declined.
To help you get started, we’ve explained what the insurance companies will consider when reviewing your application and provided some sample rates by age to help you estimate the cost of your coverage.
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
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What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a very common mood disorder that effects more than 3,000,000 Americans each year. Many Hollywood personalities including Mariah Carey, Demi Lovato, and Jean-Claude Van Damme have been diagnosed as bipolar. Rapper Kanye West made headlines when he referred to his bipolar disorder as a superpower in 2019.
The effects of bipolar disorder can vary, but they are often described as feeling dramatic shifts in one’s mood. Shifting back and forth from periods of extreme happiness to deep depression, without any real reason. The tragic news of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade's deaths and Demi Lovato’s recent overdose have brought national attention to how serious the condition can be.
While some individuals can control their bipolar disorder easily with therapy and medication, the symptoms are much more severe for others. Many patients require ongoing supportive care from a psychiatrist, and some even require periodic hospitalizations when their symptoms become unmanageable or overbearing.
While they share some symptoms, bipolar disorder should not be confused with schizophrenia or psychosis, which are less common and usually require more treatment.
Sample Rates by Age for Bipolar Applicants
If your bipolar disorder is mild or well-managed with medication, it won’t have much of an impact on your life insurance rates if you apply with the right company. As an example, one of the more lenient companies we work with, A+ rated Banner Life, has offered some of our otherwise healthy bipolar applicants a “standard plus” rate class.
With most of the more lenient insurance companies, however, the fourth risk class, or “standard,” is the best rate class available to applicants with bipolar disorder. The standard rate class is also the most common rate class in the industry, and it is offered to qualifying applicants who are in average health for their age.
In the table below, we’ve displayed some sample rates by age for an applicant with mild or well-managed bipolar disorder to help you estimate the cost of your coverage.
Sample Rates for an Applicant with Bipolar Disorder ($500,000, 10-Year Term)
*Displayed monthly rates are for illustrative purposes only and are accurate as of 06/30/2022.
To obtain an accurate quote based on your age and health profile, please give us a call to speak with one of our expert agents. In just a few minutes we’ll be able to compare rates from dozens of highly-rated insurers to make sure you are matched with the best options available. Toll-Free: 855-247-9555.
If you collect social security disability for your bipolar disorder, unfortunately, term life insurance is probably not available to you, but if you are over the age of 50, you may qualify for guaranteed issue life insurance with no questions asked. To learn more about guaranteed issue insurance, please see our article, “What is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance?”
What Could Cause My Application to Get Denied?
If your bipolar disorder is well-managed and does not prevent you from working, it shouldn’t prevent you from qualifying for an affordable life insurance policy. When you apply for coverage, the insurance company will review your medical records to determine the severity of your symptoms and to see how often you are following up with your doctor.
Here are some additional questions your licensed agent will probably ask you to make sure you can qualify for a fully-underwritten policy with immediate coverage:
Are you taking any medications to control your symptoms?
Taking a preventative medication to control a condition like bipolar disorder is perfectly fine with most insurance companies. However, prolonged use of some antipsychotic medications could cause concern with some insurers.
We recommend having a list or your prescriptions handy when calling to speak with an agent. This will help them determine your best options for obtaining affordable coverage.
Have your medications changed in the last two years?
Sudden changes in your medication or the volume of your doses could indicate that you are not responding well to treatment. Insurers are more lenient with applicants whose symptoms are considered well-managed and stable.
When speaking to an insurance agent, we always recommend having a list of your current prescriptions available. This can prevent you from applying with the wrong company and possibly being declined.
Have you ever been hospitalized for bipolar disorder?
If you have been hospitalized in the last two years for symptoms for your bipolar disorder, most insurance companies will automatically turn down your application. Frequent hospitalizations are an indication that your bipolar symptoms are not well-managed, and this is red flag for insurance companies.
Have you been diagnosed with other mental health issues?
If you have multiple mental health issues, getting approved for life insurance will be a challenge. We’ve helped thousands of clients who treat anxiety and depression, but if you are treating your bipolar disorder and another mental health issue, traditional life insurance may not be available.
Have you ever attempted suicide or do your medical records show suicidal ideation?
Suicidal ideations or attempts in your medical record are an automatic decline with almost every life insurance company. The life insurance companies do not want to take the chance of having to pay a claim to someone who has previously attempted take their own life.
If your suicidal ideations or attempts were more than five years ago, you may be able to secure coverage with a few companies if your condition has stabilized, and doesn’t prevent you from working.
Do you have a history of substance abuse of Alcoholism?
If you have a history of substance abuse or alcoholism, the life insurance companies will probably postpone your application for at least five years since you stopped using. The life insurance companies will not risk insuring someone who has a high probability of overdosing on any controlled substance.
Does your bipolar disorder prevent you from working?
Unfortunately, if you are collecting social security disability for bipolar disorder, we are unable to offer you term life insurance, however, you may qualify for up to $25,000 of guaranteed issue life insurance depending on your age.
We Can Help You Find the Right Policy
Every life insurance company sets its own approval guidelines, and some companies are more lenient with applicants who have diagnosed with bipolar disorder than others. By having access to each insurer’s underwriting guidelines, we’re able to match our clients with the company that is the best fit for their unique health profile.
By working with 63 top-rated life insurance companies, we’ve routinely saved our clients 30% or more on the cost of their policy. Most importantly, our shopping services are completely free, and we are licensed to sell life insurance in all 50 states.
If you would like to learn more about your options for affordable life insurance protection, or if you have questions, please call us toll-free at 855-247-9555. You can request an instant online quote below to compare rates and coverage options from dozens of highly-rated insurers in less than a minute.
Managing Partner and Co-founder
Cliff is a licensed life insurance agent and one of the owners of JRC Insurance Group. He has helped thousands of families of businesses with their life insurance needs since 2012 and specializes with applicants who are less than perfect health. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and the great outdoors.
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