Learn and Plan | Can I get life insurance if I’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness?
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Can I get life insurance if I’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness?

Apr 25, 2024, 6:33:16 PM | Reading Time: 4 minutes

One in five people in the U.S. live with a mental health condition; potentially affecting their social, work, and family life. For those who have a mental health condition, they may be worried the diagnosis will make it more challenging to get life insurance coverage. Thankfully, it is still possible to qualify for a policy and put valuable financial protection in place.

Can I get life insurance if I've been diagnosed with a mental illness?

Can you be denied life insurance due to mental health?

It is possible for a life insurance company to deny coverage due to an ongoing mental health condition, but the decision is typically made after a thorough review of an applicant’s medical history and details about the condition. A mental illness does not automatically disqualify a person from life insurance eligibility. Since every insurance company has their own underwriting guidelines, it can be helpful to speak with a financial professional to navigate the rules and find which coverage may be a good fit.

What can disqualify someone from getting life insurance?

When an insurance company receives an application, underwriters will typically review a person’s age, gender, medical history, and lifestyle to determine their risk category. An individual could be denied life insurance coverage or have a higher premium for coverage if they are considered high risk. Factors may include having a risky occupation or hobby or being diagnosed with a certain medical condition, which may deem an applicant as too high a risk for an insurance company to insure.

Can I get life insurance if I have a mental illness?

For individuals living with a mental health condition, life insurance may be available, however options may be limited depending on if the condition is managed and the applicant is under supervised medical care. Depending on the type of coverage, the application process may include a medical exam and a questionnaire about medical history.

Can I get life insurance if I’m on antidepressants?

Medications like antidepressants are a commonly prescribed solution to treat various mental health conditions. Life insurance companies typically will approve coverage for those with a mental illness taking prescribed medication, but it’s a good idea to consult with a financial professional first to find a policy that meets personal needs and budget.

“Life insurance is crucial for so many people. It’s important not to let the fear of being turned down keep you from applying,” said Chris Regione, chief underwriter. “We insure many clients that have been diagnosed with a mental illness. We look at diagnosis, severity, and type of treatment. Mental illness is one of many factors that goes into underwriting for life insurance, so it isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker.”

Should I disclose my mental health on a life insurance application?

When applying for life insurance, it’s extremely important to be honest about all personal details and medical history. Failing to disclose a pre-existing condition could result in a request being rejected, or if coverage is in place, the policy could be cancelled or there may be issues if a claim is filed. This can also be considered insurance fraud and may make it difficult to get approved for life insurance in the future.

An insurance company may ask for specific information, including:

  •  The name and severity of the condition
  •  Treatment plan and medications
  •  Date of diagnosis
  •  Severity of symptoms
  •  How condition affects everyday life
  •  History of self-harm

Mental illness that may impact life insurance coverage

Mental health conditions that can impact life insurance eligibility may vary depending on the insurer. Common mental health issues include:

  •  Depression o Anxiety
  •  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  •  Bipolar disorder o Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  •  Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  •  Schizophrenia
  •  Borderline personality disorder

If someone has been diagnosed with a mental health condition, they should not be discouraged from applying for life insurance coverage. Insurance companies will likely want to learn more about the condition, the current treatment plan, whether treatment is effective, and if the person is able to maintain employment, independence, and a quality of life.

Since many mental health conditions can be managed successfully, several insurers offer life insurance options for those seeking coverage. Options may include a term life policy offering protection for a set period of time or a permanent life option that offers coverage for the rest of a person’s life. Talking to a financial professional can help you explore possible options and find the coverage that is right for you and your loved ones.

The term financial professional is not intended to imply engagement in an advisory business in which compensation is not related to sales. Financial professionals that are insurance licensed will be paid a commission on the sale of an insurance product.