Depression affects many Americans and their families, and it is not uncommon for someone with depression to also suffer from anxiety as they seem to go hand in hand. According to the Mayo Clinic, depression is considered a mood disorder that typically causes a continuous feeling of sadness and lack of interest. The good news is that many applicants can buy affordable life insurance with depression.
Also referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, it is believed by the medical community that depression affects how you feel, behave and think and can lead to various emotional and physical problems. People suffering from depression generally have problems with normal day-to-day activities, and often feel that life isn’t worth the trouble of living.
Contrary to popular belief by many, depression is not having the blues, it’s not a weakness that you should just snap out of, it can typically require long-term treatment to overcome. Fortunately, most people who suffer from depression will feel better after being treated with the appropriate medical treatment. There are also many natural remedies available today.
Symptoms of Depression
Even though for most people that have experienced symptoms of depression at least once in their lifetime, most will typically experience multiple episodes which will occur most of the day and sometimes every day. The symptoms associated with depression usually include:
- Feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and emptiness
- Outbursts of anger, frustrations, irritability, even caused by small issues
- Loss of pleasure and lack of interest in normal day-to-day activities
- Insomnia or disturbed sleep, and even sleeping too much
- Severe lack of energy of constantly feeling tired
- Unintentional weight loss and unintentional weight gain
- Agitation, restlessness, and anxiety
- Difficulty in concentrating, speaking, and even body movements
- Recurring thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, or attempts at suicide
- Unexplained physical problems such as headaches and neck and back pain
For most people dealing with depression, the symptoms are likely severe enough to interfere with work, family responsibilities, and day-to-day activities and are noticeable by others. Many patients have reported feelings of misery and unhappiness without knowing why.
What an Insurer Will Look For
When your life insurance underwriter becomes aware that you have been treated for depression or anxiety, or both, they will want additional information to the health questions on the application. They will specifically be interested in the following:
>> When were you diagnosed and how old were you?
>> How long since your diagnosis?
>> What was the duration of your depression and how severe was it?
>> How many episodes did you have per year and how severe were they?
>> What meds were you prescribed and did you comply with taking them?
>> Do you or did you require frequent changes in medication?
>> Did you have thoughts of suicide or attempt suicide?
>> Were you hospitalized or did you go to the emergency room as a result of your depression?
>> Do you have any concurring disorders such as PTSD or anxiety?
>> Did you self-medicate with alcohol or drugs not prescribed by a doctor?
>> Are you disabled as a result of depression?
>> Do you have any other health issues?
Preparing for Your Insurance Application
There are various steps you can take in advance of your application that will prepare you before you apply for insurance. Taking these steps will put you in a better position of getting the best rate class available.
- Have all doctors’ contact information available.
- Make sure your doctor has all the reports that will be requested by the underwriter.
- Prepare a list of all prescribed medications and their dosages.
- Make certain that your cause of depression is documented in your medical records.
- If your meds or dosages were changed during treatment, make sure the reasons behind the changes are documented.
- Make certain that you follow through with any follow-up visits with your doctor.
How Your Depression Will Affect Your Rates
Your insurance rates will be based on the health classification you are assigned after a complete underwriting review of your medical history. Your outcome can be affected by the medications you were prescribed, your commitment to taking your doctor’s advice and completing follow-up visits. It can also be affected by suicide attempts and evidence of self-medication such as alcohol and drug abuse.
Over time, we have found that the best outcomes are generally because the depression was considered mild and situational and the patient has fully recovered. Patients who learned they were also suffering from PTSD and anxiety which is generally accompanied by high blood pressure generally are rated sub-standard and are charged a higher rate.
Other applicants that were diagnosed with Chronic Depression and had attempted suicide or have been hospitalized or had to visit the ER as a result of their depression within the past two years will likely be declined coverage.
If You are Declined
The good news is that there are alternative life insurance products that are available without regard to your medical history. These life insurance policies, known as guaranteed issue life insurance, contain no questions about your health and do not require you to undergo a medical exam. There are a few caveats that you should consider, but in every case, a guaranteed issue life insurance policy is better than having no life insurance at all.
Guaranteed Issue Life InsuranceYour policy will contain a maximum death benefit of $25,000 to $30,000 depending on your age. The policy will have a waiting period of two or three years where the insurer will not pay the full death benefit if you die from natural causes. Most companies will pay a modified benefit that is equal to the premiums you’ve paid in plus an additional five or ten percent. Since you insurer is accepting an unknown medical risk, the insurer will charge a much higher rate than traditional life insurance.
Get In Touch
To get more information about purchasing life insurance with severe medical conditions, contact an insurance professional at LifeInsure.Com today at (866) 691-0100 during normal business hours, or you can contact us through our website 24/7.