If you’re planning on purchasing life insurance and have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you are probably concerned with being approved and the premium. However, purchasing life insurance from a top-rated life insurance company with bipolar disorder is commonly approved and issued at affordable rates.
The premium will depend on several health factors, but you may be surprised by how affordable the premiums are. This is because the life insurance companies have relaxed their underwriting criteria for bipolar disorder.
You may not get approved with preferred rates, but you can still get rates that will be affordable and fit your budget. This holds with any applicant with a medical condition or who has a hazardous occupation or sport.
Table of Contents
- Buying Life Insurance With Bipolar Disorder
- What Is Bipolar Disorder?
- How Do the Insurers View This Condition?
- The Most Important Questions on an Application
- What Life Insurance Companies Should I Consider?
- How Many Types of Bipolar Conditions Are There?
- Frequently Asked Questions Concerning This Condition
- Bipolar Has Become a Common Condition In the U.S.
- Can a Past Suicide Attempt Affect Buying Life Insurance?
- Using an Independent Insurance Agent vs. a Captive Agent
- What Is the Best Way to Apply for Life Insurance?
- What Is a Medical Pre-Screen?
- How Do I Find the Best Rates With Bipolar Disorder?
- In Conclusion
Bipolar disorder affects more than 7 million people in the United States annually. In the past, doctors failed to detect this condition until new research gave them more information and knowledge.
I assume you already understand this condition if you read this blog post. However, if you were recently diagnosed and have minimal experience with it, this description may help you. I have also included a link to the Mayo Clinic for even more information.
Bipolar disorder years ago used to be called manic depression, and it is a mental health condition. This medical condition can cause extreme mood swings from everything, such as emotional highs referred to as mania and lows referred to as a state of depression.
When an individual becomes depressed, they may feel sad or possibly hopeless and lose all interest in almost all of their activities. When your mood shifts to mania or “hypomania,” which is less than mania, you may feel euphoric, full of energy, or even very irritable. These off-the-wall mood swings can affect a person’s sleep, potential energy, activity, judgment, and the ability to think as clearly as usual.
The life insurance carriers always prefer to see an applicant with bipolar condition well managed and under control. They hope to see somewhat of a normal lifestyle where your condition does not have many or severe adverse effects in your everyday life. For example, they would not classify your condition as being under control if you cannot work or drive a car with your situation.
On the other hand, if you are taking medication and it is working well for you, this is a positive sign that you will be accepted with a good health classification.
If you can live everyday life, have a job and even have a social life or marriage, you will be in good shape when you decide to apply for life insurance. This is why it is imperative to ensure your doctor helps you find the best medication to control your medical condition.
There are always quite a few medical questions listed on a life insurance application. However, these will be the most critical questions that will carry the most weight:
- When were you first diagnosed with bipolar disorder?
- What prescription drugs have you been prescribed?
- Have you ever attempted suicide or considered suicide?
- Have you been hospitalized for bipolar?
- Do you see a psychiatric physician regularly?
- Has your condition advanced since your first diagnosis?
- Do you use alcoholic beverages or unprescribed drugs?
There are many excellent companies to consider when applying for life insurance with bipolar disorder. Here are the ones we usually use and have amazing results, especially for people with mental conditions.
You can click on these companies below for more information:
We work with over 40 of the top-rated life insurance companies in America and choose the company we know best fits our applicant.
Choosing the right life insurance company to apply with will be your most important decision when getting the best rates.
There are four types of this bipolar disorder:
Bipolar I – This is a version of the illness where many people have visualized an experience of mania at least one or many times since they were initially diagnosed. About all of the patients in this class have had episodes of mania and also depression. For anyone diagnosed with bipolar 1, their manic episodes must last a minimum of seven days or be hospitalized due to their severity.
Bipolar II – This disorder classification is a combination of depressive episodes that shift back and forth between two versions of depressive episodes but never at a complete manic state. If this sounds confusing, that’s because it is!
Cyclothymic Disorder – This is also known as Cyclothymia which is a time-based, volatile mood where people with this condition have strong moods of depression along with a state of mild depression for at least two years. Cyclothymia patients may have short periods of relaxed attitude but rarely last over two months.
Bipolar Unspecified – When a person does not meet the medical criteria for being diagnosed with bipolar I, II, or Cyclothymia, they are classified as having the unspecified type. Even people diagnosed as Unspecified still can experience abnormal mood elevations.
Many Americans are believed to have bipolar disorder but never see a doctor for a check-up and are never actually diagnosed.
Years ago, doctors did not know how to diagnose people with this condition properly. As a result, many patients were never diagnosed with bipolar disorder when they should have. Did you know that bipolar disorder affects over 7 million Americans every year? It is no longer considered a very high-risk medical condition like it was several years ago.
We work with risky medical conditions daily, and we can see the trend that indicates that life insurance companies are becoming much more liberal with bipolar applicants.
Because it’s so common in the U.S., many insurance companies and agents have experience working with applicants with this disorder. It can also be combined with Anxiety which can be a severe issue just by itself. You need to make sure you use the right company and an independent agent that can shop the market for the lowest rates for bipolar disorder.
These questions and answers will give you a better idea of what the insurance carriers have to know and understand to underwrite an application properly.
1. Can I Get Life Insurance if I Have Bipolar Disorder?
Can someone with bipolar disorder buy life insurance? Just a simple bipolar diagnosis alone will not significantly affect getting approved or declined. However, after you complete an application, the answers to your mental health questions will be the deciding factor, along with a few others, if you can get approved.
Remember that other medical conditions such as your height, weight, and driving record will be deciding factors. Medical records from your doctor’s office and a paramed exam are all entered into the underwriting process.
2. What Is the Life Expectancy of an Individual With This Condition?
The life expectancy of individuals with bipolar disorder has been reported to be reduced by as much as 11 to 20 years. But remember, this information is based on patients aged 15. These numbers will be inaccurate for people diagnosed later in life. Furthermore, every person is different, so it does not make sense to worry about bipolar disorder reducing your lifespan. Many people with this condition lead a perfectly normal life and live to a ripe old age.
3. Can This Mental Health Condition Shorten a Patient’s Life?
Bipolar can shorten a person’s life if the condition becomes severe enough. The reason is if the person lives an unhealthy lifestyle, smokes heavily, consumes a lot of alcohol, or even commits suicide. Living a stressful life can easily shorten one’s life, but this holds if you have bipolar or not.
It usually takes a severe case of bipolar to shorten a person’s life. This is typically the case where the person does not keep their condition under control by seeing a medical professional and not using the needed medication.
4. Can This Mental Illness Advance to Damaging Brain Cells?
Studies have shown that people with bipolar disorder may suffer progressive brain damage through the years of having this condition. Here is an excellent article concerning brain damage that explains this in detail.
5. Does This Condition Get More Severe With Age?
Research has shown that the frequency and severity of bipolar episodes are more evident in older patients with this disorder. The study also indicates that older-aged patients spend less time in manic and hypomanic states of mind. However, as I stated before, everyone is different, so the studies have shown that some people can drastically be different than others.
6. Can Bipolar Be Considered a Mental Disability?
Bipolar can be considered a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a law that you are probably aware of and assists people with disabilities and receive equal employment rights. It is the same as having a condition such as blindness, being deaf, or being paralyzed in a wheelchair. Social Security benefits are also available if you are unable to work.
7. Are You Born With This Condition or Developed After Birth?
Bipolar disorder is a basic rule of thumb often inherited from family members, usually the parents. The genetic factors that account for this are about 85%. Therefore, if one of a person’s parents has bipolar disorder, there is a 15% chance that their offspring will develop the condition also.
8. What Can Usually Trigger Bipolar Disorder?
Such factors that can increase the risk of bipolar disorder include a parent or sibling with this condition, in times of high stress, such as the death of a close family member or a major traumatic event such as a near-death accident.
A common trigger can also be alcohol abuse or the use of illegal hallucinating drugs. Medical science keeps learning more about this condition every year.
9. Is It Possible for This Condition to Advance Into Dementia?
Many test results have found that bipolar disorder significantly increases the risk of dementia in older adults. The test results also indicate that mood disorders are associated with an increased risk of dementia. The new drugs available have proven to help suppress dementia from developing in many people in medical studies.
10. Can My Condition Create a Brain Fog Type Experience?
A brain fog condition can quickly occur with bipolar and is often associated with symptoms such as memory loss, a feeling of being disorganized, having to grope for words, and having learning difficulties. Bipolar brain fog can also be viewed as a form of memory loss that patients experience daily.
11. Can a Person With This Condition Lead a Normal Life?
Even though there is no known cure, many people with this condition lead an everyday life and do very well. Thousands of people with Bipolar have families and responsible occupations. Constant research is constantly being done to improve the medications used for this mental condition.
12. Is This Mental Condition a Biological Disease?
Bipolar disorder is understood to be a biological illness. It is known to be caused by very stressful events in a person’s life. However, the specific causes that trigger this condition are not fully understood. Still, doctors have been making a lot of advancements to the treatment and exact causes that activate this disorder of the mind.
Anytime someone applies for life insurance, and there was a past suicide attempt or even thoughts of attempted suicide, the application is usually declined at this point. Research studies have shown that over 18% of people with bipolar disorder have committed suicide. This rate is over 35 times the rate of suicide for people that do not have bipolar disorder.
Most life insurance policies have an exclusion that will not cover suicide if the suicide occurs within the first two years of the policy period. Suppose you ever have tried to commit suicide. In that case, your application will usually be declined unless you can show that the suicide attempt was due to a highly traumatic situation that has passed and will not occur again.
A past suicide attempt on your medical history will likely trigger a decline in your application. Be truthful with your agent so he knows upfront and can do everything to help you get approved.
Let’s take a close look at these two types of insurance agents:
An independent agent does not work for insurance companies, which is why they are called “independent” agents. They are also known as Brokers and represent all the life insurance companies through licenses and contracts. Independent agents have their clients’ best interests, not insurance companies. Therefore, they can shop the entire market for you to get the lowest rates possible.
A captive agent is the type of agent that works directly with one company and one company only. They have their company’s best interest in mind simply because they have to. They work for their one company, such as State Farm or Farmers insurance. They can shop with one company and not all of the companies like a broker can. This drastically cuts down your odds of getting the lowest premiums.
The bottom line is you will always get the best rates and be able to apply with the best life insurance company for your needs by using an independent agent.
You have three different ways to apply. The first way is to use a paper application which can end up being approximately 30 pages in length (this spells writer’s cramp).
The second way to apply is using a more modern online application method. Even though this way can work out well, you still have to own a computer, have a relatively fast internet connection, and hope there are no time-consuming glitches in the application software. In addition, this will not be an excellent way to apply if you are not computer savvy.
The third and best way to apply is with a telephone application like we use daily. The telephone application is fast and straightforward; you only have to sit back and answer a few questions. This type of application takes about 15 minutes to complete.
A medical pre-screen is designed to analyze the question of what will happen if you apply and what will be the best insurance company for you to use with. Then, you complete a simple form that will ask some basic questions. These questions will relate to your health history, height, and weight, along with a few other questions.
We would then go over the form so we can choose the best company for you to apply with and eliminate any application problems before going into the formal application itself. It saves a lot of time, can save you money, and smooth the application process.
A ten-minute pre-screen can help you apply with the most applicable carrier saving you premium dollars and helping ensure you get your application approved.
Usually, I would tell you to activate our website quoting system and compare the rates from over 40 companies or call us, and we will give you a premium quote over the telephone. With bipolar, there are too many variables to consider. You would need to complete our pre-screen form, and then we can contact you with a few general questions.
At that point, we would have you submit an application with the most applicable insurer and then allow the carrier to begin their application process.
There is no cost for an application; this is the only way you will get any solid answers concerning acceptance or premium cost factors. Today’s application process is simple and fast; your agent does about 90% of the work. All you have to do is answer the initial questions on the telephone application.
If you are planning on purchasing life insurance and the idea of having bipolar disorder has you worried, don’t give it another thought. We work with all forms of risky health conditions every day. Contact us today, and we will answer your questions and remove all the guesswork you may have.
In addition, we will provide you with life insurance quotes from all the most competitive companies chosen explicitly for you and your budget. We are here to help you seven days a week.
All the best,
If you have questions about life insurance with bipolar disorder, contact us today and let us help you with no cost or obligation. We are brokers and work for our clients, not for insurance companies. Our job is to help you get approved for the best policy with the lowest rates. You can also set up a specific time to get all your questions answered.