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Believe me I get that we’re all grownups here and ultimately we are, in spite of our doctor’s opinion, in charge of our own health care. Let me share a personal story and then we’ll see how that looks for the rest of you, especially in relation to life insurance and how underwriters view it.

I had an injury about a year ago and about six months ago I was still having some problems with it. Not bad problems. More an annoyance than anything serious. I saw my doctor and he said to take this medication. When I started suffering side effects from the medication he recommended balancing that out with another medication. Before long he had added a third and I was seriously overcome with side effects, so against his wishes I figured out the most prudent way to wean myself off all the drugs and get back to the annoyance I started with. I felt better right away and even though my doctor felt like I did the wrong thing, I continue to feel better and he is no longer my doctor.

So this isn’t a problem for me because I’m not applying for life insurance, but if I was an underwriter would see the situation above as non compliance and could decline the application. They don’t like it when people take their health care out of their doctor’s hands, even though it’s likely they’ve all done it and realize that sometimes it’s the prudent thing to do. So, there’s two ways to handle the whole non compliance issue, one that works well and the other that almost never works.

The route that works well is that of a new doctor with a second opinion or different opinion of what your drug loving doctor offered. The second opinion will lift the non compliance off your back and put you back among us honest people. It works every time. The other route is to get the first doctor to write a note to the underwriter stating that he approves of the changes that you made in spite of the fact that he didn’t recommend the changes. This almost never happens for the simple reason that doctors have a real problem admitting they ever did anything incorrectly. For the sake of life insurance getting approved the second opinion is the smart way to go. By the way, the internet is not going to sway an underwriter as a source of a second opinion.

Bottom line. Don’t get caught going into a life insurance application without thinking this through. Have you left loose ends in some medical record? Think it through because the underwriter will see it and then you’re toast until you do get a second opinion. If you have questions call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.