I’m as guilty as anyone on this. I go to the doctor and they tell me what’s wrong and what to do about it. I go home and decide that either I’ve got a better idea or at least a cheaper one, so I modify the treatment plan and go on with life.

There’s a lot of times that works out. A person might have borderline diabetes and the doctor might prescribe medication. They go home and decide that the $100 a month medication can easily be replaced by free diet and exercise. Their glucose levels come back down to normal and all is well……until they apply for life insurance!

When the underwriters see medical records with a prescribed treatment plan that hasn’t been followed and hasn’t been discussed with the doctor, there’s a problem. Now, if you discussed with the doctor trying diet and exercise before medication then underwriting life is good. It’s all about including the doctor.

I am currently working on quotes for a guy who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his teens. After a few years he moved, quit the medications and started seeing a different therapist. He hasn’t had any problems since and is leading a normal, productive, non medicated life. I can tell you without having received the quotes that several companies will take exception to the fact that he quit the medication on his own after, whether it was right or wrong, having been diagnosed bipolar. My hope is that some will look beyond that original diagnosis and underwrite him based on more recent history.

Bottom line. If you disagree with your doctor on a treatment program, have a talk with them and let them know you would like to try a different route. If they don’t agree, second opinions are never a bad idea. If you can’t find anyone that agrees with your plan of attack and is willing to back it up by blessing it in their records, you are liable to hit bumps when you apply for life insurance.