It’s December and it’s been an outstanding year in helping those with bipolar disorder find the life insurance they need at affordable prices. Most of our successes have been snatched from the jaws of defeat that other companies have held our clients in. Most have been declined at least a few times before they find out that not all companies underwrite the same.

I’ve often shared the basic criteria it takes to get approved for life insurance if you are bipolar. It doesn’t work with just any company, but independent agents should have access to enough companies that, given the right criteria, an approval should be within reach.

1. Someone who has not been hospitalized for bipolar disorder other than for diagnosis?
2. Someone who has not attempted suicide or had bouts with suicidal ideations?
3. Someone who is compliant with their treatment, both medications and regular followups?
4. Someone who is leading a stable family life or social life?
5. Someone who is exhibiting a stable work life?
6. Someone who is not on disability for bipolar and does not have issues with drinking or drugs? If there’s a problem here, then the answers to 3, 4 and 5 are no.
7. Preferably someone who is not on anti psychotic drugs, although this isn’t set in stone.

We just an approval, a very good one, on a client and without using his name I believe he would be ok with me sharing what his psychiatrist said about him. It really typifies what you would find in a person’s records if they were tracking with the criteria above.

“I have seen the patient on a once a week basis since 2006. During this time period the patient has been stable and has functioned at a high level in his work. He is seeking new opportunities for expanding his knowledge and plans to work toward self employment.

The patient has not suffered any manic, hypo-manic or depressed periods during my time with him. He takes Depakote (mood stabilization) which has controlled his BPAD and he is compliant with taking medication. In other words, his BPAD has been well controlled, especially given the stresses of his job and additional education.

The patient’s mental status examinations have been consistent. He is early for his appointments, well motivated, well groomed, cooperative and pleasant. He has always been oriented to time, place, person and situation. His speech is of normal rate, tone and prosody. His mood is usually euthymic, with some degree of anxiety and sadness at times. The patient has never manifested suicidal or homicidal ideation. He has never been delusional nor experienced auditory or visual hallucinations. His concentration and memory have always been intact. His judgment and insight are good.”

I know there are plenty out there that think that these thoughts would apply to maybe 1 in 1000 of those with bipolar disorder and while this client is certainly a model to shoot for, he is just one of an astounding number of professionals who just also happen to have bipolar disorder.

The reason people (and underwriters) have negative thoughts about bipolar is that there are so many with the disorder who simply go unnoticed because they have milder cases and take their treatment seriously. You wouldn’t know they were bipolar unless they told you. For these people life insurance is only an obstacle if they pick the wrong agent who picks the wrong company.

Bottom line. One of the things that has really stood out about this past year is the number of CEO’s, doctors, dentists, psychiatrists and other professionals who have trusted in us to give the life insurance experience one more try and with almost all we have been successful.