What are there, 300 million plus a few people in the United States now? And the best guess I found is that 10’s of millions have mood disorders to one degree or another.
Personally I think that may be an understatement. Tens of millions treated and untreated? 1 in 5? 1 in 4? The truth is that if you haven’t already been blessed with a mood disorder our American pace of life coupled with all the scary stuff going on in the world and in our own economy should have you headed in that direction.
When it comes to mood disorders life insurance can present a real challenge. Even though we aren’t much different than 40 or 50 million of our closest friends with stress, anxiety or depression, far too many companies want to whack us like a golf ball into higher rates than we should fairly be paying. This is especially challenging for professionals like physicians, dentists, CPAs and attorneys.
I’ve written in the past about all the physicians I’ve worked with who were rated because they took medication for stress or anxiety during their residency. This is a time when crazy work hours and pressure to get it and get it right make it almost insane not to take medication. Insurance companies using the underwriting bucket method put them in the same category and rate class as someone who was suffering anxiety or depression with no stressful situation. Just the amount of school professionals have to undertake is enough to justify a free subscription to Prozac.
Just so I don’t go and tick off regular folks like myself, the reason this can be more challenging for professionals is due to the amount of insurance they need. When a CEO’s life insurance need is $5, $10, or $20 million or more, the difference between the price of preferred or preferred plus compared to standard could be tens of thousands in premium annually. Just another reason to be stressed out if they don’t use the right agent who uses the right company, a company that uses clinical (common sense) underwriting.
There are a couple of swing issues that a good underwriter looks at when they are underwriting mood disorders. Is it situational? Is it caused by a job (or for too many a lack of a job)? Is it depression brought on by the death of someone close, losing your retirement income or losing your job? Is it anxiety brought on by school or job pressures and stress?
And if it is or was situational, is or did the medication control it or carry you to a point where you no longer needed it? Or if you still take the medication is your life just as stable as someone with no problems at all?
What I’ve run into, especially with physicians life insurance is that they might take something for anxiety during med school and they get whacked by an underwriter 5-10 years later even though they haven’t been on medication for years. Go figure when someone can be on medication for high blood pressure or cholesterol and still get the best rate class. And if they make a lifestyle change and that problem is under control without medication it isn’t even an underwriting consideration anymore.
Bottom line. I just can’t stress enough that using the wrong agent who uses the wrong company can cost you tons of money at a time when no one should be spending more than they need to. If you’ve run into these issues I can help. Call or email me direct. Let’s talk.