Fresh back from vacation I had to send a potential customer an email explaining that none of the life insurance companies I represent wanted to approve a policy for him. He called a short time later and thanked me for shopping it and then proceeded to eat my face off because I happened to agree with the life insurance company. The difference of opinion was about the use of Naltrexone on a long term basis to control the craving for alcohol. A parallel difference of opinion I might as well bring up so someone else can eat my face off is the long term use of Suboxone as a way to treat addiction to prescription pain medication.

These drugs apparently work, but they are seldom used as a long term addiction crutch. The particular person who wanted to debate the subject yesterday had been on Naltrexone for nearly 10 years. He took the position that it was no different than taking insulin if you have diabetes. If you just stop it will probably kill you and in his case if he quit taking Naltrexone he would go right back to heavy drinking. He didn’t buy anything about my point that type 1 diabetes doesn’t have an alternative treatment, while alcoholism does. An alcoholic can seek treatment and surround themselves with a good support system and while it doesn’t cure the addiction, it can manage it. If a person really pours themselves into a life of being sober, does the 12 steps and attends AA they have at least admitted they have a formidable foe and are willing to stay in the fight for the long haul. On the other hand isn’t that kind of un-American old fashioned to go to all that trouble when you can just take a pill? Heck, maybe someone ought to put the stuff in the US water systems and our country would sober up enough to realize that we are being medically dumbed down and that swirling feeling we keep feeling is our country going down the toilet.

Whoa! Almost got political there. Anyway, life insurance underwriters (and I) see more long term value in addressing addictions by changing lifestyles than by ignoring the addiction by medically hiding from it. Speaking of medically dumbing down here comes Viagra for women. There won’t be any commercial time left on anything for anything other than ED and whatever they will call the female equivalent.

Bottom line. There are legitimate short term uses of Naltrexone and Suboxone and underwriters get that and when you’re done with that chapter, they are interested in approving life insurance, but making a career out of anti-use addiction persuaders is also making a career out of not having life insurance. So shoot me, the messenger that agrees with the message. If you have questions, or would like to know more about life insurance underwriting of successful addiction treatment, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.

 

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