Last Updated: May 2020
Securing affordable life insurance with Bipolar Disorder has come a long way in the last decade.
While it is still considered high-risk life insurance, life insurance companies have become much more relaxed and capable of providing affordable life insurance coverage for individuals with bipolar disorder.
In this article, we’ll cover the following topics as they relate to buying life insurance with Bipolar Disorder:
- What is Bipolar Disorder And Why It Impacts Life Insurance
- Life Insurance and Bipolar Disorder
- Possible Causes of Bipolar Disorder
- Next Steps for Obtaining Life Insurance Coverage With Bi-Polar Disorder
What is Bipolar Disorder And Why It Impacts Life Insurance
By definition, Bipolar Disorder is considered a mental illness and is a brain disorder that causes significant changes in mood, activity levels, and the ability to carry on daily activities.
It is a common illness that affects more than three million people in the United States per year and millions more around the world.
Until recently though, Bipolar Disorder was viewed as a much more serious medical issue than previously thought. Now, it is perfectly possible for someone who is Bipolar to receive whole or term coverage at very reasonable rates.
While there is still a risk for the insurance companies, they now have a much better understanding of what that risk actually is, compared to what they believed it may have been not so long ago.
In fact, when we work with clients who have Bipolar Disorder, we can be confident the offers they receive will be favorable, provided they don’t have any other major medical issues.
Life Insurance and Bipolar Disorder
Life insurance underwriting has made big leaps in understanding Bipolar Disorder.
Underwriters can now differentiate between individuals diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder who have it under control, those who don’t have it under control, as well as those who have a more severe medical illness.
When assessing the level of risk, there are many things that come into play.
The first thing most underwriters will do is assess what level of Bipolar Disorder you have. The different levels according to life insurance underwriters are:
Mild Bipolar Disorder – Underwriters consider individuals who have had no lost time from work, no suicide attempts or hospitalizations, are well controlled using a medication, and have a solid support network in place, to be at the Mild Bipolar Disorder level. You can expect “Standard” life insurance rates.
Moderate Bipolar Disorder – Those with Moderate Bipolar Disorder will have lost no more than one month of time at work, no hospitalizations in the last two years, and no suicide attempts in the past two years. They may have some mood change history due to medications and a good support network. You’re looking at a Table 2-Table 8 rating depending on your unique case. If you’re not sure what these table ratings mean, please give us a call for an accurate quote.
Severe Bipolar Disorder – Those who have Severe Bipolar Disorder will have had a significant amount of lost time from work, have a history of dangerous behavior during manic periods, suicide attempts and hospitalizations, are on major medications, and lack of a support network. You’ll likely qualify for a “graded” death benefit policy which is more expensive than traditional coverage and has a two-year waiting period before full benefits can be received. Please call us for quotes on these if you’re interested.
Applicants will also be classified as Type 1 or Type 2, with Type 1 specifying patients who have had at least one manic episode and may or may not have had depressive episodes.
Type 2 means having had at least one hypomanic episode, which is similar to manic episodes but is shorter in duration.
Possible Causes of Bipolar Disorder
Scientists believe that there is no one single cause of Bipolar Disorder, but that it may be caused by many different factors working together. These include:
Family History – Bipolar Disorder typically runs in families. Individuals who have a parent or sibling who has Bipolar Disorder are far more likely to also have Bipolar Disorder themselves.
Genetics – It is still too early to know exactly how our genetics play a role in mental illness, but geneticists have recently linked certain genes to Bipolar Disorder.
Brain Structure – Recent studies have shown that people with Bipolar Disorder have brains that are different than people who don’t suffer from Bipolar Disorder.
Hormones – Doctors are unclear whether a hormone imbalance may be the cause of Bipolar Disorder, or just cause an episode.
Environment – As is the case with hormones, abuse, and/or severe stress may cause Bipolar Disorder or an episode.
Common Medications Used to Treat Bipolar Disorder And The Impacts on Life Insurance
You will also be underwritten on your treatment and the medications you are taking. Some of the usual medications include:
- Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
- Risperidone (Risperdal)
- Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
- Quetiapine (Seroquel)
- Ziprasidone (Geodon)
- Aripiprazole (Abilify)
- Paliperidone (Invega)
- Lurasidone (Latuda)
- Haloperidol (Haldol)
Some patients in the past may have been misdiagnosed as having depression, and been prescribed the wrong medications to treat depression rather than Bipolar Disorder. If that is the case, make sure to explain this to your underwriter.
They have experience with this very problem and can accommodate this accordingly.
One of the biggest questions we receive from clients is what kind of quotes they can receive for coverage with Bipolar Disorder.
While we have secured preferred rate classes for those with mild Bipolar Disorder in the past, your case is unique and your rate will be entirely dependent on the severity of your Bipolar Disorder.
Our agents work with clients with Bipolar regularly, so we are more than experienced helping people with Bipolar Disorder with finding affordable rates.
If you’ve been worried about your ability to get life insurance because of your Bipolar Disorder, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more help with our guaranteed acceptance life insurance options.
There’s no reason having Bipolar Disorder should exclude you from obtaining life insurance.
No matter the amount of insurance coverage you are needing, even a million-dollar policy, we can help.
Next Steps for Obtaining Life Insurance Coverage With Bi-Polar Disorder
Life insurance with bipolar disorder is absolutely possible and not something that you should hesitate to move forward with.
In fact, depending on the circumstances, extremely affordable coverage is available.
We can help you find an insurance company that best fits your individual needs.
We have reviews on some companies such as our AARP Life Insurance Review.
Reading independent and unbiased reviews of several companies and comparing all options is the best course of action towards obtaining the lowest rates and the best overall chances of being approved for coverage with bi-polar disorder.
We are happy to help.
- Complete the quote form to the right of this article OR
- Complete this contact form OR
- Call us at (888) 430-7668