Like most health conditions, depression is monitored by the severity of one’s symptoms as it can lead to serious accidents and even suicide due to medication side affects. While your physical health can play a major role in how life insurance premiums will be rated, your mental health can also create a difference in premiums.
Depression due to grief that is mild – without suicide attempts or substance abuse problems – generally will offer a standard rate and may even reach a preferred rating, if the depression does not last. Disorders that are successfully treated will also fall under a standard rate category but again depends greatly on the severity of the condition. If depression lasts for months and feelings are interfering with daily activities, then a medical evaluation is recommended.
Depression falls under three categories according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:
1. Major depression generally lasts for a two week period.
2. Persistent depressive disorder usually continues for at least two years, though usually less severe than major depression.
3. Bipolar disorder, once called manic depression, which is characterized by a mood cycle that shifts from highs to lows.
Underwriters ask the following to determine eligibility for insurance and rates if evaluating for types of depressions:
· When were you were diagnosed with depression?
· How long you have been depressed and how severe are your symptoms?
· Are you taking anti-depressant medication?
· Is the medication effective in treating your condition?
· How often have you changed medications or remained on the same medication?
· Have you been hospitalized for depression and how long?
· Have any suicide attempts been reported or documented?
· Are you classified as disabled due to mental disorders?
· Are there alcohol and drug abuse problems in the past?
· What other medical conditions are present?
Nearly one in 10 US adults have reported depression issues, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly one half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder though anxiety disorders are different and there is no evidence that one disorder causes another.
Women are also more likely to suffer than men but if treated successfully without other health complications, buying life insurance should be affordable. Long hospitalizations and time spent in mental institutions can also create cause for concern and raise premiums. The underwriters look for assurance that the condition is being controlled by therapy and medication but taking too many medications can also affect your premiums.
The most important aspect in the buying process of life insurance is being honest with a trusted industry specialist regardless of any health risks. Hiding your depression will just create more problems since medical records are so easily obtainable and generally a paramed exam is required for better rates. Guaranteed life insurance may be another area to research that offers the opportunity to apply for a policy with few medical questions and no exam.
What underwriters are always looking for is that is you are following your doctor’s orders, your medication has improved your symptoms and you are living a healthy lifestyle.