January 17, 2018
The latest research from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that in 2016, 20.1 million people over the age of 12 suffered from a substance abuse disorder. Of these people, 7.4 million abused illicit drugs, and 15.1 abused alcohol. The good news is that many of those suffering from addiction seek treatment to end their condition – and with the right help, recovery is possible.
Yet what happens if you’ve successfully broken the cycle of substance abuse, you’ve taken control of your life and you want to purchase life insurance? After all, insurers are free to ask questions about past alcohol and drug use; plus, they review your medical history. Since you should never answer any of these questions dishonestly, you might be intimidated or even ready to give up on the idea of getting life insurance. But don’t give up — after all, you overcame addiction, so you can do this too. Here’s what insurers will want to know:
• How long have you been in recovery? You need to be in recovery for at least 24 months with no relapses to be considered for a life insurance policy. Moreover, if you still abuse alcohol or drugs, you will be declined.
• What type of substance(s) did you abuse? Did you smoke marijuana, or did you use opioids intravenously? Did you abuse multiple substances at the same time? Certain substances are generally considered more harmful than others, as is the combination of multiple substances such as alcohol together with opioids.
• How long did your substance abuse last? The longer it lasted, the more likely you are to have suffered long-term health effects.
• How many times have you been in recovery, and how long were the periods between relapses? This gives an indication of the likelihood of a relapse, which would terminate your insurance. If you have a support plan that you stick to, such as individual or group therapy, Narcotics Anonymous, or Alcoholics Anonymous, that’s a plus.
• Do you struggle with mental health issues? Many people who suffer from substance abuse disorder also live with mental health issues. This can make you a higher risk to insurers.
• Did your substance abuse cause physical complications? Substance abuse can cause heart problems, cancer and other long-term health effects.
• What is your current condition? Now you’ve been in recovery for a while, insurers will want to know how healthy you are. They’ll assess your current physical and mental health and review any treatment plans you’re on.
Insurers need all of this information to determine how much of an insurance risk you are. You absolutely have to answer their questions honestly. Based on their assessment, you’ll be assigned a classification that’s either Substandard, Standard, Standard Plus, Preferred or Preferred Plus. The lower your classification, the more of a risk you are, so the higher your premiums will be. On the other hand, the longer you’ve been in recovery and the better your overall health, the more likely you are to be assigned a classification that offers more affordable coverage such as Standard Plus or Preferred.
Rest assured: With the right support, you can find a life insurance policy that matches your needs and your budget. Contact Liberty Financial Group for personalized assistance from an independent life insurance agent today!
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