Can Marijuana Users Get Life Insurance?
There are many misconceptions regarding the use of marijuana and whether marijuana users can get life insurance. In most cases, you can attribute these misconceptions to the fact that marijuana is still considered illegal under federal law.
The bottom line for marijuana users is that no matter where you live and whether your state has legalized marijuana use, you are still eligible to purchase life insurance. How much you will have to pay is the more important question that we will discuss in this article.
Misconceptions about Your Legal Rights
Many consumers who smoke marijuana recreationally or use it for medicinal purposes are under the misconception that they may be reported for admitting to their usage. This is a misconception that can be addressed based on the laws in our country.
HIPPA laws strictly forbid insurance agents and companies from sharing personal and medical information about any client or prospective client. The HIPPA laws are strictly enforced by the United States Office of Civil Rights that guarantees your privacy regarding identifiable health information. Your private medical information cannot be shared with any agency including your employer or any other government agency.
Misconceptions about Your Application
Many marijuana users falsely believe that the moment they admit to using a drug deemed illegal under federal law, their policy will be flatly declined. Such is simply not the case. Over the last decade, more than 50 percent of U.S. states have legalized marijuana use in some form or another. Previously ultra-conservative insurance underwriters are now taking a second look and many of them appear to be more liberal when it comes to marijuana. Do not be mistaken, however, all drug abuse will result in an application being declined, but the bottom line is marijuana users can get life insurance.
Misconceptions about Life Insurance Medical Exams
Not every insurer will require you to undergo a medical exam when you apply for life insurance. The companies that will offer the lowest rates will require an exam because their particular policies are fully underwritten so the underwriters will have all the pertinent information required to make an informed decision about their risk of insuring you.
There are many insurance companies, however, that offer no-exam life insurance at a higher rate, but still considered affordable compared to the risk they are taking. There are many people who prefer to forgo a medical exam because of various situations.
- They need insurance quickly because of a divorce decree or bank loan requirement.
- They have an intense fear of medical providers and blood tests.
- They prefer not to have a medical exam as part of their record.
- They may be using other drugs and are unwilling to disclose them.
Whatever your reason for preferring not to take a medical exam, there are many companies willing to offer coverage. Yes, you will pay more since the insurance company is entitled to charge more for the higher risk they are taking for offering you the policy.
Will Life Insurance Cost More since Marijuana is Illegal in My State?
The misconception that you’ll pay an arm and a leg for life insurance because you use marijuana is very typical when in fact, it’s simply not true. For example, if you have a prescription for medical marijuana, the insurance company considers it like any other drug and will be more concerned about the illness or disease it is being used to treat.
Even if you smoke marijuana frequently, most insurers will treat you the same as a tobacco smoker and rate your policy accordingly. As a matter of fact, some insurers will offer a non-smoker rate for minimal marijuana use if you do not smoke any tobacco products.
Recreational Use versus Medical Use
Recognizing that many states have begun to allow heath practitioners to prescribe medical marijuana to treat symptoms associated with various illnesses and diseases, the applicant should understand that the underwriters are going to want information about the illness or disease that is the underlying reason for the prescription. Medical marijuana is typically prescribed to reduce or eliminate pain and to help with patients who experience severe weight loss due to constant nausea that may or may not being caused by other medications.
The applicant should be prepared to provide doctor and clinic information so that the underwriter can request medical records relating to the condition being treated. They certainly understand that medical marijuana can be used for relieving headache pain, but their interest lies in the medical condition causing the headaches.
The life insurance industry has also started taking a more liberal stance on marijuana smoking. Some will automatically rate you as a smoker, especially if you smoke tobacco products as well, but some consider the infrequent use of recreational marijuana a non-issue and will offer non-smoker or even preferred rates. Those applicants who ingest edibles are typically offered preferred rates if there are no health issues found on the application. The deciding factors about marijuana use are why you use it, how you use it, and how much or how frequently it’s used.
What’s the Best Method for Getting the Best Rates?
Marijuana users who are looking to purchase life insurance should always contact an independent broker to help them navigate the life insurance shopping process. Agents are paid by the insurer and therefore no out-of-pocket costs are borne by the applicant. Your independent agent will typically represent all of the highly-rated carriers and should be considered your one-stop resource for getting the most affordable rates.