Although marijuana use in any form remains illegal under federal law in the United States, many states have legalized its use for valid medicinal purposes. There are controls in each state that allow medical marijuana use and a list of specific conditions that must be presented before it can be prescribed by a doctor. To find out if your state has legalized medical marijuana and a list of the qualifying conditions, click here for an up-to-date report by state and continue reading to understand life insurance for medical marijuana users.
If you review the states listed, you will find many differences in medical conditions from state to state. For example, the state of Georgia lists only eight qualifying conditions, but the state of Illinois lists 42 conditions that qualify a patient for a prescription.
Although the legal or illegal use of marijuana is debated by states on an annual basis, the federal government still lists it as an illegal substance. What many people do not know, however, is that marijuana use, legal or illegal, is acceptable to many life insurers and that life insurance for medical marijuana users is fairly easy to come by if you use the right agent.
How Life Insurers view Medical Marijuana Use
Although the life insurance industry has a historical record of always falling on the conservative side of underwriting issues, there are several that are taking a more liberal stance, especially when it comes to life insurance for medical marijuana users.
Over the last ten years, underwriters appear to be mostly concerned about age and health conditions than the lifestyle of applicants. Although, it’s important to understand that smoking marijuana and drinking alcoholic beverages are lifestyle choices, using medical marijuana is not.
For the life insurance underwriter, the main concern is why you were prescribed marijuana. It is the underlying medical condition that will concern them the most. For example, if you live in Florida, the only conditions that qualify for a medical marijuana prescription are:
- Chronic seizures
- Chronic muscle spasms
- ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
So then, if you live in Florida and have a prescription for medical marijuana, you will need to be prepared to answer all the underwriter’s questions about one of the above-mentioned health issues.
How Medical Marijuana will Affect Your Rates
As we discussed in a previous section, the medical marijuana has minimal if any impact on your life insurance. The marijuana is simply a drug to treat your underlying health condition and has no more effect on your rates than any other prescribed drug. The nature of your underlying health condition and whether it is considered life threatening will be the determining factor regarding your rates.
If you are going to apply for traditional life insurance and want the lowest rate possible, your best bet is to apply for life insurance that is fully underwritten. This means that you will have to fill out the application and answer all of the medical questions and in most cases, the insurer will require an insurance medical exam that includes blood and urine analysis. This way the insurer is able to get as much information as possible about your health condition and then make a determination on what rate class they can assign.
Typically your underwriter will also order reports from health care providers and any medical facilities you have received treatment at. They will also order some reports from national databases that include the Medical Information Bureau, a prescription drug database, and a motor vehicle report.
Marijuana Friendly Insurance Companies
As mentioned earlier, there are some insurance carriers who have begun taking a more liberal view of applicants that are prescribed medical marijuana. In fact, this same group of companies takes a more liberal view of applicants that use marijuana for recreation. Here is a list of several companies who are offering the most affordable rates:
MetLife, which is highly rated by A.M. Best, is willing to offer non-smoker rates for applicants who smoke marijuana four times a week or less. They are even willing to offer preferred rates for applicants that ingest edibles rather than smoke marijuana. For medical marijuana users, their rates will depend on the nature of the underlying health condition.
Prudential also takes an aggressive stance by allowing applicants who use marijuana less than four times per week get standard non-smoker rates. Agents also report that Prudential is a great carrier for medicinal users who are using marijuana to treat pain and unintentional weight loss.
· United of Omaha
United of Omaha, a Mutual of Omaha company also takes a more liberal view of marijuana use. This highly rated insurer is currently offering infrequent usage of once per week non-smoker rates. Although the insurance carrier does not offer preferred rates to marijuana users, they are still considered to be a great place to obtain affordable insurance rates when marijuana use is a factor.
The Agent You select can help You Save Money
The best route to take in order to get the most affordable rates on your life insurance is to use an independent agent that represents most of the highly-rated insurers. Since an independent agent represents multiple insurers, their allegiance to their clients and prospective clients is more important than the insurance company they recommend to you.
An independent agent has the ability to shop your insurance case with all of their insurers and then select the company that is going to deliver an insurance solution that meets your individual needs and budget. Your independent agent will act as your advocate during the shopping and underwriting process and will be available to help eliminate any roadblocks that you might come up against when purchasing your insurance coverage.