There is an opiate crisis in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in the last year, opioid overdoses increased by 30 percent overall. The CDC also reported that 115 Americans die per day from opioid overdose.
Opioids are often prescribed by doctors for pain management. Unfortunately, with regular use, the body becomes quickly tolerant of these drugs, which means you will need more and more of the drug to feel the same affects. They are also highly addictive.
Common opioids include:
It’s possible to be approved for life insurance if you are currently using prescribed opioids for treatment, but just be aware that your premiums will reflect the risk.
Can I buy life insurance with opioid use?
The mortality risk for prescribed opioid use is less than that for illegal opiate users, but there is still a significant risk.
Life insurance underwriters are going to take a close look at the following:
- The quantity of opioid ingested
- The stability of the dose
- Is there drug or alcohol abuse history
- Are there are other medications being taken (e.g. antidepressant)
Can I buy life insurance with a history of opioid abuse?
Yes. Drug abuse in your past does not mean you cannot buy life insurance in the present. Some applicants may even be offered a preferred risk class. A preferred risk class means it’s better than the standard, or average, risk.
To be considered for preferred, life insurance companies will want to see the following:
- No current drug use
- No drug abuse in the last 10 years
- No evidence of complications related to drug use
- No residual medical or psychiatric disorders
- No history of drug trafficking
These factors would be evaluated in addition to other typical risk factors such as family health history and your occupation.
» Learn more: What Are the Risk Factors that Affect Buying Life Insurance?
If you don’t meet the above criteria, you may still be approved for coverage, just not at preferred ratings. To be considered for coverage, in general, below are some favorable factors life insurance companies would like to see:
- The drug abuse began later on (versus early age onset prior to age 20)
- It was for a short duration (less than two years)
- No family history of drug abuse
- No prior history of drug or alcohol treatment
- No social interaction with individuals associated with drug use
- No criminal history
- No indication of thrill-seeking hobbies
- History of only a single drug abuse
- Financial stability and employment
- Occupation does not provide easy access to drugs
- Actively involved in a recovery support network such as NA
- Supportive family environment and marital support
- No current alcohol or potentially addictive prescription drug use
- No associated psychiatric diagnoses or chronic pain and/or treatment
You do not need to check every one of these factors off a list in order to be considered, but the more favorable factors you have going for you the better your life insurance rate.
» Compare: Term life insurance quotes
Life insurance companies underwrite drug abuse history differently. Check out the case study below for a good example.