Life Insurance with an Eating Disorder

by Jeff Rose on July 17, 2013 · 0 comments

Life Insurance with an Eating Disorder Eating disorders are a common mental ailment in the United States, especially with adolescent girls.

If you’ve suffered from an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia in the past, it’s going to be an issue when you apply for life insurance today.

However, it’s still definitely possible to get a policy after you’ve recovered from your condition. You just need to plan your application right. To get prepared, be sure to review our guide to the underwriting rules for life insurance after an eating disorder.

Life Insurance Underwriting after an Eating Disorder

When you apply for life insurance, you’ll need to answer several questions about your past eating disorder. You’ll likely need to answer:

  • Were you diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia nervosa?
  • How many episodes of eating disorders have you had?
  • When was the last episode?
  • Has your weight been stable for at least one year?
  • Do you have any other mental conditions like depression, anxiety, alcohol/substance abuse or psychotic disorders?
  • Are you taking any medications to help with your eating disorder?

While there are no medications to cure an eating disorder, applicants may be taking antianxiety or antidepressants to prevent another episode. These medications could be insurable.

Your life insurance application is your chance to show that you’ve recovered from your eating disorder and that it’s under control. Be sure to make your application as complete as possible. If your application seems to be missing information, the underwriter could get nervous and decline your policy.

Life Insurance Quotes after an Eating Disorder

Before you can apply for life insurance after an eating disorder, you’ll need to have recovered from your condition. Generally, insurance companies will want to see that you have recovered and maintained a health weight for at least a year before they will give you a policy. More time will help your rating because it means you have less risk of a relapse.

Beyond your eating disorder, insurance companies will also consider your overall physical and mental health as well as your family history of disease to determine your rating. While each company has slightly different rules for insurance after an eating disorder, here are the general guidelines to help you predict what rating you’ll receive.

  • Preferred Plus: Generally impossible for someone that had an eating disorder. Even if you are now in perfect health, insurance companies will still be too worried about a possible relapse to give out the best rating.
  • Preferred: Possible in rare cases for an applicant that once had an eating disorder. To qualify, it needs to have been at least 4 years since your past episode and you’re otherwise in perfect health and have no other mental disorders.
  • Standard: Likely the best possible rating for someone that once had an eating disorder. To qualify, it should have been at least four years since your last episode and you are in generally good health. It may be possible to get a standard rating with small health problems like being a bit overweight or having slightly high cholesterol.
  • Table Rating (substandard): Applicants that apply within two to four years of their last eating disorder episode will likely get a rated policy. The longer you wait, the better your rating will be. You could also get a rated policy if you have recovered from your eating disorder but still have some other mental or health issues.
  • Declines: Applicants that apply while currently suffering from an eating disorder will be declined. Most applications within one year of an episode will also be declined. Your application could also be declined if you are still suffering from other mental issues like depression or you have some significant health problems that would be made worse from an eating disorder relapse.

COPD Insurance Case Studies

When you apply for life insurance after an eating disorder, your application can make a big difference. Here are a few real life examples that show why it’s important to plan.

Case Study: Female, 32 y/o, suffered from bulimia nervosa at 23, recovered at 25, applied for life insurance at 26 and was rejected

This applicant was bulimic when she was 23. After a couple years she made a full recovery and never relapsed. Within a year of recovering, she tried applying for life insurance and was rejected. At this point, she thought her past eating disorder would make it impossible for her ever to get coverage. After reading our website, she realized this wasn’t true. We also referred her to an insurance company that regularly deals with applicants that had eating disorders in the past. This helped because the new company was better able to evaluate her application. By applying again at 30, this applicant was able to receive a standard rating.

Case Study #2: Female, 40 y/o, suffered from anorexia nervosa in her teens, relapsed at 24, fully recovered at 26 and had no other relapses, currently taking antidepressants, in great health

This applicant was struggling with depression in her teens and this caused her to become anorexic. She recovered but then relapsed again at 24. After regularly meeting with a therapist and starting to take antidepressants, the applicant made a full recovery. Since then she has been in great health, though she still takes antidepressants and sees her therapist from time to time.

When she applied for life insurance, she only received rated policies. We thought this was because insurance companies were getting scared of her relapse history and her current medications. We recommended this applicant see her doctor and get a note vouching for her improved mental and physical health. With this extra information, the applicant received a standard rating.

As you can see, a past eating disorder makes getting life insurance more difficult, but not impossible. To increase your chances of getting a fair rating, it helps to work with a professional.

Our company specializes in finding insurance for applicants that once had an eating disorder.

We can guide you through your application and match you up with the best company for your situation. For more information and free rate quotes, call or fill out our online quote form today.

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