How to Get Life Insurance with Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder

Last updated: November 2, 2017 at 9:30 am

Obtaining life insurance with a mental condition such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder may seem like a difficult task, but knowing the obstacles is half the battle. There is hope—and there is insurance—for people with these types of conditions.

Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder Life InsuranceWhat Is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a severe brain disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. According to the Mayo Clinic, schizophrenia can result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior.

Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia isn’t a “split” personality or multiple personalities. The word “schizophrenia” means “split mind,” but it refers to a disruption of the usual balance of emotions and thinking.

Schizophrenia is a chronic condition, requiring lifelong treatment.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

With bipolar disorder—sometimes called manic-depressive disorder—mood swings range from the lows of depression to the highs of mania. When someone with bipolar disorder becomes depressed, he or she may feel very sad or hopeless, and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When the mood shifts in the other direction, he or she may feel euphoric and full of energy. Mood shifts can occur a few times a year or several times a day. In some cases, bipolar disorder causes symptoms of depression and mania at the same time.

Although bipolar disorder is a disruptive, long-term condition, individuals with this condition can keep their moods in check by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder can be controlled with medications and psychological counseling.

Getting Insured with Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder

Contrary to popular belief, a fully underwritten life insurance policy for someone who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder is not impossible to obtain. It is contingent, however, upon certain criteria. If you haven’t yet been diagnosed, you will be subject to a physical exam complete with blood and urine tests, a prescription history analysis, and a personal background check. The review process can typically take anywhere from one month to several months. The severity of your condition and how well it is controlled will be taken into consideration.

Some of the types of questions that will need to be answered could include:

• Have you been hospitalized in the previous 12 months?
• Do you need help with common daily tasks, such as eating?
• Have you ever been convicted of any felonies?

Another challenge that makes it a complicated process for people with these conditions to obtain life insurance is the willingness of health care providers to reveal information regarding their patients. You will need to give insurance providers access to your medical history.

ConditionSeverityPolicy OptionsCost
Schizophrenia or Bipolar DisorderHigh—recent problems or other health concernsGraded death benefit, guaranteed issue with no questions askedHighest
Schizophrenia or Bipolar DisorderMild—no recent problems or health concernsGraded death benefit with some questions askedMid-level
Bipolar DisorderMild to low—no recent problems or other health concerns, mild medications, some psychological treatmentTable rated: universal, whole life, or term lifeLowest

Contact True Blue Life Insurance at 1-866-816-2100 to have a licensed Insurance Professional assist you with your insurance needs.

Graded Death Benefit Whole Life Insurance

The best life insurance option available for people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia is graded death benefit whole life insurance.

Graded death benefit whole life insurance is a specialty type of insurance that is usually offered as a policy for people who might have a hard time getting other types of life insurance. The policy usually pays out limited death benefits during the first few years, and typically requires premiums that are somewhat higher than standard life insurance policies.

With graded death benefit whole life insurance, there are two ways to go:

Health Questions Asked: This is a less-expensive option, but it is more restrictive. Even though there is no physical examination, you will need to reveal whether you have been treated for your condition and you will also need to answer a number of other questions pertaining to your current state of health.

True Blue Life Insurance National Marketing Director Gerry Scholz noted, “We assisted a bipolar customer in getting a graded death benefit plan for $50,000 with United Home Life Insurance Company.”

No Questions Asked, Guaranteed Issue: Guaranteed issue life insurance is typically a last resort for individuals who can’t qualify for life insurance because of their current or past health problems. The only requirement to receive a guaranteed issue life insurance policy is that you pay your premiums. The insuring company usually asks your age, but not any medical questions.

If you are between the ages of 45 and 85, guaranteed issue insurance can provide up to $20,000 in death benefits with an affordable premium that never increases. The policy is available without having to take a physical exam or answer any health questions.

Getting Life Insurance with Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder

If you have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, you do have an opportunity to purchase life insurance, even if it seems like a complex process. Contact True Blue Life Insurance at 1-866-816-2100 to have a licensed Insurance Professional assist you with your insurance needs. We will ask you a series of questions and provide the legwork in detailing what options are available to you.

11 replies
  1. Charles Colleen
    Charles Colleen says:

    I’ve had bipolar disorder since 2010. I’m disabled on social security. My symptoms are controlled with the VA. Can I get a $100,000 life insurance policy for a reasonable rate?

    • Brian Greenberg
      Brian Greenberg says:

      You would fall into a Table 4 – Table 12 most likely. This means the cost will be higher due to your history. We would need to know more detailed information regarding your situation to get a more accurate rate quote for you. We have insured people with similar situations and we would contact some underwriters to find out the best company to apply with.
      The insurance company will need to request your medical records from your primary physician, though at this coverage amount of $100,000, a medical exam is not necessary for some companies.
      Give us a call so we can get you an accurate quote, and then you can make the decision of whether to apply or not.

  2. sal
    sal says:

    I’m diagnosed with schizoeffective/bipolar disorder (the diagnosis is unclear and they keep jumping between the two, either/or type, and I’m trying to claim both since they have both on file, right? I could even argue that they have no clue based on the various differing opinions between like 12 different doctors where one says bipolar the other says schizoeffective) through VA recently and am still working to get it service connected (mid-paperwork-process). Just like the poster above, my condition is quite manageable. As a 30 y.o. male how much would a monthly $300k policy cost me?

    • Brian Greenberg
      Brian Greenberg says:

      I recommend first obtaining 150k in the one instant issue product we sell, because if you apply and get declined by another company, you are not able to qualify for the instant issue product. You can run a quote here .
      This way you will have coverage for your family. I then suggest applying with a fully underwritten policy (either Prudential, AIG, or Protective Life), where they do a medical exam and pull your doctors records. If the disorder is well controlled you have a good chance of getting approved at a good rate since you are young.

  3. Vanessa Thompson
    Vanessa Thompson says:

    I have had bipolar since I was 17 I’m fully functional have worked and now I am on disability home managed with minimal medication I’m looking for a term life plan of about 20 – 25000 but no one seems to want to accept me because I have bipolar I’d like to know if you have any recommendations or referrals

    • Brian Greenberg
      Brian Greenberg says:

      We have a few options for you I think you may like. Currently I think a term policy from 5 Star Life Insurance may be a very good option for you. They have limited health questions:
      Has any Applicant been diagnosed or treated by a member of the medical profession for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), or AIDS-Related Complex (ARC)?

      Has any Applicant ever applied for and been rejected for life insurance?

      Has any Applicant been hospitalized in the past 90 days?

      In the past 5 years, has any Applicant been hospitalized for, been diagnosed or treated by a member of the medical profession or taken prescription medication for: Angina, heart attack, stroke, heart bypass surgery, angioplasty, coronary artery stenting, or coronary artery disease?

      In the past 5 years, has any Applicant been hospitalized for, been diagnosed or treated by a member of the medical profession or taken prescription medication for: Any form of cancer to include leukemia or Hodgkins Disease (excluding non-invasive, non-melanoma skin cancer)?

      In the past 5 years, has any Applicant been hospitalized for, been diagnosed or treated by a member of the medical profession or taken prescription medication for: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, or any other chronic respiratory disorder, excluding asthma? D. Alcoholism or drug or alcohol abuse, cirrhosis, hepatitis, or any other disease of the liver?

      You are able to work and to perform the normal activities of a person of like age and gender; and you are not confined in a hospital, at home or elsewhere due to injury or sickness on the date you signed this application.

      If any questions to the above are yes then this policy will not work.
      We can always get you into several other permanent policies.

  4. Tammy
    Tammy says:

    I am bipolar diagnosis at age 25.Now Iam currently age 47 and really would like to apply for life insurance.I am very stable, no recent hospitalizations.. Managed with minimal medication. Basically very low care And also a student with full capabilities to care for myself and my needs.What coverage would be most beneficial for me and what are the reporting or cost for this

    • Brian Greenberg
      Brian Greenberg says:

      If you take just one or two medications and have had no hospitalizations in the past 4 years, you will most likely qualify for table 2 – 4. Table 2 is typically 25% more than the standard rate class in price. Table 3 is typically 50% more than the Standard rate price, and Table 4 is typically 75% more than the Standard/Regular rate class.
      For those on disability and on just one or two medications and no hospitalizations in the last 4 years, you will most likely qualify for table 4-6.
      From what you describe in your comment, my estimation would be table 2-4.
      SBLI would be a good choice, and so would American National.
      Give us a call or schedule an appointment with one of our agents and we can shop this for you.

  5. ac
    ac says:

    i was mis diagnosed and treated with geodon for a couple years between age 10 and 13 dont have exact time frame othere then that im a diabetic with no isulin needed and adhd im 30 work full time and have for almost 10 years
    ive been repeatedly denied anything but coverage under
    20,000 becuase of the bipolar thing sigh ive tried few companies im also looking to pay under 50 a month for over 30000

    • Luke Kinton
      Luke Kinton says:

      Hi AC!

      In this case, I would recommend you submit your information in the form on this page and talk with one of our agents. We work directly with underwriters on many cases and we can shop around to find you the best policy, given the information you provide them. If you would rather call and give the information directly over the phone, you can do so by giving us a call at (866) 816-2100.

      Don’t hesitate to reach out if there are any questions or concerns you would like to discuss.


      Luke Kinton


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