• Zack Taylor

Should I deny or admit marijuana use?

Updated: Feb 20, 2019

Paranoid. A characteristic sometimes associated with the realization that you consumed a little too much marijuana, and you start to wonder if it's obvious to outsiders. Maybe this occurred more often when cannabis was illegal in most states, and less so now that two thirds of all states in the U.S. recognize marijuana as being legal at least on the medicinal level. Either way, it's no fun.

So that brings us to our main subject here, which is life insurance for marijuana users. Our goal is to set you up with the most success when applying for life insurance, so I'm going to help explain the process.

There's only a small handful of carriers that will give non-tobacco health ratings for marijuana use, and one or two are OK with use up to 3x per week, but the important piece here is that you'll need to admit use upfront. They're likely going to ask on the application if you use marijuana, and if you answer no, and they find THC in your lab work, then you lied on your application, and it makes them wonder what else you might have lied about. See how that works? It's important to be honest about your regular behaviors on your life insurance application, especially when we're setting you up with a marijuana friendly carrier.

It might feel a little bit like that time you went to the bodega or quick mart to get some snacks after consuming some cannabis. You know you're high, and you worry if the cashier knows it too, but chances are they don't, and they're cool and they're not going to ask, but you're still a little nervous cause you think they know. Well, the insurance company is going to ask, and I'm letting you know that it's cool to admit use, and you can feel OK about it. That said, you probably shouldn't be high during your life insurance interview and physical exam. More and more states are recognizing that consuming marijuana is OK, so it's in your best interest to use marijuana in moderation, and be honest on your application.

What if you're a little uncomfortable about admitting use? Who has access to this information? Well, the good news is that the information you submit on a health insurance application is kept highly confidential. Insurance carriers use a private company called the MIB, or Medical Information Bureau, to store insurance application information and health records. Only insurance companies have access to this information so that they can properly assess your health and level of risk. The ONLY people that have access to the MIB files are insurance carriers, and according to an underwriter, even if they were subpoenaed by the courts, the MIB would give such a run around that the attorneys would eventually give up. So you can put that paranoia piece to rest.

Honestly, the worst that can happen is your health rating comes back lower than you hoped, or your application is rejected because they uncovered other concerns they deemed uninsurable, and nothing changes for you. You're not out any money, just a little bit of your time, and we can consider other options for getting covered.

What if you do lie about your use, and they find THC in their lab work? Usually they will reject your application, which is not the biggest deal, but the MIB is going to keep that information in case you apply for life insurance again. So you're much better off admitting use and moving on with your application. If you're a reasonably healthy individual, we're going to help you get a the best health rating that we can.

I mentioned the insurance carrier is considering marijuana use as OK up to 3x per week, giving up to a Standard Plus health rating. What they're looking for is symptoms of drug abuse, and they're going to look at alcohol consumption the same way. If you're a heavy marijuana user, they're going to consider it the same way as a heavy alcohol drinker. It suggests a high level of substance dependency and abuse, and they're giving better ratings and approvals to people who are able to enjoy alcohol and/or marijuana in moderate, healthy amounts.

When you submit an application for life insurance, you'll be scheduling your physical exam at a time that's convenient for you, and typically within a couple weeks of submitting your paperwork. A medical professional will come to your home to give you a brief physical exam, taking blood and urine samples, and there may be a phone questionnaire as well. From there, the underwriters at the insurance company will review your results, and come back with the highest health rating they're willing to give you, and you can decide from there if you want to move forward with your coverage.

The process takes about 1 to 2 months on average, so it's best to get going on this now. Get started by submitting your details on our instant quoter right on the website, and I'll be in touch with you shortly after to schedule a convenient time to connect. I look forward to speaking with you soon.