ADHD could be a roadblock to you providing for your family if you die. Just as you realize that life insurance is crucial for securing your family’s future, the question arises: Does having ADHD make obtaining coverage challenging? Not necessarily if you go about applying for it in the right way. This article is here to dispel the myths and walk you through the process of securing life insurance, even if you have ADHD. Let’s get started.
What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
If you or a loved one has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, you likely have some understanding of the condition. Let’s explore how life insurance companies view ADHD to establish a common understanding. ADHD is a psychiatric disorder characterized by a short attention span, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. ADHD can persist into adulthood and affect various aspects of one’s life. NIMH reports that 4.4% of adults aged 18 and older have current ADHD (NIMH, 2021). Adult ADHD often coexists with other mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and learning disorders.
There are three types of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:
- Predominantly Inattentive Type: Individuals with this condition often struggle with organizing tasks, managing time effectively, multitasking, and making decisions.
- Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: Individuals with this type of ADHD are easily frustrated, bored, and impulsive. They often experience variable moods and high energy.
- Combined Type: This type exhibits symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity.
The Impact of ADHD on Life Insurance Underwriting
When applying for life insurance, individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may face additional scrutiny from insurance companies. The person who reviews life insurance applications is called a life insurance underwriter. The underwriter evaluates the potential impact of ADHD on an individual’s life to determine appropriate coverage and rates. While having ADHD may not automatically disqualify an individual from obtaining life insurance, it can impact the underwriter’s decision and premium rates.
Underwriters typically consider the following factors when evaluating an application from someone with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:
- Diagnosis Type and Medications: Underwriters will inquire about the specific diagnosis type and the medications used to manage ADHD symptoms. They may also ask about the date of the last medication adjustment.
- Psychotherapy and Treatment: Underwriters will inquire about the frequency and duration of any psychotherapy or counseling sessions. They may also ask about any other mental health issues the individual may have.
- Substance Abuse History: Underwriters will ask about any history of alcohol or substance abuse, as individuals with ADHD may have an increased risk for such issues.
- Legal Problems: Underwriters will inquire about any history of legal problems, such as driving violations or traffic accidents, which may be associated with ADHD-related impulsivity.
- Work History: Underwriters may ask about any job changes or time lost from work due to ADHD-related difficulties, which can impact the individual’s financial stability and insurability.
Be Upfront About Your ADHD Diagnosis
Suppose you are applying for life insurance and you have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In that case, it is vital to provide accurate and detailed information during the application process to ensure a fair assessment by the underwriters.
Two things can happen if a person knowingly misleads a life insurance underwriter. First, more than likely, you will have to permit the insurance company to acquire medical information. More than likely, the ADHD diagnosis will be in that file. if the ADHD was not disclosed in the insurance application, the insurance company may re-question the applicant or decline them at that point. A nationwide database permanently stores the record of a person’s application rejection.
Second, if a person knowingly misleads a life insurance underwriter and dies within the first two years of having the insurance, the insurance company could decline to pay the claim due to fraud. However, it is important to know that specific legal and insurance regulations differ from state to state.
Myths and Misconceptions About ADHD
There are several common myths and misconceptions surrounding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Let’s debunk some of these misconceptions to gain a better understanding of the condition:
- Most children outgrow ADHD symptoms by adulthood: False “Studies show that more than 60% of children with ADHD still have it as adults” (Jordan, 2022).
- ADHD is because of poor parenting or personal control: False Current evidence points to a neurological cause for ADHD. Brain scans have shown structural changes in the brain linked to the disorder. Other factors, such as inherited traits, maternal smoking during pregnancy, drug use, exposure to toxins, and childhood exposure to lead, can also contribute to the development of ADHD (NIMH, 2023).
- Adult ADHD is just an excuse for being irresponsible or immature: False. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a significant condition that can impact various aspects of an individual’s life, including their professional and personal relationships, financial stability, and self-esteem. It is essential to understand that ADHD is not a matter of choice or character flaw. Individuals with ADHD encounter several challenges and often require professional assistance to manage their symptoms and overcome difficulties (Harbin, 2005).
- Adult ADHD is curable by diet, exercise, meditation, or supplements: False. Although lifestyle changes could be beneficial for some individuals with adult ADHD by improving their overall well-being and reducing stress, they are not sufficient to treat the fundamental symptoms of the disorder. Adult ADHD is a neurobiological condition requiring evidence-based interventions, such as medication, psychotherapy, or a combination, to address the underlying brain differences and cognitive impairments (Dimitriu, 2021).
Treatment Options for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is manageable, and most individuals respond well to treatment. That is why insurers will offer lower premiums if the person with ADHD has a good history of managing their condition. The most effective approach often involves a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and behavioral therapy for skill development.
Medications commonly used to treat ADHD include stimulants (such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta), antidepressants (such as Wellbutrin and Effexor), and non-stimulants (such as Strattera). Medication, when prescribed and adjusted appropriately, can significantly reduce ADHD symptoms and improve an individual’s ability to focus and function.
Psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help individuals develop coping mechanisms and strategies to manage ADHD symptoms. This therapy focuses on improving organizational skills, time management, and impulse control (Cleveland Clinic, 2022).
Understanding the Condition
Understanding the true nature of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can help dispel stereotypes and promote a more accurate perception of the condition. As we go through the diagnosis and treatment options, remember that this is how the life insurance company looks at the condition. Managing Attention Deficit Disorder well can minimize or eliminate its impact when applying for life insurance. A life insurance company may even decline coverage if the condition is not managed.
Life Insurance Underwriting for Individuals with ADHD
Life insurance underwriting for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder will vary depending on the severity of symptoms, treatment history, and coexisting conditions. However, with well-controlled symptoms and no major psychiatric diagnoses or substance abuse issues, individuals with ADHD can qualify for life insurance coverage.
It is essential to work with an experienced insurance professional who understands the intricacies of underwriting for individuals with ADHD. They can help navigate the application process, gather the necessary documentation, and advocate for the individual’s insurability.
This article focuses on life insurance, but individuals with ADHD may be offered disability insurance with a rider, excluding mental/nervous conditions. If an ADHD-related condition directly causes a disability claim, the disability insurance policy may not cover it.
How David Overcame ADHD and Secured Life and Disability Insurance
David is a 38-year-old optometrist who runs his own practice in Houston, Texas. He has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) since his early career, which caused him difficulties in managing his work and personal life.
David’s ADHD symptoms included disorganization, scattered thinking, and problems completing paperwork. These issues affected his productivity, performance at work, and relationships with his family and friends. He also struggled with anxiety and low self-esteem.
David wanted to apply for life and disability insurance to protect his income and family in case of any unforeseen events. However, he was worried that his ADHD diagnosis would prevent him from getting affordable and comprehensive coverage.
David sought professional help from a psychologist specializing in treating adults with ADHD. After being evaluated by the psychologist, David was prescribed medication and received cognitive behavioral therapy. The medication helped him reduce his impulsivity and hyperactivity, while the therapy helped him learn coping skills and strategies to manage his symptoms.
David also contacted an experienced insurance agent who had worked with clients with ADHD.
After six months of treatment, David noticed significant improvements in his symptoms and quality of life. He was able to organize his work better, focus more on his tasks, and have a more relaxed interaction with his patients.
David was able to qualify for life insurance at preferred rates due to his well-controlled symptoms and lack of coexisting substance abuse or significant psychiatric diagnoses. He also obtained disability insurance with a reasonable premium and coverage amount, although it included an exclusion rider for mental/nervous conditions.
David was very satisfied with the outcome of his treatment and insurance application. He felt more secure and prepared for the future, knowing that he had adequate protection for himself and his family. He also felt more optimistic and hopeful about his career prospects.
Here are some of the benefits that David enjoyed from using our product or service:
- Improved mental health and well-being
- Increased productivity and performance at work
- Enhanced self-esteem and confidence
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Affordable and comprehensive insurance coverage
The Next Step
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Do You Have More Questions?
Having ADHD does not automatically disqualify individuals from obtaining life insurance coverage. However, it can impact the underwriting process and premium rates. Individuals with ADHD should be prepared to provide accurate and detailed information about their diagnosis, treatment, and related factors during application. Working with an experienced insurance professional can help navigate the complexities of underwriting for individuals with ADHD. With proper management and treatment, individuals with ADHD can lead successful lives while ensuring financial protection for themselves and their loved ones through life insurance.
How to Apply for Life Insurance with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
If you have ADHD, you can apply for life insurance in two ways:
- Talk to an experienced agent: Our firm, Advice4LifeInsurance, has a great deal of experience with life insurance companies that accept applicants with ADHD.
- Submit an informal inquiry: An informal inquiry is when the agent sends your health history anonymously to several life insurance companies. They will tell us if they will insure you and how much it will cost. You can pick the best offer. This way, you can get the best policy at the lowest price without wasting time and money. It also helps you avoid a denial for ADHD. This process is not a guarantee, but it may be your best chance.
For most people, this is enough. But suppose you have a complex medical history and need a large amount of life insurance. You may need to hire a life insurance medicine doctor in that case. They can review your medical records and fix any problems affecting your rating. For example, suppose your doctor said you were giddy, and the consultant thinks you have anxiety. In that case, the life insurance medical doctor can ask your doctor to clarify that you don’t have anxiety. This step could save you a lot of money on your policy.
If you’d like to discuss your situation, schedule a brief conversation to learn more here:
Cleveland Clinic. (2022, October 26). ADHD medications: How they work & side effects. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/11766-adhd-medication
Dimitriu, A. (2021, December 14). Exercise, good food, meditation: alternatives to ADHD meds. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/psychiatry-and-sleep/202112/exercise-good-food-meditation-alternatives-adhd-meds
Harbin, V. A. (2005, February 1). The effect of ADHD on the life of an individual, their family, and community from preschool to adult life. Archives of Disease in Childhood. https://adc.bmj.com/content/90/suppl_1/i2
Jordan, M. (2022, July 20). Adult ADHD: Statistics and facts. WebMD. Retrieved October 26, 2023, from https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/adult-adhd-facts-statistics
National Institute of Mental Health. (2021, January 19). Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Retrieved October 26, 2023, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd
National Institute of Mental Health. (2023, September). Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity disorder. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Retrieved October 26, 2023, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd