Life Insurance Rates - The Impact of Prescription Drugs

Life Insurance

When applying for life insurance it is important to include all of your medications and the reasons you are taking them. Once the insurance company receives your application, they perform a “prescription/pharmacy check” which essentially is a database that provides your prescription history. If you submitted an application for life insurance and a pharmacy check reveals you have a prescription for Nitroglycerin (treats chest pain), this could affect your life insurance rating. Knowing your medical conditions before the application is completed will help us provide you a more accurate rating.

There are also instances where prescription drugs are used for other purposes than what they are normally used for. For example, I recently submitted an application for a client and the pharmacy check discovered he was prescribed Lorazepam (anti-anxiety medication). The client did not have a history of anxiety. In his case, he had acid reflex and his physician prescribed the Lorazepam to relax the muscles in his throat. The client changed his diet and started to exercise which helped in his acid reflux symptoms. The client was able to discontinue use of Lorazepam.

I have been seeing a trend of a prescription for Finasteride on life insurance applications with no indication as to why the client is taking it. Finasteride (also known as Propecia), is typically taken for an enlarged prostate. That will bring up a red flag at the insurance carrier indicating the client may have prostate cancer. In most instances in my experience, the client is taking the medication to help with hair loss. The client may not want to document why they are taking the medication, but it is important to list all medications and the reasons why you are taking them so the insurance carrier has all of the information up front to speed up the underwriting process.

About the author: Teri Costen has been in the life insurance business for over 20 years. She is a mother of three who enjoys working out, taking aerobic kickboxing classes, and making stained glass. Teri believes that finding the right life insurance policy helps protect your family and loved ones. You can contact Teri at 1-800-651-1953 or