Yes, you can still be approved for life insurance if you smoke marijuana, even without a prescription.
Key Articles to Reference:
- How Drug Use Affected Heath Ledger’s Life Insurance Death Claim
- Brittany Murphy, Drugs, and Life Insurance
- Whitney Houston – How Drug Use Affects Life Insurance Approval
- Been Declined due to Pot Smoking
At what cost will you be approved, you ask? Well, life insurance carriers vary widely on how they treat pot smokers. If you admit to smoking marijuana in the past 3 years, you certainly won’t qualify for their preferred non tobacco ratings.
I’ve seen some carriers offer as good as standard non tobacco for a “social marijuana smoker” who admitted to smoking marijuana not more than once per year. Note: this same company would not offer their non smoker ratings to someone who smokes one cigarette per year. Go figure.
The more prevalent treatment of marijuana users would be to classify them as smokers. In this case, they would pay what a cigarette smoker would pay in comparable health, which at least doubles the premium. On the other end of the spectrum, we have some carriers who say since it’s illegal almost everywhere, they won’t offer life insurance to pot smokers.
If you do smoke the occasional joint (marijuana cigarette), and end up with a smoker’s offer, the best solution here is to take out the insurance you need, pay the smoker’s premiums, and quit smoking pot.
After a year, you can reapply for coverage with a different carrier, and if you’re still healthy, will have a great chance of getting a standard non tobacco rating, which will save you about 50% on average.
It’s important to understand you can only qualify for a standard non tobacco rate or preferred smoker rate with full disclosure on the application. Even though many life insurance carriers’ blood test do not test for marijuana, you most definitely should disclose your smoking.
For one reason, if you don’t it’s fraud. Secondly, if you die within two years of the policy date, the insurance company is entitled to investigate before paying the death benefit. They will pull medical records and if they find THC in your medical records, they have grounds to deny the claim, since you made a material misrepresentation on the application which would have led them to either deny you coverage or offer it at a different rate.
You may be smoking marijuana with a prescription. In this case, you are much more likely to see non tobacco ratings. The bigger issue here will be what underlying medical condition you have for which marijuana has been prescribed as a treatment.
It is commonly prescribed to people with glaucoma, cancer, epilepsy, and intestinal problems. (I’ve read that THC is very good for cancer) Setting marijuana use aside, any of these conditions will either be rated or cause a declined application on their own. So the severity of your underlying condition will be the primary factor determining your offer.
If you’re smoking marijuana illegally, and disclose this on the application, rest assured that this information is protected by HIPAA laws. Your agent or insurance company cannot “turn you in” to the authorities. So there are no criminal implications of admitting to being a marijuana smoker on a life insurance application.