Regular medical marijuana users are fully aware that their health insurance plans do not cover the cost of their medications. They must pay for cannabis products out-of-pocket. But what about other kinds of insurance? Take life insurance, for example. Is it possible to get a term or whole-life policy as a medical marijuana user?
In a word, yes. But it might not be as easy as it is for someone who does not use medical marijuana. You may have to shop around to find a policy. And of course, shopping involves understanding what you are getting for the money. In the life insurance game, there are three main types of policies:
- Whole Life – A whole-life policy is equal parts life insurance and investment. You pay on it for a certain number of years and then you are done. You get the full value of the policy regardless of when you die.
- Term Life – Term life insurance is only good for a certain number of years. You pay on it just like you would make a car payment. Should you die during the term, the policy pays out.
- Burial Insurance – This is the most common type of insurance for older individuals who are ineligible for whole or term life. It pays out just enough to cover burial expenses.
All types of life insurance are subject to risk. Therein lies the issue with insurance companies. Medical marijuana could be an issue for some depending on why you use it.
How Insurance Works
Nearly all insurance policies – with the exception of health insurance – are designed to protect both carrier and customer. When you buy life insurance, you are purchasing a death benefit to be passed on to your beneficiaries at the time of your passing. Your insurance carrier takes the money you pay for your policy and invests it. That is how they make their profit.
They have to be able to make enough profit to actually pay your benefit and have some left over. The risk they take is one of paying your benefit before they have made enough profit to cover it. That is why insurance carriers charge more when the risk is higher.
Life Insurance and Medical Risks
Life insurance companies have to assess a patient’s medical risks in order to determine the likelihood of having to pay out a death benefit too early. When it comes to something like medical cannabis, they need to know why a customer uses the drug. If it is for something like glaucoma, the risk is fairly low as glaucoma is not a terminal disease. In fact, it has very little effect on a person’s life span.
On the other hand, you may have a patient using medical marijuana to help manage cancer pain. Cancer can be a terminal illness. Therefore, a cancer patient using medical marijuana might not be able to get an affordable term or whole-life policy. They might be relegated to burial insurance.
Utahmarijuana.org explains that states that allow medical marijuana use generally have a narrow list of diseases and conditions for which the drug is appropriate. Utah’s list is pretty standard. It includes things such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, ALS, and more.
Like most other states, getting a life insurance policy in Utah as a medical cannabis user would rely heavily on the disease or condition for which the drug is prescribed. As long as the risk is manageable for life insurance companies, they will offer policies to patients. The policies may cost a bit more, but they are available.