Certain medications – and especially those that can cause serious side effects – may cause an applicant for life insurance to either be placed into a Substandard category or even declined, based on the severity of the person’s situation.
The reason for taking the medication, as well as the medication itself must also be individually considered.
Can You Get Life Insurance If You Take Nortriptyline to Quit Smoking?
One medication that is considered by life insurance underwriters is Nortriptyline. In many instances, this particular drug has been prescribed for those who suffer from depression. However, recently it has also been found to help those who wish to quit smoking.
Depending on the use of the drug, it could have an effect on the outcome of your life insurance application. However, if you are in otherwise good health and you are only taking the drug to help you with quitting smoking, then you could qualify as a Standard, a Standard Plus, or even as a Preferred life insurance policyholder. In most cases you will get classified into a smokers life insurance category, but once you have quit smoking for at least a year some companies will even qualify you as a non-smoker.
What is Nortriptyline and How Does It Work?
Nortriptyline is a drug that has traditionally been used as an anti-depressant. However, when it has been used in groups of smokers, this particular medication has been found to double the chance of success for quitting smoking when compared to those who are taking no medication at all. In order to have the very best chances for a successful result with Nortriptyline, it is recommended that an individual begin taking the medication between 10 and 28 days prior to quitting smoking in order to allow the medication to reach a stable level in the individual’s body.
It is important to note that there may be certain side effects present while taking Nortriptyline. These may include some or all of the following:
- Increased heart rate
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty urinating
- Dry mouth
- Weight loss or gain
- Low blood pressure (primarily upon standing up)
In addition, this medication can have a negative effect upon an individual’s ability to drive and/or to operate machinery, and there are certain other medications that should not be used along with Nortriptyline.
Should it be determined that Nortriptyline be used, it is important to inform your pharmacist of exactly what other medications you are taking prior to beginning with Nortriptyline. Also, it is essential to know exactly how to take this medication, as well as how to taper it down when it is time to cease taking it.
The dose of Nortriptyline must be lowered slowly. This is because this medication must not be suddenly stopped without risking serious side effects. Also, those who suffer from heart disease must be extremely cautious when using Nortriptyline. While taking this medication, it is essential to inform any medical professional that you visit that you are taking it.
What the Life Insurance Underwriters Will Ask You
When applying for life insurance coverage, you will typically be required to complete an application for coverage. On this application, you will need to provide information regarding yourself, as well as your health and health history. It is important to be as truthful as possible. This is because if the life insurance company discovered any inaccuracies on the application – even after your policy has been approved – it could potentially void your coverage in the future.
Typical information that is needed on the life insurance application for coverage will include details regarding your:
- Height and Weight (your weight as it pertains to your height)
- Marital Status
- Occupation and Income (if applicable)
- Health and Health History
- Family Health History
- Hobbies (primarily whether you participate in any dangerous hobbies such as skydiving or scuba diving)
- Foreign travel habits (if applicable)
If you are applying for life insurance coverage and you are taking the medication Nortriptyline, then it is likely that the underwriters will also ask you some additional, more in-depth questions regarding the medication, as well as why you are taking it.
Some of these questions may include the following:
- When did you begin taking the medication?
- Was the medication prescribed to you by a psychiatrist or by a general practitioner?
- Has the dosage of the medication remained the same over time or has it increased?
- Has the medication helped you to quit smoking?
- Is quitting smoking the only reason for your taking Nortriptyline?
It is also likely that you will be required to undergo a paramedical exam. This examination will only take about 30 minutes, and typically the paramedical professional will come to your home or your place of business to make it most convenient for you.
At this exam, the paramedical professional will usually take a heart monitor and a blood pressure reading. You will also be asked for a blood and urine sample. These will be tested to determine whether you present any additional health-related risks to the life insurance company.
How Much Will Your Life Insurance Coverage Cost If You Are Taking Nortriptyline?
In most cases, if you are taking the medication Nortriptyline for quitting smoking, you won’t see a major pushback from the carrier on your application. Therefore, if you are otherwise in good health, your life insurance coverage will not be affected.
So, if you are deemed by the underwriters to be in average health, then the Standard category of policyholders is where you’ll be rated, and will be charged an average policy premium rate.
If, however, you do have some health-related issues, but these issues are not enough to decline your application for coverage completely, then it is probable that you will be deemed as a Substandard policyholder. In this case, you will be offered life insurance coverage, but at a higher premium rate. An example would be if you were quitting smoking but also looking for diabetic life insurance. Having an unfavorable habit and a medical condition could push you into the lower category.
On the other hand, if you are in excellent health, and you also have a family history of excellent health as well, then it is possible that even with taking the medication Nortriptyline, you may be able to qualify for a Preferred policyholder status. In this case, you may also be able to pay a lower policy premium rate.
How and Where to Obtain the Very Best Policy
If you are seeking life insurance coverage while taking Nortriptyline, then it is often best to work with a company or an agency that has access to more than just one life insurance company. This is because you will be able to “shop” many insurance carriers all at one time and determine which of these insurers will be the best for you based upon their coverage, as well as their premium rate.
We understand that the process of purchasing life insurance can be somewhat overwhelming. This can especially be the case if you are taking certain medications that may make the application process more lengthy, or lead to more questions from the life insurance underwriters. We want to ensure that you have a good understanding of the policy that you’re purchasing and that you are happy with what you obtain – and that the coverage that you purchase fits your and your loved one’s specific protection needs. So, contact us today – we are here to help.