Marijuana Use May Be OK With Some Life Insurance Companies

medical-marijuana life insurance

Customers’ Pot Smoking May Not Be A Deal Breaker For Life Insurers

If you smoke marijuana and you’re shopping for life insurance, chances are you can find a company that won’t penalize you for your habit, but you may have to weed out several insurers to find the best policy.

Eighty percent of the 148 underwriters who were surveyed by reinsurer Munich Re at the Association of Home Office Underwriters annual conference last year said their company factors marijuana use into its decisions on how to price policies and whether to offer coverage. Yet, of those, 29 percent classify marijuana users as nonsmokers, potentially allowing them to qualify for the best nonsmoker rates.

How often recreational users smoke pot is a key question for life insurers. At Prudential, for example, people can get high as often as three times a week and still qualify for nonsmoking rates. Someone who admits to smoking four to six times per week would have to pay a bit more, while anyone who uses marijuana daily wouldn’t be offered a policy, said Thomas Farrell, vice president of life underwriting at Prudential’s individual life insurance business.




At MetLife, anyone who smokes marijuana less than once a week is considered a nonsmoker, said Meghan Lantier, a spokeswoman for the company.

For life insurers, frequent pot smoking is a red flag in the same way that frequent alcohol consumption is, said Bill Moore, vice president of underwriting and medical at Munich Re, in an interview about the survey.

“The more you have, the higher the risk is because you’re more exposed to things that could cause death,” he said. “Do they smoke and drive, have they had infractions, are they flying an airplane while using marijuana? Those are all things a carrier would look at and price those risks.”

Medical marijuana use is generally a different calculus altogether for insurers, Moore said. People who smoke pot to reduce pain or nausea associated with cancer, arthritis or AIDS, for example, will be evaluated based on the underlying disease or condition.

This week, Ohio became the 25th state, along with the District of Columbia, to legalize medical marijuana. Four states and D.C. allow recreational use. Under federal law, however, marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug, judged to have no medical value and a high potential for abuse.

In contrast to life insurers, health insurance companies don’t factor in marijuana use in rate-setting decisions, said Clare Krusing, a spokesperson for America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group.

“The substance is still prohibited on the federal level, so health plans don’t have specific questions to prompt for marijuana use among enrollees,” she said.

Please contact Kaiser Health News to send comments or ideas for future topics for the Insuring Your Health column.

Related Article: Medical Marijuana Charges Dismissed
Diamond Ranch Academy

How Diamond Ranch Academy Elevates Therapeutic Residential Treatment for Troubled Teens

By Andrea Kay | November 1, 2022

Diamond Ranch Academy is elevating therapeutic residential treatment for troubled teens to a new level of excellence. Nestled among the beautiful red rocks of…

why does my head hurt

Why does my head hurt when I press on it?

By Staff Writer | November 1, 2022

There are a few potential reasons why you may experience head pain when you press on it. One possibility is that you have a…

BRCC Black Rifle Coffee Company

What is BRCC Stock?

By Andrea Kay | October 31, 2022

Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC) is a coffee company that was founded in 2012 by former U.S. Army Rangers and is based in Salt…

job posting salary

New Law Requires Employers to Publish Salary Information in Job Postings

By Andrea Kay | October 31, 2022

In an effort to promote salary transparency, New York City has passed a law requiring employers to publish salary information to potential job seekers.…

When is the right time to buy a house

Is now a good time to buy a house? 

By Andrea Kay | October 30, 2022

If you’re thinking about buying a house, you may be wondering if now is a good time to do so. The answer depends on…

Twitter Blue Verification Subscription

Twitter Blue May Include Verification For Subscribers Who Pay a Monthly Fee

By Andrea Kay | October 30, 2022

Elon Musk says that Twitter will revise how it verifies users and is likely to charge a monthly for the verification badge. This move…

Dogecoin rises with Elon Musk Twitter buyout

Dogecoin Rises With the Acquisition of Twitter and becomes 8th Largest Cryptocurrency

By Andrea Kay | October 30, 2022

Dogecoin, the popular cryptocurrency that was started as a joke, has surged past Cardano to become the 8th largest digital currency by market capitalization.…

Elon Musk Fires Twitter CEO

Elon Musk Fires Twitter CEO and Lays Off Staff

By Andrea Kay | October 30, 2022

Elon Musk Fires Twitter executives and starts layoffs of employees after taking over the new owner of Twitter. Elon Musk, the new owner of…

imginn instagram

What is Imginn? Is it a good tool for downloading Instagram photos?

By Staff Writer | October 29, 2022

Imginn allows you to save your Instagram stories online for free! This new service allows you to download Instagram stories and highlights, photos, videos, and…