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Old 08-23-2017, 12:10 PM   #1
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Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question
How do insurers typically look at someone that has a (voluntary) stint in a drug/alcohol rehab facility?

So I have a family member that may be going into a rehab facility. Young person, no legal record, no medical records of depression/drugs/alcohol abuse, no health issues, etc. Would be voluntarily going into rehab facility to avoid becoming hardcore chemically addicted. For this person its more of a lifestyle addiction (partying with whatever comes along, whenever they feel like it) than an actual chemical addiction - where they can't go without it. Can go weeks without any drugs/alcohol, no ill effects physically... no withdrawals. However, if/when the opportunity comes to be able to party - they don't turn it down. From what I know, its alcohol, weed, and cocaine use. What and when is random as the opportunity arises.

Is there any advice on how to have the stint in rehab do the least collateral damage to this person long term?

Obviously once they get out, they need to stay clean - and hopefully that will be the case. How long would insurers need before taking a chance on them? What about military, anyone know if they would be eligible to enlist - and if so, when and what branch?

The good thing is, this person asked for help before a total downhill spiral made life really hard. Thanks for any input you can provide.
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Old 08-23-2017, 04:17 PM   #2
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Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question Re: Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question
Pretreatment or during treatment they are definitely not getting insurance.

If they get proactive treatment before there are any issues with any convictions, DWI, hospitalization, etc for alcohol or legal drug use they will likely be insurable down the road. Most companies have supplemental drug and alcohol questionnaires where they try to assess the severity and long term outlook.

For cocaine or any other serious illegal drug use they are going to have to wait until they can honestly answer "no" to some type of app question that they haven't had treatment for drug abuse in the last X years.

Depending on what carrier you normally work with and your relationship with the underwriting team, sometimes you can send a few lines description of the case and they can tell you where they will draw the line.
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Old 08-23-2017, 05:26 PM   #3
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Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question Re: Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question
I would get things done now, he has no record and sounds like a binge partier. Once he goes through rehab, it will be about ten years and at best a standard rating. So if you have nothing other than a feeling of wanting to get help, get insured. Look for a guaranteed insurability option as well that will let him purchase future amounts without underwriting in the future.

One of the most troubling things about these types of situations is he can get insurance in most cases while still goofing around. Once he goes into rehab, it becomes a different story. There are lots of alcoholics that can get insurance. When they decide to clean up, it becomes much harder
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Old 08-23-2017, 05:47 PM   #4
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Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question Re: Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question
If it was just alcohol it would be one thing, but illegal drugs add a complication. Most companies will ask about illegal drug use, which he will need to honestly answer yes to. On alcohol it is usually just about treatment, not so much if you drink or rarely how much.

Assuming he lies, he is just begging to be rescinded in the first two years. Either because he dies or the company subscribes to MIB's Plan F. Checking in for rehab shortly afterwards will be a huge red flag, particularly if for illegal drugs.

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Old 08-23-2017, 07:08 PM   #5
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Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question Re: Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question
Originally Posted by VolAgent View Post
If it was just alcohol it would be one thing, but illegal drugs add a complication. Most companies will ask about illegal drug use, which he will need to honestly answer yes to. On alcohol it is usually just about treatment, not so much if you drink or rarely how much.

Assuming he lies, he is just begging to be rescinded in the first two years. Either because he dies or the company subscribes to MIB's Plan F. Checking in for rehab shortly afterwards will be a huge red flag, particularly if for illegal drugs.
yes and no. I understand what your saying, but if the situation is between a person and God, it really can't be held against them. Sorta like parachuting, we ask. A day after the policy get issues the guy signs up and dies on the first jump. Unless he cut the check before the app..... or signed up before the app.. but if he was thinking about it, the claim gets paid.

The industry responds to actions, if there is no record of actions, it's hard to claim what a person thought prior to.

The OP also stated he "may" go into recovery and then he described binge behavior. Basically parting too hard. Whole bunch of college kids are going to be doing this in the fall. Will or should they all become uninsurable?

One thing I dislike about these situations is the industry punishes people who are proactive in their healthcare. Drug/Alcohol rehab is one of those areas where we punish (declines, lower class, higher rates) for attempting to correct something. But, those who don't go through rehab and can pass a lab, we insure without question.

I've had people who should be preferred, even super preferred get standard for going through rehab 12 years prior. The limit was supposed to be ten years, but the underwriter found the info and used it against the guy in underwriting. Because he "had" gone through treatment a dozen years ago, everything else about him wasn't to be considered anymore. Not good health, not 12 years without a drink. Had the guy continued to drink and kept himself in decent shape, could have easily gotten preferred.

if somebody smoked weed a decade ago, doesn't anymore, I don't see that as an underwriting issue. If it's between them and God, nobody else's business. Between them and a judge, different story.
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Old 08-23-2017, 10:54 PM   #6
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Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question Re: Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question
Usually the guy who is at the point of considering something as significant as rehab is not going to sniff preferred rates 12 years of continued use.
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:12 AM   #7
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Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question Re: Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question
Originally Posted by NewbieNewbie View Post
Usually the guy who is at the point of considering something as significant as rehab is not going to sniff preferred rates 12 years of continued use.
Congrats, I have no idea what you're really saying here. Sort of a skim of the posts and what the hell, throw something out there?


the OP's person in question was a young person who appears to be a binge partier. They are considering rehab which is usually what some adults do when they find out their kid parties hard. He made no mention of 12 years of substance abuse. I mentioned a client of mine who did rehab 12 years prior for alcohol. Had he not gone to rehab, yea, would have been at least preferred based on everything else. Thanks for reading
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:27 AM   #8
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Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question Re: Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question
Originally Posted by LGilmore View Post
yes and no. I understand what your saying, but if the situation is between a person and God, it really can't be held against them. Sorta like parachuting, we ask. A day after the policy get issues the guy signs up and dies on the first jump. Unless he cut the check before the app..... or signed up before the app.. but if he was thinking about it, the claim gets paid.

The industry responds to actions, if there is no record of actions, it's hard to claim what a person thought prior to.

The OP also stated he "may" go into recovery and then he described binge behavior. Basically parting too hard. Whole bunch of college kids are going to be doing this in the fall. Will or should they all become uninsurable?

One thing I dislike about these situations is the industry punishes people who are proactive in their healthcare. Drug/Alcohol rehab is one of those areas where we punish (declines, lower class, higher rates) for attempting to correct something. But, those who don't go through rehab and can pass a lab, we insure without question.

I've had people who should be preferred, even super preferred get standard for going through rehab 12 years prior. The limit was supposed to be ten years, but the underwriter found the info and used it against the guy in underwriting. Because he "had" gone through treatment a dozen years ago, everything else about him wasn't to be considered anymore. Not good health, not 12 years without a drink. Had the guy continued to drink and kept himself in decent shape, could have easily gotten preferred.

if somebody smoked weed a decade ago, doesn't anymore, I don't see that as an underwriting issue. If it's between them and God, nobody else's business. Between them and a judge, different story.
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough.

If the person has used illegal drugs with no medical or criminal history, says no on the app, get approved and goes into rehab and the rehab is partially for illegal drug use, then they are begging to be rescinded.

While I get what you are saying, underwriting always has and probably always will be looking at past events as a predictor for future events.

Whatever we may personally think of the person, in the scenario I laid out, the person not only made a material misrepresentation, but committed fraud. They were not unclear, had forgotten, etc. No, they knew full well what they were saying was wrong and had they told the truth they may have been declined.

A material misrepresentation is, I forgot, I didn't know that is what they were asking, etc. It is not an outright lie, that is fraud.

And while I am glad that may people are able to turn their lives around due to rehab, there are plenty that don't and relapse. As long as that continue, the insurance industry is likely to continue to give less than great rates to people who have gone through rehab in the recent past.

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Old 08-24-2017, 10:00 AM   #9
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Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question Re: Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question
The thing is if it is between them and God. How do you prove they lied? What a person does prior to a completed app is what is underwritten, not after. Underwriting is a snapshot in time, not a movie.

It would be very difficult to win a court case as an insurer for trying to rescind for behavior after the policy is issued, without proof of some sort to back it up that it was occurring prior to.

But this is also why Paramedic examiners ask these questions now. 3rd party. I haven't asked a drug question on an app for maybe a decade. Insurers are hip and learn. But again, if something is between the individual and God, in other words nobody else knows, there is no check, bill or statement that can prove differently, there is no way to prove anything by an insurer and the resulting lawsuit for prying that hard would cost more than the claim.

All this kind of stuff is factored into the cost of the premium. It's the risk insurers take on. They know most people aren't going to be honest about past drug use, because if they're saying yes on an app, they're creating a record of admitted drug use.


When you look at this case, it's a kid who parties too hard. A binge partier. Colleges are full of them. Sometimes adults have a knee jerk reaction and decide junior partied too hard a couple times and maybe rehab is the answer. The big thing here is a 3rd party is talking about "maybe" rehab. There is no arrest record, hospitalization for drug use or anything other than the description of what a lot of kids do, which is over do until they learn their limits. Not everybody that gets puking drunk or high continues to do so into adult hood. Some tire of passing out in somebody's yard before the police or medical help is provided.

This is why you tell your kids about moderation, you have that talk in HS and before college. Most will get it, some won't. But a any given Saturday or Sunday, in a football stadium across America around 15% of the crowd has overdone alcohol or drugs. Will they continue those things on Monday and through the week? Some yes, but most won't. Most will work at their jobs and do it again the next weekend.

This is the lifestyle of a great portion of our population. A few take it too far, most don't.

Take care.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:52 AM   #10
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Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question Re: Drug/alcohol Use - Rehab Question
Originally Posted by LGilmore View Post
The thing is if it is between them and God. How do you prove they lied? What a person does prior to a completed app is what is underwritten, not after. Underwriting is a snapshot in time, not a movie.

It would be very difficult to win a court case as an insurer for trying to rescind for behavior after the policy is issued, without proof of some sort to back it up that it was occurring prior to.

But this is also why Paramedic examiners ask these questions now. 3rd party. I haven't asked a drug question on an app for maybe a decade. Insurers are hip and learn. But again, if something is between the individual and God, in other words nobody else knows, there is no check, bill or statement that can prove differently, there is no way to prove anything by an insurer and the resulting lawsuit for prying that hard would cost more than the claim.

All this kind of stuff is factored into the cost of the premium. It's the risk insurers take on. They know most people aren't going to be honest about past drug use, because if they're saying yes on an app, they're creating a record of admitted drug use.


When you look at this case, it's a kid who parties too hard. A binge partier. Colleges are full of them. Sometimes adults have a knee jerk reaction and decide junior partied too hard a couple times and maybe rehab is the answer. The big thing here is a 3rd party is talking about "maybe" rehab. There is no arrest record, hospitalization for drug use or anything other than the description of what a lot of kids do, which is over do until they learn their limits. Not everybody that gets puking drunk or high continues to do so into adult hood. Some tire of passing out in somebody's yard before the police or medical help is provided.

This is why you tell your kids about moderation, you have that talk in HS and before college. Most will get it, some won't. But a any given Saturday or Sunday, in a football stadium across America around 15% of the crowd has overdone alcohol or drugs. Will they continue those things on Monday and through the week? Some yes, but most won't. Most will work at their jobs and do it again the next weekend.

This is the lifestyle of a great portion of our population. A few take it too far, most don't.

Take care.
You are forgetting the intake interview. They are going to ask why they are in rehab and how long they have been using. Apply on 1/1 and check into rehab for illegal drug use on 3/1? Even as much as juries hate insurance companies, they aren't that stupid.

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