Can my doctor refuse to fill in my life insurance paper work requested by them to insure my life?
The short answer is no. The long answer is: it depends on the reason. For example, many psychiatrists or psychologists do NOT want to release their records if they have been prescribing you anti-depressants, anti-anxiety or bipolar medication. They may tell you that they are protecting you based on the "doctor/client privilege." The real reason is that they may not want to be the cause for your getting declined for insurability purposes. If your doctor is a psychiatrist /psychologist and you 1. are on any medication, and 2. are functional with stabilized emotions (you are productive, working full-time, have been able to keep a job for more than two years, have healthy relationships, etc.) then you may want to encourage your physician to release their records because barring any adverse health conditions, chances are, you will be approved. Taking anti-depressant/anxiety medication is so common in America today that it is no longer a huge concern for life insurance companies. However, if you are not currently socially or emotionally stable, or your doctor has recently changed your medication (within the past 2 years) then you may want to decide to put off buying the life insurance for a couple of years until you are stable. The risk for putting off buying the life insurance is that you may actually die or your health gets worse If so, you will pay higher premiums (you will anyway just for being older) or depending on the worsening health may become uninsurable.If your physician is in a different field other than psychiatry and you are unsure of your health condition or background, it would be prudent to get an appointment and stress with your doctors that they divulge to you notes or comments and are not necessarily life-threatening. I have had many clients declined or placed on hold for life insurance because a doctor has written in their records that their patient drinks more than 2 glasses of wine after dinner, have had a nagging headache or stomachache and are now taking over the counter medication until it is clear that the patient is not a problem drinker, have brain tumor or stomach cancer, respectively.Otherwise there is no clear reason why your doctor may not want to release your records as long as you have signed all the proper authorization disclosures. The insurance company usually pays for a copying service to retrieve medical records and are very careful to follow HIPAA protocol.Caveat: it is important to understand that your doctor’s role is to maintain your current health and, if possible, give general or specific advice to improve your health. That is why they may want to see you for a "check-up" or schedule you for routine labwork so they can respond immediately if they discover new health risks. On the other hand, the insurance company has their one chance to evaluate your health and must make a judgment based on your "future risk" with an entire group of similar men or women who have ALL the common known and unknown health risks within your 10-15 age range based on your present health and any combination of medications, lifestyle, family history, occupational health and even a pattern of above or below average lab results.For example, your doctor may tell you that your cholesterol is in the "normal"range and will tell you that they see no problem with your health presently. Nevertheless your doctor will still want you to come back for your annual or bi-annual follow-up appointment so they can respond with treatment "as needed." Meanwhile the life insurance company projects your "insurable risk" based on your general benign health factors as compared to extremely healthy men or women with no factors. The company will consider all possiblilites to determine the mathematical (actuarial) risk of when you will die. That is why most men and women will be approved for life insurance at their younger age - they have the ability to improve their general health with exercise and diet even if there are common health factors present. That is, they are a better mortality risk.Furthermore, the older you are the higher chance that your health will deteriorate sooner. At age 25 more men and women will live the next 10 to 20 years when compared to men and women at age 65 with stellar health. In other words, since there is a 100% chance that all people die, getting older means that you no longer have the luxury of having 50 to 70 more years until deathr when compared to a a 25 year old. If this is confusing look at it this way: imagine that you have a 7 year old washing machine while your neighbor has a brand new washing machine. It would then be foolish for me to expect or bet that in the next years your washing machine will not break down and that your neighbor’s washing machine will break down (all other things being equal). Doctors can tell you your chances of living and dying only after you develop a crippling or fatal disease while life insurance companies can determine with mathematical certainty your chances of living and dying even while you are still healthy.