MLB Players Possible Steroid Use Will Affect their Future Insurance Prospects

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Posted on June 6, 2013 in Insurance Types, Life Insurance Canada News
371px Melky Cabrera on April 2 2013
 Blue Jay Melky Cabrera
may be suspended.

About 20 Major League Baseball Players may be suspended by the league for alleged steroid use, including Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and the Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera.

The players were named in connection with an ongoing performance-enhancing drug investigation of the now-shuttered, Miami-based "anti-aging clinic" Biogenesis of America and its founder, Tony Bosch. If found to be in violation of the league's steroid policy for the second time, some players, like Rodriguez and Braun, could face 100-game suspensions. For his part, Bosch has agreed to co-operate with investigators and start naming names for the league.

"I don't know what's going on and it's not an issue to me. I really haven't thought about this. Why it came up, I have no idea. But there's no reason for me to think about it any different than I did in spring training," Ryan Braun told ESPN.

Braun on Tuesday said, "I've already addressed everything related to the Miami situation."

"I addressed it in spring training. The truth has not changed. I don't know the specifics of the story that came out today, but I've already addressed it. I've commented on it. I'll say nothing further about it," he said.

Performance-enhancing drugs come with all kinds of adverse health effects in exchange for the advantage they offer on the field. According to a paper from Dr. Harm Kuipers in the Department of Physiology at the University of Limburg, anabolic steroid use can produce a host of health issues, including hypogonadism, cardiovascular disease, and an over-taxed liver. Many of these side effects can lead to death.

So, if these players are found to have taken this type of steroid, how will their steroid use impact their existing life insurance policies and their ability to obtain new life insurance in the future as their families expand?

Existing Policies
If the insurance company can prove that the ball players were using steroids at the time of their applications and lied about their drug use, the insurance company would have grounds to deny a claim. The question that is really more of legal matter is how difficult will it be for the insurance company to prove this?

If, however, steroid use was started after the application was issued, this would not impact their existing life insurance policies. Another important variable is that these policies are likely very large, based solely on the fact that higher income earners require larger life insurance policies. After all, insurance companies will investigate a $10 million policy much more closely than a $50,000 policy.

New Life Insurance
We contacted underwriters at several insurance companies, and this is what we found out.

Current anabolic or other illegal performance-enhancing drug users will be disqualified for traditional insurance policies. Traditional life insurance applications ask a complete list of health and lifestyle questions, and the insured must complete medical tests. The higher the policy amounts, the more stringent the health tests. Current users could qualify for simplified issue life insurance policies, which require no medical tests and include a short series of health questions. But the coverage face amounts on these policies will be more limited. Thankfully, you can combine simplified policies with multiple carriers if you need more coverage.

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Past steroid users can qualify for insurance, but generally they must have not used for at least one year. Steroid users who used steroids for over a year but quit less than 10 years ago ago are likely looking at a policy rating of up to 250 per cent. This means someone who would have paid a $1,000 a year in premiums would now pay $2,500. If the steroid user abused the substance for less than a year, and has not used for a minimum of 10 years, they may qualify for standard rates.

If the steroid user has other health issues related to their steroid use, like a liver condition, they are very likely to be declined and smaller, but higher-priced, simplified issue life insurance would likely be their only option.

12 Comments

  1. Howie Trains 06/06/2013 at 10:21 am

    How would the insurance company know if a regular gym rat like myself was juicing.

  2. LSM Insurance 06/06/2013 at 10:48 am

    Hi Howie,

    Certain abnormalities could show up in the blood test. If they contact your doctor he / she may have knowledge of this. Anytime you lie on your application you roll the dice your policy will be null and void.

  3. Temal 06/06/2013 at 12:59 pm

    Well the thing is insurance companies wouldnt suspect the average Joe juicing with a 50,000 face amount. There is more suspicion when dealing with athletes, but never the less its a big risk involved when lying on the application. One thing I dont know is if it shows on record with other insurance companies if u did or didnt lie on an application?

  4. LSM Insurance 06/06/2013 at 2:01 pm

    Temal there is something called Medical Information Bureau MIB where the insurance companies share information when applying for an policy. Authorization is given when you submit an application it is used to prevent fraud.

  5. The Boss 06/07/2013 at 2:48 pm

    Maybe we should get Melky back on the sauce, wouldn’t mind seeing a 350 average again.

  6. LSM Insurance 06/07/2013 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks for the note. But tips on how Melky can up his batting average are beyond our scope :)

    Go Jays!

  7. Farz 06/08/2013 at 2:20 pm

    Why would these guys need life insurance they are making millions? They are already rich enough

  8. LSM Insurance 06/08/2013 at 2:39 pm

    There are quite a few reasons why wealthy people need / want life insurance. There families get use to living off of this type of income and if the die they need funds if they want to preserve this lifestyle. Life Insurance can also be an excellent vehicle for estate maximization and preservation.

  9. Raul 06/11/2013 at 8:19 am

    If these players admitted to steroid use on their life insurance application would the insurance company be required to release this information to Major League Baseball.

  10. LSM Insurance 06/11/2013 at 10:49 am

    We consulted with a local lawyer and here was his response.

    Without reading the terms and conditions attached to the application form, it would be difficult to know for certain but I would suspect that the application process is handled on a strictly “confidential basis”. Although the steroid use may void the insurance policy if discovered after the policy of insurance has been issued, in all likelihood the insurance companies would not have provided coverage from the outset had the players admitted to steroid use on the face of the application. Getting
    back to the question posed though, it is likely that the insurance companies would not breach the confidentiality that attaches to the application process unless compelled to do so i.e. by way of court order.

    Either way, the average ball fan isn’t going to lose any sleep if a few multi-million dollar players are suspended a few games for cheating.

  11. JQ 10/22/2013 at 8:21 am

    I use steroids but I’m in excellent health. Get checked out by my doctor regularly. My kidney, liver function, blood pressure and cholesterol are all good.

    I don’t want to lie on my application since my doctor has all my information, will I be able to get life insurance

  12. LSM Insurance 10/22/2013 at 8:28 am

    Thanks for the note. If you are currently using Steroids you will likely be limited to a Simplified Issue Life Insurance policy. These plans hae no medicals and a series of questions. Many do not have a steroid related question. You can combine multiple Simplified Issue plans and depending on the plan coverage could start from day one.

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