Life insurance with high cholesterol seems to intimidate several clients so we wanted to take the time to address how it really works.
Buying the right life insurance policy is by no means an easy feat, but it gets even more complicated if you have high cholesterol. A lot of people have found out later that they were given higher premiums and some were even denied insurance because of their cholesterol levels.
It is imperative that you don’t get discouraged or lose hope of qualifying for life insurance if you have high cholesterol, because all life insurance companies evaluate high cholesterol differently.
It is estimated that over 100 million Americans over the age of 20 suffer from high cholesterol levels, which is one reason why most insurance companies will not take the health risks of cholesterol too seriously.
So, don’t be worried if you’re someone that suffers from high cholesterol, because the insurance industry is vast, and you will find an insurance carrier that will offer you a policy.
We will be looking at qualifying for life insurance with high-cholesterol in greater detail, because as previously mentioned, more than a 100 million Americans suffer from this health condition.
It is important to remember that you can easily get life insurance even with high cholesterol. So, here is everything that you need to know about qualifying for life insurance with high cholesterol:
What is High Cholesterol?
High cholesterol, is a condition that escalates the risk of suffering from stroke or heart disease. The cholesterol is measured after evaluating abnormal levels of LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol in the body.
Cholesterol is a type of fat in your blood, and is needed by the cells in the body, which is why the body makes cholesterol. However, too much of anything is bad for you, and the same goes for cholesterol.
If you live a lifestyle that creates excess cholesterol in your body, you could suffer from a variety of different health conditions.
High cholesterol will create plaque in the arteries, caused them to harden, and when plaque attaches to the walls of blood vessels it continues to build. This restricts blood flow from the heart.
This also leads to the buildup of clots in the arteries, and can result in inflammation, which can cause strokes or heart attacks. A common sign of high cholesterol is angina, which is an excruciating chest pain.
Good Vs. Bad Cholesterol
Before we shed some more light on high cholesterol, it is important to note that there are two types of cholesterol that the body makes. They are known as good cholesterol and bad cholesterol.
The good cholesterol is known as HDL, and the bad cholesterol is known as LDL. You will experience cholesterol problems if the HDL is lower than the LDL. You could be experiencing a cholesterol problem due to various reasons, but your diet plays a major role. If you consume too much trans fat and saturated fat, it will result in high cholesterol.
Other factors that may play a role in causing high cholesterol in the body are your being inactive or overweight, since that will bring your HDL levels down. You may also have a family history of suffering from high cholesterol, but your age also plays a role.
It is only after you get above the of 20 do your cholesterol levels start to increase rapidly.
You will be asked to take a blood test, known as lipid panel, to find out if you have high cholesterol. The test will measure that fats in your blood, and determine LDL and HDL levels. If your LDL cholesterol levels are above 190, it is considered high, and the higher the number is the more you are at risk.
HDL cholesterol that is below 40, shows an increased risk for stroke or coronary artery disease. If the reading is above 60, you won’t have to worry about heart diseases. Even if you do suffer from high cholesterol, it is nothing to be alarmed about, because you can treat it with different medications, and even make changes to your lifestyle.
Consuming a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, and low-fat dairy foods is recommended, as is working out regularly and maintaining a healthy body weight. If you are a smoker, you may need to quit as soon as possible, because smoking and high cholesterol together are extremely bad for you.
How do life insurance companies assess cholesterol? How will life insurance with high cholesterol be viewed?
Every life insurance company has its own way of assessing cholesterol, but most will look at two things:
Total blood cholesterol level
Ratio of HDL cholesterol to LDL cholesterol
After getting the numbers of both, they can determine whether you are in good health, which will impact on you qualifying for life coverage. The standards for assessing risk and cholesterol levels varies from company to company.
However, it’s fairly to easy to gauge where you may land for life insurance with high cholesterol.
You will be asked a lot of questions related to your age and health from the insurance company, and your answers will determine whether you qualify for insurance.
Additional Factors in Buying Life Insurance with High Cholesterol
It is a given that every insurance company will conduct a thorough review of your health before qualifying you for life insurance. It is important to note that they won’t only be looking at your cholesterol levels when checking your health, but will be looking at the following as well:
Any hospital visits
Age at diagnosis
Therefore, people who don’t generally suffer from health complications, but do have high cholesterol can breathe a bit easier. The insurance company is going to conduct a full health review, before they decide on whether to accept or reject your application to buy a life insurance policy.
Underwriting Credits that can be applied for life insurance with high cholesterol.
It is possible that you are in excellent health, but due to high cholesterol levels, you don’t qualify for the Preferred Best Rates offered by life insurance companies. However, you shouldn’t lose hope because some companies also assign underwriting credits, which improves your health rate class.
An underwriting credit will only be given when you have a positive health factor that cancels out the negative one. Most insurance companies encourage underwriting credit applications from people with high cholesterol, if they meet any three (3) of the following conditions:
1. Favorable family history
You don’t control your family history, so you will be out of luck if your family has a history of heart diseases and high cholesterol levels.
2. Normal cardiac function
If you have taken a cardiac test in the last 2 years and had normal results, then you are eligible for underwriting credits.
3. A healthy lifestyle
Are you someone that eats healthy, and exercises regularly? Then you also qualify for underwriting credits.
4. No tobacco use in the last 10 years
Some companies even allow 5 years when it comes to no tobacco use. The longer the length of time you have been without using tobacco the better the options for you.
5. A cholesterol ratio of 4.5 or less
You can calculate your cholesterol ratio by taking the total number and dividing it with the HDL number. People with a cholesterol ratio of 4.5 or less qualify for underwriting credits.
6. GGT level below 30
The GGT is a liver enzyme that is elevated when you suffer trauma or when the liver is diseased. If the GST levels are elevated, but other enzymes are normal, it shows a history of alcoholic hepatitis or excessive alcohol use. You must have a GST level below 30 to show that your liver is in great health.
7. NT Pro BnP under 100
The NT Pro BnP is a marker in the blood, which shows whether you are at risk of suffering from acute congestive heart failure. The test is commonly taken by men over the age of 60, and if you want to qualify for underwriting credits, you must have a NT pro BnP score under 100, which shows you aren’t at risk for renal failure or congestive heart failure.
Types of Life Insurance with High Cholesterol
There are quite a few life insurance options available to people with high cholesterol, and it mainly depends on the type of life insurance policy you want. Here are options available to you:
Ø Term Life Insurance with high cholesterol
This is the most affordable life insurance policy, and comes with guaranteed premiums and set periods called ‘terms’. You can purchase them to get insurance for a limited time, anywhere between 10 to 30 years is the norm when it comes to term life insurance.
Ø Whole Life Insurance with high cholesterol
You can get insurance protection for your entire life with whole life insurance, with guaranteed cash value accumulation and fixed premiums. You will be paying more for this policy, since it offers guaranteed payouts to your beneficiaries, when you pas away. It is also the easiest type of life insurance you can qualify for with high cholesterol, because it is so expensive.
Ø Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance with high cholesterol (GUL)
This life insurance policy is a combination of the whole life and term life insurance policies. However, it doesn’t have cash value build-up, but monthly payments are low. The policy offers fixed premiums for the duration of the policy, with the only difference being that this insurance policy is set for specific ages, which are: (90, 95, 100, 105, 110, and even 121).
Best Insurance Companies for life insurance with High Cholesterol
If you are suffering from high cholesterol and want to qualify for life insurance policies at affordable rates, then you will have to do a lot of research. There are a lot of companies that are offering great life insurance policies to people with high cholesterol levels.
Every company employs their own underwriting guideline, for approving life insurance cases with high cholesterol. We have done some research on our part to save your time and money to find the best insurance companies for people suffering with high cholesterol levels.
Before you look at the table that we have shown below, there are a few things you should know:
The companies aren’t ranked in any order
High cholesterol isn’t going to be the only health concerned that will be considered
All insurance carriers listed allow people taking cholesterol medication to qualify
Some insurance companies offer higher levels for different genders and older ages
The numbers show the maximum HDL ratios and total cholesterol allowed for every health class.
So, let’s look at the best insurance companies for high cholesterol:
Worth repeating…the above are guidelines, however, it is possible to negotiate with some underwriters and “trade” a lower ratio for a credit against higher total cholesterol.
Just because you fall right outside a specific number or range doesn’t mean you are locked in. This is where an experienced independent broker can fight for you with their knowledge of the industry. Your piggy bank $ will thank you!
Shop the Market
When buying life insurance with high cholesterol, it’s extremely important that you work with an independent agent like JRC to shop the market and compare rates from different carriers. Larger insurance companies are often far less lenient with applicants who have high cholesterol than smaller but equally reputable companies.