Life Insurance With High Blood Pressure…Everything you Need to Know.

Life Insurance With High Blood Pressure…Everything you Need to Know.

If you are reasearching how to get affordable life insurance with high blood preesure, you have landed in the right place.

Ever wondered where the saying "don't sweat the small stuff" comes from? The answer might well be a cardiologist.

Turns out, stress and anger really do raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels. 

High blood pressure, also known as hyper-tension, is just what the name says,  exerting  pressure on the arterial walls. Over a period of time this affects life span and health in a significantly negative manner. 

The purpose of this article is to provide the background on high blood pressure and the information necessary to get the best possible deal on life insurance with high blood pressure. 

If you already know more than you care to about high blood pressure, you can use the quick navigation tool to skip to the insurance specific portion of the article.

Fast Facts About High Blood Pressure

According to the Centers for Disease Control about 75 million American or one third af all adults, have high blood pressure.

Only slightly more than half of those diagnosed with high blood pressure have it effectively controlled. 

Another 75 million or one third of adults have pre-hypertension. That is, they have blood pressure elevated but not yet at hypertension levels.  

High blood pressure is positively linked to heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. 

High blood pressure affects Black Americans at about a 50% greater percentage than Caucasian or Hispanic Americans.

Some of the more famous people who have suffered from high blood pressure are: television funnyman David Letterman, famed actress Elizabeth Taylor , President Clinton. journalist Barbara Walters, and football star Joe Montana.

life insurance with High blood pressure
life insurance with High Blood Pressure
life insurance with high blood pressure
life insurance with high blood pressure

 What is High Blood Pressure?

​Defined as a condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may ultimately cause health problems, such as heart disease.

Your  blood pressure reading has two numbers. The first number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. This is referred to as systolic pressure. The second number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats, This is referred to as  diastolic pressure.

The Mayo Clinic  lists 4 basic  Blood pressure  categories:

  • Normal blood pressure. When  blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg.
  • Prehypertension. Prehypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 80 to 89 mm Hg. 
  • Stage 1 hypertension. Stage 1 hypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 140 to 159 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 90 to 99 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension. More severe hypertension, stage 2 hypertension is a systolic pressure of 160 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 100 mm Hg or higher.

Key Take Aways

  • High blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke,  & kidney disease.
  • Blood pressure is a reading of both your systolic and diastolic  pressure readings
  • Readings above 120/80 are considered pre-hypertension and need to be monitored. 

What are the Symptoms of High Blood Pressure?

It's possible to have high blood pressure  for years without symptoms.

Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels  and increased risk of heart disease continues.

Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily tested for and controlled.

While high blood pressure is usually without symptoms, when it reaches severe or even life threatening levels, headaches, shortness of breath and blurry vision sometimes occur.

Because symptoms generally do not show until at critical levels, it is important to have your BP checked at regular physician visits.

What are the Complications of High Blood Pressure?

Generally speaking "complications" is another way to say connected conditions.

We have already mentioned the most serious related complications:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease

However, the list does not end there. The full list includes:

  • Vision loss
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Memory loss

What are the Causes for high Blood Pressure?

Causes for high blood pressure are broken into two categories: 

  • Primary
  • Secondary

Primary causes of high blood pressure are unknown. It develops over long periods of time and may be better understood by looking into risk factors discuused in the next section.

Secondary high blood pressure is related to an underlying condition and is more likely to appear suddenly.  Some of the underlying conditions are:

  • Chronic alcohol abuse
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • Illegal narcotic use.
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • thyroid problems
  • Over the counter medications 

 What are The Risk Factors for High blood Pressure?

While not entirely inclusive, the following is a list of prominent risk factors for high blood pressure.

  • Age. The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age. 
  • Race. High blood pressure is particularly common among blacks, often developing at an earlier age than it does in whites. 
  • Family history. High blood pressure tends to run in families.
  • Being overweight or obese. 
  • Sedentary lifestyle. 
  • Using tobacco. 
  • Too much salt (sodium) in your diet. 
  • Too little potassium in your diet. 
  • Stress
  • Alcohol abuse. 

 What are The Common Pharmaceutical Treatments for High Blood Pressure?

Physicians have a plethora of choices when it comes to medications for high blood pressure. 

When appropriate physicians will start with a conservative approach such as a diuretic to remove salt from the blood  and encourage lifestyle changes.

Beyond diuretics, WebMD lists the high blood pressure drug categories as:

  • Beta Blockers-These medications work to slow down the heartbeat. 
  • Alpha Blockers- These medications block nerve signals to tighten blood vessels. 
  • ACE Inhibitors- These medications block the production of angiotensin ll -the hormone that makes blood vessels tighten.
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Central agonists- these target receptors in the brain to lower BP
  • Peripheral acting Adrenergic Blockers
  • Direct Vasodilators 

 What are The Common Alternative or Complimentary Treatments for High Blood Pressure?

​While there are some supplements that are recommended by homeopaths, the overwhelming recommendations are  about diet and physical activity.

May Clinic list the following recomendations:

    • Eat healthy foods. - Try DASH diet
    • Decrease the salt in your diet. 

    • Maintain a healthy weight. 
    • Increase physical activity.

    • Limit alcohol. 
    • Don't smoke. 
    • Manage stress. 
    • Monitor your blood pressure at home. 

    • Practice relaxation or slow, deep breathing.
    • Control blood pressure during pregnancy. 

​The previously mentioned homeopathic supplements are:

  • Fiber 
  • Minerals- Magnesium, Potassium , Calcium
  • Cocoa, garlic, L-arginine 
  • Omega 3 fatty acids- fish Oil

Obtaining life Insurance with High Blood Pressure

With a couple of caveats, the process of obtaining life insurance with high blood pressure or any other impairment is pretty much the same.

The primary caveats with high blood pressure are that no exam or so called “non-med” policies may not be available at the best prices and an attending physician's statement (APS) may be requested.

The APS would slow the process as doctors are seldom in a hurry to respond to requests from life insurance companies.

The information that you will be required to provide in order to get the most accurate quote is as follows:

  1. Date of Diagnosis

  2. Treatments Undergone

  3. Dates of Treatments

  4. Other Health Issues

Possible Underwriting Ratings with High Blood Pressure

Because Life insurance applications are evaluated on a case by case basis, your story matters. That is to say two people with the same age and condition may get vastly different offers from the same carrier based on age of diagnosis and patient compliance. Because each case is different, the following pricing scenarios are the best estimates based on experience.

Best Case – If  blood pressure is under excellent control 125/90 or good control 135/90 with or without the help of a blood pressure medication good chance exist for a preferred plus/preferred rating. Simply use the quote tool for a quote.

Mid Case –If your blood pressure is under control, but not quite to the standards of preferred best or preferred rates, you will likely get you standard rate. This assumes there are no other major health concerns.

To learn about how table ratings work click here.

Severe Case – If your High blood pressure  is not under control but is being actively treated you may receive a substandard offer in the range table 2/B to table 4/D depending on the severity of the case.

* while expensive this is still a very good outcome for the circumstances

Decline– For a severe case where high blood pressure is not under control and there has been no effort exhibited to do so, to you may be declined for traditional coverage. If this is the case you may be eligible for a smaller face amount policy. These policies are referred to as Guaranteed issue or simplified issue. If you have been declined please contact us

Key Take Aways

  • There are often no symptoms for high blood pressure so having it tested is important.
  • The risk factors for high blood pressure center around diet and lifestyle choices. 
  • Even with medication, it is possible to get the best underwriting grade available.

Why you Should Use an Independent Agent when Shopping for Life Insurance with High Blood Pressure

Now you already understand that your story matters, and that two people in similar situations can get very different offers from the same carrier.

What you might not know is that different insurance companies will also treat each case differently.

For example Prudential Financial may have more of an appetite for the risk that RA presents than say SBLI. In this case the underwriting grade will reflect this increased appetite.

So, if your Agent only represented one carrier and you found out later that that you could have gotten a rate 35% or 45% better, how would you feel?

You’d probably be angry either at the agent or likely both. So it’s important that your Agent represent multiple carriers.

Most good independent agents will have access to over 50 carriers. This ensures the best chance at the best rate.

Note that if he doesn’t have access to alternatives , he may not be interested in telling you.

Key Take Aways

  • Access to more carriers will result in better pricing.
  • It may be worth paying slightly more if there is a strong permanent conversion product.
  • Only independent brokers have the freedom to offer the best deal at all times.

Case Study Pricing Policies with High blood Pressure

So, I have been blathering on and on  about the importance of using an independent Agent and you may think that sounds a bit self serving coming from an independent agent.

You are right. It is.. However, it is also the (demonstrable) truth.

Please see the case study below . it will show why it is in your interest to have as many options as possible available when shopping for life insurance with High blood pressure or any other impairment.

Gender: Male Age: 43

$500000 20 Year Term

Tobacco: No

Fairly well controlled High Blood Pressure

BP 135/90

Beta Blocker use - No Other Health Concerns

This looks like a standard/preferred case that might get a better rating with one or two carriers. depending on the insurers appetite for a life insurance with high blood pressure risk. Let’s take a look at the rates.

Preferred Best Rates - Preferred Rates - Standard Rates

lincoln financial$45.24lincoln financial55.26banner87.70
banner45.91banner55.89lincoln financial87.82
mutual omaha46.11principal57.84principal91.34
principal47.9mutual omaha59.24mutual omaha92.49
prudential logo51.75prudential logo64.80prudential logo107.10

This table which shows only a few of the major life insurance companies available illustrates the difference in rates. For standard rates Prudential is 12.5% more expensive than Lincoln.

On it’s face this seems like a pretty straight forward choice and if underwriting grades between carriers is the same, it really can be that simple.

This kind of easy price shopping is particularly useful for younger folks in good health and demonstrates why you want to use an independent Agent.

For people who suffer from High Blood Pressure or any other serious diagnosis, it gets much more complicated.

Because life insurers manage their appetite for specific risks by being more lenient or more stringent with underwriting grades, you need to know which company will grade you a preferred plus risk and which ones will grade you as standard.

In the case above Banner is likely to be the best deal because they would rate the applicant as preferred plus. However, it's worth noting that Prudential (the most expensive standard rate) is likely to be better than Lincoln (the best preferred plus rate) because Lincoln  rate the risk preferred/standard while Pru might well go Preferred Plus.

This is something you can’t know by simply looking at the lowest price. In this hypothetical using an independent agent could save you 18.5% (the difference between Banner @ Preferred plus and Lincoln @ Preferred.

Your Next Step

Now that you know the information you will need to receive the most accurate quote possible, it’s time to gather the information and speak to an independent Agent (raising my hand).

We are committed to totally transparent pricing (we’ll even share our computer screen with you if you’d like), and making the application process as painless as possible.

Thank you for choosing the Life Insurance Help Desk to research life insurance with high blood pressure. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call or shoot us an email.

Life Insurance With High Blood Pressure…Everything you Need to Know.
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Life Insurance With High Blood Pressure…Everything you Need to Know.
Shopping for Life insurance With High Blood Pressure ? Learn everything you need to know to get the best possible deal on life insurance Call 203-424-1100
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James Tobin, CFP

Jim Tobin is the owner of Life Insurance Help Desk, a Fairfield County, CT. life insurance agency. You can find him on Google + and Facebook. Over the past 10 years, Jim has used his CFP-financial planning designation to help individuals with their life insurance needs. In addition to working with life insurance clients, Jim teaches ESL classes in his spare time. He resides with his beautiful wife Nicole and the 3 cats that rule their lives..