Life Insurance With High Cholesterol
Impact on Underwriting Class:
None if well controlled
Significant if uncontrolled
Preferred Plus Rates Possible
Rate impact based on current
cholesterol readings and history
Every applicant for life insurance with high cholesterol can be approved for a policy.
However, the type of policy that can be approved, and the rates charged, will depend on the nature of your high cholesterol, how well it's controlled, and your overall health.
Because the underwriting standards are different for each type of policy, this review of life insurance options with high cholesterol is broken into three sections: (click button to go directly to section)
In order to underwrite your application life insurance carriers will need to know the symptoms that you have experienced, the treatment undergone, including prescription drugs used, and any medical follow up. For a more exhaustive discussion of the underwriting of stroke applications please scroll to What Insurers Will Want to Know
In order to get the best rates possible you may need to take an exam. Well controlled cases of high cholesterol will be eligible for no-exam underwriting. However, applications seen as more serious will require an exam.
The exam is a para-medical exam that collects blood and urine samples. The exam is administered at no cost by a travelling nurse and can be done at your choice of location.
If it turns out that simplified issue or guaranteed issue policies are the best fit for your application, no exam will be required. See How Term Life Insurance Works for more on the exam.
The rates you pay for tem insurance are dependent on the underwriting class you are graded by the carrier. High cholesterol applications are generally going to be rated as standard (rare) or lower. This issue is discussed using rating guides and pricing samples. Sample pricing for simplified issue and guaranteed issue policies is provided in the corresponding links.
The quotes you receive from the quote tool on this site are 100% accurate for the information inputted. That is to say, if you get the rate class correct- your rate will be correct. The problem with online tools is that people generally think they are inn better or worse shape than is reality.
If you are unsure about rate class you should choose a range and hope to be pleasantly surprised. Alternatively, you can fill out the customized quote form and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
The most effective ways to improve your life insurance rating are to use an agent that has access to the companies that will view you most favorably and to take care of your health.
See Why to use Independent Agent when Shopping for Life Insurance with High Cholesterol to better understand the reason to use an independent agent.
As far as lifestyle goes, if you take diet and exercise seriously along with limiting alcohol and quitting smoking (if you smoke), it should be reflected in your blood markers.
If you have a auto immune medical condition like high cholesterol, documenting compliance with medical advise and any medications is very important. Obtaining Having a physicians letter stating that you have been compliant and improving is helpful.
Do these things and you can't help but improve your health and your life insurance rating.
Life insurance companies have differing appetites for specific risks. These appetites are reflected in underwriting and ultimately pricing. Simplified issue carriers will be state dependent and three of the better known term carriers for dealing with high cholesterol are Prudential, American General (AIG), and Banner.
However, risk appetite can, and does, change and the only way to guarantee the best possible deal is to work with an experienced independent agent. see the case study here to get a clear understanding.
Regardless of your pre existing condition, the application process is largely the same. The life insurance application process is an eight step process that includes choosing your terms, picking a carrier, submitting to the exam, and signing documents (digital signatures accepted). The entire 8 step process is laid out for you here.
While it is extremely rare to see an offer for life insurance "table rated", due to blood pressure alone, the reality is that high cholesterol is often accompanied by additional risks. The combination of blood pressure and connected risks can result in table rated offers. This being said, it is worth noting that the severity of the rating can vary significantly. Therefore it's important that you use an agent that is experienced with cardiac cases and has access to the carriers most likely to be receptive.
Primarily, term life insurance is available for lengths ranging from 5 years to 30 years with 20-year terms being the most popular. Term policies usually have a minimum face amount of $50000, and the policies terminate at the end of the term period or can be renewed annually at a vastly increased rate.
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 High Cholesterol is under excellent control- LDL/HDL ratio under 5 and total cholesterol under 250- some cases have a chance for a preferred plus rating even if using a statin. Simply use the quote tool on the right for a quote.
Mid Case –If your high cholesterol is under good control but not quite to the standards of preferred best rates will likely get you standard rates or better. This assumes there are no other health concerns.
To learn about how table ratings work click here.
Severe Case – If your High cholesterol 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 cholesterol 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.
When applying for life insurance with high cholesterol, or any other condition, underwriters will generally be concerned with some basic questions:
While the outline above is general in form , the questions will require specific answers. These answers will be gathered from your application, a telephone interview, the Medical Information Bureau, a Script Check, and possibly an attending physicians statement (APS).
Lets look at the general areas of inquiry one at a time.
The causes of high cholesterol are both in your control and partially outside your total control.
While diet and lifestyle are clear contributors to high cholesterol, genetic factors play a role also... you might be able to blame Mom and Dad.
The reason it matters with most conditions is that underwriters are more comfortable with making offers when an applicant fits into a common pattern. If the condition doesn't fit, there is a real possibility that something else is at play. When this is the case, underwriters will take a harder look at the file.
The famed Mayo Clinic lists the risk factors as such:
Since their are no symptoms for high cholesterol, the only way to know is scheduling a blood test.
Someone is considered to have high cholesterol when they are outside the typical range. See charts below.
Total Cholesterol Level
LESS THAN 200 MG/DL
240 MG/DL AND ABOVE
LDL Cholesterol Level
LESS THAN 100 MG/DL
NEAR OPTIMAL/ABOVE OPTIMAL
190 MG/DL AND ABOVE
Conditions to High Cholesterol
Cholesterol related conditions as, opposed to risk factors, are really complications. The related condition to high cholesterol is art atherosclerosis, a dangerous condition where plaque accumulates on the walls of arteries. The build up can reduce blood flow through your arteries, causing serious issues such as:
Chest Pains also known as Angina
Heart Attack caused by an arterial blockage of blood to the heart.
Stroke, similarly caused by a blockage of blood , but to the brain.
Life insurance underwriters will want to know the date of first diagnosis and actions. Underwriting will also want to know what medications you have been prescribed for high cholesterol.
The conservative approach to medicine dictates that in most cases diet and lifestyle changes be attempted prior to relying on drugs. However, when the conservative method fails to achieve results, physicians have many drug to choose from.
The most prominent drug category is a statin . Studies have shown statin use to lower the chance of a "cardiac event". Some well known statins listed at WebMD are :
For Life insurance with high cholesterol, underwriters will want to see that you have been compliant with prescription medication and any follow up requirements including doctors appointments.
While any application for life insurance with high cholesterol will take into consideration your overall health including conditions like high blood pressure and gout, underwriters in depression cases will specifically look for certain related conditions.
Among the related conditions of special concern to underwriters are:
For a full discussion of related orders (not necessarily of concern to underwriting) visit Anxiety and Depression Association.
The term life insurance market is quickly adopting accelerated underwriting programs that do not require a medical exam as part of the application process. However, these no exam or non-med policies may not be available if you have had a diagnosis of high cholesterol.
Cases of well controlled high cholesterol will likely qualify for no exam offers. However, cases where the high cholesterol is seen as more severe will not qualify for no-exam options. Without the no exam option, you will be required to take a para-medical exam.
At the top of this article we stated that any body can be approved for affordable life insurance with high cholesterol. Note, however, we mention “affordable” rather than inexpensive or “low cost’. The reason for the distinction is that life insurance with a high cholesterol is not always cheap life insurance.
Often times, because the coverage can be expensive on a per benefit dollar basis, the benefit is reduced to make the life insurance affordable. While this is often not an ideal situation, the truth is we all have to live within our budgets, and sometimes the way to make life insurance after a stroke affordable is to reduce either the term of coverage or the benefit amount.
The exam is usually a 15-20 minute meeting with a nurse. Your exam will consist of a blood draw, a urine sample, and height and weight recorded. The exam is free and can be done at the location of your choice.
Note that more expensive simple issue and guaranteed acceptance policies do not require exams.
$500000 20 Year Term
$100000 10 Year Term
$250000 10 Year Term
$200000 20 Year Term
he difficult part of term life insurance with a stroke history is finding the best deal. This is because different carriers have differing appetites for certain kinds of risks. As a result navigating this process
is not as easy as using a quote tool and picking the lowest price. This is discussed in detail in the case study below.
With a couple of caveats, the process of obtaining life insurance is essentially the same for everyone regardless of health.
The primary caveats with high cholesterol 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.
Simplified issue policies with super lenient underwriting are not an appropriate solution for high cholesterol. The terms and pricing of traditional term life insurance will be much better.
However, if in addition to your high cholesterol, you have a condition that will make term underwriting difficult, you can check simplified issue pricing on the final expense page. Note that all simple issue policies are "no-exam".
Like Simplified issue policies, guaranteed issue policies are also not an appropriate solution for high cholesterol. The terms and pricing of traditional term life insurance will be much better.
However, if in addition to your high cholesterol, you have a condition that will make term AND simplified issue underwriting difficult, you can check guaranteed issue policy pricing on the Guaranteed issue page. Note that all simple issue policies are "no-exam".
Key Take Aways
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
So, I have been spilling digital ink about the importance of using an independent Agent and you may think that sounds a bit self serving coming from an independent agent.
You’d are right, it is. However, it is also the (provable) 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 Cholesterol or any other impairment.
Gender: Male Age: 43
$500000 20 Year Term
Fairly well controlled High Cholesterol
HDL/LDL ratio of 5 & total cholesterol 275
Statin use (crestor) 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 cholesterol risk.. Let’s take a look at the rates.
Life Insurance Company
Life Insurance Company
Life Insurance Company
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 Cholesterol 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 Prudential (the most expensive standard rate) is likely to be the best deal because the more competitively priced carriers will likely rate the risk 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 50% (the difference between Prudential @ Preferred plus and Lincoln @ Standard.
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).
Simply give us a call or shoot an email over and we can get you started.
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.
If you have any questions, We’d like to hear them.
While LDL or "bad" cholesterol can lead to heart disease, some cholesterol is essential.
Fast facts from the Centers for Disease Control :
People with high LDL are twice as likely to develop heart disease.
71 million adults- or a little more than a third of the adult population in the U.S.- has high LDL cholesterol.
Only half of the people with high cholesterol get any treatment, and only one third have it under control.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that’s found in all cells of your body.
Cholesterol is needed in the formation of hormones, vitamin D, and helping you digest foods. The human body makes all the cholesterol it needs. However, cholesterol also is found in some foods.
Cholesterol traverses the bloodstream in lipo-proteins made up of fat (lipid) on the inside and proteins on the outside.
Llipo-proteins come in two forms: LDL or low-density lipoproteins and HDL or high-density lipo-proteins . Healthy levels of both types of lipo-proteins is essential.
LDL cholesterol is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. An elevated LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries.
HDL cholesterol often referred to as “good” cholesterol. This is because it delivers cholesterol from other parts of your body back to the liver.
Key Take Aways
Drugs that are prescribed other than statins, are:
Nniacin- prescription strength Vitamin B complex.
Bile acid sequestrants - These drugs work at the intestinal level, stopping bile from being reabsorbed by the liver.
Key Take Aways
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..
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