Obtaining Life Insurance With High Cholesterol
If you are looking for life insurance with high cholesterol readings you have come to the right place.
As someone who has been (rightfully) lectured by my physician to be mindful of cholesterol when making food choices, I know it can be tough.
Keeping your cholesterol in check is important because high cholesterol is seen as a leading risk factor for heart disease.
The purpose of this article is to outline everything you need to know about high cholesterol and the process of obtaining life insurance with high cholesterol at the best possible terms.
If you already know more about cholesterol than you care to think about, and would like to skip to the life insurance portion, simply use the quick navigation table on your right.
What Your Friends and Co-workers (May) Know About Cholesterol
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.
What is Cholesterol?
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.
When is Cholesterol Considered High?
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
Since their are no symptoms for high cholesterol, the only way to know is scheduling a blood test.
What are the Related Conditions to High Cholesterol?
Cholesterol related conditions as, opposed to risk factors, are really complications. The related condition to high cholesterol is artatherosclerosis, 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.
Key Take Aways
- There are two forms of cholesterol HDL or "good" and LDL or "bad"
- There are no symptoms for high cholesterol, so you need to take a blood test to know.
- High cholesterol can lead to chest pain, heart attack and stroke.
What are the Causes of High Cholesterol?
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 can blame Mom and Dad.
The famed Mayo Clinic lists the risk factors as such:
- Poor diet. Eating saturated fat, found in animal products, and trans fats, found in some commercially produced snacks.
- Obesity. Having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher increases risk.
- Large waist circumference. Men with waist sizes over 40 and women with waist sizes over 35 face increased risk.
- Lack of exercise. Elevation in HDL or "good" cholesterol from physical activity improves the LDL/HDL ratio making the LDL. less dangerous.
- Smoking. Smoking damages the walls of your arteries , making them more susceptible to accumulate fatty deposits. Smoking can also lower your HDL, or "good," cholesterol.
- Diabetes. High blood sugar contributes to higher LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol.
What are the Common Pharmaceutical Treatments 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 :
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
- Fluvastatin (Lescol)
- Pitavastatin (Livalo)
- Pravastatin (Pravachol)
- Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
- Simvastatin (Zocor)
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.
- Colestipol (Colestid)
- Cholestyramine (Prevalite)
- Colesevelam (WelChol)
Homeopathic treatments for High Cholesterol
Homeopathic remedies for high cholesterol follow the traditional advice to avoid saturated and trans fats. Additionally some of the dietary and vitamin supplements thought to be effective per WebMD are:
- Red Yeast rice
- Soy Beans
- Omega 3 fatty Acid
Key Take Aways
- Risk factors for high cholesterol are poor diet, obesity, lack of exercise, and smoking.
- The most common drug prescribed for high cholesterol is a statin.
- avoiding saturated and trans fats is common advice among traditional physicians and homeopaths.
Obtaining Life Insurance with High Cholesterol
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.
Dates of Treatments
Possible Underwriting Ratings with High Cholesterol
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.
Key Take Aways
- Some High Cholesterol cases may not be eligible for no Exam policies, and underwriting may require an attending Physicians report (APS).
- You may be able to get the best rates even if taking high cholesterol statin medication.
- The best rates generally require an HDL/LDL ratio of under 5.0 and a total cholesterol reading under 250.
Why you Should Use an Independent Agent when Shopping for Life Insurance with High Cholesterol
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 Cholesterol
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.
Preferred Best Rates - Preferred Rates - Standard Rates
|Carrier||Mo. Pymt||Carrier||Mo. Pymt||Carrier||Mo. Pymt|
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.
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).
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.