Affordable Life Insurance With High Cholesterol – Get The Best Deal

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

Can I be approved for life insurance with high  cholesterol?

What information will  life insurance companies want to know?

Will I need to take an exam for high cholesterol life insurance?

How much will my life insurance cost and how exactly are my rates affected by my cholesterol levels?

How accurate are the quotes I get from your quote tool? 

How can i improve my underwriting rating and lower my life insurance cost?

What are the best life insurance companies for high cholesterol?

What is the application process for life insurance with high cholesterol?

Traditional Term Life Insurance With High Cholesterol

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. 

The process of obtaining a term life insurance offer with highcholeserol is similar to seeking  life insurance after a heart attack,  Sleep Apnea or AFib and many other specific conditions.

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.

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.

What Life Insurers Will Take Into Consideration

When applying for life insurance with high cholesterol, or any other condition, underwriters will generally be concerned with some basic questions:

  • Do you fit into the usual risk factors for the condition
  • What are/were your syptoms
  • What was the Diagnosis & Treatment
  • What is the aftercare (follow up & compliance)
  • What is your health like apart from the condition/history in question

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.

Do you "fit" into the usual risk factors for 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 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:

  • 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/were your high cholesterol symptoms

Since their are no symptoms for high cholesterol, the only way to know is scheduling a blood test.

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




200-239 MG/DL




LDL Cholesterol Level

LDL-Cholesterol Category



100-129 MG/DL


130-159 MG/DL


160-189 MG/DL




 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.

Your diagnosis and treatments

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 : 

  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • Fluvastatin (Lescol)
  • Lovastatin
  • Pitavastatin (Livalo)
  • Pravastatin (Pravachol)
  • Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • Simvastatin (Zocor)

Your Follow Up Care

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.

Your Over all Health (and related conditions)

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.

No Medical Exam Term Life Insurance with High Cholesterol

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.

Pricing For Term Life Insurance

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.

The medical exam is discussed in detail here.

$500000 20 Year Term



Table  B

Table D





















$100000 10 Year Term



Table B

Table D





















$250000 10 Year Term



Table  B

Table D





















$200000 20 Year Term



Table  B

Table D





















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.

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.

Simple Issue "Final Expense" policies

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". 

Guaranteed Issue Policies

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

  • 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

Tobacco: No

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

Life Insurance Company

Monthly Payment

$ 87.70

 $ 87.82

$ 91.34

$ 92.49

$ 107.10

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 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.

Fast Facts About High 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. 

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.

Drugs that are prescribed other than statins, are:

Nniacin- prescription strength Vitamin B complex.

Examples include:

  • Niaspan
  • Nicoar

Bile acid sequestrants - These drugs work at the intestinal level, stopping bile from being reabsorbed by the liver.

Examples include:

  • Colestipol (Colestid)
  • Cholestyramine (Prevalite)
  • Colesevelam (WelChol)

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.

The Red Carpet

Several well known personalities have suffered from high cholesterol. Among them are  former President Bill Clinton , singer Marie Osmond, Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz, actress Jessica Alba, and  television personality Regis Philbin.   

Life insurance with high cholesterol
 marie 117x150
does Jessica need life insurance?
Regis needs life insurance for his high colesterol
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 LinkedIn 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..