High blood pressure and life insurance don’t sound like a very friendly duo…
…yet that’s what you find yourself searching for on the internet.
Yep. You’re worried that you will be penalized or even denied life insurance because of a medical condition. In fact, these concerns may even be preventing you from moving forward with a life insurance application that you have been putting off for years.
You’d be surprised to find out how many times this issue comes across my desk. Well, there’s some good news!
…and I’m here to clear up some of the most common misconceptions about high blood pressure and life insurance.
3 Myths About Life Insurance and High Blood Pressure
Don’t Believe ‘Em!
Ugh! This is one of the most frustrating parts of my job. Fighting the misinformation that’s out there. I want everyone to know that you can find great coverage DESPITE having high blood pressure.
So here they are, three of the most common myths I hear from people with hypertension (whether they are taking medication or not):
- “If I have high blood pressure, I won’t qualify for the best rates.”
- “Taking medication for high blood pressure will disqualify me for the best rates.”
- “If I was prescribed medication, but I’m NOT taking it, I can get better rates.”
ALL OF THE STATEMENTS ABOVE ARE FALSE! And I am going to cover each myth in more detail below:
3 FACTS About Getting Life Insurance With High Blood Pressure
1) High Blood Pressure Does NOT Disqualify You for the Best Rates
Chances are if you’re reading this article it’s because you Googled “high blood pressure and life insurance”.
At some point either you, your partner or a loved one was diagnosed with this medical condition and you’re looking to see how it will impact your premiums.
So let’s look at this from a different angle.
It’s very likely that you are taking medication to control your blood pressure which means that the risk factors associated with this condition are no longer present.
I think a lot of people forget this very basic point. If your hypertension is controlled the associated health conditions are less likely to occur.
Experts agree that high blood pressure and high cholesterol increase your risk of having a heart attack. Tips on When You Might Need Medication for Blood Pressure & Cholesterol, Fox31 Denver
High Blood Pressure and Life Insurance Means You Need an Independent Life Insurance Agent!
Don’t get me wrong, not all cases are the same and different life insurance companies approach high blood pressure in different ways, so you’re smart to do your homework.
Be sure to use an independent agency. We will shop your case around to find the best possible rates for your particular circumstances.
2) Taking Blood Pressure Medication WON’T Disqualify You for the Best Rates!
On the contrary!
Insurance carriers actually prefer that you take medication so your blood pressure remains level.
Think about it.
The medical issues connected to high blood pressure are the result of HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. If you eliminate the problem then the risk plummets.
Did you know many life insurers will even allow you to qualify for the best health rating, despite taking blood pressure medication?
Yes, indeed, and it makes sense.
Different Companies, Different Underwriting Guidelines
Life insurers approach high blood pressure and life insurance differently so it’s important that you contact an independent agent that knows the ins and outs of the underwriting guidelines. Some companies may require you to have your blood pressure under control for a year or more.
The moral of the story! Take care of business and yourself – don’t avoid your high blood pressure medication.
3) Life Insurance Companies Will Never Reward You for NOT Taking Blood Pressure Medication
So let’s get this straight once and for all! Life insurance companies don’t punish you for taking blood pressure medication. If you are avoiding it and have elevated blood pressure your premiums will certainly take a hit.
If are being treated and your blood pressure is well controlled, you may qualify for the best rates if you are otherwise in excellent health.
Remember life insurers are evaluating risk. High blood pressure can damage your heart, arteries, kidneys, bones, and eyes! Unchecked this poses a risk for life insurance companies.
If you are treated and responding well that risk is virtually gone. Thank goodness for modern medicine!
Sample Client with High Blood Pressure
A client of mine called recently looking for $250,000 in coverage for a 30-year term.
He’s 48 years old and in fantastic health with no hazardous hobbies or occupation.
He takes no medication, with the exception of Atenolol, which was prescribed one year ago to control high blood pressure/hypertension.
Before taking the medication, his average blood pressure readings were around 150/90, but now his levels are back within normal range…and have been for more than a year.
Before calling, he ran some online quotes under the assumption that he would qualify for an insurance company’s best rating class. From what you just read about life insurance do you agree?
Let’s check out his particular circumstances right now!
Rates for a 48 Year Old Man Looking for 30 Year Term
So let’s use my 48-year-old male, non-smoking client as an example. If I set the blood pressure treatment aside here are quotes from three of our top insurers:
- Banner Life – $692.49 per year
- Principal Life -$700.04 per year
- Pruco Life -$710.00 per year
Rates are subject to change (Term4Sale.com)
Hmmm, well, the choice seems clear..right? Which company would you apply to? Without the help of an agent to guide you through the process or information about how blood pressure medication affects life insurance ratings, you’d probably call up Banner Life and submit an application.
But you’d be wrong!
In fact, Banner would probably not be the best choice for this client, since his blood pressure has only been well controlled for 1 year.
To get a better understanding, let’s take a look at the underwriting guidelines for each of these companies. It will give you a better idea f where the bar is set in terms of obtaining their best rating with well-controlled high blood pressure:
Guidelines for High Blood Pressure and Life Insurance: Banner, Principal & Prudential
- Banner Life on Blood Pressure: “Currently well controlled with or without treatment, with the average readings in the past two years not greater than 136/86”
- Principal Life Super Preferred Rating: “Exam average if no treatment, 12-month average reading if a history of hypertension (treatment) not greater than 140/85”
- Prudential Life Preferred Best Rating: “Up to 130/80 without medication”
…BUT There is More!
When I research each carrier, the guidelines differ greatly for allowable blood pressure readings as well as age restrictions and whether the life insurance company in question allows best ratings while using blood pressure medications.
So Banner, a great choice under most situations, will not offer their best rating until this man has enjoyed stable readings for 2 years of treatment.
…and Prudential, one of the most aggressive carriers for many health issues, will not offer their best rating for someone on blood pressure meds.
In conclusion, Principal wins the price war! They will allow his blood pressure treatment and still offer the possibility of a Super Preferred rating!
Knowledge is EVERYTHING – Let’s Check Out Our Super Savings!
Let’s check out the final numbers:
- Banner’s price will increase to $823.99 at Preferred
- Prudential’s price will be a whopping $907.50,
- While Principal is able to offer their best rating and the winning price of $700.04/year.
* Selecting Banner would have cost our client $44,622 over his 30-year term. WOW! Now that’s something to think about.
As you see, the rating game is not for the faint of heart – and you need a good independent agent, willing to do his or her homework, to get you the best price possible, no matter what your situation!
We Don’t Recommend Whole Life Insurance
Please note however those companies will occasionally let a little more slide when they are approving you for a higher premium, whole life policy.
As per usual my standard advice is term is best for most people.
I know, I know – whole life seems like a pretty good deal when you’re talking to a life insurance agent that’s pushing it…
BUT just remember they get some pretty steep commissions.
We Have You Covered
We specialize in high risk cases – so a little high blood pressure doesn’t scare us off!
No siree Bob…or Roberta!
If you’re in great shape then we’ll fight tooth and nail to get you the best possible rates.
As I mentioned multiple times in this article, well-controlled high blood pressure isn’t a huge concern if you are healthy.
Even if you have other preexisting medical conditions, we will find you the most affordable premiums on the market.
With access to virtually dozens of life insurance companies and a staff of well seasoned independent life insurance agents, we are your go-to agency!
Don’t wait a moment longer, pick up the phone and call us today at 888-603-2876! We can help.*While we make every effort to keep our site updated, please be aware that "timely" information on this page, such as quote estimates, or pertinent details about companies, may only be accurate as of its last edit day. Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.