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Qualifying for life insurance with High Blood Pressure or Hypertension.

In this article, we would like to take a moment to address some of the most common questions we receive from individuals applying for life insurance after being diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension.

We will directly answer the following questions:

  • Is it possible for me to qualify for life insurance after being diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension?
  • Why do life insurance companies consider high blood pressure or hypertension as a risk factor?
  • What type of information will the insurance company require from me or be interested in?
  • What rates or prices am I eligible for?
  • How can I ensure that I obtain the best life insurance policy for myself?

Let’s dive right in without any further delay!

Can I qualify for life insurance after I’ve been diagnosed with a high blood pressure or hypertension?

Having high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, does not necessarily disqualify you from obtaining life insurance. However, it is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other serious health conditions, and it may affect the terms of your life insurance policy.

Insurance companies evaluate a variety of factors when determining life insurance coverage and premiums, including your age, medical history, and lifestyle.

If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, the insurance company may ask for additional information about your blood pressure readings, any medications you are taking to manage your blood pressure, and any other underlying health conditions you may have.

In general, the higher your blood pressure and the more uncontrolled it is, the more risk you pose to the insurance company, and the higher your premiums may be.

However, if you have hypertension that is well-controlled through medication and lifestyle changes, you may be able to obtain life insurance at a reasonable price.  

In fact, they may even be able to qualify for a Preferred rate which is why we’ll often recommend that our clients who are looking to purchase a traditional term or whole life insurance policy also look at what kind of No Medical Exam Life Insurance Policies as well.

Such an approach might  speed up the application process and hopefully avoid needing to have to submit a blood and urine sample.

Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension?

While it’s safe to say that most life insurance companies aren’t going to be too concerned about the fact that an individual has been diagnosed with hypertension after all it’s estimated that nearly 75 million adults in the United States suffer from this condition, that doesn’t mean that they are going to “care” about it at all.

This is because, hypertension is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other serious health conditions. Conditions that can significantly shorten your life expectancy and increase the risk that the insurance company will have to pay out a death benefit.

Hypertension treatment options:

There are several treatment options for hypertension, including:

  1. Lifestyle changes: Making healthy lifestyle changes can help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing serious health problems. These changes may include eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, and reducing stress.
  2. Medications: If lifestyle changes alone are not enough to control your blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medications to help lower it. There are several types of medications that can be used to treat hypertension, including diuretics, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, and ARBs.
  3. Combination therapy: In some cases, a combination of lifestyle changes and medications may be needed to effectively control blood pressure. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your specific situation.

That said however…

Uncontrolled hypertension, or high blood pressure, can lead to a number of serious complications, including:

  1. Heart attack: High blood pressure can damage the arteries and increase the risk of a heart attack.
  2. Stroke: Hypertension can also increase the risk of stroke, which is a serious condition that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is cut off.
  3. Heart failure: High blood pressure can cause the heart to work harder to pump blood, which can lead to heart failure over time.
  4. Aneurysm: Hypertension can weaken the walls of the arteries, increasing the risk of an aneurysm, which is a bulge in an artery that can rupture and cause serious bleeding.
  5. Kidney damage: Uncontrolled hypertension can damage the kidneys, leading to kidney failure and the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant.
  6. Eye damage: High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision loss or blindness.

Which is why…

Before being approved for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy, you can expect that you will be asked some questions about your hypertension diagnosis and a few questions about how “serious” your condition might be.

What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?

When you apply for life insurance after being diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure, the insurance company will ask for various information about your medical history and current health condition.

Some of the information that they may ask for or be interested in includes:

  1. Your blood pressure readings: Insurance companies will want to know what your blood pressure readings have been over time, as this will help them determine the severity of your hypertension and how well it’s being managed.
  2. Your age: Age is a crucial factor in determining your eligibility for life insurance and the premiums you will pay. The older you are, the more likely you are to develop health problems such as hypertension, which can impact your rates.
  3. Your lifestyle: Insurance companies will also ask about your lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking, and physical activity levels. Unhealthy habits such as smoking or heavy drinking can exacerbate hypertension and make it more difficult to obtain affordable life insurance.
  4. Your medical history: Insurance companies will inquire about your medical history, including any past or current conditions, treatments, and medications you have taken for hypertension or any other health issues.
  5. Your family medical history: Insurance companies may also ask about your family’s medical history, including any instances of hypertension or cardiovascular diseases in close family members, as this can impact your risk profile.

By providing accurate and detailed information about your hypertension and overall health, you can help the insurance company better assess your risk and offer you an appropriate life insurance policy at the best possible rates.

What rate class can I qualify for?

When it comes time to helping someone who has been diagnosed with hypertension, there essentially two categories, one can “fall into.” Some will have their hypertension under control and well managed, and there will be those who don’t!

For those that…

Have their blood pressure levels under control, what you’ll typically find is that most life insurance companies will be willing to consider someone like this “potentially” eligible for a Preferred rate provide that they would be able to meet all the remaining requirement for such a rate.

For example:

Preferred Plus

For an individual to qualify for a preferred plus rate class with most life insurance companies, they’ll need to have their blood pressure fall under 140/90 and not be on any prescription blood pressure medications.

These are individuals who haven’t been diagnosed with high blood pressure and are probably maintaining a healthy balance of diet and exercise to maintain healthy blood pressure values. Good for them!

Preferred health class

When it comes to qualifying for a preferred rating, you’ll generally find that as long as you are under 140/90 with help from medications or 150/90 without medication, you should “theoretically” be eligible for a Preferred rate assuming that you’ll meet all the other requirements.

Standard health class

To qualify for a standard rate while taking medications to control your blood pressure, your blood pressure should not exceed 150/90. That being said, however, older clients in their 50’s and 60’s may be given a bit of leniency with regards to these values provided that everything else in their medical records looks good.

Not confused yet? Well let’s see if this does the trick….

So far, in our discussion, we’ve only mentioned three different “health classes,” but in truth, there are about 14 different ones without even going into “tobacco” rated life insurance policies.

Which is actually a good thing…

Because if your blood pressure doesn’t meet one of the requirements above, that does not necessarily mean that you won’t be eligible for coverage, it just means that you’ll probably be classified as a “high risk” applicant.

Which isn’t…

The end of the world, it just going to mean that these folks will need to be much more “selective” with which life insurance companies they choose to apply with because they are going to want to stick with companies that tend to be more “forgiving” in their pricing when it comes to folks who can’t qualify for a Standard or Better rate!

This brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment to discuss here today…

What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?

If you have been diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure, there are several things you can do to help ensure that you get the best life insurance coverage for your situation:

  1. Manage your hypertension: The better your hypertension is managed, the more likely you are to qualify for lower rates. Make sure to follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan, take any prescribed medications as directed, and make healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  2. Shop around: Not all insurance companies are the same, and they may have different underwriting guidelines, rate classes, and policy options. Shop around and compare rates and policies from multiple insurers to find the best coverage and rates for your situation.
  3. Work with a licensed insurance agent: A licensed insurance agent can help you navigate the life insurance application process and provide valuable advice and guidance on the best policies and rates for your needs.
  4. Be honest and transparent: When applying for life insurance, it’s essential to be honest and transparent about your health and medical history, including your hypertension. Failing to disclose relevant information can result in your policy being denied or voided in the future.
  5. Consider a medical exam: Some life insurance policies require a medical exam to assess an applicant’s health and risk. If you are in good health and your hypertension is well managed, a medical exam may help you qualify for lower rates.

In summary, managing your hypertension, shopping around, working with a licensed insurance agent, being honest and transparent, and considering a medical exam can all help ensure that you get the best life insurance coverage for your situation.

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