Applying For Coverage With High Cholesterol: Your Insurance Company’s View
Getting life insurance coverage is challenging, but doable, and the process is fairly similar for most, whether they have high blood cholesterol or not. There are, however, some things you can do to make the process easier for yourself. Some carriers deny applicants automatically if their cholesterol levels are above a certain level, while others will at least entertain the idea of coverage as long as the applicant understands that high cholesterol could put their premiums up and the carrier expects them to work to lower their levels, which could take some time. If you’re healthy and active, you might be able to get around this by paying into a long-term health plan or assuring the carrier that you will use that time to lower your cholesterol and maintain it at reasonable levels.
What there are limited, if any, data on is the eligibility of applicants with high cholesterol, but there are some things that can reduce your risk of denial. Do you agree to and meet with your doctor to discuss your diagnosis and risk factors and make a plan to manage the disease? Positive lifestyle choices, including exercise, a heart-healthy diet and smoking cessation, can have a significant effect on reducing the risk of dying from heart disease. All of this can be detailed in a letter of understanding and you can offer to re-submitting it to the insurance company after a set amount of time.
Not Always High vs. Low
According to the National Institutes of Health, in the United States high cholesterol is defined as total cholesterol levels between 240 mg/dl and 299.99 mg/dl, and high-density lipoproteins, or HDL, is defined as HDL levels below 39 mg/dl. A combination of high total cholesterol and low HDL levels is what•s considered “bad cholesterol” — or hypercholesterolemia.
When speaking generally, in healthy people, cholesterol is an essential ingredient in important body functions, according to the National Institutes of Health. Cholesterol is used to produce hormones used to regulate menstruation, blood pressure, the immune system and the inflammatory response. It is also a necessary building block for other chemicals, including vitamin D, which aids in bone growth.
Some people may find it surprising that people can have very high cholesterol, but very low risk for cardiovascular disease, according to Harvard Medical School. When people have this combination, they are said to have the “wrong lipids.” Their risk for heart disease remains low because their blood clots easily, and the arteries remain in good condition. However, if a person with this “right quadrant” pattern of lipids begins taking cholesterol-lowering medications, their risk for heart disease can increase significantly.
Different Rate Classifications
When it comes to life insurance with high cholesterol, you may get some different rate classifications. This is because no life insurance company charges the same rate for everyone; each life insurance company offers different rate classifications. However, one thing is for sure: if you have high cholesterol, your premiums will be higher compared to someone who does not have it. Therefore, if you want more affordable life insurance with high cholesterol rates, it is a good idea to look at some insurance companies.
The most important fact to keep in mind is that the classification of your rate is decided by the insurance company. You might be better off comparing rates from several different insurance companies to get a rate that you are happy with.
After knowing your rating class, you will be able to know how much premium it is. When you are getting life insurance with high cholesterol rates, you will have to come up with a certain amount of premium in order to have a life insurance policy. Generally, the higher rating class that you receive, the higher premium that you will have to pay on your life insurance policy.
Some Strategies to Make Finding Coverage Easier
If your doctor has labeled you as “persistent hypercholesterolemia” (which means high cholesterol isn’t going anywhere), you may have a harder time in finding a life insurance company that will issue the policy.
Here are some strategies you can take to see if this ailments won’t keep you smarting from the cost of a funeral.
Strategy 1: Lower Your Cholesterol
The easiest strategy to get life insurance with high cholesterol is to lower it. There are several methods to do so.
The easiest way to reduce your cholesterol level and overall fitness is by changing your diet. It’s not easy, but if you keep at it and make the changes permanent, you’ll be living a healthier lifestyle and helping your body perform the way it’s supposed to.
Dietary fat raises your LDL cholesterol level, which is harmful for your heart. In contrast, dietary fiber, found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, lowers your LDL cholesterol level and helps prevent heart disease.
If you’ve been starving yourself at the gym for years with no results, why not try it the other way … eating the right foods rather than working out all the time. Of course, this will require a lot of willpower to get over the initial cravings for high-cholesterol foods like red meat and fried foods, but with a little patience, you can start seeing the results in no time.
Strategy 2: Insist on Medical Record Updates
All you have to do to get another medical examination is request a copy of your medical records. Provide the insurance company with a letter telling them you want a current copy of your medical records and that physician’s report.
Make sure you really do have tests done. This is a good way to go through several years of records to see if anything has changed.
If you’re approaching an age where they might not cover you, say 50 years old or 55 years old, you can ask for updated testing that will be valid for 20 or 30 years. They won’t refuse you if you have an average risk of a health problem.
The easiest way to get copies of your records is to go online and submit a request from your medical provider. Make sure you get your records to the insurance company in time for your next application.
Strategy 3: Lower Your Standards for Coverage
Not everyone has to carry life insurance. Life insurance is expensive and you should purchase it only if there is someone that relies on you financially. If you are single, have no dependents, and don’t have a lot of assets, you probably don’t need life insurance.
If you do want to purchase life insurance, you can lower your standards for coverage and save on premium costs at the same time. While you are shopping around for life insurance, ask these questions of the different insurers you contact.
Will my policy be accepted by underwriters? „ If you have high cholesterol, most insurers will not issue a policy for you. Ask the different insurers if you will be able to obtain life insurance and get a “yes” for each one.
What is the price of the premium? „ A quote for certain levels of coverage can be very expensive. Look for a cheaper alternative that will still cover the risks that your family will need to protect against. They might not be as inclusive as you hoped, but they could still give you the coverage you need.
Strategy 4: A Sweet Spot in the Middle
If you’ve gone your whole life without getting a life insurance quote or purchasing life insurance and you have a history of high cholesterol, you’re going to want to raise it below the “Highest Risk” 50 to 70 range. Every insurance company is going to have slightly different guidelines, but just know that having any level of high cholesterol is not the ideal scenario. One of the best strategies I’ve found to get good quotes with high cholesterol has been to get the numbers around 50. My advice is to not shoot for an absolutely perfect number that you might not be able to reach, but to shoot for a target number that’s obtainable by examining each of the steps in the process that I’ll discuss below.
Other Ways to Keep Life Insurance Costs Down
How Much Coverage You Need
When you get a quote, you will have to disclose lots of information, including your cholesterol level. The truth is that the way you calculate the amount of life insurance you need is the number of dependents that you want to leave behind. The bigger the family, the higher the payments that they will face. The worst case scenario being those children being left without any parents.
Life insurance must be adjustable.
The reason behind this is that if you are diagnosed with a life threatening or terminal disease, you will not be able to replace the policy. If you are diagnosed with high cholesterol, you will end up paying higher premiums or worse be denied insurance coverage altogether.
It is a big worry for a lot of people when researching life insurance but dependents want to make sure you are not a burden on them. Dependents don’t want to stress over paying your medical bills. So it is vital that you maintain a healthy lifestyle and have a healthier body.
Giving Up Tobacco Products
Smoking is a massive problem in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 480,000 people die in America from tobacco-related diseases every year. In fact, as of 2009, 17 percent of American adults smoked versus 19 percent in 2005. On top of the known health risks associated with smoking, if you apply for a life insurance policy, you’re almost certain of being rejected if you’re a smoker, even if you’re in otherwise good health.
It’s a challenging situation to be in, and the good news is it’s not the end of the road. In the same way that some life insurance companies offer nicotine replacement products, there are other ways to help you quit smoking that can help you secure a life insurance policy. The sad truth of the matter is, as long as you smoke, you probably won’t be eligible to purchase a life insurance policy. But there’s always hope if you really want to quit.
Term vs. Whole Coverage
Last year about 10 million Americans had a stroke and that number was estimated to grow to 13 million by 2030. Additionally, more than 700,000 people were diagnosed with a heart condition (myocardial infarction) last year, and, of that number, more than 350,000 people died from it.
This means that the number of people who are diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition is higher that those who die from stroke. Therefore, if you have a medical history of any of these heart conditions, it is likely that you will not get insurance for the rest of your life. It is for this reason that people with a medical history of these conditions have been encouraged to consider term life insurance.
There are two types of insurance available in the market: term and whole. These two forms of insurance have some significant differences, but they both provide a means for you or your family to sustain itself financially in the event of your death.
Whole life insurance goes hand in hand with a well written permanent life insurance policy, the insured person will get a replacement cost policy, which guarantees that the beneficiary gets the same value of the policy in the future irrespective of the market conditions.
Decide If You Even Need Coverage
Not everyone needs life insurance. But for those who do, the first step is to figure out how much coverage they need. That will help you determine the type of life insurance, too.
You probably don’t need a large amount of coverage if you’re a breadwinner whose death would leave your family without a large nest egg. For example, if your death would force your partner to make drastic changes to accommodate your family’s lifestyle, you should get life insurance. Or if you’re the primary breadwinner who made a substantial amount of your household’s investments and loans and if your family relies on your income, it is important you have life insurance.
On the other hand, if your family would be fine financially after your death, there’s no need for substantial life insurance.
The Best Coverage is the Coverage Best for You
It may sound like a no-brainer, but life insurance with high cholesterol can be obtained easily depending on your health and the type of coverage you need. Before you begin looking into different kinds of coverage, it’s important to work closely with your insurance agent and physician to learn about different factors that may affect your coverage.
The truth is that your health can have a serious impact on your life insurance application and the type of coverage you can get. Health insurance companies take reports from physicians and will base your coverage on what they find. Generally, your carrier will require that you stay under a doctor’s care. This may be for a specified amount of time, or it may be indefinite. Your physician will probably need to review all of your medical records. You can expect to fill out an application as well. Information about your habits and activities will also be taken into consideration.
This all may seem daunting, but the fact is that there are many life insurance companies that can offer amazing deals for people with high cholesterol or other medical conditions.