Life Insurance with High Blood Pressure: 8 Important Questions Answered
Despite what you may have heard, you CAN qualify for low life insurance rates even if you have high blood pressure.
A little bit of bad news
It’s not quite as easy as just applying at a bunch of companies that offer the lowest rates. Insurance carriers each have their own niches in underwriting. You need to know which insurer to apply with and how to submit the application properly.
More good news
This article will tell you everything you need to know.
We’ll answer the following questions:
- How do life insurance companies look at high blood pressure?
- What questions will insurers ask about my hypertension?
- Do the medications I’m taking to control blood pressure matter for insurance rates?
- What steps can I take to best prepare for the medical exam?
- What insurance health class will my high blood pressure put me in?
- How much does life insurance with high blood pressure cost?
- Can my rates be lowered in the future if I maintain lower BP levels?
- Best life insurance companies for hypertension
According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 of every 3 adults has high blood pressure. With 70+ million other adults in the United States, you are not alone. You also don’t need to be alone when searching for affordable life insurance for someone with hypertension.
Short on time to read and want to skip the hassle? Let us help you apply at the right insurance company for your situation. We have experience getting our high blood pressure clients the lowest possible rates. We WILL do it for you too. There is never any pressure working with us. Our service doesn’t cost a penny.
How Do Life Insurance Companies Look at High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure ranges from mild to severe.
Slightly elevated blood pressure could just be due to stress and a poor diet. A more severely elevated condition puts a strain on the heart muscle and arteries. This can lead to more serious medical conditions such as:
- Heart disease and attacks
- Kidney failure
- Coronary Artery Disease
Insurance underwriter’s view: It’s the increased risk for these conditions that are the real concern. Ultimately this means you’ll pay higher premiums. Stick with us to find out how to minimize that.
What Questions Will Insurers Ask About My Hypertension?
In addition to the typical questions about your medical history and lifestyle, the insurance companies will want to know the following about your high blood pressure/hypertension:
- When were you first diagnosed with high blood pressure?
- Any medications to control the BP levels? Which ones?
- History of blood pressure readings. (last 3-5 most important)
- How is it being controlled?
- Current or previous tobacco use?
- Classified as essential or secondary hypertension?
- If secondary hypertension, what is the underlying cause?
- History of abnormal lipid levels
- Family history of heart disease, stroke, or high blood pressure
- Has a recent stress electrocardiogram (treadmill test) been completed?
- Has an echocardiogram been done?
A good independent life insurance professional will ask you all these questions BEFORE you apply.
Make sure to be honest and upfront about everything in your medical history. The more we know about your high blood pressure, the better prepared we are to work with underwriters and aggressively shop you around for the lowest insurance rates.
Do the Medications I’m Taking to Control Blood Pressure Matter for Insurance Rates?
When applying for life insurance with high blood pressure, the underwriters first and foremost want to see that it’s under control and understand what steps you have taken.
This often times includes blood pressure medication and that’s OK. Yes, the underwriters will ask what types of medications you are taking.
Trust us here. For life insurance premiums, you are much better off to be taking something and have lower BP readings vs having the high readings and saying you are drug-free.
Taking Medication for Essential vs Secondary Hypertension
Essential (Primary) Hypertension
95% of high blood pressure is considered “essential” hypertension. This means there is no specific underlying cause.
If this is you, take the medications as prescribed, it can only help your case to be in a lower health class, pay lower premiums, and put more $$ in your piggy bank.
Secondary (Inessential) Hypertension
The remaining 5% of hypertension cases are classified as “secondary” hypertension. This means an underlying cause DOES lead to the presence of high blood pressure and hypertension.
Common causes include:
- Kidney abnormality
- Congenital defect of the aorta
- Adrenal gland tumor
For this group, taking blood pressure medication is still generally good for your life insurance rates. (assuming the Doctor prescribed it of course)
The difference here: Since there is an underlying cause, that condition will need to be looked specifically and separately from the mere presence of hypertension.
Blood Pressure Medication and the Top Health Class
When it comes to the top health class, “Preferred Plus“, there are some companies that won’t allow any blood pressure medication to qualify for their best rates. This varies by company. We will detail this a later section.
The reason is simple: Less than 5% of people qualify for Preferred Plus. It is reserved for individuals in excellent health. You need to have healthy/low BP levels and (with some companies) these need to be natural, without the assistance of medications.
What Steps Can I Take to Best Prepare for the Medical Exam?
Unless you are looking at a non-med policy, the medical exam will play an important role in determining the premiums you pay.
Might as well put your best foot forward here.
Getting a good night sleep, abstaining from caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol, and eating clean are a few of the most important things you can do in the 24 hours before your exam.
We have detailed a more extensive plan for those that want to read more.
What Insurance Health Class Will My High Blood Pressure Put Me In?
Note: We will get to specifics per company later on.
A few things to be aware of in the below health classes:
- Refer ONLY to your expected health classification as it relates to high blood pressure. All other factors must be considered separately in order to provide the most accurate information.
- Assumes no tobacco use of any kind within the past 12 months. Recent smokers will need to be to considered differently. Contact our office to discuss.
- BOTH the systolic and diastolic numbers must be below the listed thresholds to qualify for those rates.
Preferred Plus: Need to have blood pressure readings of 140/85 or lower to be considered for top rate class. Some companies will require this is maintained without any blood pressure medications. Slightly higher readings may be allowed for older ages groups.
Preferred: Readings of 145/90 or below to qualify for the Preferred health class. Goes up a bit for older individuals depending on the company.
Standard Plus: Must be at 152/92 or lower. Older ages allow for higher readings.
Standard: 160/90 or lower to qualify for the “Standard” rate class.
Substandard (Table Ratings): Above 160/90 and you are looking at the table ratings.
Table ratings are 10 special rating classes that are below standard. Each level down adds another 25% premium on top of that particular insurance carrier’s standard rates.
How Much Does Life Insurance with High Blood Pressure Cost?
Your most accurate quotes will come from speaking with an independent life insurance broker. After learning everything about your blood pressure and other health factors, we can tell you the expected rates from different companies so you can choose.
If you feel like you have a good grasp on the proper health classification or are just curious, use our quote engine to display rates based on your age, coverage amount, term, and health class.
To give a quick idea, here are some sample clients and rates.
Sample rates for a 32-year-old male nonsmoker on a 20-year term
|Preferred Plus||$13.91 per month||$21.20 per month||$29.54 per month|
|Preferred||$17.19 per month||$28.35 per month||$39.27 per month|
|Standard Plus||$20.56 per month||$35.00 per month||$49.87 per month|
|Standard||$24.19 per month||$42.28 per month||$60.03 per month|
Sample rates for a 40-year-old female nonsmoker on a 20-year term
|Preferred Plus||$15.68 per month||$25.64 per month||$38.06 per month|
|Preferred||$19.43 per month||$33.64 per month||$47.84 per month|
|Standard Plus||$25.29 per month||$44.54 per month||$63.27 per month|
|Standard||$29.88 per month||$52.98 per month||$76.84 per month|
The above rates are the lowest available in each particular health class. Depending on your blood pressure readings and other health factors, the cheapest company might NOT be your best option.
If your blood pressure levels are on the border between health rate classes, we may be able to get an offer from one company that will view you in the better rate class.
For example: Don’t ignore Company XYZ because it’s rates are listed more expensive at the “Standard” level you think you fall under. If we can get you accepted 1 class level up, at “Standard Plus” it is definitely worth it ($$) to you.
Can My Rates Be Lowered in the Future If I Maintain Lower BP Levels?
After 12 months, most insurance carriers will accept what is called a “reconsideration request“. Your independent broker can help you with this.
If you have improved your health and are maintaining a new lower blood pressure, then you deserve the lower rates as well.
Our friends at positivehealthwellness.com have created a really cool infographic that shows ways to eat food that will lower your blood pressure.
Here is how it works:
- We approach the insurance company on your behalf. We discuss your new lower BP levels and the steps you’ve taken to maintain a healthy lifestyle. All of this must be documented.
- The underwriter’s review. If you qualify, your rate class goes up, and your premiums go down.
- Parallel shopping effort. At the same time, we present the new you to other insurance companies. It’s good to have options. If the original company denies the request, there may be a different insurer that is willing to offer you a lower premium based on the new you.
Other changes in your health or lifestyle will also be considered at this time. If your blood pressure went down but you got a drunk driving conviction, that will be factored in.
We need to look closely at any changes to determine the next and best move.
Best Life Insurance Companies for Hypertension
Applying for life insurance with hypertension can be tricky if you don’t know where to apply.
We have discussed the general life insurance industry guidelines for blood pressure levels as they relate to health classes. These health classes dictate the rates you can expect to pay.
Each company will have its own specific underwriting guidelines as it relates to life insurance approvals and high blood pressure. The below chart shows the carriers we have found to be the most favorable for getting approved at lower rates despite your blood pressure levels.
A few things to note about this chart:
- The numbers reflect the maximum systolic and diastolic levels allowed to be considered for each health class.
- Age range numbers are listed next to the BP levels.
- All the carriers listed below DO allow you to be taking blood pressure medication and still qualify for the top rate class. (others not on this chart, do not)
- Other health concerns besides the high blood pressure will need to be considered separately and may affect your health class.
- They are not ranked in order (alphabetical)
Top 10 life insurance companies for approvals with high blood pressure
Keep in mind, underwriting guidelines can change at any time without notice. The best company for blood pressure today could be different tomorrow.
We need to take a close look at your overall health picture. Only then can we confidently suggest the best options for your situation.
If you are serious about finding affordable life insurance with high blood pressure, we can help.
There is NO reason to go it alone vs the big insurance companies.
The secret to finding the best coverage is:
- Knowing all the insurance carriers underwriting guidelines, inside and out.
- Working directly with the underwriters.
We know exactly how to do this. We can help if you are ready. There is NO cost to use our service and life insurance is all we do, every day, all day long.
We welcome the opportunity to have a no-pressure chat about your options.
I hope your day is going well.