If you are shopping for life insurance, you may need to undergo a medical exam before you can afford a policy. These reviews help an insurance company determine the level of risk you should insure based on your health, but medical issues can affect your insurance offering. High cholesterol is a common occurrence in the United States, with nearly 94 million American adults with the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
If you have high cholesterol, you might be wondering how your diagnosis could affect your life insurance premium. Like auto and home insurance, insurance companies take risk into account when setting their rates. Life insurance companies use medical examinations to determine risk. Understanding how your life insurance quote process might work if you have high cholesterol could help you better prepare for purchasing a policy.
Life insurance and high cholesterol
Cholesterol is a type of fat in the blood. Cholesterol comes in different forms: LDL cholesterol, which is carried by low density lipoproteins and is considered bad cholesterol, and HDL, or high density lipoprotein, which is considered good cholesterol. Triglycerides, another form of fat in the blood, are also often measured with cholesterol levels. High cholesterol occurs when you have high amounts of what is called bad cholesterol in your blood.
If your total cholesterol level is between 200-339 milligrams per deciliter (mg / dL), you are considered a borderline risk. A total cholesterol level of 240 mg / dL means you have high cholesterol. High cholesterol can limit your blood flow, which increases your risk for a heart attack or stroke. There are no symptoms associated with high cholesterol itself, although there are symptoms of illnesses associated with high cholesterol. The only way to tell if you have high cholesterol is to have a blood test. When you apply for insurance, your life insurance company will usually require a medical examination. Cholesterol is a factor that insurance companies will assess.
How will high cholesterol impact my premiums?
Even the best life insurance companies assess the potential risk of insuring you when determining your premium. If you are considered high risk, your life insurance premium will likely be higher than that of low risk people. While a medical exam is part of the underwriting process, life insurance companies will also look at other factors such as your age, medical history, and even your hobbies.
Because high cholesterol can put you at risk for heart attack and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in the United States, insurance companies consider it a risk factor. If your cholesterol level is particularly high, not well controlled with medication, or if you have other health problems, you may even be denied coverage.
Can I change my premiums?
If you are able to lower your cholesterol levels, you may be able to ask your life insurance company for another medical exam. If the results of the exam are favorable, you may see a decrease in your premium. You can also apply for a new life insurance policy, have a new medical exam, and then replace your existing policy with the new lower premium policy.
How to prepare for life insurance
There are a number of steps you can take to prepare for your life insurance medical exam. If you know that you will be purchasing life insurance in the near future, be sure to set aside a day for your medical exam so you can prepare for it ahead of time. Some things you can do before your exam include eating healthy meals, drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcohol for a few days, and exercising. You may be asked to fast 10 to 12 hours before your test, so that your fasting blood levels can be checked. During the medical examination, the examiner will take a blood sample and check your blood pressure and pulse, as well as other health parameters like your height, weight, and blood oxygen levels.
If you have high cholesterol and need life insurance quickly, you can expect to pay a higher premium than if your cholesterol is lower. If you have time to lower your cholesterol before purchasing a policy, you may see a lower rate.
Will my life insurance application be refused?
Potentially. Each life insurance company has its own method of assessment, and if your cholesterol level is very high, not controlled with medication, or if you have other health concerns related to your high cholesterol level, your coverage can be refused.
If your application is denied and you don’t have time to lower your cholesterol before purchasing a policy, you may want to consider guaranteed issue life insurance, which is a type of whole life insurance. . Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance does not require a medical examination or health check and is, as the name suggests, guaranteed regardless of your medical condition. However, these types of policies tend to have relatively low coverage limits and high premiums.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can anyone get a guaranteed issue life insurance policy?
If you’ve applied for coverage and have been denied coverage by a few different carriers, guaranteed life insurance may be a good option. Just keep in mind that this type of policy tends to be more expensive than life insurance policies that require medical exams, so you should expect a higher premium.
Is whole or term life insurance better for people with high cholesterol?
It depends on your needs and goals. While whole life insurance covers you for your entire life (as long as you pay the premiums), term life insurance only covers you for a specified period, typically 10 to 30 years. Both policies can be good options, depending on your needs. Whole life insurance can help ensure that your family has financial support after your death and includes living benefits that you can use while you’re alive. If you are purchasing coverage to protect your family from unpaid debts, term insurance might be a good choice because you are theoretically working to pay off your debts and may not need the long term coverage.
How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?
The amount of coverage you purchase will depend on your particular situation. You may want enough coverage to pay for funeral expenses or to cover an unpaid debt, such as a mortgage. Or you might want to provide your family or loved ones with money to live on to replace your income. You might even want a large enough sum to donate financially to a spouse, your children, or to an organization. Using a life insurance calculator or working with an agent could help you choose the right amount of coverage.