Life Insurance with High Blood Pressure
We often receive calls from people who have high blood pressure and are shopping for affordable life insurance. Having elevated blood pressure or hypertension is very common and it affects millions of Americans. The good news is that finding affordable life insurance for clients with high blood pressure may be easier than you think.
Most life companies have acceptable ranges for elevated blood pressure. And some companies completely overlook blood pressure prescriptions as long as the medication is keeping your blood pressure within a normal range. Every company has different guidelines and just like other health issues, some companies are much better than others for applicants who have a history of hypertension.
If you have elevated blood pressure and are interested in purchasing an affordable policy, keep reading to learn more about purchasing life insurance with high blood pressure. We’ve also included acceptable blood pressure ranges and pricing for “preferred best” rates.
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
Quick Article Guide
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
What Is The Blood Pressure Limit for the Best Life Insurance Rates?
With almost all health issues, some life insurance companies are willing to offer better rates than others for applicants with high blood pressure. Even if you are taking a medication to lower your blood pressure, some companies will completely overlook this fact as long as the medication is keeping your blood pressure under control.
With our experience and more than 50 top-rated providers to choose from, we've been able to help hundreds of applicants with a history of high blood pressure get approved at preferred best rates.
In fact, a life insurance company is more likely to approve an applicant at a “preferred best” rate if their blood pressure is at a normal range with medication than an applicant with high blood pressure who is not taking medication. This is due to the health risks associated with having elevated blood pressure for extended periods of time.
High blood pressure can increase an individual’s chances of having a stroke or heart attack and it can even indicate cardiovascular disease. With this in mind, life insurance companies want to see that you are being proactive and managing your blood pressure by keeping it in an acceptable range.
Every company has their own guidelines for acceptable ranges. As an example, Banner Life will allow an applicant to have blood pressure ranging up to 136/86 before excluding them from a “preferred-best” risk category. On the other hand, according to State Farm’s website, their blood pressure cut-off is only 115/70. If your numbers read higher than this, you cannot qualify for State Farm’s least expensive rate class of “preferred-best”.
For someone with slightly elevated blood pressure, these guidelines could result in life insurance premiums that are at least 50% higher. Keep in mind, both companies are financially rated as “Superior” by AM Best, which is their highest rating for financial stability.
Banner Life, also known as Legal and General, has stood the test of time because they have been in business since 1836, almost 100 years longer than State Farm. In addition to their financial stability, longevity, and liberal underwriting, Banner will actually overlook a slightly elevated blood pressure reading if no other health issues are found.
What If I have “White Coat” Syndrome?
Does the doctor’s office make you nervous? You are not alone. Many people have elevated blood pressure when they are at the doctor’s office, but in their everyday life, their blood pressure is not an issue. This is referred to as “white coat syndrome” and it’s more common than you might think.
If you tend to have white coat syndrome, some life insurance companies are more lenient than others. Most companies will ask the nurse to take three separate blood pressure readings during your exam.
One reading is typically taken at the beginning of the exam, one reading is taken in the middle of your exam, and the last reading is taken at the end of your exam. An average is then calculated from these three readings and this number is used by the underwriter to determine your blood pressure range.
Anytime you apply for life insurance with high blood pressure, it’s always best to schedule your exam for first thing in the morning before you eat breakfast or drink any coffee. Do not exercise before the exam because this can increase your blood pressure readings. We also recommend taking your free exam in the comfort of your own home because the stress of traffic and driving can also cause your blood pressure to be slightly elevated during your exam.
What Are The Most Common Blood Pressure Medications?
There are many types of blood pressure medications and some are more common than others.
Here are some of the blood pressure medications we see the most:
|Common Blood Pressure Medications|
Most life insurance companies will overlook the blood pressure medication you are prescribed. If you’re taking a medication that is not on this list, it may not be a blood pressure medication, or it may be a less-common, generic medication.
Sometimes people can confuse one medication for another especially a cholesterol medication. Luckily, most life insurance companies are just as lenient with cholesterol medications as they are blood pressure medications. If you’re unsure of the reason you are taking a medication, give us a call and we’ll be able to help.
How Much Should I Expect To Pay For My Life Insurance If I Have High Blood Pressure?
Most life insurance companies are not concerned with the fact that you are taking a blood pressure medication, but rather, their main concern is whether or not your blood pressure is “controlled” and within normal range. As we mentioned before, to make sure you get the benefit of the doubt, the examiner will typically take three blood pressure readings during your exam and average the results.
The rates below indicate what you can expect to pay for $500,000 of life insurance depending on your average blood pressure readings.
These rates do not take other health issues into account, but typically, life insurance companies will not charge more for an applicant who is taking medication to control their cholesterol or for being a few pounds overweight.
**Some life insurance companies also offer credits to improve your rate class if high blood pressure is the only health issue you have. To learn more about “underwriting credits,” please skip to: What other health factors will life insurance companies take into consideration?
**Some life insurance companies also offer credits to improve your rate class if high blood pressure is the only health issue you have. To learn more about “underwriting credits,” please skip to: Health factors that may improve your rate class
If you need a life insurance quote for a longer term, different age, or a different amount of coverage, please use the guidelines above and request a free quote here, or call us directly at 855-247-9555. We offer 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 year terms as well as permanent life insurance options until the age of 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, and even 121.
What Other Health Factors Will Life insurance Companies Take Into Consideration?
When approving a life insurance policy, the company’s underwriter will want to assess your overall health to determine your final rate class. If you are taking a blood pressure medication and you are also a smoker, the life insurance company you apply with is going to place more emphasis on the fact that you smoke then they will on your average blood pressure readings. The opposite is also true.
If you are in overall excellent health, but your blood pressure reading prevents you from qualifying for “preferred best” rates, some life insurance companies will assign underwriting credits to improve your rate class.
An underwriting credit is when a positive health factor offsets a negative one. Some underwriters will consider your overall health and lifestyle, rather than just one single health issue, to make sure you get the best rate class possible. Improving your approved rate by even one rate class can save you up to 25% on the cost of your life insurance policy.
Health Factors That May Improve Your Rate Class
Below are some health factors that can help improve your overall rate class and lower your cost of life insurance even if your blood pressure is considered to be high or elevated. Read 13 serious health problems that don't rule out life insurance for more information.
The life insurance company that offers these credits will want to see that at least three of the following seven conditions are met.
- No tobacco use in the last 10 years – Almost all life insurance companies stop penalizing a former tobacco user after they have stopped using tobacco for five years or longer; however, if you have been a non-smoker for more than 10 years, this will help you obtain a better rate class for a policy.
- A cholesterol ratio of 4.5 or less – Life insurance companies evaluate your cholesterol risk based on your cholesterol ratio. To calculate your ratio, take your overall cholesterol number and divide it by your HDL, also known as your “good” cholesterol number. For example, if my cholesterol is 210, and my HDL is 63, my total cholesterol ratio is 3.33 because 210 divided by 63 equals 3.33.
- A healthy lifestyle – If you participate in an exercise/wellness program, like going to the gym regularly or taking aerobics classes, or if you have regular annual checkups with your doctor each year, you may be eligible for an underwriting credit.
- Favorable family history - While processing your application, life insurance underwriters will evaluate your nuclear family history. To qualify for a credit, the insurance company will want to see that both of your parents lived to age of 75 or older. Additionally, if you have any siblings, the insurance company will check to see if they had cancer or cardiovascular disease before the age of 60.
- Normal cardiac function – Life insurance companies prefer applicants that are proactive with their health and health screenings. If you have had a cardiac test completed within the last two years and the results were normal, you may be eligible for underwriting credits. Examples of normal cardiac tests include a stress echocardiogram, a nuclear or perfusion stress test, a CT angiogram, or a cardiac angiogram.
- GGT level below 30– GGT is a liver enzyme that becomes elevated when the liver is diseased or has suffered trauma. When an individual’s GGT levels are elevated, but no other liver enzymes are elevated, it is an indication of excessive alcohol use or alcoholic hepatitis. If your GGT is below 30, this indicates that your liver is in good health and is functioning normally.
- NT Pro BnP under 100 - NT Pro BnP is a marker in the blood that indicates if an individual is at a higher risk of having acute congestive heart failure. This test is more common in men after the age of 60. According to the New York Heart Association, a NT Pro BnP score of 100 or less indicates that an individual is an extremely low risk for congestive heart failure or renal failure.
How JRC Can Help You Save On Life Insurance
Life insurance companies evaluate a number of health factors when approving an applicant for life insurance. The agents at JRC Insurance Group are experts at life insurance underwriting and we take pride in being able to match our client’s with the company that suits them the best.
By shopping 63 top-rated life insurance companies, our independent agency will make sure to match you with the life insurance company that is the best fit for your overall health profile.If your blood pressure is well-controlled, we’ve got the best company for you. If your only health issue is high blood pressure, but you’re struggling to control it, we’ll match you up with the company that will likely offer you underwriting credits. If you have more than one health or lifestyle issue, we will make sure we find the company that will give you the most affordable rates available.
Our service is free and there is no cost to apply for life insurance. Call us today at 855-247-9555 and we'll shop the market to find you the best rates available. Or request a free quote online below to compare options from dozens of companies in under a minute. Buying life insurance with high blood pressure can be a breeze, and we're here to walk you through it.
Managing Partner and Co-founder
Cliff is a licensed life insurance agent and one of the owners of JRC Insurance Group. He has helped thousands of families of businesses with their life insurance needs since 2012 and specializes with applicants who are less than perfect health. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and the great outdoors.