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Cholesterol and life insurance

Some insight on cholesterol's impact

It's in the news and seems to pop up in commercials every five minutes...the warnings and apparent medication fixes for elevated cholesterol.  Needless to say, cholesterol has an impact on your life insurance eligibility and perhaps more importantly, your life insurance rate.  Let's look a little closer at how cholesterol readings affect your life options.

First, why is cholesterol important to life insurance anyway?  Anything that has a bearing on life insurance eligibility must tie in with mortality rates.   Mortality rates are essentially the odds of passing away at a given age based on certain demographic information (area, health status, etc).  If a habit, health status, or attribute affects this mortality rate based on historical data, the life insurance company is going to be very interested.

Think of elevated or skewed cholesterol as a common bedfellow with heart-related and arterial diseases.  Over the last few decades, it has become apparent that higher total cholesterol, elevated LDL (the bad cholesterol) and the ratio between LDL and total cholesterol have a statistically relevant correlation with heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and other cardio-pulmonary diseases.  We don't really need to know what the reason is for this correlation...just that it exists.  Cholesterol is one of those issues that may go on for decades unchecked.  This accumulated damage can lead to problems later on.  It's not uncommon to have a person find out they have elevated cholesterol as the result of the paramedical exam that constitutes part of the life insurance enrollment process.  We've had surprised reactions such as "I don't have high cholesterol!" only to show the results.  Cholesterol requires a blood test (usually while fasting to get a more accurate reading).  It's important to address elevated cholesterol with your doctor for health reasons, but let's look at how life insurance companies will view it. 

Each carrier will have different requirements for cholesterol readings.  Life insurance is actually more lenient regarding total cholesterol than most health insurance carriers.  Health carriers usually want total cholesterol under 200.  Life insurance companies are typically satisfied under 240.  It's possible to qualify for the best health class with a reading under 240 (assuming healthy in other regards).  As you go up from here, the health class will adjust which essentially means you will pay a higher rate.  You can expect (other health issues being equal) that a higher tier will be triggered from 240-259 and then another tier from 260-279.  It might be difficult to qualify for life insurance with cholesterol over 280 but contact us to see if there are options we can use in such a situation such as no medical life insurance.  There are new options available to address such a situation.

The life insurance companies also look at your HDL (high density lipid) to total cholesterol ratio.  HDL's are the good cholesterol which have more of a protective effect within limits.   If a higher percentage of your total cholesterol is derived from HDL's as opposed to LDL's (low density lipid), then that is beneficial.  For the best health class, you typically want the ratio of total cholesterol to be less than 5 times the HDL's.  The next health class down requires this ratio to be below 6.5 times.  Beyond 7.5 times, it becomes more difficult to qualify for standard life insurance plans. 

These are two main cholesterol components that impact life insurance:  total cholesterol and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL's.   With non medical life insurance plans and the newly created hybrid plans, we may be able to find alternative options to address your particular situation.  With extensive knowledge of the carriers underwriting requirements and guidelines, we can help help you find life insurance options that work better with your current cholesterol make-up.



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 recommend speaking with a license life insurance agent.  This information is solely the opinion of etermlifeinsurancequote.com and may not be suitable for you.