About 75 million American adults have high blood pressure. High blood pressure greatly increases the risk for experiencing heart disease, stroke, heart attack, vision problems, and kidney failure.
Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports 1,000 deaths each day which are directly related to high blood pressure.
This information only provides additional incentive for anyone over 50 years old with high blood pressure to secure an affordable life insurance policy as soon as possible.
Your family is counting on you to plan for the future.
Now it’s understandable if your age and your high blood pressure diagnosis discouraged you from buying life insurance in the past. You may have worried that your life insurance application would be declined.
Or you may have assumed your life insurance rates would break your budget.
However, we are here to assure you that buying affordable life insurance when you are over 50 years old and have high blood pressure is possible.
Let’s discuss further.
Buying Life Insurance Over 50 Years of Age With High Blood Pressure
Life insurance underwriters will ask the usual questions about your age, your lifestyle, your driving record, your tobacco use, and your medical history.
The more compliant you are with prescribed medication and follow up doctor visits, the better your application will look to the medical underwriter. Once you disclose your high blood pressure, you’ll be asked the following questions:
- At what age was your high blood pressure diagnosed?
- Classified as essential or secondary hypertension?
- If secondary hypertension, what is the underlying cause?
- How is your blood pressure being controlled?
- Which, if any, medications do you take to control your blood pressure?
- What are your most recent (last 3 – 5) blood pressure readings?
- Any tobacco use – ever?
- What were the results of your most recent cholesterol test?
- Do you have a family history of high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke?
- When was your last stress test completed? What were your results?
- Are you waiting on the results of any other medical tests?
- Have you experienced any other medical conditions as a result of your high blood pressure?
- Have you been admitted to the hospital within the last year?
Your life insurance agent will review these questions with you before even submitting a life insurance application. Be completely forthcoming. Withholding important details never works in the applicant’s favor.
Remember, the medical underwriter is going to review your actual medical records so any secrets you have won’t stay that way for long. A great life insurance agent can use your answers to determine which life insurance company will look at your application most favorably.
We work with plenty of excellent insurance companies willing to insure individuals over 50 years old with high blood pressure.
How Will High Blood Pressure Impact My Life Insurance Rating?
We have to stress that each life insurance carrier rates individuals over the age of 50 with high blood pressure differently. No two life insurers are the same.
In fact, many life insurance carriers actually allow seniors to be placed in a better rate class even though they have blood pressure readings beyond the normal criteria.
If you are taking high blood pressure consistently and keeping up with regular doctor appointments, you are considered a stable risk. So please don’t worry that you will have no chance of securing a good rate class. It is possible.
Preferred Plus: This is the best rating class possible. It’s reserved for blood pressure readings of 140/85 and lower.
Preferred: Blood pressure readings of 145/90 and lower.
Standard Plus: Blood pressure readings of 152/92 or lower.
Standard: Blood pressure readings of 160/90 or lower.
Substandard (Table Ratings): For blood pressure readings 160/90 and above.
Important things to keep in mind when reviewing the above rating classes:
- Other aspects of your application will influence your rating too. For example, risky activities such as skydiving or mountain biking will change your rating class all on their own. Another example is using tobacco. The use of tobacco will automatically double your life insurance premiums regardless of any other factors.
- BOTH the systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) of your blood pressure readings must be below the listed thresholds to qualify for that particular rating class.
- Substandard Table rating include about 10 special rating classes below Standard. Each Substandard level down increases the premium by roughly 25% premium. The exact amount will vary from insurance company to insurance company.
- Some insurance companies may add a “flat extra fee” to whole life or term life insurance policies granted to those with high blood pressure. The charge is usually $5-$10 per $1,000 in coverage over a set term. For example, if you own a plan worth $200,000, and you have a flat extra of $10, then you’d pay $2,000 in extra fees until the flat extra is removed. Once the flat fee term expires, you will revert to paying the standard premium rate for the rest of the policy. For example, let’s say you buy a 20-year term policy and you obtain coverage with a 3 year flat extra. After 3 years you would just have to pay the standard premium rate.
Once the medical underwriter determines your rating category then you’ll be assigned a corresponding premium. Something to keep in mind is that life insurers are regularly changing their underwriting criteria, as well as their premiums.
A carrier that may have found you not to be a favorable risk last year may view your application differently this year. Or a life insurance company that had very high rates six months ago may have since lowered their rates to be more competitive.
There are many ways to save yourself money on life insurance coverage. It’s simply a matter of knowing all the options
What Type of Life Insurance Can I Get Over Age 50 With High Blood Pressure?
You are not limited in your options as far as the type of life insurance for which you can apply. You have all the same options as your senior peers even though you have high blood pressure.
Most people apply for either a permanent (whole or universal) life insurance plan or a term life insurance plan. There are really good benefits to each type of life policy.
A permanent life insurance plan will be there for your family to matter how long you live assuming of course you continue to pay the premium.
A term plan is temporary. It will cover you for a certain number of years – usually 10,15,20, or 30 years depending on the plan.
A third life insurance coverage option is “guaranteed issue” life insurance. A “guaranteed issue” life insurance plan will allow you to skip the traditional medical underwriting process. However, premiums are usually quite costly since the life insurance carrier is taking on an unknown risk.
Guaranteed issue life insurance plans also offer lower death benefit amounts compared to permanent and term policies. Most companies only offer about $25,000 of coverage for guaranteed issue policies.
Also, with guaranteed issue policies you aren’t fully covered for the first 2 years. If you were to pass away within 2 years your beneficiaries would receive a return of your premiums paid only.
If you can qualify for traditional life insurance there is no reason to consider guarantee issue plans. However, if you can’t qualify for traditional life insurance it’s good to know that they are available to you as well.
As you can see, there are plenty of options for life insurance when you are over 50 years old and have high blood pressure. Your life insurance specialist will be able to review all policy types with you and recommend the best option for your unique situation.
You may also get estimated premium costs by filling out our simple form for instant quotes.
Can I Get Lower Rates If My Blood Pressure Goes Down?
The simple answer is probably! Most life insurance carriers will allow an insured one “reconsideration request.”
If you are able to lower your blood pressure or have other positive changes in your health or behavior, then you should certainly contact your life insurance specialist for assistance. Your agent may be able to have your application reviewed a second time and your rates possibly lowered.
Reconsideration Request: Your agent will want to discuss your lower blood pressure readings and the steps you’ve taken to control your health condition. Your lower blood pressure must be documented, preferably in your official medical records. It’s important to note that other changes in health or lifestyle will also be taken into consideration during a reconsideration review. Sometimes that can be a negative. For example, your blood pressure may have gone down but the recent stent procedure performed by your cardiologist will also impact your rating.
Review by Underwriting: If you do qualify for a better rate class then your premiums will go down.
Shopping: At the same time underwriting is performing a reconsideration review, your life insurance agent can comparison shop other life insurance carriers. This way if you aren’t able to secure a decreased premium on your current life insurance policy, your agent will have other options already in mind. You can certainly submit a new application with a different life insurer. The second life insurer may be interested in offering you lower rates because of your recent improvements.
What To Do Next?
People over the age of 55 are more likely to have high blood pressure. So you shouldn’t feel like your situation is all that unusual or that you won’t be able to find affordable life insurance.
We will be glad to go over all the best options for your life insurance needs and guide you through the application process. Remember, every day that you put off buying life insurance means one more day your loved ones may be in a precarious financial situation.
Get started by filling out our simple form for instant quotes, or give us a call.