There are many contributing factors as to why many Americans opt out of having a life insurance policy. Mostly they believe that, if they have common health conditions, they won’t be able to qualify, or if they do, the prices will be too expensive.
However, this isn’t always true, and affordable coverage is possible. Based on your treatment plan and severity of the health issue, life insurance companies determine rates specific to your condition, not the condition.
Health conditions are considered a risk to life insurance policies, and so companies deal with that by assigning their customers health ratings: standard, preferred and preferred plus. The prices changes 20-30% from one rating to the next, but with the help of a doctor and consistent treatment plan, conditions can be managed to have a minimal impact on your life insurance rates.
Here are five common health conditions that are commonly mistaken as a roadblock to getting life insurance, and how life insurances actually respond to them:
High blood pressure
Also known as hypertension, is especially serious if left unmanaged. However, if the condition isn’t severe (typically, someone with 150/90 or lower levels) and is being treated with medication, applicants will qualify for standard rates. Rates will go up for higher levels, or for those not managing the condition with medication.
High cholesterol is classified by those whose total cholesterol exceeds 200 mg/dL, and with over 102 million Americans suffering from it, knowing what sort of life insurance policy you can get under it it’s extremely pertinent. Companies may qualify customers for a standard rate with a cholesterol level no higher than 300-350 mg/dL, while less than 250 mg/dL may qualify customers for a preferred rate.
The most common of mental illnesses, anxiety is found in 18% of the American population. It’s considered a risk by life insurance companies due to its direct ties to other possible health conditions, such as substance abuse, insomnia, and most commonly, depression. Those seeking out life insurance who are managing their anxiety with one kind of medication prescribed by their primary physician usually qualify for the preferred plus rate.
It’s one of, if not the most, common health condition life insurance companies deal with, with more than 33% of Americans classified as obese. Rates are usually determined by applicants body mass index (BMI) number, and those with a BMI of 26-28 can qualify for preferred plus, while a BMI of 27-34 can qualify for preferred, and anything higher will pay standard rates.
Acid reflux (GERD) has been diagnosed in almost 19 million Americans, making it an extremely common health condition seen by life insurance providers. Due to its risk in potentially creating ulcers and cancer, it can sometimes hike up rates. However, those who treat their mild cases of GERD with over-the-counter medication usually qualify for preferred plus rates. Those taking prescriptions for more moderate cases of GERD can qualify for preferred, and more severe cases receiving ongoing treatment or surgery qualify for standard.