If you have high cholesterol, or even if you are taking medication for high cholesterol, the first thing you should know is that not all life insurance companies are the same.
The underwriting requirements used by different life insurance companies vary considerably.
So, don’t be discouraged if you’ve had problems when applying for life insurance. I’ll give you the scoop on how life insurance companies treat people who have cholesterol issues.
What do the Cholesterol Numbers Mean?
Many people are confused in how their cholesterol numbers are interpreted. Life insurance companies are concerned about your cholesterol scores and especially if you happen to taking medication to control the levels.
Since cholesterol is usually expressed as LDL, HDL and Triglycerides, I’ll explain what they mean first since many people aren’t really sure.
LDL Cholesterol – LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein and is often known as ‘bad cholesterol’. With LDL, if you score less than, or between 100 -129, this is considered optimal. Anything more is considered too high and ideally you want to score less than 70.
Most Doctors prefer your numbers come in at less than at least 100
HDL Cholesterol – HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein and is considered the ‘good cholesterol’. A score of 60 or more is considered optimal. For males, a score of less than 40 is considered a high risk, and a score of less than 50 for females is considered a high risk for heart disease.
Triglycerides – These are the fats which are transported in the blood after we consume food which then become triglycerides and are stored in the fat cells. Less than a 150 score is considered normal. Anything more puts you into the higher risk category.
The majority of doctors prefer that your total score for all 3 levels be no more than 200. For those people who have cholesterol numbers which put them at risk, there are a variety of specialized medications that doctors can prescribe to control and lower these numbers.
It is also vital that people look at their nutrition intake and help the process of lowering their cholesterol numbers through dieting, exercise and eating healthier foods.
Many, if not most life insurance companies are most concerned with both the LDL and HDL levels, but a few life insurance companies focus just on HDL levels.
What if Are Taking Cholesterol Medications when Applying for Life Insurance?
You might be wondering how life insurance companies react if you have already been prescribed medication to control your cholesterol. The first thing I have to tell is never to lie to the insurance company and say you are not taking medication. Life insurance companies routinely research Rx (prescription) data bases so they will know about your medication.
How the life insurance will view you if you are taking medication will depend on the type of medication you have been prescribed, the length of time you’ve been taking it, and the dosage.
I’ll be quite frank and say that some companies will shy away from you completely when reviewing a life insurance application, while other companies will rate you higher which means a higher premium. However, the good news is that there are plenty of companies that have more tolerant underwriting approaches when it comes to cholesterol.….(continued on page 2)