Absolutely! We often get standard and even preferred and preferred plus risk ratings for clients with high blood pressure. The most severe and uncontrolled cases may pay higher life insurance premiums. ‘Control’ is the magic word for getting the best life insurance rates if you have what life insurance companies refer to as ‘impaired risk’. We will get to the specifics of controlling your high blood pressure in a bit, but for now, understand that you can get life insurance with high blood pressure! We can even help you with other high risk conditions and finding coverage, such as life insurance coverage with depression or sleep apnea and life insurance. Do not allow any adverse health condition keep you from obtaining the life insurance that you and your family deserve.
What Is High Blood Pressure?
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute simply states: “Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. High blood pressure, sometimes called hypertension, happens when this force is too high.”
high blood pressure = hypertension = HBP
MedicineNet.com does a great job of plainly describing what your blood pressure reading means. Blood pressure readings are given as two numbers. The systolic blood pressure (the top number) equals the pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts and is pumping blood. The diastolic pressure (the bottom number) is the pressure in the arteries as the heart relaxes in between contractions.
“Normal blood pressure is below 120/80; blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89 is called “pre-hypertension,” and a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered high while a systolic blood pressure of about 90 to 100 is considered low blood pressure.” Blood pressures in the range of 140/90 to 160/100 are considered stage 1 high blood pressure. Anything above 160/100 is stage 2 high blood pressure.
How do you get high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is split into two categories according to how the high blood pressure is caused. Primary high blood pressure is the most common and usually develops over many years, often as the result of unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise or obesity. Secondary high blood pressure is a side effect of another health problem or a medication you are taking. Establishing control of your secondary high blood pressure may only require treating your condition or changing medications.
In addition to your lifestyle choices, high blood pressure can be caused by other factors beyond your control. As you get older, your blood pressure rises. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, about “65 percent of Americans age 60 or older have high blood pressure. However, the risk for prehypertension and high blood pressure is increasing for children and teens, possibly due to the rise in the number of overweight children and teens.”
High blood pressure is more common in African Americans than Caucasian or Hispanic Americans. And interestingly, HBP is more common in men than women before age 55, and more common in women than men beyond age 55. A Family history of HBP is also a risk factor for developing pre-hypertension or hypertension
Why is high blood pressure bad?
Like high cholesterol, high blood pressure is a silent killer. It can develop painlessly over many years. HBP has no symptoms. You can continue in poor lifestyle choices for decades before the damage HBP is causing is diagnosed. And the damage due to HBP can be widespread. HBP can cause serious problems in your arteries, heart and other organs. Let’s look briefly at some problems commonly caused by high blood pressure.
How does high blood pressure affect my health?
There is long list of health issues that can develop as the result of hypertension. The American Heart Association lists the following health problems that may develop over years of untreated high blood pressure:
Damage to the heart and coronary arteries, including heart attack, heart disease, congestive heart failure, aortic dissection and atherosclerosis
Fluid in the lungs
Peripheral artery disease
Hypertension is not a health obstacle that you deal with and then forget about. Once diagnosed with HBP, you will need to manage it for the rest of your life. The management and control of your condition is what will lead you to improved health and lower life insurance premiums.
How does high blood pressure affect my life insurance rates?
Maybe not at all. As serious as hypertension is, it a very treatable condition. Many with controlled high blood pressure live long and healthy lives. Consequently, many life insurance companies will underwrite insureds with high blood pressure very generously.
How long your blood pressure has been under control is very important. The longer your condition has been controlled through diet, exercise, and even medication, the more favorably life insurance companies will consider your hypertension. More on how to control your high blood pressure in just a moment.
Additionally, each insurance company will treat the issue of your hypertension and your level of control differently, according to their own underwriting guidelines. Knowing which insurance company will insure your unique risk, including your hypertension, most favorably is how going with the pros at Ogletree Financial Services will pay off for you and your family.
Some people get the notion that not taking the medication prescribed to them by their doctor is a path to lower premiums. Exactly the opposite is true. Life insurance companies feel very strongly about how you follow the treatment plan outlined by your doctor. No credit is given to clients who decide to forgo any part of their physician’s advice for whatever reason.
For all impaired risk, the more closely you are following (and documenting) how you well are carrying out a doctor recommended treatment plan, the lower your life insurance rates will be. This also happens to be the best plan for a long and healthy life!
Life insurance with high blood pressure:
One best case scenario would be if you are in your mid-50s and have been controlling your high blood pressure for a few years with medication, diet and exercise. With no other complications, you will probably qualify at a preferred or even a preferred plus risk rating.
Let’s say you are in your mid-50s, have only recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure, and have been taking medication and visiting your doctor, but inconsistently. You may not qualify at a preferred rate, but a standard rate may still be possible.
On the less positive end of the spectrum is a client who has never been diagnosed with or treated for high blood pressure, rarely visits a doctor and whose physical exam reveals a stage 2 blood pressure reading of say, 175/105. This client will have trouble qualifying for a standard risk rating. A “table rating” may be assigned, requiring the client to pay a higher than standard premium.
What if my HBP is more severe?
Even if your high blood pressure presently disqualifies you from a fully underwritten life insurance policy, we can get you insured at Ogletree Financial Services. Guaranteed issue policies require no medical exam and are a common way for our clients with more serious medical issues to get a policy in place immediately.
After you have a policy in place and your family’s financial future is protected, many life insurance companies will recognize your efforts to improve your health and prolong your life. We have many clients who get a policy with a higher premium in place for the short term while working on control of their health condition. This allows you to make sure the financial future of your loved ones is secure, despite any health issues. Many insurers will later allow your risk to be reevaluated in light of improvements to your health, lowering your premium.
Whatever the severity of your high blood pressure, Ogletree Financial Services can get you insured. Even if you have been turned down in the past, get in touch with us, you may be surprised at what we can do for you!
How can I control my high blood pressure?
Treating and controlling your high blood pressure will generally require some combination of lifestyle changes and medication. WebMd lists the following lifestyle changes to combat your high blood pressure:
- Losing weight if you are overweight or obese
- Quitting smoking
Smoking on its own can increase your life insurance premiums. If you have high blood pressure and continue to smoke, you are likely to pay the price in more than one way.
- Eating a healthy diet, including … more fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products, less saturated and total fat
- Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet to less than 1,500 milligrams a day if you have high blood pressure; healthy adults should try to limit their sodium intake to no more 2,300 milligrams a day (about 1 teaspoon of salt)
Too much salt in your diet: 1) reduces the amount of fluid your kidneys can remove from your blood, resulting in higher blood pressure and 2) can counteract diuretics that are often prescribed for HBP.
- Getting regular aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking at least 30 minutes a day, several days a week)
- Limiting alcohol to two drinks a day for men, one drink a day for women
In addition to lowering blood pressure, these measures enhance the effectiveness of high blood pressure drugs. There are many different drugs that are prescribed to lower blood pressure. Diuretics are the most commonly prescribed for less severe cases of hypertension and work to lower blood volume. ACE inhibitors lower your body’s production of angiotensin, a hormone in the body that causes blood vessels to narrow. Beta-blockers lower your heart rate and the force with which your heart pumps blood.
Controlling your high blood pressure will require you make changes in your lifestyle, this is for sure. Diet, exercise and medication are the foundation of your path to better health. Better health is the ticket to the lowest life insurance premiums and your family’s financial security.
Will high blood pressure affect my rates if under control with medication?
Probably not! As noted earlier, many clients taking high blood pressure medication qualify for the very best rates life insurance companies offer. The key will be taking your medication as prescribed by your physician, in combination with positive lifestyle changes, to create a broad program to control your high blood pressure.
Life insurance companies are often wary of the side effects of medications and HBP medicines are no different. This further magnifies your relationship with your doctor. Depending on the severity of your hypertension, you may be prescribed one or more HBP medications. Documentation of your drug treatment, overall HBP treatment program, and how your blood pressure is improving will demonstrate to insurers how you are controlling your hypertension.
Get in touch with the experts at Ogletree Financial Services today! Our knowledge and experience in the life insurance marketplace will be the cornerstone of your peace of mind and your family’s financially secure future.
- Call 1-800-712-8519
- Use the instant quote application on this page.
- Send us a message to get a custom quote.