Over 70 million adults in the United States have high blood pressure. This breaks down to over 29% of all Americans are inflicted with this condition. Even though this is a very common condition, life insurance companies consider it to be an additional risk factor. Hypertension is taken seriously when underwriting life insurance applications. Applying for life insurance with high blood pressure is not a complicated process.
Using the most applicable life insurance companies for this very common condition is critical. If your hypertension is easily controlled, you may qualify for preferred rates. This article is about how to apply for life insurance with high blood pressure and receive the best life insurance rates possible.
You can still receive the best life insurance rates if your blood pressure is controlled by medication.
In most situations, even if you have high blood pressure, you will be able to purchase affordable life insurance. Your premiums may be higher but that will depend on your pressure reading and how well you maintain these readings. Normal and steady readings are what carriers look good on your medical records. You may even be able to qualify for preferred rates.
The life insurance blood pressure test.
A life insurance blood pressure test is the first way to determine how severe your blood pressure is. The life insurance company will determine your health class based on the blood pressure test and other areas of information. In extreme cases a life insurance company could decline your application but that would be relatively rare. Your life insurance application can be declined if your blood pressure readings are out of control.
With many people just changing their diet and losing some weight will reduce their blood pressure along with proper exercise. Applying for life insurance with Hypertension is a form of high risk life insurance. You can also apply for life insurance with no medical exam. These policies are simply called No Medical Exam life insurance.
Preferred rates for people with Hypertension are very likely if you keep your blood pressure regulated and in check.
There is a major difference between applying with one company vs. another. All life insurance companies underwrite differently. We always run a medical pre-screen of all your medical conditions with the most logical companies to use. Using the carrier that has the most liberal view of hypertension is going to be your ticket to success. All good agents and brokers should shop the market for you so you get the lowest premium possible.
Life insurance companies just like doctors worry about the effects of Hypertension. High blood pressure can damage many different organs of the body. This can be one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes. If you are planning on purchasing low cost life insurance, keep your high blood pressure at a safe reading. Hypertension is much more important than many people think.
To understand how this condition effects your life insurance rates, let’s take a look at how this condition actually works.
What exactly is Hypertension otherwise known as High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is a very common medical condition with Americans. The long-term effects cause the blood pressing against your artery walls to cause health conditions. Such as Americans number one killer which is heart disease.
Blood pressure is calculated by two major factors. The amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower and restricted your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.
Does high blood pressure effect life insurance rates?
High blood pressure can effect life insurance rates. This condition can vary from being very mild to uncontrollable even with medication. This condition has been named the “Silent Killer”. You can have high blood pressure for a number of years without any symptoms at all. Even without medical symptoms, the damage to blood vessels and your heart continues. If left untreated, this medical condition can cause serious health problems, including heart attack or a stroke. Years ago medical science did not know as much about Hypertension as they do today. Many people would suffer massive heart attacks and strokes and many were fatal.
High blood pressure can increase a little at a time throughout the years as you get older.
High blood pressure usually develops over a period of many years. It affects nearly everyone in some point in time. High Blood pressure can easily detected with a simple test in your doctors office or at home. If it is discovered that you have Hypertension, you can work with your doctor to get it under control. Diet, exercise and medication can usually do the trick. A reduction of salt in your system can make all the difference in the world.
What are the symptoms of Hypertension?
The majority of people with Hypertension have no real signs or symptoms. Even if blood pressure readings reach dangerously high levels they don’t know it. The worst part of this medical condition is you may never know you have it unless you are tested. That is why it is important to go to the doctor on a periodic basis. You can qualify for excellent rates on life insurance by keeping your condition in check.
Some people complain of headaches, shortness of breath or even nosebleeds. These symptoms usually aren’t reached until a life-threatening stage is present. This means the high blood pressure has escalated to an advanced stage. This is when the condition is at a dangerous point.
What is considered High Blood Pressure otherwise known as Hypertension?
Blood pressure readings always have two different numbers to judge your pressure readings. The top one is your systolic number which is the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart actually contracts. The bottom one is your diastolic number which is the pressure in your arteries when your heart relaxes between beats. These two numbers together will show whether your blood pressure is at a healthy or unhealthy state. A high systolic reading of 130 and over or the diastolic reading of 80 and over can be determined as high blood pressure. Remember that healthy numbers may also be different for adults, children, and even pregnant women.
When should you see a doctor?
Your blood pressure check should be the very first step in your office visits to your doctor. As the doctors know, a blood pressure check should be done in both arms. This is to see if there is any difference in pressure readings. Your doctor will use the correct size cuff to properly fit your arm size.
Too small a cuff size can give a false reading of high blood pressure. If you’ve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor will usually recommend more frequent blood pressure readings. A electronic blood pressure tester can be purchased for less the $100.00. They are very simple to use without any medical training needed.
If you already have high blood pressure, see you doctor at least twice a year to be properly monitored.
If you don’t regularly see a doctor, you can get a free blood pressure screening your local Pharmacy. You can also find machines in some department stores that will measure your blood pressure readings free of charge. If you decide to buy a blood pressure tester, buy a good one. The last thing you want is to receive inaccurate readings.
Did you know there are two different types of high blood pressure?
For most people, there is no identifiable cause of high blood pressure. This type of high blood pressure, called primary hypertension, develops through the years gradually.
An underlying medical condition can be the second type of cause for high blood pressure. This type is called secondary hypertension. Secondary Hypertension tends to appear suddenly and cause a more advanced degree than does primary hypertension. Medications can actually cause secondary form hypertension, including:
- Kidney problems
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Thyroid conditions
- Defects in blood vessels that you were born with.
- Medications, such as birth control pills, over the counter cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and even some prescription medications.
- Needless to say, Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines can create Hypertension.
- Drinking Alcohol usually in excess.
Hypertension has many risk factors such as:
- Age. The risk of Hypertension increases as you get older. Through early middle age, or about age 40, high blood pressure is more common to develop in men. Women will usually develop high blood pressure after age 60.
- Your Family history. Hypertension tends to be passed along in family genes.
- Being overweight. The more you weigh, the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. Body fat also requires to be supplied with blood flow. As the volume of blood circulated through your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on your artery walls. This pressure on the artery walls is Hypertension.
- Not being physically active. People that are sedentary who are inactive tend to have higher heart rates. The higher your heart rate, the harder your heart must work. This creates a stronger force on your arteries. Lack of physical activity also causes people to become overweight. Exercising is great for your overall health and reduces Hypertension.
More high blood pressure risk factors to consider:
- Using tobacco. Smoking or chewing tobacco immediately raise your blood pressure. The dangerous chemicals found in tobacco such as Nicotine and Tar can damage the lining of your artery walls. This causes your arteries to narrow down in size, increasing your pressure. Even inhaling secondhand smoke can increase your blood pressure.
- Too much salt (sodium) in your diet. Too much sodium in your diet can cause your body to retain fluids. The added fluids magnifies your Hypertension condition. You may have to work hard to limit the salt in your system. This is due to the fact just about everything you eat has salt added to it.
- Vitamin D in your diet. Too little vitamin D in your diet can lead to Hypertension. Vitamin D may affect enzymes produced by your kidneys that have a direct impact on your blood pressure.
- Drinking alcohol beverages. As the time goes by heavy drinking can definitely damage your heart. Having more than two drinks a day may affect your pressure readings. Always drink in moderation.
- Mental Stress. High stress levels can lead to a temporary increase in pressure. If you try to relax by eating more, using tobacco products or drinking alcohol, you will only increase your problems.
- Certain chronic conditions. Chronic conditions also may increase your risk of high blood pressure, such as kidney disease, and Diabetes.
Children can also be at risk from high blood pressure too!
Although this condition is by far most common in adults, children could also be at risk, too. For a growing number of kids, poor lifestyle habits, such as an unhealthy diet, obesity and lack of exercise. This can also contribute to higher than normal pressure readings. The excessive pressure levels on your arterial walls caused by this condition can damage your blood vessels. This can also damage the vital organs in your body. The higher your Hypertension and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage can be caused.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can easily lead to:
- Heart attacks or strokes. High blood pressure can cause hardening and thickening of the arteries. This can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other serious medical complications.
- Aneurysm. Increased blood pressure can cause your blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening. This is similar to a bulge in a garden hose. Many people have died from Aneurysms in their arteries, brain and hearts. Usually after a Aneurysm bursts, it is usually too late. You won’t be able to make it to a hospital and have it caught in time. Death can result in a matter of minutes.
- Heart failure. To pump blood against the high pressure in your vessels, your heart muscle actually thickens. Eventually, the thickened muscle may have a very hard time pumping enough blood. This can trigger a heart failure and death.
- Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys. This can inhibit the organs from functioning properly.
Out of control high blood pressure can also lead to:
- Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes. This can result in vision loss. Doctors can tell if you have hypertension pressure by looking into your eyes.
- Metabolic syndrome. Cholesterol, high blood pressure; and high insulin levels can make you more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
- Trouble with your memory or understanding information. Uncontrolled high pressure readings may also affect your ability to think, remember and learn.
How to prepare for a blood pressure test by a life insurance company Para-Med Nurse.
Before your Para-med visit, make sure you do not drink or eat foods such as coffee, tea, energy drinks. Anything containing caffeine will elevate blood pressure test readings. If a Para-med takes your blood pressure and finds high readings. Those results will go right to the insurance company underwriting department to be processed. Your blood pressure might be normal everyday.
But the Para-med’s elevated reading is what they are going to work from. This will cause nothing but complications with what should normally be a smooth sailing application process. At this point you’re going to have to prove that this elevated reading is not your normal everyday reading. Keep in mind that life insurance companies adjust their rates to meet the level of Hypertension that you have.
To receive the best rates on Term life insurance, the companies will look closely at your height and weight.
Height and weight will have a direct reflection on Hypertension. Many overweight people have high blood pressure which usually goes hand in hand. A medical underwriter will take a close look at your most recent pressure readings. As a result they will also look at your long term history with the condition. There are blood pressure readings that will make a determination what your status actually is as a medical risk.
Standard Rate Class– This generally requires a steady reading that does not exceed 150/90 controlled by high blood pressure medications. Readings may be actually higher for older age groups of those over 50, and 60 years of age.
Preferred Rate Class– You may be considered a preferred risk if your readings are under 140/90 controlled by medication. Also a reading of 150/90 without medication depending on the insurance carrier. This would entitle you to lower premiums than those in the Standard rate classification.
Super Preferred Rate Class – If your blood pressure readings are normally under 140/90 and you are not on any medications. If you are not considered to have Hypertension, you would be eligible for the lowest possible premium rate class.
Here is a simple recap of some of the things that you can do to lower your blood pressure. In addition, you possibly may be in time eliminate your Hypertension condition all together.
Make sure you take your high blood pressure medications religiously.
Give up smoking, cut back on your alcohol intake and lose some weight if you are overweight to begin with. Exercise regularly, try to relax more and don’t let yourself get worked up. Consequently, drinking alcohol is very bad for people especially people with Hypertension. It will drive up your blood pressure like a rocket.
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