Purchasing life insurance with high blood pressure is normally a simple and easy process, with most people qualifying for preferred rates
Over 70 million adults in the United States have high blood pressure
This breaks down to over 29% of all adult 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 they have to consider. Hypertension is taken seriously when underwriting life insurance applications. Applying for life insurance with this condition is no longer a complicated task as in the past.
Using the most applicable companies for this very common condition is critical. If your hypertension is controlled, you may qualify for preferred rates with the correct companies. Let’s dive in and learn how to apply for life insurance with high blood pressure and receive the best rates possible.
Shopping the market for life insurance with high blood pressure
If you are planning on purchasing life insurance and you have high blood pressure. Make sure you consult with an independent insurance agent. An independent insurance agent is otherwise known as a broker. This means they have access to all of the best life insurance companies. A captive agent such as State Farm, Farmers or Geico will only be able to show you one company.
Blood pressure testing
A simple blood pressure test is the first way to determine how normal your blood pressure is. The life insurance company will determine your health classification based on the pressure readings and other areas of information. In extreme cases a carrier could decline your application but that would be rare unless your hypertension was out of control. This normally happens when people do not go to the doctor and take medication for their condition.
With many people just changing their diet and losing some weight will reduce their blood pressure along with proper exercise. You can also apply without ever having to take a medical exam. These policies are simply called no medical exam life insurance.
To understand how this condition effects your rates, first take a look at how this condition actually works
What actually is high blood pressure? The condition hypertension otherwise known as 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 will be.
What life insurance companies classify as high blood pressure medication
Anytime you apply for life insurance with high blood pressure. The companies will look closely at what type of prescription medications you are taking, also the dosage you take daily is very important. Even if you take medication that keeps your blood pressure readings at perfectly normal levels. One of the big questions they want answers to is how long has your blood pressure been under control. The last issue they want to see is a fluctuating high blood pressure readings from day to day. Taking any form of blood pressure medicine will be taken into consideration by all of the life insurance companies.
Here is a basic list of medications used for controlling high blood pressure. These are the most common drugs they look for on your application.
Can high blood pressure effect life insurance rates?
High blood pressure can definitely effect your rates without a doubt. 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 strokes. Years ago medical science did not know as much about high blood pressure as they do today. Many people years ago would suffer heart attacks and strokes and many were fatal.
Blood pressure can increase as you get older
Hypertension usually develops over a period of years in most cases. It affects nearly everyone in some point in time. The condition can easily be 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 (sodium) in your system can make all the difference in the world.
Symptoms of Hypertension
The majority of people with high blood pressure have no real signs or symptoms and this is the bad part. Even if pressure readings reach dangerously high levels they don’t even know it because there is no pain or discomfort. 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 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 Hypertension?
Blood pressure readings always have two different numbers to judge your pressure readings. The top number 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 excessive blood pressures. 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 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 having this condition. If you’ve already been diagnosed, your doctor will usually recommend more frequent examinations. A electronic pressure tester can be purchased for home use for less than $75.00 They are very simple to use without any medical training required.
If you already have Hypertension, see you doctor at least twice a year to be properly monitored
If you don’t regularly see a doctor, you should definitely start right away for your own good. You can get a free screening at your local pharmacy right in your neighborhood. You can also find machines in some department stores that will measure your readings free of charge. If you decide to buy an electronic tester, buy a good one. The last thing you want is to receive inaccurate readings.
There are two different types of Hypertension
For most people, there is no identifiable cause of high blood pressure. This type of condition is called primary hypertension which usually develops through the years gradually.
An underlying medical condition can be the second type of cause for Hypertension. This type is called secondary hypertension. Secondary Hypertension tends to appear suddenly and cause a more advanced degree than does primary hypertension. Some medications can actually cause secondary form hypertension from side-effects 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 beverages usually in excess.
High blood pressure has many risk factors such as:
- Age- The risk of high blood pressure 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- High blood pressure 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 high blood pressure.
- 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 or obese. Exercising is great for your overall health and reduces your hypertension.
Additional 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.
- Insufficient Vitamin D in your diet- Too little vitamin D in your diet can lead to high blood pressure. Vitamin D may affect enzymes produced by your kidneys that have a direct impact on your blood pressure.
- Drinking alcoholic 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
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 blood 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 pressure readings 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 an 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- Especially in your kidneys, can inhibit the organs from functioning properly.
Uncontrolled 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- Uncontrolled high pressure readings may also affect your ability to think, remember and learn.
Preparing for a blood pressure test
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.
The insurance companies 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.
Our final thoughts on high blood pressure
If you are planning on applying for life insurance and you have high blood pressure, call us for a free quote right over the phone. You can also activate our websites quote engine and instantly compare life insurance quotes from over 40 top companies. You will then get an idea of the approximate cost for the plan design you have an interest in. If you have any medicals conditions, we can run a quick medical pre-screen to see what company will offer you the lowest rates before you apply. Feel free to call us 7 days a week to get your questions answered with no cost or obligation.
All the best,