Over 70 million adults in the United States have high blood pressure which breaks down to over 29% of all Americans. Even though this is a very common condition, life insurance companies consider it to be an additional risk factor when underwriting life insurance applications. Purchasing life insurance with high blood pressure is not a complicated process when using the most applicable companies for this very common condition. If your hypertension is controlled and not severe, you may even qualify for preferred rates. This article is all about how to apply for life insurance with high blood pressure and secure the lowest possible rates.
In most situations, even if you have high blood pressure otherwise known as Hypertension, you will be able to purchase affordable life insurance, the premiums may be higher but that will depend on your everyday pressure reading and how well you maintain these readings. Normal and steady readings are what look good on your medical record.
In extreme cases a life insurance company could decline your application but that would be relatively rare. If your readings are out of control and cannot be controlled by medication a decline is possible. With many people just changing their diet and losing some weight will reduce their blood pressure along with proper exercise.
Term life insurance and 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. This means your agent has to pre-screen your medical conditions with the most logical companies to use. Using the life insurance company that has the most liberal view of hypertension is going to be your ticket to success. All good agents and brokers will shop the market for you so you get the lowest premium possible.
Life insurance companies just like doctors worry about the effects of this condition because it can damage many different organs of the body and can be one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes. If you are planning on purchasing affordable life insurance or not, you want to always keep your high blood pressure in a safe reading because it is much more important than many people think.
To better understand how this condition effects your life insurance rates, let’s take a look at how High Blood Pressure actually works.
What exactly is Hypertension otherwise known as High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is a very common medical condition in Americans where the long-term effects cause the blood pressing against your artery walls may as time go by cause health conditions such as Americans number one killer which is heart disease.
Blood pressure is calculated by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower and restricted your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. It is very similar to a fuel pump in your car where your fuel lines may be too narrow for the volume of fuel to flow which in turn increase the fuel pressure causing the eventual failure of your fuel pump.
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, when 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 usually develops over a period of many years, and 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 High Blood Pressure, you can work with your doctor to get it under control with diet exercise and medication. 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. This is the worst part of this medical condition, you may never know you have it unless you are tested for it. That is why it is important to go to the doctor on a periodic basis. You can qualify for excellent rates on life insurance for people with abnormal readings simply 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 and the high blood pressure has escalated to an advanced stage. This is when the condition is at a dangerous point.
When should you see a doctor?
As a normal rule of thumb, your blood pressure check should be the very first step in your office visits to your doctor. As the doctors well know a blood pressure check should be done in both arms 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. Your doctor will usually recommend more frequent readings if you’ve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure and even recommend you purchase your own blood pressure tester which can be purchased for less than $100.00 and is very simple to use without any medical training.
If you don’t regularly see your doctor, you may be able to 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.
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.
The second type of high blood pressure is caused by an actual underlying medical condition. This type is called 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 a Hypertension disaster for you heart and respiratory system.
- 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 run in families and is passed on 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 therefore increasing your pressure readings.
- 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 with each contraction and the stronger the force on your arteries. Lack of physical activity also causes people to become overweight. Exercising is great for your overall health.
- Using tobacco. Not only does smoking or chewing tobacco immediately raise your pressure temporarily, but 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, which in magnifies your condition. If may have to work hard to limit the salt in your system 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.
Although this condition is by far most common in adults, children could also be at risk, too. But for a growing number of kids, poor lifestyle habits, such as an unhealthy diet, obesity and lack of exercise, 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, as well as your 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 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 you suffer from an Aneurysm, it is usually too late 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 which can lead to heart failure and death.
- Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys. This can inhibit the organs from functioning properly.
- 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.
Before your Para-med visit, make sure you do not drink or eat foods such as coffee, tea, energy drinks or candy containing contain caffeine and magnify your 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 Param-ed’s elevated reading is what they are going to go by. 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 will adjust their rates to meet the level of Hypertension that you have.
To be able to receive the best rates on Term life insurance, the companies will look at other important factors such as 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 well as your long term history with the condition. There are very specific blood pressure level readings that will make a determination what your status actually is as a risk for Term or Universal life insurance:
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, for example those over 50, and those over 60 years of age.
Preferred Rate Class– You may be considered a preferred risk if your readings are under 140/90 controlled by medication or 150/90 without medication depending on the insurance carriers in question. 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, you are not considered to have Hypertension and therefore 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 and maybe 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. Remember that drinking alcohol is very bad for people especially people with Hypertension. It will drive up your blood pressure like a rocket. Feel free to activate our consumer quote engine on the right and compare term life insurance quotes and rates from over 40 different life insurance companies. If you have any questions or you need any help, don’t hesitate to 7 days a week and evenings. Learn more about us and our business by visiting our About Us page.
Thank you very much for taking your time out to read this article. I hope that the information you read with be of great benefit when you decide to apply for life insurance. Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions. Take care and thanks again!