Life insurance companies and doctors have different definitions for the term “high cholesterol”. The result is that people often don’t know how their cholesterol will affect pricing for a life insurance policy. On top of that, each life insurance company has its own guidelines for acceptable cholesterol levels; creating even more confusion.
In this blog post, I’ll make sense of it all. I’ll cover what life insurance companies actually care about when it comes to cholesterol, which carriers have the best guidelines resulting in the best rates for term life insurance, I’ll provide examples of health ratings for term life insurance based on various cholesterol levels, and also give you some tips to get the best possible results prior to your health exam for life insurance.
You can compare rates for life insurance right below this paragraph, or keep reading for more on life insurance with high cholesterol.
When your Cholesterol levels are checked you get a total cholesterol number, as well as an HDL (or good cholesterol) and LDL (the bad stuff). While life insurance companies consider your total cholesterol number, they place more importance on your ratio of Total Cholesterol to HDL. You get that number by dividing total cholesterol by HDL. According to the American Heart Association an optimal level of Cholesterol to HDL ratio is a 5 to 1 ratio or less. If you want to know how a life insurance company will price you based on your cholesterol, you need to know your total cholesterol and your ratio number.
Now that we know the 2 factors to look for - Total Cholesterol and Total Cholesterol to HDL Ratio, let’s take a look guidelines of various life insurance companies.
Generally speaking to qualify for Preferred Best Non Tobacco, your total cholesterol needs to be below 250-300, and less than a 5.5 ratio. For Preferred Non Tobacco the ratio can go up to around 6 and total cholesterol of 280-300. For Standard Plus ratios can go as high as 7 and total cholesterol of 300. For Standard Non Tobacco, ratios can go as high as 8 with total cholesterol of 300.
The numbers above are just general guidelines - but which life insurance companies have the best rates for high Cholesterol? Let’s explore that.
You can qualify for ING’s best rates with a ratio of 5.0 (for males) or 4.5 (for females) and a total cholesterol up to 300. A ratio of 5.5 for men, or 5.2 for women or less, will get you the 2nd best rates (preferred) and a ratio of less than 6 will result in a Standard Plus Rating.
With Banner Life if you have a ratio of 4.5 or less and a total cholesterol of 300 or less, you can qualify for Preferred Plus. A ratio of 5.5 or less will get you Preferred. A 6.5 ratio will result in a Standard Plus rating, and an 8.0 or less will result in Standard pricing. All these ratios are with a total cholesterol of 300 or less.
Prudential allows total cholesterol up to 300 for all health ratings. With a ratio of 5 or less you can get preferred plus, a 6 will result in Preferred, and a 7 will result in Standard Plus.
Prudential gives you the most flexibility in terms of both total cholesterol and Cholesterol to HDL ratio.
At Chooseterm.com we offer over 30 life insurance companies and when we compare rates for you we can determine which company is the best choice, based on your cholesterol levels. For example while you might be at the best rating with Prudential, you might get a better price with Banner, even at the 2nd best rating for Banner - We can help you do these comparisons to figure out the best option for you.
While some people think that taking prescription drugs increases your life insurance rates, when it comes to cholesterol that isn’t the case. High cholesterol, especially high LDL can lead to future heart disease and stroke. Taking statins to reduce your cholesterol reduces your level of risk for heart disease and stroke, which is why insurance companies generally don’t penalize you for taking cholesterol medication. We aren’t suggesting that you take medication if you have a high cholesterol - you can reduce it by diet and exercise - we recommend that you consult your physician for guidance.
If you’re getting a life insurance policy that requires a medical exam, here are some tips to get the best results from your blood work.