Tim is a licensed life insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with term life insurance. He writes and creates stuff for QuickQuote and other insurance and financial websites. You can find him on Twitter.

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UPDATED: Sep 16, 2020

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High cholesterol levels aren’t just bad for your health; they can be bad for your wallet, too. High cholesterol is an indicator of heart disease risk. Although higher risk applicants can get term life insurance with heart disease risk factors, options could be limited and costs could be higher.

What is considered high cholesterol for life insurance? Is high cholesterol a problem for everyone? Can you be denied life insurance for high cholesterol?

You can improve your chances of being approved for term life insurance with high cholesterol if you know how insurance underwriters view cholesterol indicators.

It’s important to know exactly what is considered high cholesterol for life insurance to avoid getting higher whole or term life insurance quotes. In order to negotiate with insurance companies, you should arm yourself with an understanding of how cholesterol affects your health.

Compare rates for affordable life insurance with high cholesterol from top insurance companies by using our free rate-quote tool.

The Impact of High Cholesterol on Your Life Insurance Policy

When you apply for a life insurance policy, you will have to take a medical exam. During this exam, you will be asked questions about your family history, lifestyle, and smoking and alcohol usage.

The person administering the exam will measure your height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure. Also, you will have to give a sample of your blood, which will be tested for your cholesterol and lipid levels, among other things. The high blood lipid levels medical term is sometimes referred to as a lipid disorder.

If you have hypercholesterolemia, the medical term for high levels of cholesterol in the blood, showing your insurance company that you are taking the right medications and are maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help keep your insurance rates down.

The hypercholesterolemia medical definition implies raised cholesterol levels in the blood. However, each individual is different so you should work out a treatment plan with your doctor. The table below provides average sample rates for male and female candidates with normal cholesterol levels.

Several-Term Policy Sample Rates
Age $250,000: 10-Year Term$250,000: 20-Year Term$500,000: 10-Year Term$500,000: 20-Year Term
30$17.00$20.00$25.00$33.00
40$22.00$30.00$35.00$51.00
50$39.00$53.00$65.00$97.00
60$78.00$130.00$140.00$240.00
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Life insurance rates with high cholesterol will be higher in many cases. If you have had high cholesterol in the past, don’t panic. Keep in mind that many people respond well to medications that help lower their cholesterol levels. Is cholesterol medication for life? Do you have to take cholesterol medicine for life?

If you have successfully lowered your levels, you can stop taking medication and your past levels should have little affect your life insurance costs.

Find out what to expect from a life insurance medical exam ahead of time so you’ll be prepared.

What Cholesterol Levels Life Insurance Companies Look For 

Life insurance companies are concerned that people are taking the proper precautions for high cholesterol to keep it under control. A medical history of regular physician checkups is important to the company.

So can you prep for life insurance medical exams? Can you live a long life with high cholesterol?

The life insurance company will be looking specifically at:

  • How long you have had high cholesterol
  • The degree of control as illustrated by medical records, height/weight and lab test result
  • Does high cholesterol make your blood pressure go up
  • Any other medical conditions present
  • Whether you are a tobacco user

Remember, according to the American Heart Association, you can live a long life by managing your cholesterol through healthy eating and healthy lifestyle choices.

You may be able to find a policy with a life insurance company for high cholesterol without an exam.

How to Prepare for Your Term Life Insurance Application

There are important measures you can take to prepare yourself before applying for term life insurance. Doing so will help your chances of getting approved for the best rating class possible. Use the following tips to put yourself in the best position to win:

  • Visit your doctor as often as recommended.
  • Know what medications affect cholesterol tests.
  • Use a cholesterol check app to know your levels.
  • Understand how high cholesterol makes you feel.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice regarding medication and treatment.
  • Make sure your medical records are regularly updated. This is crucial. The life insurance company will rate your application poorly if it is unable to determine your level of control.
  • Get any complications under control. For example, if you also have high blood pressure, make sure it is being treated as well.

If you take any medications for high cholesterol, make sure you keep up with them and regularly check with your doctor that they are achieving the desired outcome.

What our Experience Has Shown for People With High Cholesterol

We’ve helped thousands of people apply for term life insurance, and many of those people had high cholesterol. Here are a few things we’ve learned:

  • Premiums are lower for those who diet and exercise or keep their cholesterol down with medication
  • Premiums are higher for those who do not follow up with a doctor regularly.
  • The most favorable outcomes will have an HDL ratio below 4.0  and a total cholesterol level between 150 and 250. What if my cholesterol is 250? 250 cholesterol is borderline high, but you need to compare your HDL and LDL levels to make an assessment.
  • We recommend getting a policy in force first at a premium rate you can afford. You can then focus on improving the rating class through better control or lab results.

Get a free rate quote with our rate generator to start now on securing high-quality low-cost term life insurance.

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Real Examples from Real Customers With High Cholesterol

Good Outcome

Lee applied for term life insurance when he was 52 years old.

  • Diagnosed at age 49
  • Diagnosed with high cholesterol 230 mg.
  • Cholesterol controlled with medication (statins), diet, and exercise
  • Outcome: Approved at a Preferred rating class
  • Premium: $495 annually

Not So Good Outcome

Christopher applied for term life insurance when he was 55 years old.

  • Diagnosed at age 54
  • Diagnosed with high cholesterol
  • Takes medication, but inconsistent
  • Follow up visits show levels up and down
  • Outcome: Approved at a Standard rating class
  • Premium: $1,345 annually

Poor Outcome

Marilynn applied for term life insurance when she was 46 years old.

  • Never diagnosed with high cholesterol
  • Has not seen a doctor in over ten years
  • Paramedical exam results: cholesterol level of 352; Chol/HDL ratio of 6.1
  • Outcome: Declined

As you can see, being on statins and applying for life insurance can work out.

What is Cholesterol?

Do you need cholesterol to live?
Cholesterol is simply a waxy substance created and used by our bodies to keep us healthy. Some of the cholesterol we need is produced in the body naturally while some of it comes from the food we eat. Can you have too little cholesterol? Yes.

Since no one knows how high cholesterol makes you feel, and no one feels a dramatic impact on overall day to day health, it’s important to get regular lipoprotein profiles, another word for cholesterol test and the medical term for cholesterol tests.

What is the medical term for high cholesterol?

Today the high cholesterol medical term is used frequently, but it’s important to understand that you need cholesterol to live and having a total cholesterol 230mg/dl could be dangerous for one person while a 256 cholesterol level might be perfectly okay for another.

Let’s review a few cholesterol terms: HDL, the medical term for good cholesterol, and the LDL medical term for bad cholesterol.

It is important to understand the difference and to know your levels of each. Too much or too little of one type can put you at risk for heart disease, heart attack or stroke.

A cholesterol screening measures your level of HDL and LDL.  HDL cholesterol helps keep the LDL cholesterol from getting lodged into your artery walls.  A healthy level of HDL may also protect against heart attack and stroke while HDL risk factors are lower than 40mg/dl for men (or HDL cholesterol level 49 or lower for women) may increase the risk of heart disease.

It is important to know how to get LDL down if your borderline LDL cholesterol is high. Wondering how to lower cholesterol without meds? Although medications work, diet and exercise are recommended.

LDL cholesterol is produced naturally by the body, but many people inherit genes from their families that cause them to make too much. LDL cholesterol circulates in the blood and at high levels can clog arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.

If you need to increase your HDL to reach your goals, studies show that regular physical activity can help your body produce more HDLs.  Reducing trans fats and eating a balanced, nutritious diet is another way to increase HDL. According to Prevention.com, eating a nutrient-rich diet can help you maintain proper cholesterol levels and avoid medications.&

If these measures are not enough to increase your HDL to goal, your doctor may prescribe a medication to increase your HDLs. If high blood cholesterol runs in your family, lifestyle modifications may not be enough to help lower your LDL blood cholesterol.

Everyone is different, so work with your doctor to find a treatment plan that’s best for you.

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Cholesterol Statistics

How many people in the US have high cholesterol and what does high cholesterol put you at risk for? As of 2015, the following numbers show the significance of cholesterol in medical terms:

  • More than 71 million Americans have high cholesterol.
  • Only 1 in 3 people with high cholesterol have it under control.
  • People with high total cholesterol have approximately twice the risk of heart disease as people with optimal levels.
  • For adult Americans, the average level is about 200 mg/dL, which is a borderline cholesterol high risk.
  • More women than men have hypercholesterolemia, another term for high cholesterol,  in the US.

Hypercholesterolemia, the clinical term for high cholesterol can be treated. Although the high cholesterol medical term seems intimidating, treatment for borderline high cholesterol is manageable with simple diet and exercise. Speak to your doctor to know what to do for borderline high cholesterol.

Does borderline cholesterol level need medication and how long can you live with high cholesterol?

Whether you have borderline high cholesterol levels, mildly elevated cholesterol, or even slightly high cholesterol, insurance companies will weigh your test results with other factors like family history to assess your individual risk.

What is total cholesterol? There are a number of ways your cholesterol levels are communicated to you from your cholesterol exam:

  • Total cholesterol is a sum of your LDL (bad cholesterol) and your HDL (good cholesterol).  Total cholesterol of under 200 mg/ DL is desirable.

However, a total cholesterol level 230 doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem. If your good cholesterol is higher and your bad cholesterol is lower, you might be in good shape.

  • LDL or Low Density Lipoproteins, the full form of ldl in medical terms, is often thought of as your bad cholesterol. This number will usually be higher than your HDL

Generally speaking, you want to keep this number under 129 mg/dl. Sometimes, people with a family history of high cholesterol will have familial hypercholesterolemia, the medical term for high LDL.

  • HDL or High Density Lipoproteins, are known as the good cholesterol. You want this number to be as high as possible. HDL for men should be 60mg/dl or higher while the HDL goal for women should be 50 mg/dl or higher.

Consider HDL under 40 high risk while HDL 54 good but not great for men but just right for women. Can your HDL be too high?  Not likely. In fact, the higher your HDL the better.

Aside from these indicators, you will get something called a cholesterol ratio. If you’re thinking my cholesterol is 6 what does this mean? This is your cholesterol ratio. Your cholesterol ratio is calculated by taking your total cholesterol and dividing it by your HDL. Chol HDL ratio 4.0 or higher is considered high risk.

Even without good health insurance, high cholesterol should be easy to control.

What is Considered High Cholesterol for Life Insurance: The Bottom Line

The good news about applying for term life insurance when you have cholesterol is — yes, you can qualify for coverage. The bad news is the approval, and rating class can be very unpredictable and subjective. However, if you follow the advice we’ve provided and, more importantly, discuss your situation with your life insurance agent or broker, you can have a positive outcome.

And remember, if you are not pleased with the offer you receive, you can always try with another company or put the policy in force and work on improving the rating class through better control and lab results.

If you want to buy life insurance with high cholesterol, we can help Get started in seconds by simply entering your ZIP code below to compare life insurance rates with high cholesterol.

References:

  1. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating
  2. https://www.prevention.com/health/a20431093/how-to-lower-cholesterol-naturally-0/