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High cholesterol (medical name: hypercholesterolemia) is common in the U.S., but is linked to high morbidity and mortality rates, leading to high healthcare costs and increased life insurance premiums. The biggest risk of high cholesterol is heart issues such as heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

Having high cholesterol isn’t a deal-breaker when it comes to buying life insurance. However, life insurance companies do view high cholesterol as a risk, so your life insurance rates may be impacted. The good news is that the various insurance companies underwrite health impairments, like high cholesterol, a little differently.

Quotacy is here to dig through the different life insurance companies to help you find affordable term life insurance rates that keep you and your family covered.

Buying Life Insurance with High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is one of the most common medical conditions we see with Quotacy clients. It’s a condition our agents are very familiar with and have had a lot of success in helping people with high cholesterol get life insurance coverage.

If you have high cholesterol, your best chances of getting affordable life insurance is to apply through a broker, like Quotacy. Brokers are not tied to one life insurance company and are able to shop the market.

We want you to get approved and will work hard to help you get coverage. Start the process by getting a free term life insurance quote or keep reading for more in-depth information about life insurance and high cholesterol.

» Compare: Term life insurance quotes for high cholesterol

Understanding High Cholesterol (Hypercholesterolemia)

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a measure of fatty substances (lipids) found normally in the blood. Two types of lipids are measured: Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL).

LDLs, the “bad” cholesterol, promote the deposit of cholesterol on artery walls, which keeps oxygen-carrying blood from getting to the heart muscle. HDLs, the “good” cholesterol, carry cholesterol away from the tissues, and may help to protect against heart disease.

Elevated cholesterol is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease and can result in higher life insurance rates based on the level of elevation.

Healthy changes can not only bring your cholesterol numbers into a healthy range long-term but reduce the risk of developing serious health problems in the future, such as cardiovascular disease.

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Underwriting High Cholesterol (Hypercholesterolemia)

Total cholesterol is calculated by adding your HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. Doctors usually consider total cholesterol over 200 to be high or elevated. Meanwhile, insurance companies will often accept applicants with total cholesterol of 275 or 300 at Preferred Best rates. This is because insurance companies evaluate your cholesterol ratio rather than only looking at the number.

To calculate the ratio, you take your total cholesterol and divide it by your HDL number. So, a higher HDL can offset high LDL levels.

The American Heart Association advises people should keep their ratio below 5. In order to not have your cholesterol impact your life insurance rates, insurers want to see a ratio under 6.9. So, for example, applicants with high total cholesterol of 300 (considered high by doctors) and HDL of 82 can still qualify for affordable life insurance.

That being said, if you have any associated medical conditions such as pre-diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), or coronary artery disease, then your HDL levels won’t help much. High cholesterol paired with a related risk factor will likely be table rated. A table rating means your risk is higher than average and your premiums will be a certain percentage above the Standard rate.

Getting Affordable Life Insurance with High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is very treatable. Changes in diet and exercise and avoiding tobacco can have a significant positive impact on your health. Healthy changes can not only bring your cholesterol numbers into a healthy range long-term but reduce the risk of developing serious health problems in the future, such as cardiovascular disease.

If you know your cholesterol levels, you can enter this information in our quoting tool to see what rates different life insurance companies may offer you. If you don’t know your cholesterol numbers, you can simply leave that portion blank. The blood test from the life insurance medical exam will provide these numbers to the insurance company.

If you currently have high cholesterol, your best chance at getting affordable life insurance coverage is to apply through a broker. Here at Quotacy, we work with over 25 of the nation’s best life insurance companies.

Life insurance companies don’t underwrite high cholesterol in the same way. And, not only that, but they also underwrite specific medications to treat cholesterol differently. For no extra charge, we can shop your case around to find the best insurer for your specific situation.

Quotacy has years of experience getting clients life insurance coverage, including those with high cholesterol. Our in-house underwriter has worked in many carrier home offices, knows how to navigate each individual’s health history, and knows which life insurance company would be the best option for your individual case. If you are ready to buy life insurance coverage, get a term life insurance quote now and let’s start the process.

About the writer

Headshot of Natasha Cornelius, a life insurance writer, for Quotacy, Inc.

Natasha Cornelius

Marketing Content Manager

Natasha is a writer and content editor at Quotacy. She is also co-host of Quotacy’s YouTube series. She can't get enough of life insurance and outside of work is also working toward her Chartered Life Underwriter designation. Connect with her on LinkedIn.