Best life insurance companies for people with high blood pressure in 2021

A high blood pressure diagnosis can raise your life insurance premiums, but you can get an affordable policy with well-treated or moderately high blood pressure.

Reina-Marszalek 1600Amanda Shih author photo

By

Reina Marszalek

Reina Marszalek

Insurance Expert

Reina Marszalek is a managing editor and writer based in New Jersey. Previously, she was the senior editor at DoctorOz.com, answering today's biggest health questions and discovering the latest trends in food and health.

&

Amanda Shih

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is an insurance editor and licensed Life, Health, and Disability agent at Policygenius in New York City. Her work has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

Updated February 22, 2021|3 min read

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If you have high blood pressure, it’s easier than you might think to get the life insurance you need at a price you can afford. 

Life insurance companies take a holistic view of your health and lifestyle to set your monthly or annual premium. With the proper diet and medication, living with high blood pressure won’t prevent you from getting affordable life insurance. Here’s how providers evaluate your diagnosis and which details impact your rates. 

Key Takeaways

  • Having high blood pressure might increase your monthly insurance premiums

  • If you have moderately high blood pressure, you can still get competitive rates

  • Your treatment plan, age of onset, blood pressure readings, and overall health impact your premiums

  • Compare life insurance companies to find the best offer for your situation

The best life insurance companies for people with high blood pressure

While two life insurance companies can offer seemingly identical coverage, how they assess health conditions will vary. Generally, if your blood pressure is moderately high and you’re controlling it with medication or lifestyle changes, you’ll still be eligible for the lowest life insurance rates.

The table below shows the highest blood pressure reading accepted by each of our partner life insurance companies for an applicant to qualify for the best health classification—Preferred Plus or Preferred—and therefore the lowest premiums, as of February 2021. 

LIFE INSURANCE COMPANYBLOOD PRESSURE READING
AIGHigh (hypertension) Stage 1
BannerHigh (hypertension) Stage 1
BrighthouseControlled with 1 medication
Lincoln FinancialHigh (hypertension) Stage 1
Mutual of OmahaHigh (hypertension) Stage 1
Pacific LifeHigh (hypertension) Stage 1
ProtectiveHigh (hypertension) Stage 1
PrudentialHigh (hypertension) Stage 1
SBLIHigh (hypertension) Stage 1
TransamericaHigh (hypertension) Stage 1

Methodology: Based on underwriting data provided by Policygenius’ 11 partner insurers as of February 2021. Qualifying for a Preferred Plus or Preferred health rating is dependent on specific blood pressure readings and medication requirements that are approved for each age group and vary by provider.

Other factors—such as your treatment plan, age, exact blood pressure reading, and health history—will influence the health classification you receive. You’ll find the most affordable policy by working with an independent broker or agent to compare quotes from multiple insurance companies.

Why does high blood pressure impact life insurance rates?

Underwriting, when the provider weighs the risk of offering you coverage and sets your premiums, takes up a majority of the life insurance application process. Underwriting includes a look at your hobbies, lifestyle, medical records, medical exam results, and even your family health history

Your underwriter is on the lookout for medical diagnoses with known health risks, including high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.

You’re assigned a health classification based on your underwriting details, which determines your premiums. The riskier your health status, the higher your premiums. A Preferred Plus customer will pay much less than someone with a Substandard classification.

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What factors impact life insurance for people with high blood pressure?

If you have high blood pressure when applying for life insurance, the insurance company may have questions or concerns specific to your diagnosis, including: 

  • Age of diagnosis

  • Severity

  • Medications

  • Blood pressure readings

  • Complications related to your blood pressure 

Age of onset

Generally,  the younger you are the lower your rates will be. But how old you were when you were first diagnosed with high blood pressure also affects your premiums. 

If you have had high blood pressure your entire life you may be evaluated differently than if you’ve developed this condition in the last year due to stressful circumstances.

Severity of symptoms

Your blood pressure reading is made up of two sets of numbers: systolic (upper number on a blood pressure reading) and diastolic (lower number on a blood pressure reading). The following blood pressure numbers from the American Heart Association are broken down by category ranging from Normal to Crisis.

CategorySystolic Diastolic
NormalUnder 120andUnder 80
Elevated120-129andUnder 80
High (hypertension) Stage 1130-139or80-89
High (hypertension) Stage 2140 or higheror90 or higher
CrisisOver 180and/orOver 120

A client with numbers in the Elevated or High - Stage 1 range will be assessed more favorably than someone in the High - Stage 2 range. Someone in the Crisis range may be declined coverage

When determining the severity of your condition, underwriters evaluate your prescription history, review a record of your blood pressure readings from the onset of your diagnosis, and may ask about any complications you’ve experienced. 

Some life insurance companies may want a more thorough evaluation and could request medical records up to 10 years in the past.

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Treatment options

Your provider will likely ask which blood pressure medications you take to manage your condition. If you can produce proof of treatment you’ll be considered lower risk than someone who hasn’t made any changes to control their symptoms. 

To determine how you’re managing your condition, you might be asked:

  • What does your diet look like?

  • How much caffeine do you consume?

  • Do you smoke?

  • Do you drink?

  • Do you exercise?

  • How do you manage stress?

Your answers to these questions will give the underwriter an idea of how well you’re managing your blood pressure. Someone pursuing lifestyle changes as treatment may receive lower rates than someone who isn’t.

Don’t be too concerned if you’re shopping for life insurance with a high blood pressure diagnosis. Though your diagnosis could lead to higher life insurance rates, you may qualify for competitive premiums if your blood pressure is well-managed. Shop around with multiple providers to ensure you’re getting the best policy.

Best life insurance for high blood pressure FAQ:

Does COVID-19 affect the life insurance application process or eligibility?

Due to the ever-changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic, some insurers are modifying processes and/or imposing coverage restrictions on certain health conditions or age groups. Speak to a Policygenius agent for free to find out how to get the most affordable policy.

Can you get life insurance with high blood pressure?

You can still get life insurance coverage at a competitive price. Depending on your blood pressure reading, age, and treatment plan, insurers may even offer you the lowest possible premiums for your demographic.

What do insurance companies consider high blood pressure?

Every company underwrites high blood pressure differently, but generally, blood pressure of 130-139 over 80-89 is considered high. Blood pressure of 140/90 or higher may impact your life insurance rates, while a ‘crisis’ level reading may make you ineligible for coverage.

How can I lower my blood pressure for a life insurance test?

Speak to your doctor about the best treatment plan for high blood pressure. Be completely honest about a high blood pressure diagnosis on your life insurance application because any intentional fraud can invalidate your policy.

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