It’s been a long time since most insurance made any kind of fuss over being treated for cholesterol. As long as it was well controlled you could count on best rate class approvals.

Now companies have jumped on the cholesterol ratio band wagon and are allowing preferred plus rates with total cholesterol as high as 300 as long as the cholesterol ratio (total/HDL) is 4.5. The standard just a few years ago was total cholesterol of 220-240 with a ratio of 5 to get that best rate class approval, but look at this sample of offerings

American General – 260 w/ratio 4.5
Banner – 300 w/ratio 4.5
Genworth – 300 w/ratio 4.5
Prudential – 300 w/ratio 5.0
United of Omaha – 325 w/ratio 4.5

And those levels are treated or untreated. I got a client approved 5 years ago who had a total cholesterol of 375 and a ratio of just over 3. When I shopped it every company but one came back with table rated offers except for United of Omaha. Just like Marlin Perkins used to say on Mutual of Omaha’s TV show Wild Kingdom, “Just as the tortoise has a shell, you too can have protection with Mutual of Omaha”. Loved that line.

And look at what’s happened to blood pressure life insurance underwriting. 5 years ago one company would allow their preferred plus rates if you were being treated for hypertension. Banner Life stood alone on that plateau and boldly stated that they would rather give their best rate to someone who is taking care of the problem than someone who never gets checked and isn’t. Now Banner, United of Omaha, Transamerica over age 50, Minnesota Life, John Hancock and Genworth all offer best rate class approvals with blood pressure treatment as long as it is well controlled.

This is one rate class better than just a few years ago. If you are over 50 life insurance premiums at preferred plus can save quite a bit over preferred. I’ve mentioned clinical underwriting in several posts and this is clinical underwriting at its’ best. Sure, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are health issues that can cause serious problems, but if they are well controlled they really don’t carry any significant mortality risk.

Bottom line. Underwriting life insurance for those of us over age 50 has really taken some good directions in the last 5 years. Some of those things that used to get us whacked a rate class or two aren’t whacking us anymore.