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Over the years we have offered discussion on how to get the best possible life insurance rates even though your health is less than perfect. The truth is that with perfect health and family history you can probably find good rates at any number of sources and how to go about it is not a big issue.

But let’s be real. The truth is that those who have at least some health issue are more numerous than those who don’t. Those with more serious health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity or mood disorders such as anxiety, depression or even bipolar disorder are not the majority of those seeking life insurance, but they are the group in the greatest need of hands on experienced help in finding the right company and the right rate.

There is probably nothing I have harped more on over the years than compliance and control. These are the first things that a life insurance underwriter will look for, and lack of either might very well be the last thing they look at when reviewing your application.

Are you compliant, truly steadfastly compliant with your prescribed treatment? Do you take your medication as prescribed or, for instance, do you just take medication when you feel like your blood pressure is high? Have you taken seriously the lifestyle changes that your doctor has recommended? Do you keep regular appointments and do you complete any suggested testing?

With compliance comes control, but I’ve found the biggest challenge in this area is your own education about your condition. If you have diabetes, do you know what your hbA1c is? If you’ve had a post cardiac issue stress test do you know what your ejection fraction is? If your cholesterol is an issue do you know what ranges are considered normal and high and do you know what your HDL and LDL are and what they mean? If your blood pressure is being treated do you monitor it on a regular basis and do you actually know the difference between diastolic and systolic? Do you know what it means when one of them is higher than it should be?

I guess what I am getting at is the difference between being told by a doctor that you’re doing OK and knowing for yourself based on test results just exactly how you are doing. A good example would be if you have diabetes and on your blood test your hbA1c is 7.5 and your doctor says you’re doing OK. Let’s just keep monitoring it. If you knew from your own studies that a reading of 6.5 was better than OK, in fact excellent, you might ask your doctor what it would take to get to better control.

I’m not saying that it’s not good to know you’re doing OK, but I know from experience that doctors aren’t big on education and OK really is good enough for most of them. But is good enough for them really your goal?

Bottom line. Compliance and control are the most important keys to the best possible rates when your health isn’t all that you wish it was. In an age where online health education is just a click away, there really isn’t a reason not to know not only how to manage your health, but how to measure it.