If anything, I hope I’ve driven home the point over the years that life insurance underwriters look at any health issue not just from a pure mortality standpoint, but from a compliance and control point of view. If you look at the overall bucket of potential insureds, some of the old school underwriters will still look at it from the angle that all people with hypertension should be treated the same.

But the key for those underwriters who truly analyze each case is compliance, does the client truly follow the doctor’s instructions and control, how well is it working? The truth is that while the dynamics of different health and mental issues may differ, the end result given an underwriter who isn’t trapped in the old school box of “everyone in the same bucket”, can vary dramatically in favor of those who take their issues seriously and strive for control.

A few examples of companies and underwriters who are acting outside the industry box with hypertension are Banner and Minnesota Life. While no other companies will allow their best rate class if a person is treated for blood pressure, these two leaders do just exactly that as long as control is demonstrated. Given good control most companies will only bump these clients to their second best rate class, but that is usually a full 20% higher than the best class. That can mean hundreds of dollars a year depending on age and policy size.

More and more companies are allowing that kind of treatment with cholesterol, but there are still plenty of old school companies and underwriters who believe that people should be penalized for treating their cholesterol, even when that treatment is preventative or if it’s for a borderline issue.

While certainly more complicated in what it takes to call bipolar disorder controlled, there are a few companies with underwriters that understand that the bucket approach is completely inappropriate. There are people with bipolar who are completely functional, stable and far from being a mortality risk.

Bottom line. Whatever your health challenge, if you believe it to be well controlled, if you believe that you are truly in charge of it and not it of you, seek out the independent agent who can capitalize on that for you. In many cases there is simply money that doesn’t need to be spent.

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