Practicing good health and lifestyle habits like eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and taking care of your mental health are essential for remaining healthy and avoiding many of the common illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease that affect millions of Americans every year. But in addition to making you sick and costing you money in terms of healthcare bills and potentially lost wages, certain health problems can also affect your financial wellbeing and investments - specifically your life insurance premiums. Here is a list of ten health concerns that may make your life insurance premiums more expensive.
Depending on your individual health profile and your specific life insurance policy, certain underlying health conditions may affect your premium. If you have any of the following health problems or concerns, discuss your options with your physician and financial adviser to determine how it may affect your policy and premiums. Because certain health problems can put you at greater risk for serious illness and complications like heart attack, stroke, and cancer, life insurance companies may charge higher premiums to insure people with certain health concerns. It doesn't mean you won't be able to buy insurance, but it may be more expensive.
According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), affects approximately half of American adults. Like many underlying health problems, many adults are not aware that they are suffering from high blood pressure, which can be like a silent ticking time bomb if left untreated. Despite the fact that chronic high blood pressure can be deadly, the bad news is that there are often no obvious symptoms, so it can be difficult to self diagnose yourself. The good news is that a simple blood pressure reading can tell you if your blood pressure is too high. Depending on your situation, simple lifestyle modifications like dietary changes and cutting out tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption can bring your blood pressure back to normal. Some people require medication to keep their blood pressure stable, but getting into the habit of regular blood pressure screenings is a good rule of thumb.
Like high blood pressure, obesity can be a precursor and increase the risk for a number of serious health problems, including everything from diabetes and heart disease to joint problems like arthritis. Maintaining a health weight is one of the best things that anyone can do to get their health under control and get the best rates on health and life insurance premiums. According to insurance industry information: "...life insurance companies have to charge more to take on this risk. You can still qualify for more affordable policies if your body mass index is not too far outside of the normal range and only just a little outside. Life insurance companies assess the risk of an obese person by the severity of their condition, similarly to other health conditions. The more severe the obesity levels, the more risk the person poses. They also inquire about comorbid conditions too, the result of your obesity. If, for example, you are obese and your obesity has caused high blood pressure too, then you are at even more of a risk." If you are concerned by your weight or are experiencing other related health issues, speak to your primary healthcare physician about a safe and effective plan for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
Like high blood pressure, your cholesterol levels are intertwined with factors like your weight and diet and can increase your risk of common health problems like heart disease. Because your cholesterol levels can be managed with medication and medical intervention, life insurance companies recommend getting tested beforehand and taking active measures to get your cholesterol under control in order to improve your approval odds and the price of your premiums.
There are many different forms of cancer, and while having cancer will not necessarily disqualify you from being able to qualify for a life insurance policy, insurers will weigh factors like the type of cancer you have, how advanced it is, and your overall health and prognosis to determine your acceptance and premium rates.
Like cancer, mental health issues fall under a broad umbrella and some issues are less severe and more manageable than others. Mental health issues that are manageable and don't pose serious or life threatening risks like anxiety and depression have a higher likelihood of acceptance than more serious conditions with additional health problems.
Serious respiratory problems like emphysema or lung disease that can pose life threatening risks are typically more difficult and more expensive to ensure.
Like respiratory conditions, chronic and potentially life threatening digestive issues that put your overall health at risk may affect your likelihood of getting approved for life insurance, and make it more expensive.
Debilitating muscular diseases like muscular dystrophy and MS (multiple sclerosis) can make obtaining life insurance more expensive due to the health risks and ongoing need for treatment and additional health problems.
Lymphatic cancers like lymphoma will affect your life insurance premiums.
Diabetes is one of the most common endocrine disorders, and a growing health problem in the United States. Diabetics have a number of additional health concerns which can make healthcare and life insurance more expensive.
While you may not have 100% control over every aspect of your health, the good news is that many health issues are preventable or manageable with medical treatment and lifestyle modifications that are within your control. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or need help getting issues like your blood pressure or weight under control.