Statin medications are some of the most popular medications in the country today and thus a common question is if statins affect life insurance underwriting. Statins are taken to lower cholesterol and to reduce the risk from heart disease and stroke. It’s also not uncommon for someone to be prescribed a statin to use in combination if they are have diabetes and taking Metformin. Some of the most prescribed statins are Simvastatin (generic for Zocor), Atorvastatin (generic for Lipitor) and Pravastatin (Pravachol). 1
Will Taking A Statin Affect My Life Insurance Rates?
The short answer is no. Nearly every carrier I represent such as; Prudential, Pacific Life, AIG, Mutual of Omaha, Protective Life, Banner Life, etc. will not penalize you for taking a statin.
Fortunately, life insurance companies underwrite cholesterol by looking at your actual readings (total cholesterol, HDL ratio and triglycerides), whether you’re on a medication or not is not a factor. The industry uses the terms treated or untreated, which just means they just look at the actual readings, the numerical values, and whether you’re taking a medication is not relevant.
Additional Information about Statins & Life Insurance
As discussed, if you had elevated cholesterol readings in the past and now it’s now controlled with a statin drug (even multiple medications are ok) it will not affect your rate today. Also, for those who just took a life insurance paramed exam and found out you had elevated cholesterol, HDL ratio or triglycerides you can go to your doctor and go on a cholesterol reducing medication. Once your levels are back to normal and controlled, you can then reapply and get the best rate. From my experience, statins work very well at lower cholesterol and very quickly.
Options Available After The Paramed Exam With High Cholesterol
1. Have a broker compare your current readings from the paramed exam to the other top carriers’ guidelines and pivot over to them.
2. Once you’re approved, place the policy so you’re covered, (even on a 10 year term to make the premium lower) then go to your doctor and see if he or she recommends diet and exercise and or medication to reduce your cholesterol. Once your levels are back to normal, you can reapply. As mentioned earlier, treated or untreated typically will not affect the rate or underwriting.
3. Accept the new rate at a higher premium.
4. Decline the coverage and work on getting your readings back to normal then reapply. This is not recommended if you currently don’t have coverage since you would leave your family unprotected in the interim. Also, as mentioned you can reshop the other top carriers immediately, and also place the policy (even on a 10 year term to keep the cost down) and just reapply once your levels are back to normal (3 months, 6 months, etc). There is no penalty for doing that as life insurance policies are unilateral contacts and you can go month-to-month and cancel anytime.
Current Life Insurance Guidelines for Cholesterol and HDL Ratio
Prudential: Preferred Plus- Total Cholesterol up to 299, HDL Ratio 5.4 (male or female)
Pacific Life: Preferred Best- Total Cholesterol up to 300, HDL Ratio 4.5 male, 4.0 female
Protective Life: Preferred Plus- Total Cholesterol up to 275, HDL Ratio 4.5 (male or female)
AIG: Preferred Plus- Total Cholesterol up to 300, HDL Ratio (male or female)- Age < 45 HDL Ratio 4.5 or less• Age 45 – 69 HDL ratio 5.0 or less• Age ≥ 70 Cholesterol > 130 and HDL ratio 5.0 or less
Banner Life: Preferred Plus- Total cholesterol up to 300, HDL Ratio 4.5 (male or female)
Lincoln Financial: Preferred Best- Total Cholesterol up to 300, HDL Ratio 5.0 (male or female) up to age 69, 70 or over HDL Ratio 5.5 (male or female)
Principal Life: Super Preferred- Total Cholesterol up to 240, HDL Ratio 4.5 (male or female) up to age 64, Total Cholesterol up to 260, HDL Ratio 5. (male or female) up to age 65-85
List of Common Statins When Applying for Life Insurance
Fluvastatin (Lescol XL)
Statin medications are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the country. As such, life insurance companies view them as safe and will not affect life expectancy. This means if you are taking a statin it should not affect your life insurance rate or underwriting. Instead, life insurance company underwriters’ look at your actual readings (total cholesterol, HDL ratio and triglycerides). However, every life insurance company has their own guidelines when it comes to cholesterol, therefore it’s imperative, before and even after the life insurance paramed exam to shop around to see which carrier will offer the best rate for your cholesterol readings and health situation.