NT-proBNP and Life Insurance- How to get the best rate

NT proBNP Life Insurance

If you’re reading this, you may have recently applied for life insurance and the rate increased or even you were declined due to your NT-proBNP or BNP levels.  This issue does come up from time to time with clients and the good news there are options available. I’ll discuss them below and go over some of the underwriting guidelines from a top life insurance company for NT-proBNP, BNP levels as well as go over the next plan of action.

What is NT-proBNP and why do life insurance companies look at it?

Since it is technical, I think the easiest way to describe it would be from an excerpt from the clevelandclinic.org website: “B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a hormone produced by your heart. N-terminal (NT)-pro hormone BNP (NT-proBNP) is a non-active prohormone that is released from the same molecule that produces BNP. Both BNP and NT-proBNP are released in response to changes in pressure inside the heart. These changes can be related to heart failure and other cardiac problems. Levels goes up when heart failure develops or gets worse, and levels goes down when heart failure is stable. In most cases, BNP and NT-proBNP levels are higher in patients with heart failure than people who have normal heart function.”

In layman’s terms, NT-pro*BNP is a biomarker produced primarily by the heart and released in response to increased wall tension. Several published studies have concluded that its most predictive indicator of overall mortality in patients with coronary disease. However, an elevated NT-proBNP, BNP doesn’t always mean there is heart failure. Medically, if you do have elevated NT-pro-BNP it is advisable to see a cardiologist for further testing.

NT-proBNP- life insurance underwriting

Each life insurance company will underwrite NT-pro-BNP, BNP differently. Many carreirs test for NT-proBNP at age 51 or over a certain face amount but every company is different. Also, even if a company doesn’t test for it until a certain age for face amount, the new company will still underwrite for the known NT-proBNP levels that were found from the other company’s labs or from the medical records. That is why it’s important if you had elevated readings and your rate increased or if you were declined to shop around and see what the other life insurance companies can offer. A good independent agent or broker can impartially shop the nation’s top companies to find the best rate and there is no charge.

Sample underwriting guidelines for NT-proBNP

Female

Under Age 60

Less than 300 pg/ml= Eligible for best rate class

Less than 500 pg/ml= Table rated

Age 60-69

Less than 400 pg/ml= Eligible for best rate class

Less than 600 pg/ml= Table rated

Age 70 and over

Less than 500 p/ml= Eligible for best rate class

Less than 700 pg/ml= Table rated

Male

Under Age 60

Less than 200 pg/ml= Eligible for best rate class

Less than 400 pg/ml= Table rated

Age 60-69

Less than 300 pg/ml= Eligible for best rate class

Less than 500 pg/ml= Table rated

Age 70 and over

Less than 400 pg/ml= Eligible for best rate class

Less than 600 pg/ml= Table rated

These are the sample guidelines from a major life insurance company for NT-proBNP. Men’s levels are generally lower than women’s. Again, each company has their own guidelines so it’s important to compare from multiple companies if you have an issue with elevated NT-proBNP/BNP. Additional factors such a history of cardiac issues, atrial fibrillation (Afib), diabetes, family history of heart disease and your ejection fraction percentage can also play a role in underwriting.

NT-proBNP life insurance- wrap up

We have helped thousands of clients over the years with their life insurance and sometimes elevated NT-proBNP or BNP readings do come up. In these cases we then go over the options. We then anonymously ask the underwriters at the other top companies what rate they could offer based on the readings and medical history. Sometimes we can just pivot carriers for a better rate. Other times if you do show elevated readings, you can go to a cardiologist and get a stress test, and or an echocardiogram to rule out heart disease or measure the severity. Since underwriters do not like the unknown, this will provide them with a much more complete picture and can often help with a much better rate.

Commonly Asked Questions

How can I recieve a better life insurance rate with elevated NT-proBNP?

There are two ways to receive a better rate with elevated NT-proBNP. First, is to check with the other top companies to see what rate they will offer. Each company has their own underwriting guidelines and pricing so you may be able to receive a much better rate just by switching companies. The second option is to go to a cardiologist for a stress test, resting echocardiogram. This will help the underwriter assess the elevated NT-proBNP/BNP and underwrite accordingly or rule out heart disease.

What if I am “table rated” due to NT-proBNP?

Every life insurance company has different pricing for their table rates and underwriting guidelines, some much better than others. This is why it’s important to shop around if you have elevated NT-proBNP.

What are the life insurance testing and underwriting guidelines for NT-proBNP/BNP?

Each company has their own gudielines when it comes to testing and and underwriting NT-proBNP-BNP. This is why it’s imporant to use a broker who can shop the diferrent companies and paint the picture for the underwriters. (There is no charge for this.)

If you applied for life insurance and you have elevated NT-proBNP, give us a call or contact us. We can independently and anonymously shop the market to find the best rate and there is no charge for our services. The same rate you receive from us is the same price if you go the carrier directly, since we are paid by the carrier but we are your advocate.

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