It’s no secret: The younger and healthier you are, the better the life insurance quotes you’ll find. Companies typically group buyers into one of several rates classes based on their health and the risk they represent.

The healthiest shoppers receive preferred rates — the best available. Most people qualify for standard rates, but some with serious health issues may only qualify for the worst, substandard rates, or be denied altogether.

But if you have chronic health problems and need life insurance, you shouldn’t assume you’ll be turned down. It may be easier than you expect to find coverage, and if you are declined by your first choice, you have other options.

Insurance companies might be understanding

Life insurance companies all have their own underwriting standards, meaning some look more kindly on certain conditions than others. In general, you’ll raise red flags with a life insurance company if you have obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, depression or another chronic condition. Other problems, such as cancer, or multiple health issues can lead to high rates or even a denial.

But there’s good news for your life insurance, as well as your prognosis: Medical advances have improved outcomes for many patients and, in turn, led to better rates. If you’re in remission, or your chronic condition is well-managed, you might be able to score standard or even preferred rates.

Time is also a factor. A life insurer will likely turn you down if you apply shortly after a cancer diagnosis or a heart attack, but you can always reapply, especially if your medical records demonstrate that your treatment has been effective.

And if you are accepted but are being charged a high rate, you can ask for a new medical exam (and a lower premium) once your condition is under control.