If you have been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation or AFib, can you still qualify for life insurance? What would your rate be? Will you be declined?
Typically just mentioning AFib, while applying for life insurance, you will never get a call back from that agent. Any heart condition would send most agents running for the border; however, here at Heart Life Insurance, we love finding people the lowest rates on life insurance with conditions like Atrial Fibrillation.
We know the companies that are the best fit for heart conditions. We unbiasedly shop them on your behalf while protecting your privacy, and we deal directly with the underwriters to get you the absolute lowest rates for your specific condition.
Here is a handy guide to this article, feel free to head directly to the section you need.
- A Bit About Atrial Fibrillation
- What Determines Your Life Insurance Rates With AFib?
- Atrial Fibrillation Life Insurance Approved
- The Real Deal With AFib Life Insurance Approvals
- Why Not You? Why Not Today?
A BIT ABOUT ATRIAL FIBRILLATION
During Atrial Fibrillation, the two upper chambers of your heart are just not marching in sync with the two lower chambers, and this can sometimes lead to weakness or shortness of breath. These episodes can come and go, or they could be permanent and require medication and maintenance.
The good news is Atrial Fibrillation is usually not fatal. Due to this, we have had years of success getting the best rates for life insurance with Atrial Fibrillation.
First, fill out a “quote request” on the right. It takes less than 70 seconds!
Then, one of our underwriting experts will contact you to ask quick, specific health questions about your Atrial Fibrillation. Your privacy is guaranteed
Finally, the top life insurance companies with the best rates for AFib will be compared to get you the best deal. Success!
It really is that simple, it’s guaranteed, it’s private, and you never have to see an agent.
WHAT DETERMINES YOUR LIFE INSURANCE RATES WITH AFIB?
In a few words, it all comes down to your control over your condition and your risk for stroke.
How you are managing your AFib will determine your health class. Your health class will be broken down into several factors, most of which come from your prescriptions or your doctor’s records.
The life insurance underwriters will look at any treatment completed for your Atrial Fibrillation within the last 10 years. They will determine whether the treatment succeeded and if the condition is under control.
BEST RATE TIP!
Successful treatment of Atrial Fibrillation and condition under control mean different things to different insurance companies.
It’s important to get an underwriting expert involved early in the process to get the best rates, because they know the ins and outs of these definitions!
Things like your most recent BNP or proBNP score could affect your health class. Other first considerations are your doctor’s description of your condition.
Is your AFib paroxysmal, persistent, or permanent? The difference in the description and the difference in the life insurance you’re able to qualify for could be dramatic!
What treatments keep your heartbeat in check?
More importantly, are the treatments successful?
For an underwriter to view your treatment as successful, you’ll want somewhere between 6 months and 24 months of treatment through anti-arrhythmic medication with no change in condition.
What medications were prescribed for your AFib?
Taking regular medications is common in the treatment of AFib. Regular medications over an extended period is a positive sign of controlling your condition.
Medications, such as Dofetilide, Tikosyn, Flecainide, Propafenone, Amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), Sotalol, Betapace, and Sorine have been used to treat Atrial Fibrillation successfully.
Your doctor might also prescribe blood thinners, like Warfarin (Coumadin), based on your condition. We have helped clients taking these medications to get approved for life insurance in the past.
BEST RATE TIP!
If you are taking medications, specifically anticoagulants, such as dabigatran, apixaban, or rivaroxaban, you might qualify for better rates if the AFib is under control.
Successful prescription treatment for 24 months is a positive sign to underwriters.
Do you smoke?
Doctors and underwriters frown on smoking if you have AFib. Most insurance companies will decline you right off the bat, and at the very least, you decrease your options.
We have had success securing life insurance for smokers with Atrial Fibrillation, however, these cases were usually difficult, and they were expensive.
Rates for smokers are usually 300% higher than non-smoker rates, so it pays to quit.
How much alcohol do you consume?
Moderate alcohol consumption is usually OK. However, even moderate consumption has been linked to an increased risk of Atrial Fibrillation.
For those applicants with persistent AFib already, higher alcohol consumption has been linked to negative changes in the heart like atrial remodeling.
Ideally, avoid the booze if you have Atrial Fibrillation.
How old were you when you were diagnosed with AFib?
Your age when you were diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation is also important. Were you diagnosed at an early age or recently? Was it before age 60? If long ago, your chances of avoiding heart muscle damage will be much higher.
Life insurance companies tend to be more forgiving for an AFib diagnosis before the age of 60 because the treatment success rates are much higher before age 60. If you’ve been taking good care of your AFib for a long time, then your heart could be healthier, and from a life insurance underwriting perspective, this is a good thing!
Conversely, patients with AFib are more likely to have a stroke, and that risk only increases with time. So with your AFib diagnosis, the earlier you were diagnosed and the longer it has been successfully under control, the better.
What were the results of recent cardiac testing?
Recent cardiologist testing over the last year to two years, showing if there have been any changes in your condition, will be scrutinized. This is especially true of echocardiograms (echos) or EKGs.
If there have been no changes in the last 24 months, you will be labeled stable and considered a suitable risk.
BEST RATE TIP!
Seeing a cardiologist regularly is a great idea for the best rates.
Not only can an underwriter view your condition in the proper light, but it shows you are committed to proper maintenance of your AFib.
Visiting your doctor regularly is a win-win for your health and for incredible life insurance rates.
How often do you experience symptoms of chest pain or irregular heart palpitations?
If you have experienced these conditions in the past six months, these may be signs of an unstable condition of the heart, and life insurance rates will be higher accordingly. Many term or universal life policies will be hard to qualify for. Most options will be limited.
In this case, it is best to get some life insurance in place, and then try to qualify in 12 months with a better health class after your Atrial Fibrillation has stabilized.
Finally, what is your big picture? What other medical history do you have?
When applying for life insurance, your Atrial Fibrillation is not the only condition to consider.
Remember earlier when we said, “AFib is usually not fatal?” Sometimes, AFib is not the biggest underwriting issue to overcome. Combine your AFib with one of these other conditions and the underwriting picture becomes even more complex.
BEST RATE TIP!
Your final health class will be affected by all of your health conditions.
So it’s best to use an expert when applying.
We know the insurance carriers that have experience with atrial fibrillation; therefore, we are able get the absolute lowest rate in the market for people suffering from this and other heart conditions.
ATRIAL FIBRILLATION LIFE INSURANCE APPROVED
What health class can you expect when applying for life insurance with AFib?
Preferred Plus / Preferred
Preferred is possible however unlikely with most cases of AFib. If the AF was paroxysmal with no other underlying heart conditions and health is great otherwise, we have approvals for life insurance at preferred rates.
This happens when the AFib was brought on by an infection or something unrelated to heart disease (like hyperthyroidism). Using your doctor’s records, ECGs and other proof that it was an isolated event is a must!
From the onset, going for a preferred class takes significant legwork and documentation.
Persistent AFibbers with their condition under control usually qualify for standard rates. Underwriters are looking for six months to a year of stability on medication or after cardioversion or PVI.
Substandard / Table Rated
Chronic AFib will show up here, slightly substandard usually. If you are currently in AF, get a cardiac evaluation. Without a cardiac evaluation, your case will be suspended.
So go see your doctor.
Do you have severe AF with severe underlying heart disease? If so, your policy will be rated based on heart disease. Please contact us so that we can work up your quotes personally.
Credits For Good Behavior – Save Some Money!
BEST RATE TIP!
If you have conducted stress tests with good exercise tolerance within the last year – great news!
You’re on the boat to savings town and can usually get lower life insurance rates.
If you have 5 years of stability (post surgical procedure or control with certain medications) congratulations!
You will also qualify for some rate-lowering credits.
More and more life insurance companies are using NT-proBNP readings as part of their blood work ups. Usually permanent AFib can skew these numbers, however if your results are normal or low then you could be in line for credits.
THE REAL DEAL WITH AFIB LIFE INSURANCE APPROVALS
Since AFib is so prevalent, we have many successful clients we can point to.
Here is a case from our files.
Anthony. 51. Has a 6-year history of occasional arrhythmia. He said it feels like his heart was “jumping out of his chest”.
As determined by his cardiologist, atrial fibrillation caused the irregular heartbeats. An echocardiogram showed that the heart itself was fine. LV wall thickness was normal. Anthony had a Holter monitor for two weeks. An exercise stress test was negative and they could not recreate the AF during that test.
He is prescribed Toprol XL to slow the heartbeats down if he feels them and this might happen once or twice a year.
Anthony is looking for life insurance to pay off a mortgage of $2 Million if he died suddenly.
Anthony’s AFib comes and goes. He has no underlying heart disease and his cardiac tests show normal heart function. He has no signs of atrial remodeling, left ventricle mass looked fine and his heart seems to be in good shape.
Since his AFib was under control Anthony qualified for standard rates for his life insurance. An added bonus of being young is he qualified for 30-year options too.
Actual Rates for Life Insurance with Atrial Fibrillation
A+ rated company for Anthony R., Quoted March 2017
|20 Year Term Life Insurance||$500,000||$1,000,000||$2,000,000|
A+ rated company for Anthony R., Quoted March 2017
|30 Year Term Life Insurance||$500,000||$1,000,000||$2,000,000|
It doesn’t make any sense to carry $2 Million in life insurance coverage for the full term of the mortgage, so we structured two policies for him to save money. $1,000,000 in 20 year protection, and another $1,000,000 in 30 year protection.
Fast forward to 20 years into the future: Anthony has the option to convert his 20-year term policy into something more permanent (before age 70), or he could let it lapse. He will owe roughly $1,005,000 on the remaining mortgage balance and his existing 30-year term policy has him protected.
BEST RATE TIP!
Laddering policies can help you save some serious money if you are protecting a mortgage.
In Anthony’s case, the savings were a substantial $118,400 over the terms of his policies. Whoa!
Here is another example, however the outcome is not as rosy.
Robert is a 64 y/o. Male, 6’1″, 220 lbs., Non smoking.
Client has had paroxysmal AFib since 2008. He had 2 episodes of rapid heartbeat in the past 5 years that were shocked back into rhythm with a cardioversion. Multiple recent stress tests have shown no irregularities and normal heart wall thickness.
In Nov. of ’18 he had a calcium score of 673. His cardiologist did not seem too concerned with this test score and told him not to worry about it.
He was also diagnosed with Diabetes (but decided not to take medication) and high cholesterol.
RX – Xarelto, carvedilol, and propranolol.
Robert is looking for $500,000 in life insurance to cover him and protect his family until he retires. Though his adult children have moved out, they still need financial help from time to time.
Taking into account all of these factors, Robert was a moderate to high risk. He has had episodes of paroxysmal AFib, fast heartbeats corrected by cardioversion, and he is taking medicines for the heart and stroke prevention. Even though the cardiologist said otherwise, the calcium score of 673 shows a higher risk for coronary artery disease on a 10 year time horizon.
On the other hand, there are some good things, like never smoking, losing weight successfully, and no longer needing high cholesterol medicines.
Based on this information, we submitted at a moderate substandard rating, however we were not able to get an offer on his case. This case was declined.
Turns out that Robert did need his diabetes medication after all; he should have been on it the entire time, and stopped taking it without doctors’ orders. Once his blood work made it to the underwriter, his A1C was over 8.5 . The lesson here is to do what your doctor advises, they usually have your best interest at heart!
So in the end it wasn’t the atrial fibrillation that led to a decline. That condition, in combination with uncontrolled diabetes, plus a high calcium score is past the risk tolerance level that most life insurance companies can underwrite.
Thankfully Robert had a term policy that was about to expire. This term policy still had a conversion privilege, so we took advantage of that and were able to cover him.
WHY NOT YOU? WHY NOT TODAY?
Look, we are not getting any younger and life insurance only goes up the older we get.
After reading about AFib and life insurance, hopefully, you feel more informed and in control of this situation. The next step is to use this newfound knowledge to find great protection at incredible rates.
Life insurance is extremely important for the ones you love, don’t you agree? What would their lives look like tomorrow … if you died today?
Submit a free quote now, and let one of our underwriters get to work for you immediately.