Do you have aortic stenosis or aortic valve insufficiency? Think you will be denied access to affordable life insurance?
Think again, because we can help you!
Life insurance with aortic valve disorders can still be approved at great rates. Aortic valve insufficiency and aortic valve stenosis life insurance cases are more detailed than a normal scenario, however we approve clients like this all the time.
Granted, an insurance company might deny coverage if your aortic stenosis is severe. Others may charge you an outrageous rate since there is potential for the person to develop serious heart problems down the road.
Regretfully many people make the mistake of not looking for life insurance because they assume they will not qualify. They deny themselves without even trying.
Here is the truth: There are highly rated insurance companies that specialize in “riskier” clients, such as those that have aortic valve stenosis. You need an trusted expert like heart life insurance. This is where we find great coverage at affordable rates.
In this post we will reveal the secrets only the insiders know. With this knowledge, you can get life insurance with aortic stenosis approved at the best rates in the industry.
Use the handy guide below to skip to any section of this article that interests you. Just click “show” for the table of contents.
Life Insurance and Aortic Valve Disorders [Aortic Stenosis]
Life Insurance and Aortic Valve Disorders [Aortic Stenosis]
Aortic Valve Problems that we Work With Every Day
The most common aortic valve disorders are aortic stenosis and aortic insufficiency.
Aortic Stenosis is really common, and the opening of the aortic valve is just not as wide as it needs to be. Less common causes for the stenosis are rheumatic fever, and sometimes it can be congenital. Some people are born with an aortic valve that has two leaflets instead of three, or a bicuspid valve instead of a tricuspid.
The most common causes of aortic stenosis are the same culprits for coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis. The same things that lead to calcification of your arteries in general- like age, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, tobacco use and a bad diet-lead to aortic stenosis as well.
In aortic insufficiency (or aortic regurgitation), problems in the aortic valve prevent it from closing properly. This allows blood to flow backward into the left ventricle.
Aortic Insufficiency is most often caused by a bicuspid valve flaps wearing down, or an aging aortic valve becoming calcified. Severe cases of aortic regurgitation often require a valve replacement or repair.
Aortic Valve Disorder Diagnosis and Prognosis
Many people could live their whole lives and never even know they have a problem with their aortic valve. Many cases do not present symptoms until a patient is older or the stenosis is severe.
Often the doctor hears a small heart murmur during a routine exam. A systolic murmur is usually aortic stenosis, while a diastolic murmur indicates aortic insufficiency. A cardiologist confirms the guess with an echocardiogram to determine the severity.
For most people, their lives are full and engaging with aortic valve issues because they progress slowly. They just keep an eye on it with annual checkups, echocardiograms, diet and lifestyle modifications.
The Life Insurance Health Questionnaire
Most insurance companies will start with a general series of questions to try to characterize your health problems.
They’ll ask how long you’ve had aortic valve stenosis, and whether it has led to any negative symptoms.
They’ll ask if your doctor has done any testing or other medical procedures, and they’ll ask if you’re taking any medications specifically prescribed for the disorder.
Finally, they will ask about common risk factors for future aortic valve degeneration.
Risk Factors for Aortic Valve Issues
Insurance companies take a few factors into consideration when determining coverage for aortic valve stenosis. Specifically, insurance underwriters look at these risk factors:
Male rates tend to be higher. Aortic valve stenosis is actually very common in males older than 65. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, about 2 percent of American males will develop aortic valve stenosis after the age of 65.
Over time, calcium buildup and scarring of the aortic valve produce the effect. This type of stenosis can be congenital but most often happens as a negative result of a sedentary lifestyle.
Developing aortic valve disorders at a younger age leads to a higher rate on life insurance due to the chance for more serious heart problems later in life.
In this instance, the older you are when you are diagnosed, the better. Most life insurance companies will rate you better with a diagnosis after age 60.
High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Management.
If you have high cholesterol your aortic stenosis can go from mild to terrible 200% faster than a patient with normal cholesterol. Life insurance underwriters know the research and so should you.
Eating a well-balanced healthy diet will make you feel better. More fruits and vegetables, more fish, and less processed food and table salt can save the day.
Lower sodium intake will lower your blood pressure, and fewer alcoholic drinks will also lower your blood pressure.
However, this diet advice is nothing new. You already know this stuff and it’s time to put it into practice before your life insurance exam.
You will live longer, spend more time with your family and you will save money on your life insurance.
Smoking: A Major Lifestyle Decision with Aortic Stenosis
Giving up tobacco demonstrates your commitment to health. Also, it immediately lowers blood pressure. Immediately as in within twenty minutes your blood pressure goes down once you quit!
Within 48 hours your body starts to repair nerve damage from smoking. Five years later, you no longer have a stroke risk any higher than a non smoker. Holy smokes! For a client with aortic stenosis, this is great news
Family History of Cardiovascular Disease
While aortic stenosis most commonly results from lifestyle choices, it can also be hereditary. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, if one or both of your parents had aortic stenosis, you are twice as likely to have it as well.
Some life insurance companies will also look at your family history of cardiovascular disease, and if the results are negative that could affect your life insurance rates too.
Not every company considers your familial history. However, generally speaking they are looking at your parents, and looking for any heart attacks before age 60.
How Severe is your Aortic Valve Stenosis?
Insurance companies classify aortic valve stenosis as mild, moderate or severe.
Mild Aortic Stenosis
There are very few – if any – symptoms with mild cases. They can go unnoticed for years and they don’t require treatment. Mild cases also don’t restrict your ability to do work or to exercise, so this is the best category to be in since it doesn’t usually impact your daily functioning.
Moderate Aortic Stenosis
Insurance companies usually place you in the moderate stenosis category when you start to have symptoms like lightheadedness, weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, or quickness to fatigue. They’ll also determine whether you’re on medication, which some doctors prescribe for moderate cases.
Keep in mind that there is no specific medication for moderate aortic stenosis.
Your doctor may prescribe helper medications (like Lasix or Furosemide) that reduce the amount of water and salt in the body. These “loop diuretics” lower the volume of your blood to make it easier to pump into your arteries. In turn, this lowers strain on your heart muscle and aortic valve.
Sometimes doctors also prescribe cholesterol medications (statins) to reduce the buildup of cholesterol on the valve or in the vessel, or they might prescribe thrombolytics (clot-busters) or nitrates for chest pain.
The insurance company will factor in all medications when determining your rate, however most medications of this nature will not add anything to your life insurance premiums.
Severe Aortic Stenosis
In more severe situations, insurance companies look at more severe symptoms like chest pains, fainting, or a bloody cough. They’ll look at whether your doctor characterizes your condition as heart failure, and they’ll also look at whether you’ve had surgery or if your doctor has recommended surgery.
In many severe cases of aortic valve stenosis, one of two surgeries is often performed: aortic valve repair or aortic valve replacement. The valve repair is less invasive and is done via balloon valvuloplasty, a procedure that involves the surgeon inserting a balloon and inflating it to open the valve.
A full valve replacement is more involved because an artificial valve is being placed. The important thing to remember is that people don’t often have symptoms until they reach the severe stage. If you suspect stenosis or have a family history, it is best to go in before age 50 and get the preventative tests.
What is your Treatment Plan?
It is important to keep yearly checkups with your doctor, who likely ordered heart tests periodically to monitor your condition. This will demonstrate to the insurance company that you take your condition seriously and are closely monitoring the situation.
An insurance company will want to know how much your valve has narrowed over time. More narrowing means a higher risk of future heart problems, keeping in mind that this type of stenosis can literally take decades to progress.
Eventually, you may develop a heart murmur as a result of the stenosis, and if you’re going in every year, your doctor can detect that. Other tests like an echocardiogram (ultrasound imaging of your heart), an EKG, or a stress test on a treadmill are considered to be preventative tests because the doctor might catch your stenosis even before you are symptomatic.
Life Insurance with Aortic Stenosis – What Health Class do we Expect?
Insurance companies have four broad categories that we refer to as “health classes.” preferred plus, preferred, standard and substandard or table ratings. Each class is 25% more expensive (more or less) than the health class before it, so it pays to work with an expert to get the best health class you possibly can.
The severity of your condition is by far the biggest factor insurance companies use to determine ratings, so applications need detail. Be sure to answer all questions thoroughly and completely.
How your life insurance rates are calculated after the health class is settled is actually pretty easy math.
Your Age + Coverage Amount + Health Class = Life Insurance Premium
Because of the seriousness of aortic valve disorders, an insurance company will not insure you in this top category if you have the condition.
This is unlikely, however it is possible. This category amounts to a discounted policy for excellent health and aortic valve complications usually come with other arteriosclerosis elsewhere.
The key to preferred life insurance rates with aortic stenosis is you must apply with certain highly rated high risk companies. They reserve these programs for older applicants in otherwise excellent health.
The standard rating is likely and usually the highest rating you can expect if you have aortic valve stenosis. Your chances are really good if you are an applicant aged 60 or over, without any other heart problems caused by your stenosis.
This applicant usually feels well, has no symptoms, and shows years of stability through echocardiogram
Mild Substandard Rating
A substandard rating is the most likely rating that someone with an aortic valve disorder will get. Attention clients aged 15 – 59: your stenosis or regurgitation will need to be minimal to qualify at this health class.
Older applicants with moderate stenosis or aortic insufficiency over the age of 60 usually qualify for mild substandard rates.
Moderate Substandard Rating
Most moderate cases of aortic stenosis will result in moderate substandard rates. The good news is that life insurance is still affordable, even at moderately substandard rates.
Today you Have a Choice to Make
Are you going to put your life insurance decision off any longer?
No matter what your condition, we can help. Don’t make it harder by waiting until your aortic stenosis gets worse.
It is crucially important to work with and get quotes from an underwriting expert with knowledge, expertise and experience in life insurance for heart conditions.
If you do not, an agent unfamiliar with these diseases will most certainly waste your time. You’ll either be denied coverage or you’ll pay an extraordinarily high rate and premium.
Why take that chance? Why not work with an expert in the field, like us?
We work with top rated life insurance companies that specialize in high risk scenarios like aortic valve stenosis, and we approve this condition every day. Let us help you protect your family.
Submit a quote request.
Pick “Standard” for your health class and we will get started right away.