Heart Attack Life Insurance – Life Insurance After a Heart Attack

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Heart attack life insurance or life insurance after a heart attack. . . is it possible?

Questions Answered
YES you can get approved for life insurance after a heart attack or cardiovascular disease.

After a heart attack you have an abrupt meeting with the concept of your own mortality. While death is not a pleasant idea, you can be financially prepared.

After you begin to consider ways to improve your health, you most likely begin to think of the well-being of your family if the worst occurs. Here many people will become discouraged, as many believe life insurance after a heart attack is not possible or too expensive.

While a heart attack certainly complicates the process of obtaining life insurance, life insurance after a heart attack is possible.

Heart attack is the number one cause of death in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention more than 730,000 heart attacks occur each year.  Many of the victims can recover and go on to live healthy lives for many years afterwards.

Since this is such a large portion of the American population, life insurance companies do not completely ignore this group of people.  Many life insurance companies even specialize in writing heart conditions, however you will need an underwriting expert to help you find the companies that do.

Here’s the Deal on Life Insurance After a Heart Attack –

Knowledge and information will be the most important tools in your search for life insurance if you have heart conditions or have had a heart attack. Knowing what insurance companies will look for and what you can do to improve your chances is crucial to finding quality, affordable coverage.

Life insurance companies will seek medical information to determine the risk of insuring you after a heart attack, so it is important to gather and provide as much documentation on your condition as possible.  The more you know about your heart condition, the better!

If you do not provide medical information, life insurance companies will assume the worst on their own and will charge you accordingly higher premiums.

That is why we developed this article to help you understand what you should know, what information to provide and what you can do to make sure you get the best life insurance at the best rates.

A Bit About Heart Attacks

Before we dive into the process of obtaining life insurance after a heart attack, it is important to first understand a little about heart disease and how it can affect your risk in the minds of insurers.

In order to function properly, the heart requires a constant flow of oxygen-rich blood. This is provided by the coronary arteries through which the blood flows and nourishes the heart.

In coronary artery disease, these arteries become clogged with fatty deposits, cholesterol, calcium and other substances that form plaque. When this plaque build up reaches a certain point, a blood clot can form and completely block off the flow of blood to the heart, causing a heart attack.

This is by far the most common process by which a heart attack occurs, but there are other possible reasons the arteries can narrow. Whatever the initial cause, after the blood flow from the artery is blocked off it can permanently damage the heart.

Life Insurance and Heart Attack Victims

Life insurance is all about determining risk. This means that insurance companies will view those with heart disease as higher risk candidates, and they will be less willing to insure a person after a heart attack.

However, it is still possible to find affordable whole or term life insurance if we package your case correctly and present it to the right life insurance company.

Certain life insurance companies price these risks very well.

Gather as much documentation as possible on your heart attack and we will review the following information:

When did your heart attack occur?

In general, the older you were when the event occurred, the better. Those with heart attacks at a young age will be viewed as more likely to have health problems in the future.

How recent was your heart attack?

Insurers will want a minimum of six months to pass after the event to see how you will recover and how healthy you will be going forward.

How severe was the heart attack?

If the heart attack was due to only one blocked artery, you can still qualify for standard or even preferred ratings with some companies. Two or more damaged arteries will negatively impact your chances.

What was the % of blockage for your arteries?  The lower that % is, the higher your chances are of receiving standard rates.

Are you following doctor instructions and living a healthy life now?

It is a common myth that taking blood thinners or other medications will hurt your chances of approval.  You need to take all medications as they are prescribed by your doctor.

After a heart attack your doctor will advise follow up stress tests and echocardiograms, and life insurance underwriters will want to see these tests.  Are you free of blockage?  How often are you having a stress test?

BEST RATE TIP!
Annual stress tests can result in a “lifestyle credit” on your application, saving you 20% – 40% in your monthly premiums with certain insurers.  

If you have not had a stress test in 24 months or more, ask your doctor to schedule it.

In short, do what your doctor is telling you to do.

What’s your ejection fraction?

Left ventricle ejection fraction measures how much blood your heart pumps out with each beat.  It is one of the top indicators of heart health and life insurance companies take this ratio very seriously.

BEST RATE TIP!
An ejection fraction higher than 50% will help you qualify for life insurance after a heart attack, sometimes with standard rates.

You can expect fewer options, higher rates or you may be declined if your EF is 45% or less.

What else is going on in your physical picture?

Multiple health conditions can multiply your life insurance rates after a heart attack.  If the heart attack is the only health issue, it is easier for an approval than if the heart attack is coupled with high blood pressure, Afib or diabetes.

Get the best rates on life insurance after a heart attack

Put your health front and center and change your lifestyle!  Do what the American Heart Association recommends … stop smoking, watch your diet and be physically active.  Also:

  • Follow the treatment guidelines set up by your doctor.  Prescription reports and physicians’statements will show life insurance companies how well you are following the doctor’s orders, so follow them to the letter.
  • Lose some weight!  5 -10 pounds could mean 15% – 25% in life insurance savings.
  • “Ace” your paramedical exam when you apply for life insurance.  Cholesterol and triglyceride readings that are in the upper limits could trigger a decline.
  • Change what you eat to limit your medications
  • Stop smoking!  Did we mention this one already?
  • Once you are approved, use our “Review and Reduce” feature to get your policy reclassified at a better health class after changing your lifestyle.

Heart Attack Life Insurance approvals: Actual Case Studies

Case Study
Thomas suffered two minor heart attacks and he is 64 years old.  His last heart attack was 7 years ago.  

He quit smoking, maintains a healthy diet and weight and has annual stress echocardiograms.  LVEF is greater than 50%.  Coronary angiography less than 24 months ago shows that his heart condition has improved and there are no significant blockages.

Current prescriptions are for a statin and beta blocker.  Insurance labs were normal with a favorable lipid profile.

Result – Standard rates for Thomas, even with multiple heart attacks.  I almost fell out of my chair!

With a in depth cover letter and an intimate knowledge of underwriting, we were able to take advantage of “lifestyle credits” and improve his health class.

Standard rates though?  I could not believe the offer when the underwriter sent it over.  This was fantastic!

Thomas took an active role in his life and health, made the right choices and this made all of the difference.  If he was still smoking, his premiums would be 300% higher.

10 year term, “A rated” company for Thomas C.,

Term Life Insurance $100,000 $250,000 $500,000
Monthly Rate $98.11 $180.12 $343.66

Life Insurance after a Heart Attack – Approved Substandard

Case Study
Miles  K. is 55 and he had a heart attack 2 years ago.  Coronary angiography shows his right coronary artery was completely blocked.  His cardiologist intervened with a stent at that time.

He was prescribed blood thinners after the angioplasty, however his doctor no longer thinks they are necessary.  He does take a statin, beta blocker and a low dose asparin.  

His diet and exercise habits are superb and his height / weight result in a BMI of  < 24.  

Recent exercise stress test had great results with LVEF over 55%.  Recent blood work is normal with low overall triglycerides and high levels of HDL.

Result: Miles qualified for mild substandard rates because of his excellent maintenance.  He’s doing exactly what his doctor ordered, and it showed on the test results and blood work.

With a longer history after the heart attack of great maintenance, he might even qualify for standard rates.  Medication, diet and exercise really helped.

A+ rated company for Miles K., 10 year term

Term Life Insurance $500,000 $1,000,000 $2,000,000
Monthly Rate $164.06 $301.80 $598.35

Probable Health Class for Heart Attack Life Insurance Approvals

When you apply for life insurance after a heart attack, what rating or health class do we expect?

  • Most Likely – Substandard ratings.  These rates are 25% – 50% higher than standard rates, however you are still insurable.  If you had heart failure past age 50, your EF is 45% or higher and are generally in good health, this is what you can expect.
  • Likely – Standard ratings.  If your heart disease developed later in life (age 60+), your EF is 50% +, current blockages are <50% and in one artery.  Non smoker, also in great health otherwise, regular standard rates are possible for life insurance.
  • Less likely – Preferred or preferred plus – Very tough, almost impossible.  Less than 3% of the clients we have with heart conditions have preferred rates on life insurance after a heart attack.

Conclusion

There are many factors that determine your eligibility for life insurance as a heart attack survivor or heart disease patient. These will all vary according to insurance companies’s individual requirements.

That is why it is important to apply with an underwriting expert that knows the specifications for each company and can find the perfect fit for your specific case.

This service is free with no obligation.  Stop wasting time, put our expertise to work for you and let us help protect your family.

Agree? Disagree? Discuss!