Can you Get Affordable Life Insurance with Congestive Heart Failure? Yes.
Getting quality, affordable life insurance with congestive heart failure can seem like like a difficult– if not impossible– proposition. In fact, even the term “heart failure” seems like a terrifying concept.
However, if you have been diagnosed with CHF, you have probably already learned that it isn’t quite what it seems, and there are many misconceptions about it.
This is also true when it comes to applying for life insurance with any heart condition like CHF. It may seem like affordable life insurance is out of reach, but it is certainly not impossible.
While it is not quite as difficult as it may seem, getting life insurance with serious heart conditions can be made more difficult if you do not go about the application process correctly. As a general rule, the more information that you are able to obtain and provide at the time of your application, the better your chances of being approved.
Unfortunately, many applicants have been denied simply because they did not provide enough evidence of their current condition to help the insurance company know that they were worth the risk. After all, the entire life insurance industry is about risk and fully assessing that risk, so it is important to provide as much information as possible to help this process.
What you will learn in this article
In this article, we will go over some of the critical information that will be taken into consideration when you apply for life insurance with congestive heart failure. We will also discuss some general information about the condition, to help you understand how it relates to whole life insurance and term life insurance and dispel some of the misconceptions.
Once you understand the condition, the factors that go into determining qualifications for life insurance and what you can do to improve your chances, it is important to get the quote process started as soon as you can.
After all, you will never be as young as you are today, and life insurance is never going to be less expensive tomorrow. Furthermore, life insurance approvals with CHF take a little more homework on our part, so the sooner our underwriting experts can start the sooner your family can have the piece of mind they deserve.
About Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure is a condition that affects nearly 6 million people in the U.S., and it is the leading cause of hospitalization in individuals over 65. Although it is a serious condition, heart failure is actually not quite as lethal as it sounds. It does not actually mean that the heart has failed altogether, but it does mean that it is not working as efficiently as it should.
Simply put, heart failure means that the pumping power of the heart is not as strong as it should be, and blood is moving through the heart at a slower rate than normal. As a result, the pressure on the heart increases, and the chambers may respond by stretching to hold more blood. While this compensation method enables the blood to keep moving, it causes the walls of the heart to weaken and become less efficient.
Two common forms of CHF
There are two common forms of congestive heart failure. The first is diastolic congestive heart failure in which the walls of the heart become thick and stiff, preventing the ventricle from properly relaxing and filling with blood.
The other is systolic congestive heart failure, a condition in which the walls become too stretched and thin, making the heart too weak to produce enough force needed to push the blood into circulation.
There are many possible causes for CHF, and the initial cause of your condition is one of the major factors insurance companies take into consideration when determining your qualification, premiums and class rating.
Some of the most common causes of CHF include:
- Coronary Artery Disease or CAD, a disease of the arteries that cause a decrease in blood flow to the heart.
- Cardiomyopathy or damage to the heart by causes other than malfunctioning arteries, generally caused by infections or alcohol and drug abuse.
- Heart Attack that damages and scars the heart, causing CHF and blood flow issues.
- High Blood Pressure or hypertension, in which the increased pressure on the arteries eventually causes damage to the heart.
- Other conditions or diseases that overwork the heart like heart valve disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney disease, arrhythmia, heart birth defects or a combination of other conditions that are all present at once.
Life Insurance and Congestive Heart Failure
It is possible to get affordable life insurance even with CHF and its underlying conditions. It is not as easy as getting life insurance for a healthy 30 year old, however it’s possible.
Insurance companies will require a lot of information about your heart’s condition in order to properly determine the risk.
Before we get into the specific factors that will go into determining your eligibility, it is important to understand some of the basic classifications of life insurance companies and what you can realistically expect if you have congestive heart failure.
While each company has different standards and may have different levels of classification, the following are the most common.
Common Life Insurance Health Classes with Heart Failure
- Preferred Plus: This is usually the best possible classification. Individuals in this classification are usually in ideal health and can expect to receive the lowest premiums and best benefits. Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that someone with CHF will qualify for Preferred Plus.
- Preferred: While not impossible, it is still unlikely that a person with congestive heart failure will qualify for Preferred. However, if the cause of you CHF was not life-threatening, your symptoms are extremely mild and you are in perfect health otherwise, you could possibly get a Preferred rating.
- Standard: Receiving a Standard rating is generally the best case scenario for someone with CHF. If your condition is stable, you are in good health and it has been at least one year since you were diagnosed with CHF, you could qualify for Standard.
- Substandard (Table Rating): This is the most common class for individuals with congestive heart failure. While the prices and benefits may not be as great as they are with the higher classes, you can still get affordable health insurance under this classification, depending upon your individual case and the companies with which you apply.
Factors That Determine Your Eligibility for Life Insurance
The most important things you need to be aware of when applying for life insurance are the factors that go into the company’s decision. It is important for you to gather as much information on these aspects as possible, as more information will always help your chances. While there may be other things that go into determining your eligibility and qualification, these are the most crucial parts.
- When was your congestive heart failure diagnosed?
If it has been less than six months since your diagnosis, your chances are slim for getting typical whole life insurance or term life insurance. However, it is still possible to get a guaranteed life insurance policy.
- What event or issue led to your CHF?
Minor issues like high blood pressure could help you qualify for a better rate. Heart attacks or other life-threatening events mean higher risk.
- What tests have you had recently and what were the results?
Test results like EKGs, chest X-rays, echocardiograms, stress tests and others provide important information that go into the decision for life insurance companies.
- Do you currently have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other conditions that could impact your CHF?
Conditions HBP that are not properly controlled could worsen your CHF, and companies take any such risks into consideration.
- What other health problems do you have?
Obviously, if you are in good health aside from the congestive heart failure, it will improve your eligibility and classification.
- Do you have a family history of CHF?
Especially if any family members have died of CHF under age 60, it could negatively impact your chances.
- What treatments are being used, and is your condition stable?
Congestive heart failure could require surgeries such as angioplasty or bypass surgery. Less severe cases can be easily maintained with medication like nitrates, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, diuretics and others. If your congestive heart failure has been properly treated and remained stable for some time, you could qualify for better life insurance policies.
What You Can Do
The best thing you can do to improve your chances of getting quality life insurance with congestive heart failure is follow your doctor’s instructions and live a healthy lifestyle.
More specifically, you could quit smoking, lower your cholesterol, exercise more often and always take medications as prescribed. Being healthy is always the best thing you can do to qualify for great life insurance.
Unfortunately, almost half of individuals diagnosed with CHF die within the first five years, so it is important to apply for life insurance as soon as possible.
Since you are taking the time to educate yourself on life insurance and protect your loved ones, we are going to assume you are in the other half! Insurance companies are also aware of this, so you must work with an underwriting expert that will check multiple companies and find the best policy for you.
Now is your chance to make a choice
The independent agents at Heart Life Insurance will help you get all the proper underwriting information and help you to find the best options for your specific case. Because we specialize in high risk cases, we know all the steps that need to be taken and are able to find the best policies for each individual.
We have high success rates getting affordable life insurance options for great people with CHF, so get a free quote today and let’s get the process started.