Can I get life insurance with sick sinus syndrome?
Yes, you can get life insurance with sick sinus syndrome. An irregular heartbeat of any kind does make getting life insurance a little more difficult, however not impossible. You just have to work with the right people.
What kind of life insurance is available with sick sinus?
Term life insurance or permanent life insurance plans are available with sick sinus syndrome depending on your age and treatment plan. These plans will have coverage from day one and can last a lifetime if you desire, and that’s good news.
Usually your policy selection will not be hindered by sick sinus so long as you are managing the arrhythmia with no complication. You should have the full buffet of selection like every one else trying to protect their loved ones.
No-exam plans, ‘automatic underwriting,’ simplified-issue or similar life insurance policies will not be available.
Ask your Heart Life Insurance advisor to go over the underwriting process before you apply and you will be well informed on what to expect.
What is sick sinus syndrome?
There are a lot of factors that trigger SSS, including:
- Scars from previous heart surgery
- Wear and tear on the heart muscle
- Hyperkalemia (the presence of too much potassium in the blood)
- Calcium channel blockers and beta blockers prescribed to for high blood pressure over time may contribute to sick sinus
- Sleep apnea
- Previous occurrence of heart attack with ischemia (or heart muscle damage)
- Thyroid diseases
There are also cases where an infection of the heart muscle, or a condition where the heart muscle is weakened can lead to Sick Sinus Syndrome.
How do sinus node issues relate to life insurance?
Life insurance companies first need a firm diagnosis before they can offer a policy or give you a rate. Unfortunately, sick sinus syndrome can be difficult to diagnose. The abnormal rhythm must show up on an ECG, and that is difficult to recreate when the irregular beat is intermittent.
Many people have no symptoms until their heart literally stops, and some individuals later develop serious arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation or brady-tachy. Both of these diagnoses put you at much higher risk of stroke, therefore it’s concerning to an underwriter when they appear.
A pacemaker usually fixes slow heart rates. Medication designed to slow your heart rate is used to treat rapid beats.
You might need both meds and a pacemaker to treat sick sinus and related conditions.
Is a sick sinus block considered a high-risk condition for life insurance?
Yes it is, absolutely.
Most health issues related to the cardiovascular system get rated as a ‘high risk condition,’ and because sick sinus syndrome involves the proper pacing of your heart it will land in this category too.
If your job or employer offers group life insurance, anything more than one multiple of your annual salary will be restricted or declined with a high risk condition like sick sinus. So when open enrollment occurs, check to see if the application asks questions regarding cardiovascular health before you apply.
No need to get declined if you don’t have to, just call us first and we can provide some guidance.
Like Bob Marley said, don’t worry about a thing.
Having a ‘high risk condition’ doesn’t mean you are high risk personally, or that your health is bad, or that the life insurance companies don’t want clients with your similar conditions.
You can still qualify for life insurance even with a high risk condition, you just have to know who to ask.
Do high-risk conditions affect my life insurance rates?
High-risk conditions affect your ability to get life insurance and they will also affect your rate. However, there are usually companies that will approve you at affordable rates if you know where to look.
Insurance companies want to see that you’re taking every possible measure to control your condition. This is absolutely the best way you can ensure the best rate for yourself.
If your doctor has prescribed a treatment plan, make sure you are following it to the letter by performing all tests and taking all necessary medications.
Proof of regular cardiology visits will certainly help your case. Underwriters want to see a proven track record. Ideally, they’d like to see records for your condition over a period of as much as two years. It is best to compile them so you’ll have them handy by the time you’ll need to present them.
During that time, they’d like evidence that you’ve followed doctors’ orders and taken medications.
Underwriters are also looking to see if sick sinus has stabilized over time
Insurance companies use the following information to determine your insurance rating:
- How long have you had sick sinus?
- What are your detailed symptoms (if any) ?
- What are you most recent imaging tests, like echocardiograms or stress echos?
- Did you have any recent long term arrhythmia tests, like loop recorders or Holter monitors?
- What medications are you taking?
- If you have an installed pacemaker, what does the downloaded data say about your heart’s rhythm over the last 60 days?
Insurance companies will also examine your lifestyle risks. For instance, tobacco, alcohol and cannabis use will all be factors.
Also, you’ll have to let them know how you are managing your symptoms.
They’ll examine other ailments you might have (history of heart attack, high blood pressure, etc.).
These might complicate your sick sinus syndrome. Most related conditions are heart conditions, but other conditions like hypothyroidism have been linked with sick sinus syndrome in rare cases.
The insurance company will factor in all of the above to determine your final class rating.
What life insurance rates can you get with sick sinus syndrome?
Preferred / Preferred plus are health classes that have discounts versus standard rates. Anything is possible, however expecting a preferred or preferred plus health class with sick sinus is not likely. Less than 5% of applicants receive these health classes, so when you are doing budget estimates, I’d advise “it is better to be accurate than hopeful”.
If you have an agent or advisor proposing a preferred or preferred plus health class with Sick Sinus – or any cardiac arrhythmia – Start to ask some questions.
You should be wary if it sounds too good to be true, and ask questions of your advisor such as:
- How many similar cases have you had this year for sick sinus or other related arrhythmias?
- What were their outcomes?
- How did you determine my health class to estimate my rates?
You could get a standard rating if you can show sufficient evidence that your syndrome is under control and has been stable for a long period of time. Standard health classes may be available if you are being treated with medication only (no electronics), and have great looking cardiac imaging like an echocardiogram. A standard health class is the best case scenario for sick sinus syndrome, and it’s usually reserved for older applicants who were diagnosed later in life.
Most people with sick sinus syndrome will fall somewhere on the substandard or “table rated” band. Everyone with a pacemaker will usually start at mild-to moderate substandard rates, and then will go up from there if there are other conditions like diabetes or sleep apnea.
You will also receive credit (discounts) for good cardiology follow-up, like a recent echocardiogram showing a strong, otherwise unremarkable heart.
Here’s the good news: “Substandard” is just a word to describe a health class, nothing more. It doesn’t describe the policy or the protection it provides.
These policies act just like any other life insurance policy, they have first day coverage for all deaths, they can be term policies or permanent plans, some policies have living benefits, and they are still very affordable.
The question you should ask yourself is:
Are you getting all of the credit and discounts that you deserve, or should you reach out to Heart Life Insurance and make sure?
How do I find the perfect life insurance for my Sick Sinus Syndrome?
Our credible agents at Heart Life Insurance will help you obtain the proper underwriting information and help you to find the best options for your specific case. Because we specialize in both low and high-risk cases, we can give you adequate guidance to know all the steps you should take and find the best policies for your condition.
We have high success rates getting affordable life insurance options for people suffering from SSS, so get a free quote today and let’s find the best choice for you.