Can you get life insurance with a pacemaker? Our pacemaker life insurance underwriting experts will make sure you do.
You may have already been denied life insurance in the past due to your pacemaker or the heart condition that it is used to treat. There is good news though.
In the past this was not always the case. However, more Americans than ever are having pacemakers implanted. Technology is rapidly improving the quality of the devices, and therefore life insurance companies are much more open to pacemaker patients.
This article was designed to help you understand the relationship between pacemakers and life insurance and what you can do to improve your chances of getting your policy approved.
If you want to skip the article, just click the button below to get your free quote started.
A pacemaker is a small electronic device that is surgically implanted under the skin in a patient’s chest or abdomen to help control the heartbeat. The device consists of two main parts– the generator and the electrodes (also called leads or wires)– and these create a low-energy electric pulse which prompts the heart to beat at a normal rate.
A pacemaker is implanted with minor surgery, and along with lifestyle changes, they can greatly improve a person’s heart condition.
There are a number of reasons why a person may need a pacemaker, but it is usually due to a group of conditions known as arrhythmias in which the rhythm of the heartbeat is abnormal.
A subset of arrhythmia is called bradycardia (or slow heartbeat). Bradycardia accounts for most of the pacemakers installed, and the #2 cause is a heart block of some kind.
While the pacemaker itself will certainly impact your chances at approval and your rating for life insurance, why you need the pacemaker will be the most important factor.
Pacemaker Patients and Life Insurance
Life insurance companies are not going to leave such a large number of potential customers without insurance. In fact, there are some companies that specialize in these types of “high risk” cases, and it is with these companies that pacemaker patients.
That is one reason why it is important to apply with an independent underwriting expert who specializes in people with heart conditions.
We know what companies are the best fit for your specific needs and will put your application to several different companies, improving your approval odds and giving you the ability to choose the best policy for you.
Life insurance is all about risk. During your application process, it is the job of the insurer to determine how much of a risk it would be to provide you with coverage.
The good news is most patients live long and healthy lives. That makes this condition insurable for these life insurance companies that specialize in high risk.
Underwriting Pacemaker Life Insurance Approvals
First, let’s check out the underwriting guidelines for pacemakers from one of America’s largest life insurance companies.
What are underwriters looking for?
In case you cannot read that, here are the questions an underwriter will want to know:
What condition is your pacemaker treating?
The pacemaker itself is not as much of a concern to insurance companies as the condition for which it was implanted. As it was aforementioned, bradycardia and heart blocks are the most common reasons. However, some other heart conditions that a pacemaker may treat include:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Syncope (fainting)
If you have any of the above conditions, read the article dealing with that specific heart condition. It will be the main underwriting issue, not the pacemaker.
When was your pacemaker implanted?
This will be an important factor in determining your approval and rating class. Except in the case of congenital heart block, having pacemaker surgery at a young age will negatively impact your chances.
Recent surgeries will not get an approval. Generally speaking, insurance companies want a period of at least three to six months to pass before they will issue a policy.
Has your condition significantly improved with the pacemaker?
If the pacemaker is successfully treating your condition, it may actually improve your rating.
Have you recently experienced chest pains or other symptoms?
If you are experiencing additional symptoms as a result of your pacemaker, it could result in higher premiums or even denial. Insurance companies want to see that the pacemaker has made your condition better, not worse.
Any complications from your pacemaker?
Complications of pacemakers include malfunction, ventricular dysfunction, blood clots, and infection. There can also be perforation in the wall where the lead is implanted.
Have you recently had medical tests performed? If so, what were the results?
Insurance companies will require a lot of information when reviewing your application. This may include results from x-rays, EKG, stress tests and others.
Life Insurance With a Pacemaker – Approved!
So what kind of life insurance rates can pacemaker patients expect?
Preferred / Preferred Plus
This is the best health class, and these rates are reserved for the healthiest of the healthy. Only about 7% of the population gets preferred plus. Unfortunately, pacemaker patients are not eligible for these rate classes.
Be wary of any agent quoting you preferred rates with a pacemaker. It’s just not possible.
This is the best case scenario for life insurance with a pacemaker. Standard rates apply if:
- your pacemaker was installed later in life, and
- there are no other health complications like Afib or high blood pressure.
Substandard or Table Ratings
This is a likely outcome. Most life insurance approvals with a pacemaker land in the table 1 – 4 range.
Take a look at an underwriting guide below:
If that’s tough to read or understand, basically this insurance company rates a pacemaker somewhere between table 2 (B) or table 4 (D), depending on when it was installed.
Declined / Postponed Coverage
If you apply with the wrong company your application will be denied outright. Work with an underwriting expert and avoid this common pitfall.
Otherwise, if you apply too soon after the pacemaker procedure most life insurance companies will want you to wait. They will decline or postpone your application 6 months after surgery.
Your life insurance application could be declined with a severe heart condition. However, we will know that before we even apply and we will pursue other options.
Pacemaker Life Insurance Approved – Actual Rates
Virginia had dizzy spells before her heart block was treated. Since the procedure, she has been symptom free and she watches her diet like a hawk!
We were able to secure standard rates for Virginia with an A rated life insurance company as follows:
20 year term, A rated company for Virginia B., quoted on 3-18-2017
|Term Life Insurance||$100,000||$250,000||$500,000|
Life Insurance with a Pacemaker – The Real Deal
While having a pacemaker may complicate the process of getting life insurance, it is not impossible. Insurers will want to see that the pacemaker has made your condition better and that you are living a healthy lifestyle.
If you don’t have any other underlying heart conditions, fill out our FREE quote form and use “Standard” as your rate class. You can see what you qualify for today.
Look – you are as young as you will ever be today.
Right now is your best chance to protect your family and get the lowest life insurance rates.
We have worked with so many different pacemaker patients like yourself, we can help you find the best company for you quickly.
Let’s get started right now.