Can You Get Life Insurance With Afib?

While not life-threatening on its own, Afib does increase the risk of stroke and other serious health problems. These factors can make it harder to get life insurance — but you still have many good options.

The longer it’s been since your diagnosis, the better your odds of securing good rates on a life insurance policy. But every company has different underwriting rules. Knowing these details will help you make an informed decision. 

What is Afib?

Understanding the complexities of obtaining life insurance with a pre-existing condition like atrial fibrillation (Afib) is crucial, as certain health issues can affect your policy options and premiums. If you’re wondering can you get life insurance if you have sleep apnea, similar considerations apply, as insurers will assess the severity and management of your condition during the application process.

Atrial fibrillation (Afib) is the most common type of arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm. 

If you have Afib, your heart may beat too fast, too slow, or in an unusual way. Afib often comes in brief episodes, lasting minutes to hours, but it can become permanent. 

The CDC has declared Afib an epidemic. They predict over 12 million adults in the United States will have Afib by 2030. 

Afib is not life-threatening. However, it can lead to chest pain, dizziness, and fatigue. It can also worsen your risk for heart disease or stroke. 

There are different types of Afib, ranging widely in severity. The type you have will impact your life insurance options since they each come with a different level of risk. 

  • Intermittent Afib: If you have 10 or fewer Afib episodes per year, you likely have intermittent Afib. This means you don’t need any medication to manage your condition. If you have no other health conditions, like high blood pressure, you’ll get the lowest rates. 
  • Persistent or Chronic Afib: If you need medication or electrical shock to help correct your heart rhythm, you have persistent Afib. Persistent Afib that sticks around for over a year is classified as long-term persistent Afib. You can still get solid terms if your condition is well-managed. 
  • Permanent Afib: Afib is considered permanent if it will not go away, even with electrical shock. You will need medication to help control it. This type of Afib can lead to congestive heart failure and other serious conditions. If your condition is severe, you may be offered a graded policy. This means you’ll have a reduced death benefit in the first 2 years.

When properly managed, most people with Afib can go on to lead a long and healthy life. But, the more recent your diagnosis, the more risk life insurance companies will see. That means higher premiums and, sometimes, modified terms. 

Getting Coverage with Afib: What To Expect

To get the best rates with Afib, life insurance companies will want proof that you are managing your condition and making good lifestyle choices.

Co-occurring conditions, like high blood pressure, can cause and worsen Afib. If you have other conditions, you’ll want to show they’re being properly managed.

Even if you don’t have any other health conditions, you’ll need documentation. For instance, you’ll need to show that you’re managing various risk factors — like by keeping your cholesterol and weight in check. 

Traditional life insurance policies require extensive underwriting. That means they’ll require a medical exam and various tests, like echocardiograms. With a simplified issue policy like those from GetSure, none of that is needed. 

For a simplified issue policy, expect the following: 

  • Answer some questions about your lifestyle, like your smoking, drinking, eating, and exercise habits.
  • Share some details about the diagnosis, treatment, and management of your Afib.
  • Allow access to your prescription drug history, up to 10 years back.

If you decide to opt for a guaranteed issue policy, you won’t even need to answer health questions. Your rates will be completely based on your age and gender. 

Can I Get Term Life Insurance with Afib?

Term life insurance provides coverage for a fixed period, usually between 5 and 40 years. You can get term life coverage if you have Afib. However, your options and premiums will depend on the type of Afib you have and how you’re managing it.

How Term Life Insurance Companies Underwrite for Afib

Every insurance company has its own underwriting guidelines for conditions like Afib. 

Many companies are a straight Decline, meaning they will not issue a term policy if you have Atrial Fibrillation. 

However, if you are no longer receiving treatment for Afib, your term life options open up. 

The Best and Worst Companies for Term Life Insurance with Afib

Americo, Foresters, and Mutual of Omaha all automatically decline coverage for people with Afib. Even if your Afib is well-managed, they will not offer you a policy. 

But Prosperity and American Amicable do offer term life coverage. Once it’s been 5 years since your treatment, Prosperity will cover you. And American Amicable will after a minimum of 10 years. 

Can I Get Whole Life Insurance with Afib?

Whole life insurance will cover you for your lifetime, as long as you keep paying into the policy. You can get whole life insurance with Afib, but the types of terms available will depend on your condition. 

How Whole Life Insurance Companies Underwrite for Afib

Simplified issue whole life insurance offers predictable premiums and a death benefit as large as $50,000. It’s sometimes called “burial insurance,” because you can choose a death benefit big enough to ensure your final expenses are covered. 

Simplified issue whole life policies can have one of two structures:

  • Level policies have a level death benefit. This means you are eligible for the full face amount on the policy from day 1. 
  • Modified policies have a graded death benefit. This means, for the first 2 years, the death benefit will be equal to the premiums you’ve paid. After that period, you’re eligible for the full death benefit. 

If your Afib is well-managed, you can likely find a level whole life policy that suits your needs.

Those with more severe health concerns may only see “modified” whole life options. 

But, if you have serious health concerns, there’s a third option. Guaranteed issue whole life insurance requires no medical exam or health questions. But, these policies have lower coverage limits and higher premiums. 

The Best and Worst Companies for Whole Life Insurance with Afib

Sons of Norway is one of the only companies that automatically declines whole life coverage to those with Afib. 

A few other companies will decline you if you’ve received treatment in the last 2 years. Those include Aetna and Americo. 

If it’s been more than 1-2 years since your last treatment, you can get a graded policy from some companies. Mutual of Omaha, AIG, and Great Western all fit that category.

However, many companies will offer you a level policy whether or not you’re actively receiving treatment. These are your best options. Look to: American Amicable, American Home Life, CVS Health, Foresters, Liberty Bankers, Prosperity, Royal Neighbors, SBLI, or Transamerica.