Life Insurance with Heart Disease: How To Get Coverage
It may be a little harder to qualify for life insurance if you have been diagnosed with heart disease or heart failure.
But the good news is, there are options available if you know where to search. You can still buy life insurance even if you have a heart condition.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is considered a critical medical condition. Hence, many life insurance companies are hesitant to approve such applications.
In most cases, insurance companies require applicants to wait for at least a year following the diagnosis and/or treatment. This allows them to gain a clearer picture of how your health condition is currently progressing.
Applying For Life Insurance With Heart Disease
Here are some common questions presented by insurance underwriters during the application review process:
- What were the symptoms or health issues that led to your diagnosis?
- Do you have a history of heart disease in your family?
- When were you diagnosed with congestive heart disease or heart failure?
- Has a member of your immediate family passed away from heart disease?
- What prescriptions do you currently take, and what is the recommended dosage?
You are recommended to provide the underwriters with as much information as possible to help them come to a definite conclusion regarding your approval and rates.
If it is later discovered that certain information was left out, your premium rate may increase or your coverage may be terminated.
The underwriters will be better equipped to evaluate whether you will be eligible for coverage after reviewing all the information. That could go a long way toward deciding your policy’s rate and the appropriate underwriting class.
Life Insurance Policies With Heart Disease
Although the precise underwriting standards used by each insurance provider may vary, most of them employ comparable classifications regarding where their clients fall in terms of health and other considerations.
The following are the main categories for life insurance underwriting:
Preferred – Preference ranking may be given to applicants who exhibit excellent health. For applicants who demonstrate exceptional health attributes, some insurers may also provide a Preferred Plus category.
The premium rate paid by these policyholders is generally lower than standard-rated applicants. For instance, applicants suffering from heart failure are highly unlikely to qualify for coverage under this criterion.
Standard – Applicants classified in the standard rate class generally have average overall health. Suppose a candidate is 60 or above and has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure or another form of heart disease but is otherwise healthy.
In that case, he may fall under the standard underwriting group. This is especially true if they waited at least a year after their diagnosis or treatment to apply for coverage.
Table Rated / Sub-standard — Policyholders in this bracket will be required to pay a higher premium than those in the standard underwriting category.
This is because applicants in the table-rated/sub-standard underwriting class present a higher degree of risk to the insurer due to their health condition.
You may be placed in this rate class type based on the following conditions:
- The seriousness of your heart disorder
- The age at which you are diagnosed
- Your overall health condition
If You Are Declined For Life Insurance
If your application is declined, your final option is a “guaranteed issue policy”.
A guaranteed issue life insurance policy is a type of whole life insurance policy that does not take into account your medical conditions or health history.
In other words, a guaranteed issue policy does not ask the applicant any health-related questions nor does it demand a physical examination or blood and urine testing.
These policies are considerably more expensive than standard life insurance plans, and we rarely find that these are worth it for our customers.
Before applying for a guaranteed issue policy, keep in mind these downsides:
- Lower Death Benefit – in most cases, the death benefit is capped at $25,000, depending on the applicant’s age
- Waiting Period – insurance companies that sell guaranteed issue whole life typically require a 2-3 year waiting period before they will pay the policy’s full death benefit. If the insured dies during the waiting period, the beneficiary will be refunded the premiums paid to date, plus 5-10% interest
- Higher Rates – given that the insurer is taking on an unknown risk, they have to charge a higher price to make up for their higher chances of loss
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