Qualifying for Life Insurance after suffering from a Heart Attack.
In this article, we wanted to take a moment and try and answer some of the most common questions we get from folks applying for life insurance after suffering from a Heart Attack or Myocardial Infarction.
Questions that will be directly addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I have suffered from a Heart Attack or Myocardial Infarction?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I have suffered from a previous Heart Attack or Myocardial Infarction?
- What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
- can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
So, without further ado, let’ dive right in!
Can I qualify for life insurance if I have suffered from a Heart Attack or Myocardial Infarction?
Yes, individuals who have suffered from a heart attack can and often will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. In fact, in some cases depending on how much life insurance coverage that they’re looking for, they may even be able to qualify for a Preferred rate.
The problem is…
Let’s face it, suffering from a heart attack is a big deal. And while, it’s true that even super “healthy” and “fit” individuals can suffer from one, the vast majority of individuals who will ultimately suffer from a heart attack will have usually had some “kind” of risk factor leading up to their myocardial infarction.
Which is why, once a life insurance company has learned that you have suffered from a heart attack, they’re going to want to ask you a lot of questions about your past and current condition so that they can get a better idea about what kind of “risk” you might pose to them should they decide to offer you a policy.
Why do life insurance companies care if I have suffered from a previous Heart Attack or Myocardial Infarction?
It’s pretty obvious why a life insurance company is likely to “care” if an individual has suffered from a heart attack, after all heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States today, and considering having a heart attack is usually the “end result” of suffering from heart disease, it only makes sense that a life insurance company would be a bit “concerned” about it.
What a lot of folks don’t realize is that for many, suffering from a heart attack can often times be a powerful catalyst for change. In fact, here at IBUSA we often find that individuals who have suffered from a heart attack 6 to 12 months prior to applying for a traditional term or whole life insurance tend to be significantly more-healthy than they were 2 to 3 months PRIOR to suffering from their heart attack.
Now will this always be the case?
No, of course not. But this “trend” does seem to occur frequently enough for most life insurance companies to realize that even after someone has suffered form heart attack it should still be possible for them to be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy at a pretty “decent” rate.
For the insurance company will then be to try and “weed” out those individuals whose health has dramatically improved since their heart attack from those who still remain at risk from suffering from another cardiovascular incident which would likely make them a poor candidate for coverage. Which is why, we want to take a moment and discuss exactly what a myocardial infraction or heart attack is as well as highlight some of the most common symptoms, risk factors and complications of one so that we can gain a better understanding of what a life insurance underwriter will be looking for when reviewing your life insurance application.
- Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack) Defined:
- A Myocardial Infarction or Heart Attack is typically defined as a sudden (and sometimes fatal) occurrence of a coronary thrombosis. Which begs the next question which is…
“What is a Coronary Thrombosis?”
A coronary thrombosis is a blood clot (thrombi) which blocks blood flow to the heart.
As a result of this “blockage” portions of the heart muscle can and begin to die.
Common symptoms of a Myocardial Infraction may include:
- Chest pain,
- Shortness of breath,
- Tachycardia (increased heart rate),
Now at this point…
We usually like to take a moment and remind folks that nobody here at IBUSA has any kind of “official” medical training and we’re certainly not doctors. All we are is a bunch of life insurance agents who just happen to be really good at helping folks with pre-existing medical conditions like this one, find and qualify for the life insurance coverage that they are looking for.
Not so great if you’re looking for answers to any specific medical questions. In cases like these, we would recommend that you contact a true medical professional who has the training to help. For everyone else, you’re in luck because now we’re going to get into some of the “nitty gritty” about what you may or may not be able to qualify for.
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
Common questions you’ll likely be asked may include:
- When did you suffer from your first heart attack?
- How many heart attacks have you suffered from?
- What was the date of your last heart attack?
- How was you heart attack diagnosed? A general practitioner or cardiologist?
- What symptoms (if any) led to your diagnosis?
- How serious was your heart attack?
- Do you know what may have caused your heart attack?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other pre-existing medical conditions?
- Have any of you immediate family members (mother, father, brother or sister) also been diagnosed with heart disease or suffered from a heart attack or stroke?
- What is your current height and weight?
- Are you currently taking any prescription medications?
- In the past 12 months, have you used any tobacco or nicotine products?
- How often do you see your current doctor?
- Have you had a cardiac stress test performed? If so, how did you do?
- When was the last time you had an EKG performed? What were those results like?
- Since you last heart attack, how has your health changed? For the better? Remained Stable? Or become worse?
- In the past 2 years, have you been hospitalized for any reason?
- Are you currently working now?
- In the past 12 months, have you applied for or received any form of disability benefits?
What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that can come into play when trying to determine what kind of “rate” you might be able to qualify for after having suffered from heart attack. This is why it’s pretty much impossible to know what kind of “rate” you might be able to qualify for without first speaking with you directly. That said however there are a few “assumptions” that we can make about someone who has suffered form a heart attack that will generally hold true when applying for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
Just because you have suffered form a heart attack (or two) does not automatically mean that you won’t be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.
If you currently use or have used any form of nicotine or tobacco within the past 12 months and have suffered from a previous heart attack, your chances at being able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy are going to decrease exponentially! And for those, who are able to qualify, we can assure you that the price you will end up being charged is going to be WAYYY more than a non-smoker would!
The more time that has passed since your last heart attack during which time you can demonstrate that your health has improved, the better your chances at being able to qualify will be. Which means that, if you just suffered from a heart attack 2 or 3 weeks ago, it’s probably going to be in your best interest to wait until at least 6 months has passed however this will depend on the “type” of coverage you are seeking.
The good news is…
That regardless of your situation, we here at IBUSA can help because we have tons of experience helping folks with all sorts of pre-existing medical conditions like yours and are committed to helping all of our clients find the “best” life insurance policy that they can qualify for. Which brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment and discuss which is…
What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
In our experience here at IBUSA, what we have found that usually the folks who seem to find the “best” life insurance policy for them are those that:
- Take their time reviewing their options.
- Ask a lot of questions.
And seek out those life insurance agents who not only have experience working with individuals who have been diagnosed with a wide variety of pre-existing medical conditions, but also have access to dozens of different life insurance companies so that when it comes time to helping a more “challenging” case, they don’t have to rely on a…
“One size fits all approach!”
The good news is that this is exactly what you’re going to find here at IBUSA!