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How to get life insurance after coronary artery angioplasty

Look to a specialized agent for the strongest rates and coverage after heart stent surgery


Fact checked

Qualifying for life insurance coverage after a coronary artery angioplasty is possible. But you’ll want to enlist the help of an agent that’s expert in working with a variety of carriers for a top chance at low rates.

Can I get life insurance if I’ve had coronary artery angioplasty?

Yes. But if you apply too soon after your surgery, you might only qualify for substandard rates that come with high-risk policies.

By waiting for at least six months after your stent surgery, you may find more competitive rates and coverage.

Those rates and coverage depend on a series of factors an insurer considers in underwriting, like:

  • Your stability. Your underwriter will look at the age at which you underwent surgery, the surgery’s results and number of stents placed to determine the likelihood of more surgeries down the road. Generally, the prospect of future surgeries can spell higher rates.
  • Treatment and diagnostics. If you follow your doctor’s orders and medical plan — including routinely taking any drugs you’re prescribed to lower cholesterol and blood pressure — you’ll see a higher chance of approval. Insurance companies would rather work with those who are invested in managing their overall health.
  • Other medical conditions. Systemic issues beyond your surgery can compound risk for insurers, even if those issues occurred in the past. Often the more complicated your overall health, the more difficult it can be to find an insurer willing to approve you.
  • Lifestyle and habits. A healthy diet, commitment to exercise and avoidance of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs make for the best long-term outcome — which your policy depends on.

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Is coronary artery angioplasty considered a pre-existing condition?

Yes. But pre-existing conditions don’t automatically disqualify you from coverage.

A life insurance company evaluates your application to determine their risk in taking you on within three main categories:

  • Low risk. All signs point towards improved and robust health, despite your pre-existing condition, and you may qualify for standard rates.
  • Elevated risk. You’re likely to require future angioplasties or experience related health issues, resulting in more costly premiums.
  • Unacceptable. You may be denied standard coverage. Alternatives are guaranteed issue insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam, though at high rates with minimal benefits.
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What’s involved in a coronary artery angioplasty?

In simple terms, an angioplasty can improve your blood flow and reduce your chance of a heart attack by opening up blocked or narrowed arteries and veins.

Most surgeries involve the insertion of a wire through the narrowed artery, inflating a balloon in the blocked area to open up blood flow. After the balloon is deflated, a doctor may choose to insert a stent — a small mesh tube — to help keep your artery from blocking again.

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10, 15, 20 years
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Bottom line

A medical history that includes coronary artery angioplasty won’t necessarily prevent you from life insurance approval. But it might limit your options, depending on your surgery’s success, the likelihood of future issues and your overall health.

Start your search with providers that specialize in people with pre-existing conditions to weight the scope of your options against your budget and needs.

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