Life insurance after a heart attack

It's possible to get covered in spite of cardiovascular trauma

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Over 730,000 heart attacks occur annually in the United States, so know that you are not alone. A heart attack won’t prevent you from getting life insurance – but you’ll need to actively participate in your own recovery to get the best rates.

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Can I get life insurance if I’ve had a heart attack in the past?

Usually, yes – it’s possible to get life insurance after having a heart attack. Providers consider your age, the severity of the heart attack, your overall build, prescribed medications, other health issues, and the state of your follow-up care to determine eligibility. However, insurers weigh the risk of each case individually so it may be a good idea to get in touch with a qualified agent who can better assess your available options.

Life insurance that lets you skip the medical exam

If you’re not eligible for term life insurance, you may want to look into guaranteed life insurance or funeral insurance. Both of these policies won’t require a medical exam – although they tend to be much pricier than term policies, with a lower benefit amount.

There is also a such thing as no medical exam life insurance, which can be a term or whole policy that only requires a brief online questionnaire. But it’s important that you answer these questions accurately – otherwise you run the risk of denying your beneficiaries your death benefit should you be found out.

Facts about heart attacks

1 in 3 deaths in the US are caused by heart disease. Most heart attacks happen suddenly, when the blood supply to the heart is interrupted by a clogged artery. A heart attack usually results in damage or death to the tissues in the heart.

Some of the symptoms of a heart attack are chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, palpitations, sweating, and anxiety. Though poor health is a major contributing factor, heart attacks can also be caused by diabetes, stress and a variety of genetic factors.

What type of application questions will I be asked if I’ve had a heart attack?

Some questions you might need to answer include:

  • Do you have a family history of heart attack or heart problems? A complicated family history may indicate that you’re riskier to insure, though it’s still important to answer this question honestly.
  • When did you have a heart attack? It’s usually best to wait at least three months after your heart attack to apply for coverage; the longer it’s been since the incident, the more likely you are to get covered.
  • Provide details of the heart attack including hospitalization or medication. Being as thorough as possible will indicate the exact status of your recovery.
  • Do you have follow-up appointments planned with your doctor or are you still receiving treatments? Follow up appointments that are short, sweet, and only occasional show a smooth and relatively uncomplicated recovery.
  • What is the contact information for your doctor? The underwriter might want to get in touch with your doctor to clarify or glean more details.

Life insurance and pre-existing conditions guide

Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of qualifying?

Yes. An underwriter is armed with the responsibility of determining how likely it is that you’ll have another heart attack. So anything you can do to paint a picture of better health will strengthen your application.

Here’s what you can do to increase your chances of qualifying for life insurance:

  • Get in shape. Losing any extra weight and building muscle mass in its place can work wonders for lowering premiums.
  • Strive towards health. Getting your cholesterol in check and sticking to a healthy, well-rounded diet will help ensure positive stats after your next physical exam; an indicator that you’re less likely to have another heart attack.
  • Engage in cardio. Regular exercise – as approved by your doctor – is key to strengthening your heart and overall wellbeing.
  • Be honest and thorough. Your application is most likely to be rejected for being vague or incomplete, because insurers will assume the worst about your condition. Prepare in advance and answer the questions as accurately as possible.
  • Follow treatment plans. An insurance company might review doctor statements and prescription reports to see how well you’re following the recommended course of action. Adherence to the plan shows you’re on the right path.
  • Find the right provider. Stay away from insurers that work mostly with auto insurance; you’ll likely want to find a provider that has experience covering clients who’ve experienced heart attacks.

Compare life insurance providers

Name Product Issue Ages Coverage Range Medical Exam Required State Availability
18 - 85 years old
$10,000 to $10,000,000+
Depends on provider and policy
All 50 states
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18 - 64 years old
$100,000 to $3,000,000
No
All 50 states
Customized term life insurance policies up to $3 million, no medical exam for certain applicants.
20 to 60 years old
$100,000 to $8,000,000
No
Not available in New York
Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
18 - 80 years old
$50,000 to $25,000,000
Depends on provider and policy
All 50 states and D.C.
Get a quote within minutes from more than a dozen insurers.
20 - 80 years old
$25,000 to $10,000,000
No
All 50 states
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Bottom line

Getting life insurance after a heart attack is possible, but you’ll need to be an active participant in improving overall health. For a policy that suits your needs, shop the market to compare providers.

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