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Life insurance after a heart attack

Focus on your recovery, and you'll also lower your rates.

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.

Can I get life insurance if I’ve suffered a heart attack?

Usually, yes – it is possible to get life insurance after having a heart attack, though it’s not a one size fits all answer. Insurers weigh the risk of each case individually and 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. A qualified agent can better assess your individual needs. If coverage us key and cost is not a concern, there are also no medical exam life insurance policies as an option.

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:

  • 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.

Life insurance that lets you skip the medical exam

If you’re not eligible for term life insurance, you may want to look into no medical exam life insurance — although these policies tend to be much pricier than traditional term policies, and have lower benefit amounts. Here are your no exam life insurance options to consider:

  • Simplified issue. These types of policies come in term or permanent options. You won’t have to take a physical, but you will have to answer questions about your medical history.
  • Guaranteed issue. This type of policy is open to anyone, you won’t have to take a medical exam or fill out a health questionnaire. But, your benefits may be capped at small amounts, like $50,000.
  • Instant-approval term life. These policies use accelerated underwriting that scans your personal data to determine approval. Depending on the company, your driving record, prescription drug history and possibly even questions about your health and family medical history may be used to determine eligibility.
  • Group life insurance. This type of coverage is offered through your workplace. If your employers offers this coverage and you want to enroll, you likely won’t have to complete a health questionnaire or take a medical exam. While convenient, this coverage usually only covers up to two times your annual salary.
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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 details.

Life insurance and pre-existing conditions guide

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.

Frequently asked questions about life insurance after a heart attack

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Amy Stoltenberg managed newsletters at Finder, gathering the best articles each week to help subscribers save money and stretch their hard-earned dollars. She also handles the Twitter account, dabbling in Instagram and Facebook too. When she's not on the computer, you can find her exploring Los Angeles with a good book in tow. She studied writing at Savannah College of Art and Design and has been featured on the Zoe Report. See full bio

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