Cardiac catheterization is a medical procedure that is used to test a patient’s heart and also to treat some heart conditions.
If you’ve had this procedure, it will show up on your medical records and this can be a problem.
When insurers see this procedure, they worry that you might not have recovered or that you have more serious heart problems. Depending on your health though, you can still get coverage after a cardiac catheterization.
Life Insurance Underwriting after Cardiac Catheterization
As a person with a serious health problem, you’re going to be asked more questions than a normal application. Some of those extra questions will include:
- When did you have your cardiac catheterization?
- What were the results of the test?
- Was the procedure just for testing or to treat an underlying condition?
- Did you need percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) as part of the procedure?
- Did you have any complications after the procedure?
- Do you have any other heart issues or risk factors for heart disease?
- Are you taking any medications for your heart?
Common medications for after a cardiac catheterization include: Beta blockers, Nitrates, ACE inhibitors, Digoxin, and Diuretics.
Include as much information as you can about your cardiac catheterization. Insurance companies will see you had this procedure so you want them to know exactly what happened and show that the situation is under control.
Otherwise, underwriters will worry and could give you a high risk rating or decline your application.
Life Insurance Quotes after Cardiac Catheterization
Your life insurance rating after a cardiac catheterization primarily comes down to why you needed the procedure. If you just needed the procedure to test the status of your heart and everything turned out fine, it might not affect your insurance rating at all. If the catheterization was to treat an underlying health problem or was part of a more complicated procedure like PTCA, it will have a more serious impact.
After they’ve gotten all the required info, they are going to process your application and put it into a rate category based on how much risk you are. Each company has different groupings, but here are some general ones you can expect:
- Preferred Plus: Possible if the cardiac catheterization was only for diagnostic purposes and the applicant turned out to be in perfect health. Even in this ideal situation, it’s still a little bit rare to get the preferred plus rating as insurers will wonder why an applicant needed this procedure in the first place.
- Preferred: More likely best rating for someone that had a cardiac catheterization for diagnostic purposes and is in great health. Applicant should have no signs of heart disease, be fit, and not smoke.
- Standard: Most likely rating for an applicant that had a cardiac catheterization for diagnostic reasons. Applicant can have some minor health issues like overweight or high cholesterol and still receive a standard rating. In rare cases, an applicant that needed a cardiac catheterization to treat a heart condition may also be able to get a standard rating. Applicant should have fully recovered and waited at least a year after the procedure.
- Table Rating (substandard): Most applicants that needed a cardiac catheterization for medical reasons. Applicants should wait at least 6 months before applying as this shows that there were no complications from the procedure. An applicant’s table rating will depend on how well he recovered, whether he has any other heart issues, or other health risk factors.
- Declines: Applicants that apply for insurance within 6 months of a more serious procedure like PTCA. Insurance companies need more time to make sure there are no resulting blockages or other issues. Also, applicants that have more serious heart problems like congestive heart failure could be denied
Cardiac Catheterization Life Insurance Case Studies
After you’ve had a cardiac catheterization, your application can make a significant impact on your life insurance rating so be sure to plan ahead. To show you how much difference some groundwork can make, here are some stories of applicant we’ve worked with in the past.
Case Study: Female, 62 y/o, non-smoker, had a cardiac catheterization for diagnostic reasons at 60, heart in good shape and no pre-existing conditions.
She was in very good health when her doctor recommended she take a cardiac catheterization for diagnostic reasons; the doctor wanted to double check she had no issues. The applicant turned out to be fine and pretty well in perfect health. She applied and received a standard rating, which isn’t bad, but it’s not the best.
We thought she could do better. After she got the standard rating, we asked her to go to her doctor and get a letter recommending she get a letter about her health status and recent changes. She did this, and then she got a preferred rating.
Case Study #2: Male, 59 y/o, needed a cardiac catheterization with a PTCA at 55. He used to smoke, but he quit, started exercising, and was taking Beta Blocks and an Ace Inhibitor.
This applicant had a very poor lifestyle. He was smoking, overweight, and had high blood pressure. This eventually led to heart problems and a blocked artery. He needed a cardiac catheterization with a PTCA to clear up the problem. Immediately after the procedure, the client tried applying for life insurance right away. He was rejected because he did not wait at least 6 months. From that point on, he started living a healthier lifestyle and starting taking medication for his cholesterol and blood pressure. At this point, we recommended he try applying again. We also recommended he take an EKG before applying to show his heart was in better shape than before. This time, the client received a rated policy.
Getting Affordable Life Insurance
Even if you’ve been told otherwise, it’s possible to get an affordable plan. There is a little work you’ll need to do if you want to get cheap coverage as an applicant who has been diagnosed with cardiac catheterization.
If you have any heart problems, using tobacco could drastically increase the risk of having more heart-related complications. The insurance company views smokers as drastically higher risks to accept for their insurance coverage. That risk turns into double the rates.
While a cardiac catheterization makes qualifying for life insurance more complicated, it doesn’t make it impossible. You just need to plan right.
To increase your chances, it helps to work with a professional. We are experts in the insurance market for applicants that had a cardiac catheterization. We can help you fill out your application and match you up with the best companies for your condition.
We know life insurance isn’t the easiest subject to discuss, and we try to make it as simple as possible for you. You shouldn’t have to do all of the work yourself. Work with an agent to take some pressure off yourself.