If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious health problem, like atrial fibrillation, there are some things you should know before you try and buy for coverage.
Having a serious health problem will make life insurance more difficult, but not impossible. There are some special considerations you need to account for.
You can improve your rate by planning right and putting together a smart application. To help you get ready, we’ve outlined the underwriting rules for someone with atrial fibrillation.
Life Insurance Underwriting with Atrial Fibrillation
As an agent with atrial fibrillation, the agent is going to ask you a lot of questions about your condition:
- When were you diagnosed with atrial fibrillation?
- Is your atrial fibrillation chronic (permanent) or paroxysmal (intermittent)?
- What is causing your condition (coronary artery disease, heart valve issue, etc.)?
- Do you have any other issues with your heart?
- Do you have other high-risk life insurance factors for heart disease like high cholesterol, smoking, or a family history of heart disease?
- Are you receiving any treatments or taking any medications for your condition?
Common medications include for Atrial Fibrillation include: Amiodarone, Dronedarone, Propafenone, Digoxin, Beta Blockers, and ACE Inhibitors.
Insurance underwriters get nervous about incomplete applications, especially when you have a condition like atrial fibrillation. If your application is missing information, there’s a good chance you’ll be denied or will receive a bad rating.
Life Insurance Quotes with Atrial Fibrillation
On its own, atrial fibrillation isn’t a fatal condition. However, it’s a problem for life insurance because this condition increases the chance of a stroke or more serious heart issues. When reviewing your application, underwriters will want to know if your condition is chronic or paroxysmal. Paroxysmal fibrillation is when you have an irregular pulse less than 10 times a year. If you have more incidents per year, your condition is chronic. Chronic atrial fibrillation is a bigger issue for life insurance.
Beyond your atrial fibrillation, underwriters will also consider whether you have any other heart issues and your overall health. Every company is going to view your fibrillation differently, some of them are going to offer you better rates than others. Here is
- Preferred Plus: Impossible for an applicant with atrial fibrillation. There is just too high a risk of other health issues from this condition.
- Preferred: Usually impossible for someone with atrial fibrillation. In very rare cases an applicant with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and in otherwise perfect health may qualify for a preferred rating.
Standard: Best possible rating for most applicants with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Applicant should be in good health otherwise and not have any signs of heart disease.
- Table Rating (substandard): Most likely rating for applicants with atrial fibrillation and the likely best rating for applicants with chronic atrial fibrillation. Insurance companies will base your rating on the severity of your condition, whether you have other health issues, and whether you are taking care of your condition.
- Declines: Applicants that have other heart issues like coronary artery disease in addition to atrial fibrillation will likely be denied. There is just too high a risk that the two problems will make each other worse. Also, applicants at high risk for heart disease like someone that is overweight or has high blood pressure.
Atrial Fibrillation Life Insurance Case Studies
Your life insurance application makes a difference when you apply with atrial fibrillation. Let’s show you some of the stories of previous clients we’ve worked with.
Case Study 1: Male, 67 y/o, non-smoker, had paroxysmal atrial fibrillation at age 64. No heart issues and in good health.
This applicant was diagnosed with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation when he was 64. The problems weren’t due to any underlying heart issues. Beyond this incident, he was in great health. He only received rated policies. We felt that insurance companies were putting too much weight on his condition. We recommended this client go for an EKG to show that his heart was in good shape and to mail in the results with another application. With this extra information, the client received a Preferred rating, a great result for this condition.
Case Study #2: Female, 72 y/o, former smoker, started having chronic atrial fibrillation at 69, taking ACE Inhibitors and statins for cholesterol
This applicant wasn’t in great health. She was overweight, smoked, and didn’t take the medications her doctor prescribed. This eventually led to heart trouble and chronic atrial fibrillation. She quit smoking and taking her medication which improved her condition. However, when she applied for life insurance, insurance companies rejected her application. We recommended she get a note from her doctor vouching for her better lifestyle and explaining that her condition was improving. With this extra information, she received a Substandard Level 2 policy.
Securing Lower Premiums
Always follow all of the orders and prescriptions that they give you. It’s important that you do everything that your physician tells you. Not only will this improve your health, but having regular doctor visits will show the insurance company that you’re dedicated to improving your health.
The next thing you should do is get in shape. It’s time to make some improvements in your day-to-day life. Maybe you’ve been meaning to start going to the gym, now is the perfect time to start.
After you’ve lost your weight, it’s time to drop those bad habits. Smoking is terrible for your health and your life insurance rates. You can enjoy those rates, but you’ll have to suffer from life insurance premiums which are twice as high.
When you have atrial fibrillation, you need to be prepared before you apply for life insurance. Take the first step today and get a quote.