When you have congestive heart failure, applying for life insurance becomes a bit difficult.
Insurers will wary of giving you coverage because of your fairly serious medical condition.
However, it is still very possible to get insured with congestive heart failure.
The type of coverage you’ll receive depends on the severity of your condition plus how you handle your application.
We’re going to take a look at the life insurance underwriting standards for congestive heart failure so you’ll know what to expect going forward.
Life Insurance Underwriting for Congestive Heart Failure
When you apply for life insurance, your insurance agent should ask a number of questions about your congestive heart failure. Some of the questions you’ll need to answer are:
- When was your congestive heart failure diagnosed?
- What health problems led to your diagnosis of congestive heart failure?
- What tests have you had done to evaluate your condition?
- Do you have a family history of heart disease and have any close family members died of heart disease?
- Do you currently smoke?
- What medications are you taking for your condition?
Common medications for congestive heart failure include: Beta blockers, Nitrates, ACE inhibitors, Digoxin, and Diuretics. All of these medications could be insurable depending on the severity of your condition.
When it comes to life insurance underwriting, the more information you can give the better. If your application doesn’t clearly describe your condition, your chances of a bad rating or rejection go way up. Make sure to fully answer all the application questions plus give any other details you think are important.
Life Insurance Quotes with Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure has a wide range of different severity levels. Your life insurance quote will depend on how serious your health issues are because of your condition. Insurance companies also do not accept applicants that have just been diagnosed with congestive heart failure because they want some time to see how the condition develops.
To avoid rejections and get the best rate, you should wait at least a year after your diagnosis before applying for insurance. From there, your rate will depend on your condition plus your overall health.
While each company uses different underwriting standards, here are some general standards that will give you an idea about what to expect.
- Preferred Plus: Generally impossible. Congestive heart failure is too serious a condition and carries too many health risks for applicants to receive the best possible insurance rating.
- Preferred: Very difficult but not impossible. If your congestive heart failure has only mild health symptoms and you are in great health otherwise, you could get a preferred rating.
- Standard: The likely best rating for most applicants. Applicants that only started having heart failure at 60 or older, are in good health, and have waited at least a year after being diagnosed to apply can get a standard rating.
- Table Rating (substandard): Most applicants. Your rating will depend on how serious your congestive heart failure is, your age when it was diagnosed, whether you have a family history of heart disease, and your overall health.
- Declines: Most applications within 3 to 6 months of a diagnosis for congestive heart failure. Also, applicants that have a poor lifestyle, other health issues or have a family history of heart disease could be declined because of the high chance of future heart issues.
Congestive Heart Failure Life Insurance Case Studies
If you have congestive heart failure, you need to be smart about planning your application. Here are a couple real life examples that show what a difference your application can make.
Case Study: Female, 63 y/o, non-smoker, diagnosed with congestive heart failure at age 61, taking Beta Blockers and Ace Inhibitors, no other health issues.
This applicant was only showing mild signs of congestive heart failure and was otherwise in very good health. She had no other health issues and no family history of heart disease. However, because of her condition, she was only receiving expensive, rated life insurance offers. We advised her to request an EKG to prove that her condition was under control. With this extra information, an insurance company gave her a much less expensive standard policy.
Case Study #2: Male, 54 y/o, diagnosed with congestive heart failure at 51, father died young from heart disease, former smoker, improved health and weight since the diagnosis
This applicant had a very poor lifestyle prior to his heart failure diagnosis. He was smoking, overweight, and had high blood pressure. This combined with his family history of heart disease led to him being rejected from all his life insurance applications. However, since his diagnosis, this applicant dramatically improved his lifestyle. He lost a good deal of weight and quit smoking which made his condition much less severe. We recommended he see his doctor and ask for a letter vouching for his improved health. By reapplying with this extra certification, this applicant was able to receive a rated policy despite his relatively risky profile.
While congestive heart failure is quite serious, it is not enough to prevent you from taking out life insurance. You just need to handle your application well. To make sure the process goes smoothly, it helps to work with a qualified broker that understands this condition.
If you are looking for life insurance and have congestive heart failure, we can help. Call us for rate quotes or fill out our online quote application form. We’ll be sure to match you up with your best insurance option.