Life Insurance After Heart Bypass Surgery

by Jeff Rose on May 6, 2013 · 2 comments

 Life Insurance After Heart Bypass SurgeryAfter a major life event like bypass surgery, it’s understandable that you’d be in a hurry to buy life insurance as soon as possible. This is often a mistake. Life insurance companies will see your past surgery and this could prevent you from receiving a policy.

To qualify for insurance after a bypass, you need to plan right and fill out a good application. To get you ready, here is a review of the insurance guidelines for after bypass surgery as well as some tips to help you with your application.

Life Insurance Underwriting after Bypass Surgery

When you apply for life insurance, you’ll need to answer several questions about your bypass surgery for your application. You’ll need to answer:

  • What did you have your bypass surgery?
  • Why did you need to have bypass surgery? Was it an elective or emergency procedure?
  • Have you ever had any other types of heart surgeries like a heart valve replacement?
  • Where there any complications after the surgery like internal bleeding, cardiac tamponade, or a stroke?
  • Do you have any other high risk factors for heart disease like smoking, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure?
  • Do you have a history of heart disease?
  • What medications are you taking because of the bypass surgery?

Common medications for after a stroke include: Clopidogrel, Beta blockers, Nitrates, ACE inhibitors, and Lipids.  All of these medications for a stroke could be insurable depending on your health after the surgery.

Be sure to answer all these questions in detail for your application. For life insurance underwriting, more information is better. If an underwriter felt your application was incomplete, especially after something major like bypass surgery, there’s a good chance you’d get a poor rating or a denial.

Life Insurance Quotes after Bypass Surgery

If you’ve had bypass surgery, it’s very important to delay your life insurance application for some time after your surgery. This is because life insurance companies typically deny applicants that just had bypass surgery; there are too many complications that can come up. It’s best to wait at least 6 months to a year before applying.

When you apply, insurance companies will review the details of your bypass surgery as well as your overall health to make a decision. Your rating would depend on how well the surgery went as well as whether you are taking steps to avoid future heart problems. While each insurance company uses slightly different underwriting standards, here are some general guidelines to help you estimate what rating you’ll get for your life insurance.

  • Preferred Plus: It’s not possible to get a preferred plus rating after bypass surgery, even if you are healthy and the procedure went well. There is just too high a chance of future heart problems for insurance companies to be willing to give the best rating.
  • Preferred:  Also usually impossible for applicants that have had bypass surgery. In very rare cases, someone that had an elective bypass and was otherwise in perfect health might qualify for a preferred rating, but this is not something you should expect.
  • Standard:  The best possible rating for most applicants after a bypass surgery. Applicants need to have waited at least a year after the surgery and be in perfect health otherwise. The bypass surgery also must have been a minor procedure, like elective surgery to get around a blockage early.
  • Table Rating (substandard):  A table rating is the most likely rating for applicants that have had bypass surgery. Applicants should have waited at least 6 months after their surgery to qualify. Rating will depend on the severity of the bypass surgery, whether there were any complications, whether the applicant had other procedures like a heart valve replacement, and the applicant’s general health and family history.
  • Declines: Applicants that apply within 6 months of their bypass surgery. Also, applicants that aren’t regularly seeing their doctor, have a history of serious heart problems, and/or have heart risk factors like smoking or high cholesterol could also be denied.

Bypass Surgery Case Studies

If you’ve had bypass surgery, it’s very important that you plan your application right. Here are a couple real life examples that show the difference your application can make.

Case Study: Female, 63 y/o, non-smoker, had bypass surgery for a small blockage at 61, tried applying right away and was denied, otherwise in good health.

This client has a small valve blockage a few years ago that she decided to have removed through elective bypass surgery. Immediately after the procedure, she tried to buy more life insurance. Since she didn’t give anytime between her procedure and her application, the insurance company denied her application. At this point, the client thought she couldn’t get coverage. After contacting us, we recommended she try again. Since she had waited the appropriate amount of time, she qualified for a standard policy this time around.

Case Study #2:  Male, 57 y/o, needed bypass surgery at 54, former smoker, recently lost weight and reduced cholesterol levels, taking lipids for cholesterol.

This applicant had an unhealthy lifestyle. He smoked, had a poor diet, and didn’t exercise. This lifestyle eventually forced him to have bypass surgery. After the surgery, this client started living a much healthier life. He also started taking lipids for his cholesterol, as this was a big part of why he had heart problems.

Despite these improvements, this applicant still had trouble getting life insurance. We believed this was because insurance companies were too focused on his past history. We recommended this applicant meet with his doctor and get a note vouching for his improved health. By reapplying with this note, the applicant got a Table Level 2 Policy, a decent rating for someone in his condition.

Getting life insurance after bypass surgery is a challenge, but it’s a challenge many people can overcome. To get the best chance of qualifying, it helps to prepare with a professional. Our company specializes in finding life insurance for people that have had bypass surgery.

We can help you put together your application plus match you with the best companies for your situation. Call today or fill out our online application form for more information and free rate quotes.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Micheal Timothy Derr September 8, 2015 at 10:55 am

My name is Micheal Timothy Derr. I had bypass 7 weeks ago. I have never smoked, drank, and I have always exercised and have lived a very healthy lifestyle. My father died of heart disease, so I genetically inherited coronary artery disease. I have only one vessel coronary artery disease and not multi vessel coronary artery disease. My carotid arteries are clean, and my peripheral arteries of my body are clean. Keeping healthy by eating well and exercising, has been my main gaol through my entire life. I am trying to get life insurance, so I can take care of my wife if something happens to me. I have been denied coverage as what is expected so early after bypass. Please help me to find affordable coverage. Initially, please call my wife, Cynthia Cosat, to let her know my options. She is a cardiac professional and can explain what has happened to me heath wise along with my current physical condition. Her number is 321-262-9556. Thank you.

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Jeff Rose November 10, 2015 at 3:53 pm

@ Michael Please call our toll free # and we’ll do our best.

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