While I’m much more likely to receive a call from a prospective purchaser of life insurance with coronary artery disease and heart surgeries like bypass or angioplasty…
…I have also had the pleasure of helping some folks get approved at affordable life insurance rates who have had heart valve replacement surgery.
In this post, I’ll share who has a shot at qualifying for life insurance, and how some people can even qualify at Standard Non Tobacco ratings.
Qualifying for Life Insurance After a Heart Valve Replacement
Many factors will determine whether or not you can qualify for life insurance after a valve replacement. The most obvious is “Was the surgery successful?” Whether your valve was replaced due to stenosis or regurgitation, did the surgery fix the problem? If so, and if you’ve experienced no complications from the replacement, this is your first step toward affordable premiums.
Another important factor is time elapsed since your surgery.
Most insurance companies will postpone making an offer until at least a year after the date of surgery. They will want to see a stress test and EKG showing normal cardiac function with the new valve in place. After one year, not all carriers will make an offer, but some will.
As with any type of heart disease, when seeking life insurance, you’ll need to use an independent agent who can shop your case amongst the top companies to see who will offer you the best rating with lowest premiums.
I’ve found life insurance underwriting has yet to distinguish between types of surgery, whether open heart or minimally invasive, which valve was replaced, (mitral, aortic, pulmonary, tricuspid), or what type of valve was used for replacement. Artificial valves come in many varieties, but in general, there are only two types. They are either a biological tissue valve from a human cadaver, or even a cow (bovine) or pig, or a mechanical valve, also known as a prosthetic heart valve. In my experience, it makes little difference the life insurance companies which was used, which valve was replaced, or the method of replacement.
A couple considerations life insurance companies do take very seriously are other risk factors, such as:
- cigarette/tobacco use
- diabetes, etc.
Any of these three factors on their own may severely affect your life insurance price, but when combined with a history of heart disease, you run the risk of a decline. The other consideration that could be detrimental to your case is any other history of heart disease or surgery. For example, I had a case declined recently by a 62 year old man who had had his pulmonary valve replaced 6 years prior, but also had a pacemaker.
Term Life Insurance
If you just need term, absent of the compelling risk factors mentioned above, your best case offer I’ve seen is Standard Table 4. For example, a 50 year old male in great health might expect to pay $240/month for a $500,000, 20 year term life insurance policy.
Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance
Lincoln Financial makes it possible for heart valve replacement patients to get approved at their Standard Non Tobacco ratings, but only for their permanent policies such as guaranteed UL. For example, a 50 year old man in excellent health might pay $530 per month for a policy guaranteed for life.
If you’ve had a heart valve replacement and need term or whole life insurance, you’ll need to call a knowledgeable independent agent who asks you lots of questions, and can put your case out to bid to multiple carriers. That’s your best chance at getting approved at an affordable rate.*Huntley Wealth Insurance and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.