Life Insurance With Arrhythmia: Rates and Advice
Do you need life insurance but have been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia?
Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place and we can help you secure affordable life insurance coverage.
Our indepencent agency represents 63 top-rated life insurance providers and our agents are experts at matching their clients with the best policy available.
According to the American Heart Association, roughly 4.3 million Americans have arrhythmias. Arrhythmias also account for over 600,000 hospital admissions every year, but this doesn’t automatically prevent you from being able to qualify for affordable life insurance.
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
Quick Article Guide
Here’s what we'll cover in this post:
Our hearts are probably the single most important organ that we have and without proper care, such as a healthy diet and exercise, they can cause us many serious health problems.
Arrhythmia is a broad term that includes many different types of heartbeat irregularities. When you’re applying for life insurance, all of the carriers will need to know which type of arrhythmia that you have, and how it’s being treated.
Arrhythmia is any variation in the beating of one’s heart. The two most common types of arrhythmia are tachycardia and bradycardia. With a tachycardia, the heart beats faster than normal. Bradycardia, on the other hand, is when one’s heart beats slower than normal.
Many life insurance companies see arrhythmias as causes for concern considering that they can increase the risk of developing heart disease or stroke. However, like other health issues, some life insurance companies are more lenient with applicants with an arrhythmia than others.
At JRC Insurance Group, we have helped numerous clients with irregular heartbeats find affordable life insurance coverage by working directly with more than 50 top-rated life insurance companies.
Here are some common types of heartbeat irregularities that we’ve helped clients with:
Premature contractions are the most common type of arrhythmia, and thankfully, in many cases they are harmless. There are two types of premature contractions. The first, premature atrial contractions, otherwise known as PACs, affect the atria. The second type is known as PVCs, which stands for premature ventricular contractions.
These contractions affect the heart’s ventricles. Many describe the feeling of premature beats as “fluttering” or their heart skipping a beat. Normally PACs and PVCs are not considered to be a serious condition.
If you are overall healthy, do not have a history of heart disease or cardiac murmurs, or if you are not taking a medication to control the PACs or PVCs, you may qualify for the “preferred best” rate class. If you are otherwise healthy but are taking a medication to control this condition, you will most likely qualify for “standard” rates with some carriers.
To help you determine the cost of your life insurance, we have included a table that shows actual rates from an “A+ Superior” rated company that has been in business for more than 100 years.
If you are prescribed a medication to control your premature ventricular contractions and you are under the age of 40, you may qualify for substandard rates. After the age of 50, companies tend to be more lenient with applicants and you will likely qualify for a “standard” or average rate if no other health or lifestyle issues are present. These rates are included below.
Also called “AF” or “A-Fib,” atrial fibrillation is the most common type of serious arrhythmia that currently affects more than 2.2 million Americans. A-Fib occurs when the, atria, or upper chambers of the heart, beats out of rhythm with the ventricles, or lower chamber of the heart. This irregular heart beat may result in poor blood flow and often causes heart palpitations, fainting spells, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
In many cases, if a person over the age of 60 has an atrial fibrillation that was just a single occurrence and it has been resolved, some companies will qualify them for preferred best rates. If you are under the age of 60, however, we recommend calling us for a more accurate quote.
Rates are listed below for people over the age of 60 that have had a single episode of atrial fibrillation.
If you have had more than one atrial fibrillation episode in your life, the insurance companies will want to know how often the episodes occur and how long it has been since your last episode.
If you average one episode per year, your last episode occurred within the last 12 months, and if you do not have a history of heart disease, suffer from dizziness, lightheadedness, or a history of blood clots, you may qualify for “standard” rates with some companies.
If it has been more than 24 months since you last episode, “standard plus” rates may be a possibility. Additionally, if you haven’t had an episode for at least 36 months, you may qualify for “preferred best.”
Below are rates you may qualify for based on how many months have passed since your last episode of atrial fibrillation.
Sample Rates for a $250,000, 10-Year Level Term Policy for an Applicant with More Than One Episode of A-Fib
In cases of permanent atrial fibrillation, the applicant may be declined due to their heart’s inability to restore its normal rhythm.
This is because applicants with permanent atrial fibrillation have a higher probability of having a stroke, blood clots, or congestive heart failure. In this situation it is best to call JRC Insurance Group in order to figure out a more accurate assessment of options.
While A-Fib is caused by the upper and lower chambers of the heart beating out of rhythm, atrial flutter is caused by a fast, abnormal heartbeat in the upper chambers of the heart. These conditions are similar in which they both increase the speed of the electrical signals through the atria and they also cause similar complications.
Atrial flutter is less common than atrial fibrillation, but depending on the cause, it may be corrected with surgery. If the atrial flutter is successfully treated with surgery, such as an ablation, it may be a non-issue with a few life insurance companies.
In some cases, atrial flutter can be caused by an underlying issue such as diabetes, excessive alcohol use, or cardiovascular disease. All of these lifestyles bring up red flags for life insurance companies and in turn can result in higher premiums or a decline in coverage. In this situation, you may be able to get approved at a substandard rate.
If your atrial flutter is the result of one of the underlying issues aforementioned, we recommend calling to speak with an agent that is trained in underwriting to get a firm idea of what you can expect to pay for your coverage. Feel free to call us at 855-247-9555 to review your options and receive an accurate quote.
Ventricular arrhythmia, otherwise known as “V-Fib,” is normally a serious concern for life insurance companies. V-Fib occurs in an extremely weak heart when the ventricles quiver, preventing the heart from pumping blood at a normal rate. This condition most often happens during or after a heart attack. Ventricular arrhythmia must be treated immediately with defibrillation, otherwise the individual can lose consciousness and die.
According to the American Heart Association, out of the 250,000 sudden cardiac deaths per year, most are believed to be caused by ventricular fibrillation. If you have an implanted defibrillator, your only option is guaranteed issue life insurance. These policies are available for applicants aged 50 or older and they offer up to $25,000 of coverage.
If you have ventricular tachycardia, and do not have an implanted cardiac defibrillator, please skip to our section on tachycardia.
Bradyarrhythmia, or bradycardia, is a very slow heart rhythm in which the heart has less than 60 beats per minute. Bradyarrhythmia is usually caused by an abnormal SA (sinus) node. When the heart rate becomes too slow, not enough blood reaches the brain which can cause unconsciousness.
When it comes to bradyarrhythmias, life insurance companies usually look at how it affects the specific applicant. Usually, if the condition is found to be non-life threatening and the applicant is over the age of 40, they may be eligible for “preferred best” rates with a handful of companies.
In other, more serious cases, the applicant may only qualify for a substandard rate or a guaranteed issue policy. The table below shows sample rates for an applicant with mild bradyarrhythmia and no other serious health issues.The rates above illustrate a best case scenario for applicants without coronary artery disease. If you have a pacemaker to control your bradycardia, please see our article on Life Insurance with a Pacemaker. If the bradycardia or bradyarrhythmia is considered moderate or severe, please give us a call so we can provide you with more accurate quotes. Toll Free: 855-247-9555.
Tachycardia is diagnosed when someone has a very fast heartbeat of 100 beats per minute or higher. Tachycardia can produce a variety of effects like fainting, dizziness, palpitations, and chest pains. Supraventricular tachycardia is diagnosed when someone’s heart beats more than 150 times per minute.
The rate class for an applicant with tachycardia is dependent on the type of the tachycardia the applicant has been diagnosed with. Applicants with paroxysmal atrial tachycardia, supraventricular tachycardia, or a sinus tachycardia may be eligible for preferred best rates as long as no other serious health issues are present. We have included sample rates for these applicants below.
Purchasing life insurance does not need to be a daunting process. If you’re one of the millions of Americans that have been diagnosed with arrhythmia, one of the best ways to shop for life insurance coverage is by working with an agent that is appointed by dozens of life insurance carriers. Not only does it increase your chances of getting approved, it can also save you a considerable amount of money.
In our experience, we’ve been able to help clients with cardiac arrhythmia find a top-rated life insurance company that will offer them a “preferred best” rating. In order to qualify for “preferred best” rates, there must be no identifiable damage to the heart, and no symptoms of palpitations or fainting spells. If your arrhythmia is considered to be mild or moderate, you may qualify for an average or “standard” rate class.
During the application process it is very important to remain honest and answer the questions to the best of your knowledge. If you have been treated for heart problems, the life insurance companies will find out because your treatments will show in your medical records. Withholding this necessary information will result in a declined application. Rather than risking an automatic decline, let your agent know about any complications so they are able to match you with the right carrier.
In addition to the normal underwriting questions that your agent will ask you, they will also want to learn more about your condition.
Below are a few questions that your agent will likely want you to answer when you’re applying for coverage:
· Which type of arrhythmia were you diagnosed with?
· What was the exact date of your diagnosis?
· How frequently do you get checkups?
· Have you undergone any treatment for this condition? If so, what kind?
· What kind of tests have you had?(Please remember to provide dates)
· Do you have any other health conditions?
· Do you eat healthy and exercise regularly?
Shopping for life insurance can be an intimidating process, especially for people with health issues such as arrhythmia, but we’re here to make the process easy for you.
At JRC Insurance Group our agents are experts in the underwriting process and are trained to match our clients with a policy and carrier that fits their specific situation. We are appointed by dozens of companies which allows us to shop the market for you. Give us a call today, or request a free quote below. Toll Free: 855-247-9555. We're happy to help with your lide insurance needs.
Managing Partner and Co-founder
Cliff is a licensed life insurance agent and one of the owners of JRC Insurance Group. He has helped thousands of families of businesses with their life insurance needs since 2012 and specializes with applicants who are less than perfect health. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and the great outdoors.