We often speak with clients who have a stent and often worry that they can no longer purchase affordable life insurance. In some cases, this concern may prevent people from even considering purchasing life insurance.
Luckily, in the last few decades major medical advancements have been made, especially with health issues relating to the heart. We live in an age where technology is constantly improving and these advances are allowing people with cardiac issues to live longer and healthier lives. Because of this, some life insurance companies have taken notice to these advancements and they have made it easier and more affordable for people with stents to purchase life insurance.
In this article, we’ll not only provide you with some sample pricing for life insurance with stents, but we’ll also give you a list of questions your agent will need to ask you when shopping for the best rates.
Quick Article Guide:
1. What is a stent and why are they used after an angioplasty?
2. Sample life insurance rates for an applicant that has had stent surgery
3. Additional questions your life insurance agent may ask about your stent procedure
4. Why JRC is different than other agencies
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Angioplasties are usually recommended for people who have blocked or narrowed arteries. If an artery or vessel is blocked by plaque, the odds of having a heart attack are greatly increased. To prevent this, an angioplasty will remove or push the plaque out of the way allowing blood to flow freely through the artery.
After an angioplasty procedure has been performed, stents are often needed to prevent the artery from closing up or being blocked again. Most stents are small metal mesh tubes, but in recent years, new materials are being used to create stents, and some of these materials are designed to dissolve on their own after a few years.
A stent is often implanted in the narrowed arteries by a procedure called a percutaneous coronary intervention or a PCI. Instead of having bypass surgery, stents are often implanted because they are considered to be less invasive.
Although there aren’t any major incisions made during stent placement, there may still be some complications, however. The most common complication that doctors see with metal stents is that scar tissue can form within the device which can cause restenosis (narrowing of the artery). Some stents will actually elude or dispense drugs within the treated artery to prevent the formation of scar tissue, or your doctor may prescribe a blood thinning medication like Pradaxa, Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, or Xarelto. These medications are designed to prevent blood clots from forming at the site of the stent, which could result in a stroke or heart attack.
There is some exciting news for those who may need a stent in the near future. According to FDA.gov, on July 5, 2016, the FDA approved the first fully absorbable stent that was created by Abbott Laboratories. The device, which is called “Absorb,” is made of biodegradable polymer that is similar to materials that are used in sutures and is designed to gradually be absorbed by the body within about three years. “Absorb Bioresorbable Scaffold System” (BVS) also releases the drug everolimus which helps limit the growth of scar tissue. This development may positively affect life insurance rates once this new device has been evaluated by the companies and their underwriters.
Below is a list of actual rates for an applicant that is in overall good health and has had one or two stents placed.
It’s important to note, however, that the vast majority of life insurance companies will postpone your application for six months after a stent surgery has been performed. Carriers will hold off on approving your policy until they have had a chance to see that you have recovered successfully from the surgery and that you are not experiencing any complications.
In some situations, life insurance companies may be able to offer lower rates by assigning underwriting credits. These credits are usually awarded to applicants who are otherwise healthy and are actively managing their health. Underwriting credits are often assigned to applicants who regularly exercise, have routine follow-ups with their doctor, and manage their weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Below are some of the questions that your agent may need to ask you when shopping for the best rates. Providing your agent with this information upfront will allow them to compare your health against each company’s guidelines to make sure you apply with the right company. Remember, every life insurance company will evaluate each applicant differently and some carriers are more lenient than others.
How many stents do you currently have?
The more stents you have placed, the larger “risk” you are to the insurance carrier you apply with. On the other hand, if you have only had one stent implanted and it was not needed due to an emergency illness, you may still qualify for “standard” rates with a couple of insurance carriers.
Do you have a history of heart attack or stroke?
If an angioplasty was performed or if stents were placed as a result of a heart attack or stroke, you will likely qualify for a “substandard rating” with some companies. In this situation there are many factors that will need to be considered, so it’s best to call us directly so that we can provide you with an accurate quote.
How long have you had the stents?
It is normal for people who have just had a major health scare to want to immediately purchase life insurance to provide financial protection to their families, but we urge our clients to wait at least six months after having stents placed before applying for life insurance. This is because the carriers will want to see that your condition is stable and that you haven’t experienced any complications.
Have you recently had a stress test or echocardiogram? If so, what were the results?
Many insurance carriers will want to see post-surgery EKG results in order to see the condition of the heart. Patients who have not completed an echocardiogram after their surgery can expect moderate-substandard rates.
What is your current ejection fraction (EF)?
An ejection fraction is the amount of blood that is released during each contraction of the heart’s ventricle (lower chamber) compared the total amount of blood that is released by both ventricles.
As far as purchasing life insurance (and your overall health), the higher your percentage is, the better. While a measurement of 55 or higher is considered normal, most life insurance carriers will like to see at least 45 or greater and consider anything below 40 a red flag. If you are not sure of your EF percentage no need to worry, most people don’t, and we can still help.
Have you experienced any chest pains post-surgery?
This is one of the biggest red flags for life insurance companies. If you have experienced chest pains after your stent surgery, of if you are taking a medication like nitroglycerin, your application will likely be declined.
Have you made any lifestyle changes to help improve your condition?
Life insurance underwriters want to see that you are taking your condition seriously. It’s important to exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, and most importantly, quit smoking! Regular checkups with your physician and cardiologist also show that you’re putting in the effort to lead a healthy life and this may help lower your cost of insurance.
Do you have any other serious health conditions?
Compounding health issues can complicate the approval process for your life insurance policy. Some serious health conditions (like uncontrolled diabetes, a history of strokes, or smoking), combined with cardiac issues can lead to a severe-substandard rating or even a denial of your application.
If you have any serious health issues in addition to CAD or CVD, it’s best to give JRC Insurance Group a call to speak with an expert directly. In a few minutes we’ll be able to assess your best options and make a recommendation.
Our agents are experts at underwriting and we have access to each insurance company’s guidelines. With a few health questions, we’ll be able to provide you with accurate quotes for the least expensive insurance options available.
At JRC Insurance Group, we understand the importance of protecting your family. Our agents do not have quotas or sales goals they must meet in order to keep their jobs. We are an owner-operated agency and we’re licensed in 49 states including the District of Columbia. At JRC, we provide a consultative approach to life insurance without high-pressure sales tactics. We specialize in life insurance and collectively offer more than 80 years of combined experience. Our only goal is to find the best rates available and provide you with excellent customer service.
If you have had a stent or stents implanted to treat the narrowing of your arteries, we can’t stress enough that the best way to ensure that you obtain an affordable life insurance policy is by working with an agent that works with multiple life insurance carriers. This is because some life insurance companies will automatically decline an applicant with any history of an angioplasty or bypass surgery, while other companies may charge you more than double. At JRC, we work with over 40 top-rated life insurance companies and our agents specialize in finding our clients affordable coverage, even if they are considered to be a “high risk.” We’re experts at finding the best rates for anyone with a history of heart disease or a heart surgery.
We can also offer policies that extend guaranteed rates and coverage for 15, 20, 25, or 30 years, or until the age of 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, or even 120. These permanent policies are the most affordable policies on the market because they do not charge extra to build a “cash value.” Permanent policies are often recommended to people who want to spend their retirement freely but leave money behind, or people who have large estate and need to reduce the estate taxes for their heirs. If you don’t see the amount of coverage you need, or if you would like a more accurate quote based on your actual age, please feel free to give us a call.
If you have had any cardiac issues in the past, we’re here to help. We work with dozens of top-rated life insurance companies and our only goal is to find our clients the best life insurance policy available at the most affordable price.
Our shopping services are free and there is no cost to apply for coverage if you decide to move forward. Give us a call toll-free today at 855-247-9555 or you can request a free quote online here.
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