Life Insurance With Atrial Fibrillation
By James Tobin, CFP®
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Expert Review Life insurance with atrial fibrillation
While there is a lot to know about getting approved for life insurance with Atrial Fibrillation, the seven questions below are a good start. For more in-depth discussion just follow the links in the answer section and keep reading
Can I be approved for life insurance with AFib?
Everybody who needs life insurance with atrial fibrillation is eligible to receive one.
But you may find your options limited and premiums high, depending on how advanced your condition is and your general health condition.
Insurance companies have different underwriting standards for different policies. Therefore, we’ve divided this review into 3 separate sections, each of which can be accessed instantly by clicking on the links below.
What information will life insurance companies want to know?
In order to underwrite your application life insurance carriers will need to know the symptoms that you have experienced, the treatment undergone, including prescription drugs used, and any medical follow up. For a more exhaustive discussion of the underwriting of atrial fibrillation applications please scroll to Life Insurance with Afib: What Carriers will Take into Consideration
Will I need to take an exam for Atrial Fibrillation life insurance?
To qualify for the lowest possible rates, you must undergo an examination. However, you can also purchase insurance policies without an exam by opting for guaranteed issue or simplified issue policies. More details regarding the medical exam can be found here at How Term Life Exam Works
How much will life insurance cost and how exactly does my AFib affect my rates?
Insurance premiums depend on the rating you’ve been assigned by your carrier. An AFib case is usually given a standard rating or even lower. You can check out pricing samples and policy guides at the aforementioned links. Click on the linked text for sample pricing details for guaranteed issue and simplified issue policies.
How accurate are the AFib life Insurance quotes I get from your quote tool?
All quotes generated by our website’s quote tool are highly accurate and reliable since they are based on the rates we’ve actually seen in practice in our experience. However, make sure you get your rate class right - many people mess up here and walk away with incorrect premiums that are widely off the mark.
If you’re unsure about which insurance rating your application might get, you can pick a range for a reasonable estimate. You can also submit your information in our customized quote form and we will call you as soon as possible.
How can I improve my underwriting rating and lower my AFib life insurance cost?
The best way to boost your chances of getting approved for life insurance is by using the services of an agent who is aware of the ins and outs of the industry. The Why to use Independent Agent when Shopping for Life Insurance with Afib section explains the advantages of using independent agents in greater detail.
When it comes to lifestyle changes, changing your exercise regimens and diet can have a positive impact on your case. Quit smoking and limit your consumption of alcohol for an immediate boost to your chances.
Insurance companies are likely to issue a policy with favorable terms if you have a provable track record of complying with your doctor’s advice and taking your medications regularly. That’s why you’re often asked to submit a physician’s letter, acknowledging the same.
By implementing these changes, both your insurance policy approval chances and your general state of health will see an improvement for the better..
What are the best life insurance companies for atrial fibrillation?
Most people are unaware of the fact that different companies have different attitudes towards certain medical conditions, which show up in their pricing and underwriting standards. AIG and Prudential are the best companies in the market today for patients suffering from AFib.
To save you the hassle of finding out which company and which policy provides you maximum benefits with the smallest premiums, you can engage the services of an independent insurance agent. The advantages of doing so are better explained in the case study below.
What is the application process for life insurance with Afib?
You will be asked to select your policy terms, your carrier, undergo a detailed medical exam, and sign your documents during the application process. The whole procedure involves 8 steps, which have been explored in greater detail here.
Traditional Term Life Insurance for AFib (Atrial Fibrillation)
Although it’s completely possible for life insurance applicants with AFib to get a standard rating, you will need to present your application in an appealing way. To do so, you need an experienced agent who has a track record of helping AFib patients obtain life insurance at favorable rates.
Since life insurance companies put every applicant with a major health condition under the lens and subject them to stringent evaluation, the process of applying for life insurance with AFib isn’t any different from applying for life insurance with rheumatoid arthritis, Sleep Apnea, or other specific conditions.
You can purchase insurance policies with a lifespan of five to thirty years, though we recommend that you select a 20-year term policy. Their minimum face value starts off at $50,000 with the policies expiring when the term period ends. You can renew them at a higher rate if you wish to do so.
Possible Term Underwriting Ratings with AFib
Since every case has a unique set of circumstances, we’ve presented the following life insurance estimates for people with atrial fibrillation (these estimates are based on our own experience in the past)
Best Case Scenario - if your paroxysmal AFib had been detected early and you have the condition under control with zero organ damage or complications, you may be able to obtain a standard or Table 2 rated offer.
Mid Case - This is the condition for most applicants suffering from paroxysmal AFib and recommended for chronic cases. The standard premium rate needs to be multiplied with 2 or 2.5 to arrive at this figure (Refer to Table 4/D or 6/F).
Understand more about table ratings here.
Severe Cases - Severe substandard premium rates are only quoted to applicants who have serious complications or a chronic AFib condition. This rate can be calculated by multiplying your standard insurance rate with 3 (Refer to Table 8/H)
Decline - If your condition has degraded severely, your application might be rejected. However, you are still eligible for simplified issue or guaranteed issue policies that have a smaller face value.
Term life Insurance Pricing with Atrial Fibrillation
We had initially stated that everybody who needed affordable life insurance with AFib was eligible to receive one. But affordable is not always the same as ‘cheap’ or ‘inexpensive’. To be fair, any person who has contracted a major health condition is unlikely to ever qualify for truly cheap insurance premiums.
Since policies with a higher coverage amount require higher premium payments, people often have to slash their benefits to make these payments affordable. Although it’s not a great solution by any means, it’s still better than having nothing. You either have to reduce the policy term period or slash the benefits to keep the premiums at an affordable level.
Life insurance is a simple concept to understand. Provided the premiums are being paid on time and the insurance policy’s coverage period has begun, the death of the insured party will result in benefits being paid out to the beneficiary.
Having a medical condition like atrial fibrillation means that it can be tough to find the right deal for you. You have to evaluate every insurance company and their policies to arrive at the best one for you. It can be a time-consuming process. We’ve discussed this scenario further in our case study.
Life Insurance with Afib: What Carriers will Take into Consideration
There are four general questions that your policy underwriters will ask you:
- What symptoms have you experienced?
- What diagnosis and treatment did you receive?
- Details regarding your aftercare (compliance and follow-up)
- What’s your general state of health like?
If you are asked the questions given above, you will have to submit specific answers to them, which will be cross-checked with the answers obtained from the Attending Physician's Statement, Script Check, Medical Information Bureau, telephone interview, and application.
What are/were your symptoms
Before your life insurance policy can be approved, insurance carriers will request details regarding your symptoms and how much time it took before you were officially diagnosed.
AFib can be controlled well, though it does have life-threatening effects as well. Here are its most common symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Breathing issues
- Reduced energy
Your Diagnosis and Treatments
You should also provide information regarding when you were first diagnosed and subsequent episodes. Your AFib medications will also have to be disclosed.
After cross-checking the details obtained from the attending physician’s report, interview, and application, insurance underwriters will also review the results of your ECG - including Holter monitors or event recorders. You will also have to disclose whether your diagnosis is persistent (requires treatment), permanent, or paroxysmal (less than twelve episodes a year).
If you’ve gone through a heart rhythm rest with pharmaceutical cardioversion or electrical cardioversion, this will have to be disclosed as well. Information regarding your prescription medications and surgical ablations should be disclosed too.
The medications usually prescribed to AFib patients are dependent on how serious your case is. The following medications are commonly prescribed to AFib patients:
- Sotalol (Sorine, betapace)
- Amiodarone (Pacerone, cordarone)
- Propafenone (Rythmol)
- Dofetilide (Tikosyn)
Although ‘foggy’ information can be gathered from your health records, you do need to submit accurate details regarding your diagnosis & treatments for an accurate insurance quote from the carrier.
Follow Up Care/Compliance
Underwriters will also require evidence of you complying with your doctor’s advice, prescription medications, and follow up appointments.
Are you meeting your doctor regularly?
Details of your latest ECG.
Underwriters will take a positive approach to your application if you can prove that you’ve been diligent in your followups with your doctor.
Your Overall Health (and related conditions)
Although life insurance underwriters do consider your general state of health before making a decision, conditions like gout or high cholesterol may spoil your chances of qualifying for the standard or above ratings. AFib is known to cause strokes and heart failure in patients with the disease, thus driving up their premiums.
Case Study: Pricing Term Life Insurance with Atrial Fibrillation
Please see the case study below. it will show why it is in your interest to have as many options as possible available when shopping for life insurance with AFib or any other impairment.
Male Age: 53
$250000 20 Year Term
Well-controlled mild paroxysmal AFib Diagnosed Age 46
Atenolol for maintenance, No Other Health Concerns
This looks like a best-case scenario would be either standard or Table 2/B depending on the insurer's appetite for an AFIB risk.
- Table 2/B
- Table 4/D
Life Insurance Company
Life Insurance Company
Life Insurance Company
Banner is ideal for you, regardless of the rating you get. However, if you’re unable to gain access to their policies, you can consider Prudential. Although it is the costliest option of this lot, Prudential will give you a standard rating whereas other competitively-priced companies might give you a rating from the Table 2/4 range.
You could save as much as 25% with the help of an agent who knows what kind of insurance policies are best for your needs (the percentage here is the difference between Pru @ Standard & Principal @ Table 2).
That comes to a grand total of $7800 over the total lifespan of your policy - precious money you could be spending on something else!
Your Next Step
Bonus: The 5 most common mistakes people make buying life insurance and how to avoid them
Fast Facts about Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
Atrial fibrillation or AFIB is the most common heart arrhythmia condition. An arrhythmia is when the heart beats too slowly, too fast, or in an irregular way. When a person has AFIB, the normal beating in the upper chambers of the heart (the two atria) is irregular, and blood doesn't flow as well as it should from the atria to the lower chambers of the heart (the two ventricles).
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), AFib affects as many as 6 million US residents. Because Atrial fibrillation is more common among older people-and women live longer on average-, more women are affected than men. Additionally, people of European decent are more likely to suffer the condition than African Americans.
More than 750,000 hospitalizations occur each year because of AFIB. The condition contributes to an estimated 130,000 deaths each year.
AFIB costs the United States about $6 billion each year. Medical costs for people who have AFib are about $8,705 higher per year than for people who do not have AFib. (Source: CDC).
A few of the well known people who suffer from AFIB are: President George H.W. Bush, Vice President Joe Biden and singer Elton John.
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