If you go to your run of the mill agency like State Farm or Farmers Insurance, you won’t have a chance at being approved for life insurance with congestive heart failure. We have, however, obtained many successful approvals with this heart condition and many other types of impaired risk cases.
Two Types of Approval
An individual with congestive heart failure may qualify for two types of insurance: traditional life insurance or graded death benefit life insurance. Traditional coverage will require a medical exam and is usually much less expensive. You will need to be in better health to qualify for this type.
The key to a traditional policy approval will be a recent echocardiogram, treadmill stress test, or cardiac catheterization showing that the heart is not overly enlarged, and the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is still within acceptable levels.
The ejection fraction measures how efficiently the left ventricle pumps the blood. Normal is around 50% to 60%. But in people with heart failure, the ejection fraction drops, sometimes into the 40’s, 30’s or even 20’s. It will need to be in the 40’s to have a chance at a traditional policy.
Your odds are also better of being approved if you are a non smoker, at a good weight, with no other health issues, such as diabetes. The insurance carriers will expect that you will be on medication to control your blood pressure, so that’s okay.
Graded Death Benefit
If your heart failure is in later stages, your ejection fraction may be lower than this, and your only option will be to apply for a graded death benefit type of policy.
This type of life insurance is far easier to qualify for. As long as you haven’t been confined to a nursing home or had a heart attack or transplant in the past 2 years, or currently hospitalized, you can potentially qualify for this coverage. There are other qualifying questions related to other medical conditions, but those are the only conditions as it relates to your heart.
A graded death benefit policy works a bit differently than traditional, in that you don’t need to have a medical exam, and they won’t order your medical records, so it’s much quicker. However, it is also more expensive than the traditional variety.
The term “graded death benefit” is also very important. It means your death benefit is reduced during the first 2 years of the policy. For example, if you have a policy with a $50,000 death benefit, the benefit might only be $5,000 in the first year, $10,000 in the second year, and then $50,000 thereafter. The most popular and reputable company offering graded death benefit life insurance is Fidelity Life Association.
Types of Life Insurance Offered by Fidelity
One of the nice things working with Fidelity’s impaired risk products is they have their graded policy, which is a whole life policy, which builds cash value. But what is unique is they also offer a lower cost type of insurance called term, which keeps the premiums fixed for the duration of the term. For example, they offer 10 year term, 20 and 30 year term policy, which also has the first 2 years as a graded benefit.
To get started with a life insurance quote with congestive heart failure, simply fill out our quote form on the right, and tell the representative who contacts you about your entire health history.
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