Qualifying for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, such as an artificial pacemaker, doesn’t have to be as difficult as one might think.
In fact, because these devices do such a good job at correcting ones’ abnormal heartbeat, often times, those who have had a pacemaker installed will have a much better chance at qualifying for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy than those who haven’t!
About Artificial Pacemakers.
An artificial pacemaker is medical device that uses electrical impulses to regulate the beating of ones’ heart. The purpose of having a pacemaker installed is so that a patient can regain a “normal” heartbeat that has become irregular (arrhythmia) due to some pre-existing medical condition.
Conditions that can cause one to suffer from an irregular heartbeat which can ultimately require the need for a pacemaker may include:
- Heart attack.
- Sick sinus syndrome.
- Atrial fibrillation.
- Certain prescription medications.
- Bundle branch blockages (right or left).
- Congestive heart failure.
Now as you can see…
Pacemakers can be required to treat a wide variety of pre-existing medical conditions. Some of which like congestive heart failure, are going to make it impossible for someone to qualify for a traditional term life insurance policy.
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While others such as, atrial fibrillation (AFib), can actually qualify for a Preferred rate class assuming that the AFib has been corrected through the use of a pacemaker.
This is why it’s so important early on during the life insurance application process that we’re able to determine what the “root” cause is for why you have needed to receive a pacemaker, and what your current health is like today. Without knowing this information first, it’s impossible to provide one with an accurate life insurance quote.
This is why, we’re generally going to need to ask you a series of questions that will look something like this:
- How old are you now?
- What is your current height and weight?
- When did you receive your pacemaker?
- What if any was the underlying cause that required you to need a pacemaker?
- Who recommended that you get a pacemaker? Your general practitioner or a cardiologist?
- Have you been diagnosed with heart disease? Or suffer from any other heart related issues?
- Have you ever suffered from a heart attack or stroke?
- In the past 2 years have you been hospitalized for any reasons?
- What prescription medications are you currently taking now?
- When was the last time that you had an EKG performed and what were the results?
- When was the last time that you had cardiac stress test performed and what were the results?
- How would you describe your current health status?
- How would your doctor describe your current health status?
- In the past 12 months have you used any tobacco or nicotine products?
- Are you currently working now?
- In the past 12 months have you applied for or received any type of disability benefits?
From here, we’ll typically have a pretty good idea about what “type” of life insurance policy you should be eligible for, as well as what rate class you may or may not qualify for as well.
And if we strictly follow what…
Most underwriting guidelines will say about folks who have received a pacemaker in the past, we’ll usually want to stick with quoting folks a “Table Rate” provided that it has been at least 3 months since you had your pacemaker implanted.
Now you may be asking yourself, what is a Table Rate?
A table rate, is a rate class that falls below what would be considered a Standard or Normal rate for life insurance. These rates are reserved for those who are considered a “higher” risk for life insurance and, as a result, will generally have to pay a little bit more for their insurance coverage.
The potential good for those with a pacemaker is that…
There are 8 different table rates one can potentially qualify for ranging from Table A (less risky) to a Table H (higher risk), and while in “theory” most pacemaker recipients can potentially fall into any one of these categories, if you are someone who is doing well “medically” since you received your pacemaker, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be eligible for lower table rating (table A).
But what about those individuals who are treating their atrial fibrillation (AFib), aren’t those folks potentially eligible for a Preferred rate?
Yes, they are. And that’s the problem with strictly following an insurance underwriting manual!
At the end of the day, only the insurance underwriter is going to be able to determine what rate class you will ultimately qualify for.
Which is why even though you’ll find that most underwriting guidelines will state that those who have received a pacemaker will only be eligible for a “Table Rate” in the “real world”, it’s quite possible that a pacemaker recipient may qualify for a preferred rate if their pacemaker is being used simply to treat someone with AFib, while another individual may be able to qualify for a Standard rate if their pacemaker completely corrected their sick sinus syndrome.
We simply won’t know until we apply and get the result back from the insurance company!
But what we do know is that…
Not every life insurance company is going to follow the same underwriting guidelines. And we do know that some insurance companies have a “tendency” to be more lenient towards some medical conditions than others. And we also know that some insurance carriers may not have the best Preferred Rates in the industry, but their Table Rates are fantastic!
Which is why…
If you’ve received a pacemaker in the past, and you’re considering applying for a life insurance policy, you really ought to give us a call. Our only goal here at JustBuryMe is to help you find the absolute best life insurance policy that you can qualify for and given the fact that we represent dozens of highly rated life insurance companies, you’ve got a really good chance at finding a policy that’s going to be perfect for you and your family.
So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and see what we can do for you!