Guide to Life Insurance After a Heart Attack

Written by Jeff Root

The quote tool on this page will display accurate prices from highly-rated guaranteed issue life insurance companies. If you or someone you love has experienced a heart attack, please call to find the best quote for you.

If you are considering purchasing a life insurance policy after having a heart attack, this article is for you.

In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about qualifying for life insurance after a heart attack. After reading, you will better understand all your options when it comes to finding a life insurance policy for heart attack survivors.

What You’ll Learn

About Heart Attacks
Can You Get Life Insurance After a Heart Attack?
How Life Insurance Companies View Heart Attacks
Types of Life Insurance for Recent Heart Attack Survivors
Top 3 Guaranteed Life Insurance Companies
How to Apply for Life Insurance After a Heart Attack

Best life insurance after a heart attack

So have you or a parent recently had a heart attack?

Rest assured that you can receive life insurance protection after a heart attack. It’s just a matter of time and what type of policy you’re applying for.

About Heart Attacks

When blood flow to a part of your heart is blocked for a sustained period of time, the heart muscle will be damaged or will die. In medical terms, this is called a myocardial infarction, but most people refer to it as a heart attack.

Given the rise of more sedentary lifestyles and coronary artery disease, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many Americans suffer from heart attacks each year. In fact, someone in the U.S. has a heart attack every 40 seconds.

In the world of life insurance, heart attacks are a very common ailment. We talk to customers every day who have had at least one heart attack, which makes it one of the more common high-risk conditions we help insure.

Can You Get Life Insurance After a Heart Attack?

The quick answer is “yes”, but the more realistic answer is “it depends.”

Ultimately, approval for life insurance after a heart attack will depend on your answers to the several questions including:

  • How severe was the heart attack?
  • What damage was done to your heart?
  • How long has it been since your last heart attack?*
  • Are you taking good care of yourself?
  • What are all the medications you’re taking?
  • What are the medications treating?

*The most important question out of this list is how long has it been since the heart attack.

The time that has passed since your heart attack will be the determining factor in what kind of insurance you qualify for.

However, the truth is that no matter when you had your last heart attack, there will always be an affordable insurance option for you.

How Life Insurance Companies View Heart Attacks

If you’ve had multiple heart attacks, insurers are going to look closely at your most recent one.

If you had your last heart attack over 12 months ago, you can usually qualify for an underwritten insurance policy. This makes you eligible for immediate coverage and full benefits at the lowest possible price.

However, if you had a heart attack within the last 12 months or have a history of heart disease, Congestive Heart Failure, or other medical issues, you may have to undergo a waiting period. With such a recent major event, there is no insurance company that will issue an immediate insurance policy with full coverage.

Time Since Last Heart AttackLess than 12 monthsMore than 12 months
Type of PolicyGuaranteed Issue PolicyUnderwritten Policy
Waiting PeriodYesNo

For the remainder of this article, we’re going to discuss life insurance if you’ve had a recent heart attack within the last year.

Types of Life Insurance for Recent Heart Attack Survivors

Fortunately, the best life insurance option for a recent heart attack survivor (last 12 months) is one that does not require a physical or medical exam. In fact, you won’t even have to provide your most recent EKG results, stress tests or have your medical history investigated.

This type of policy is called guaranteed issue life insurance and is available to you regardless of your health standing and heart attack history. With this type of policy, you cannot be turned down.

About Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

Heart attack survivor

If you’re new to the concept of guaranteed issue life insurance, these are the main features of a policy:

  • No medical questions or exam
  • Guaranteed acceptance
  • Fixed monthly premiums
  • Guaranteed death benefits
  • Accrual of cash value
  • No expiration date (you cannot outlive it)
  • Mandatory graded period

With guaranteed issue policies, there are literally zero health questions on the application. This means that you do not have to tell the carrier about your recent heart attack.

These policies are intended for people with high-risk pre-existing conditions.

Pro Tip: You should always make certain that this is the only type of policy you can qualify for.

Qualifying for Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

The great thing about guaranteed issue policies is that you will almost certainly qualify. The only factors that are considered when applying are:

That’s literally it! It is the simplest, easiest and most unobtrusive method in receiving life insurance protection.

Cons to Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance

When a guaranteed issue life insurance policy is the best choice for a high-risk customer, there are two very important facts to know ahead of time.

There are two major drawbacks to this type of policy.

  1. The mandatory graded period
  2. Limited coverage amounts

The Graded Death Benefit or Waiting Period

The graded death benefit is the stipulation that a policyholder must outlive the mandatory waiting period before qualifying for full coverage. This waiting period is typically 24 months, but can sometimes be as much as 36 months.

If death occurs during this waiting period from natural causes, such as from a heart attack, then your beneficiaries will receive the premiums paid-to-date plus interest. Typically the interest is 10%, meaning that 110% of premiums will be returned to help with final expenses.

The exception to this is if death occurs from accidental causes. Let’s say you’re in a car accident within the graded period. Your beneficiaries will receive the policy amount in full.

Pro Tip: It shouldn’t come as a surprise to realize that purchasing a guaranteed issue policy as soon as possible is in your best interest. If you’ve had a heart attack in the last year, it’s imperative that you begin working through the graded period right away.

The sooner the two years is up, the sooner your family can be fully protected.

Guaranteed Life Insurance has Limited Coverage Amounts

Due to the nature of guaranteed acceptance, insurance companies are unable to offer high policy amounts.

Typically, a guaranteed issue policy for someone with a recent heart attack will be limited to around $25,000 in coverage.

This amount covers most final expenses, such as burial or cremation services, and small odds and ends.

It may not be enough to cover large medical bills or debts, but it is at least some help for your loved ones. Most of our customers on dialysis agree that some coverage is much better than no coverage.

Top 3 Guaranteed Life Insurance Companies for Heart Attack Victims

There are over a dozen choices when it comes to guaranteed issue life insurance. We’ve looked at all the top companies and determined the three best for most situations due to their financial stability, low rates, and policy benefits.

Keep in mind that we do recommend other companies as well. It is best to speak with an expert about which life insurance company and policy is best for your situation.

Other Life Insurance Options for Heart Attack Survivors

As we mentioned before, the time that has passed since your last heart attack is a major determining factor in whether you can qualify for a non-guaranteed acceptance policy.

If your heart attack was more than 12 months ago, it is likely that you can qualify for some type of underwritten policy. These types of policies include:

  • Burial Insurance – best for those looking for under $50,000 in coverage to help with final expenses.
  • Term Life Insurance – best for people looking to be covered for a certain time period, typically 10 to 30 years.
  • Whole Life Insurance – best for people who want coverage for their whole life, and want a policy that accrues cash value.

These policies will allow you to get better coverage at a better rate. There is, however, a more in-depth process to receive coverage.

Since there are many factors that influence the underwriting process, the best action you can take is to give us a call. It is important to speak with an experienced agent who knows what questions to ask about your heart attack and health history.

How to Apply for Life Insurance After a Heart Attack

If you’ve had a heart attack and are shopping for insurance, we advise that you work with an independent agency. Since there is no one-size-fits-all insurance policy or carrier, an independent agent can help you find the best match.

As a very common health condition, we have experience helping countless heart attack survivors secure affordable coverage for their families. We know which carriers are best suited for people who have had a heart attack.

We will be able to compare quotes from multiple companies to find the best policy and rates for your situation. Our agents are licensed in all 50 states and are acquainted with the application process of every carrier.

If you would like to move forward with receiving coverage and securing the most affordable life insurance after a heart attack, fill out our quote tool and give us a call today.

About Jeff Root & Guaranteed Issue Life
About Jeff Root & Guaranteed Issue Life

Jeff Root is the author of The Digital Life Insurance Agent and host of the Modern Life Insurance Selling Podcast.

Guaranteed Issue Life is a nationally licensed agency, that has helped over 1500 consumers purchase guaranteed issue life insurance. We represent over 30 life insurance companies & transact business in every state.

All content on this site has been written by life insurance experts & licensed life insurance agents.

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