Easily getting affordable life insurance with atrial fibrillation can be extremely easy. Although in cases where the AFib is indicative of an underlying medical condition, that's a different story. It’s one of those conditions which depend more on what your medical records say than the diagnosis itself.
The most important thing to remember when shopping for life insurance with a pre-existing condition is not to hurry. Find which companies have the best underwriting guidelines for you.
Atrial fibrillation (or AFib) can have zero effect on your life insurance rates or cause a company to decline your application. It all depends on:
- Any underlying medical conditions
Some forms of AFib are symptoms of an underlying heart disease. Other types have symptoms so mild that many people have no idea they even have the condition. If you have either an extremely mild form or a successful pulmonary vein isolation over a year ago, you shouldn’t have to worry about a rating with the best companies.
In that case, you can use our Instant Quotes tool on the left (top on mobile). Put in your information and see instant quotes from the leading life insurance companies. For more severe forms, see the section on How Atrial Fibrillation Affects Life Insurance.
How to Save Money on Life Insurance with Atrial Fibrillation
There are several ways to save money on life insurance with any medical condition. Although your rates will mostly depend on how serious a concern it is for your lifespan. If your AFib is mild enough to qualify for traditional life insurance (and most is), then use these tips to save yourself as much money as possible.
Use a Life Insurance Needs Calculator
This tip is the most effective step to saving money on life insurance with atrial flutter or atrial fibrillation. Calculate how much life insurance your family needs. Avoid ballparking the number by multiplying your annual income by an arbitrary number.
Instead, use real math, or a Life Insurance Needs Calculator to figure it out for you. It accounts for any minor children, money you want to leave for your spouse or heirs, any debts you may leave behind, etc. This way, you have an exact number of what you need.
An Independent Agent Can Price Shop for You
There are two types of life insurance agents, captive and independent. Call center agents, while technically independent, tend to exist in a weird middle ground.
Independent agents can work with many companies, as many as they choose. That means they can take a client, look at specific concerns like atrial fibrillation, and only get rates from the companies who favorably underwrite those conditions.
Every company has different underwriting guidelines so you will pay different rates with different companies for various medical conditions.
Captive agents are company agents. They only work for one company. That presents a problem for people with medical concerns. If the company that agent works for doesn’t underwrite atrial fibrillation with reasonable rates, there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Call center agents tend to work with a handful of companies, but they tend to have weekly quotas they must meet, or they’re fired. That doesn’t lend itself well to the type of due diligence required for finding life insurance with medical conditions.
Term Life Insurance Costs Less than Permanent
We aren’t knocking permanent life insurance here. It is a wonderful tool for many families to ensure financial security for their legacies. It also can be ten times as expensive as term life insurance.
Term life insurance is simple. It lasts for several years to a few decades and offers a death benefit if you pass away in that time. You can also include add-ons called riders which may cost extra.
There isn’t a complicated cash value tied the performance of the stock market. There isn’t a guaranteed payout from the insurance company. Term life insurance can afford to be cheaper because it's so straightforward.
Take the Life Insurance Medical Exam
Many companies offer no-exam life insurance that lets you entirely bypass the life insurance medical exam. These policies tend to cost a little bit more because the life insurance company likes to know as much about you as reasonably possible.
Think about it like this. If you are offering someone’s family money in the event of their death and that person does not want to submit to an examination of their health, there is a small chance that something fishy is going on there. Because the insurance company would go out of business if it took on all the risks of ethically questionable people, they charge more to cover the tiny percentage of fraud that occurs with these policies.
If you want to save yourself money, take the life insurance medical exam. Better yet, as long as exercise and diet adjustments are okay with your doctor, prepare for the medical exam. You can improve your blood work in as little as two weeks. That slight improvement can bump you up into a better health class if you’re on the cusp.
Be Upfront With Your Insurance Agent About Any Health Issues
As a society, we don’t talk about our health problems with strangers. It can be a little weird. However, overcoming that social obstacle is crucial with someone like your insurance agent.
If you don’t tell your insurance agent about your atrial fibrillation or flutter, they can’t eliminate the companies who charge way too much for that condition. Companies even vary on what they charge for intermittent atrial fibrillation versus a severe, chronic version.
The more health information your life insurance agent has up front, the better they can narrow down the best options for your family.
An Abram’s Success Story for Life Insurance with Atrial Fibrillation
Tamera, age 49, came to us wanting a 20-year term to cover her mortgage and pay off any final expenses. She wanted to hold the policy until after social security retirement because she was considering deferring payments for a couple of years.
The doctors found paroxysmal atrial flutter when she complained that her heart felt like it was doing somersaults every once in a while when she exercised. She and her husband decided to try and lose weight together when he turned 50 and had a health scare.
The doctors couldn't find anything in an EKG so they had her wear a Holter monitor when she exercised for the next several months. It recorded two indicences of minor atrial fibrillation. Between the weight loss and the low occurance, her life insurance company issued the policy with no rating.
How does Atrial Fibrillation/Flutter Affect Life Insurance?
Atrial fibrillation occurs when the electrical signals that start a heartbeat get confused. That signal causes your atria to beat irregularly, which messes up the ventricles pumping blood into the rest of your body.
It’s relatively common, with over 200,000 cases each year. It can also be extremely mild to the point where some people don’t know they have it.
How an insurance company assesses your AFib will depend on how often it happens, how long you’ve had it, and how you’re treating it. Atrial fibrillation can indicate an underlying heart disease, in which case it’s treated as a symptom and not a condition.
Intermittent (Paroxysmal) Atrial Fibrillation
For intermittent AFib with infrequent episodes, no underlying heart disease, a normal echocardiogram, and normal electrocardiogram you will likely not have any rating and qualify for the health class that you would otherwise have.
Chronic, Minor Atrial Fibrillation
For frequent episodes or chronic atrial fibrillation, with a normal echocardiogram, and no underlying heart disease, you may qualify between a Table C and Table D rating. This will depend on the life insurance company.
Moderate to Severe Atrial Fibrillation
Moderate cases of atrial fibrillation that may have underlying heart disease or abnormal echocardiograms will be evaluated on a case by case basis. If you fall into this category, the smartest option would be to gather as many medical records as possible and ask your life insurance agent to prescreen your application.
What Insurance Companies Like to See with AFib
A prescreen is an anonymous request sent out to underwriters with the pertinent information related to your health. An underwriter will look at it and make a tentative assessment with the information available. This allows you and your life insurance agent to get a good idea of what your rates will be before you go through the application process.
Insurance companies like to see pulmonary vein isolation surgery with atrial fibrillation. Many companies will not rate you at all if it’s been one year since a successful surgery.
If you have been diagnosed with AFib, but have not had further cardiac testing, you are looking at an extremely severe rating. Companies may also postpone your application.
Severe heart or lung disease causing atrial fibrillation tends to get declined. However, still check with your insurance agent to see if it’s a type of heart disease that insurance companies will still consider. But if it isn’t, there are still other options.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance
People with life-threatening medical conditions can still qualify for some types of life insurance. These policies most commonly go by guaranteed issue life insurance. Everyone who qualifies based on age gets approved.
These policies ask few to no medical questions. They also don’t require a medical exam.
The drawback is the maximum available death benefit is lower than traditional policies. The expense is another consideration. Finally, if you choose a guaranteed issue policy, you and your beneficiary should have a solid understanding of how graded benefits work.
Most guaranteed issue policies will only pay your beneficiary 110% of the premiums paid if you pass away within the first two years of having the policy. After that most companies will pay between 80-100% of the death benefits. (All companies eventually pay 100%, but it can take between 2 and 3 years of owning the policy.)
If you have mild, intermittent atrial fibrillation, it’s not something significant to worry about. You should still let your insurance agent know, but it shouldn’t be a big deal. More severe forms can be tricky. Your agent will need as many details as you can give them.
You can use the Instant Quotes tool on the left (top if you’re on mobile) to see what your rates could be with mild AFib. For more severe cases, give us a call.
How Abrams Insurance Solutions Can Help
At Abrams Insurance Solutions, we are a group of independent agents working to find the best life insurance policy for each family. Something that will ensure the family is financially secure and won’t squeeze the wallet.
Our mission is to shop the market for you. That way you save both money and time. You don’t have to place a dozen calls to different companies. You won’t have to explain the same thing over and over to new people.
If an offer comes back that doesn’t look fair in our experience, we will re-examine our options to see if another company will offer you a better deal.
Give us a call right now at (888) 905-0333 to see what we can do for life insurance with atrial fibrillation for you.