Getting life insurance with Congestive Heart Failure can be difficult – but it’s not impossible. We can help you find the right policy.
If you suffer from heart problems, then you probably already know the statistics: congestive heart failure is one of the most common chronic health problems that Americans suffer from. It is estimated that over 6 million people in the US have some form of heart failure, with it being the leading cause of hospitalizations among seniors age 65 and over. Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans die from some form of heart failure.
With numbers like these, it’s easy to see that congestive heart failure is a serious problem in our country. Because it’s so common and so serious, many people face problems when it comes to getting life insurance.
The good news, though, is that if you suffer from congestive heart failure, it doesn’t have to mean you’re uninsurable. By knowing what to expect, being honest, and finding the right insurance company, even those that deal with heart failure can still find the peace of mind that comes with life insurance coverage.
What is Congestive Heart Failure?
The term “congestive heart failure” is really an umbrella term that can be used to describe any number of conditions, but they all boil down to one thing: a person suffering from CHF has a heart that is not capable of fully doing its job of supplying blood to the body.
There are many health factors that can lead to CHF. These conditions include:
- Long-term alcohol abuse
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) that has not been treated
- Physical malfunctions such as failure of the heart valves
- Heart attacks or other damaging episodes
- Coronary artery disease (which causes buildups and blockages in the arteries over time)
Any one of these conditions is enough, already, to force serious lifestyle changes and raise questions about things like affordable life insurance. When left untreated, however, these conditions can often lead to CHF as well as a host of other problems.
What are the Symptoms of CHF?
If you are suffering from congestive heart failure, there’s a good chance you already know it – and have hopefully already been diagnosed. This is because congestive heart failure almost always carries severe symptoms that are difficult to ignore.
The symptoms of CHF vary, but almost always include one or more of the following:
- Severe shortness of breath, even when standing still or sitting
- An inability to be physically active
- Swelling (edema) in various parts of the body, brought on my inadequate circulation which causes blood to pool. This can happen anywhere but is usually found in extremities, such as feet.
- Extreme fatigue at all times of the day.
Finding Life Insurance with Congestive Heart Failure
For those of you with congestive heart failure, it’s necessary to think about the future and plan ahead. Even though CHF is not fatal by itself, it does often mean that your health is more precarious.
Taking care of yourself is vital, and with proper care, you can still look forward to many happy years. Hover, it is also prudent to recognize CHF means it’s time to put our affairs in order so as not to leave your family and loved ones in the lurch. And one of the most important things you can do is find adequate life insurance.
Finding insurance can be tricky when you have CHF, but it is not impossible. Just like with other chronic conditions, it means understanding that you’re in for an uphill battle, you and your health will undergo heavy scrutiny at all stages of the process and your options and plans might be somewhat limited, depending on the severity of your circumstances.
However, none of these factors means this is impossible. So, what do you need to know?
As you begin the process of finding insurance, you should expect to answer a barrage of questions, and maybe even undergo a medical exam. The insurance company is going to want to know everything it can about your health so it can make the best determination of your eligibility. These questions will include things such as :
- How long ago were you diagnosed with CHF?
- How old were you?
- Is there a family history of CHF? If so, how long did other family members live with the disease?
- What symptoms do you have?
- What health factors might have caused you CHF?
- Are you taking medication, and if so, what?
- Are you currently under the care of a physician?
- Do you smoke or drink?
- What tests have you taken?
- What is your prognosis?
As you can see, there are a lot of questions, but these questions go a long way towards determining your overall health. If you are living with this disease, managing it well and doing everything in your power to keep it under control and stay relatively healthy, then you will be seen as a much better bet than someone who is still going out and living like they don’t have a care in the world.
Types of Policies
Even if you are deemed relatively healthy for someone with CHF, there’s no guarantee that you will be offered the standard range of policies. Because the health of anyone with CHF can turn on a dime, companies typically take steps to protect themselves. This means not offering policies where they can lose a lot of money.
Instead, in cases like this, a company will typically offer what’s known as “guaranteed issue” life insurance. This is basically a no-risk policy that a company can offer that still can provide protection and peace of mind for you. Here’s how it works:
Guaranteed Life Insurance Policies
With guaranteed life policies, the first thing you should know is that your beneficiaries are, indeed, guaranteed to receive benefits. This is the good news. So, you do not have to worry that you are paying into something that might go nowhere, like a term policy. However, that amount can change depending on how long it has been since you took out the policy.
With a guaranteed policy, there’s what’s called a “graded benefit.” What this means is that there is a waiting period in place that has to be met before the full payout of the policy is possible.
So, if the graded benefit period is, say, two years (which is a typical benefit period) you have to live for at least that long. Should you pass before the graded benefit period is up, the benefits are significantly reduced.
How much is the payout reduced? Well, in most cases what happens is that, if the policyholder dies before the waiting period is up, the beneficiaries receive only the premiums that have been paid into the policy so far – usually, with a slight markup of 10% or so.
So, for example, a policyholder takes out a $10,000 policy with a graded benefit of two years. Each month, the policyholder pays a premium of $150. If he/she lives longer than those two years, the beneficiaries receive the full amount of the policy.
However, if he or she passes away six months into the graded benefit period, the payees will receive only those six months’ worth of premiums, with a little interest added on. If this were 10% interest, the total payout, in this case, would be just under a thousand dollars ($150 x 6, plus 10%).
The Benefits of a Policy Like This
Even though this doesn’t seem ideal, there are a few reasons why this policy is still good: first, it’s easy to get. Because this is a no-risk policy for the insurance company, you can typically get one even if your health is not great.
Second, even if you aren’t able to make it to the end of the graded benefit period, your loved ones still get something, which is definitely better than nothing!
Third, should you make it, you now get to live knowing you have done what you can to provide for your family and those you care most about. And you can’t put a price on that sort of peace of mind. Get your free quote today or call us at 646-216-4199 to get started.