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Life Insurance Approvals with Stents

Researcher & Writer
January 31, 2014

Have you been told that you don’t qualify for life insurance because you have had stent surgery?  Or have you been approved for high risk life insurance with a stent but the rate that you received was outrageous? The key to finding coverage after a stent is applying with one of the most heart disease friendly best life insurance companies.

Getting Life Insurance with a Stent in place

Let’s face it, qualifying for life insurance would be easier if you didn’t have a stent!  After all, stents are generally used to correct partial blockages of an artery or blood vessel.  So in general, stents are indicative of having been diagnosed with heart disease. But which is worse, learning that you had a blockage and correcting it, or never having learned about the condition until it was too late!

With over 600,000 new stent surgeries occurring each and every year in the United States, the life insurance industry has had plenty of statistical data to review when it comes to approving a life insurance policy for stent patients.

And while the effectiveness of stents to prevent heart attacks or death in patients with stable heart disease may be a point of controversy in the medical field, what can generally be agreed upon is that once such a condition becomes known, stent patients will typically be much more conscious of their current health status. As a result, they’ll usually be in much better health six months after receiving their stent then they were six months before their stent!

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So Can I Get Life Insurance with a Stent or Not?

Short answer… Yes, you can get life insurance after a stent.
The trick to getting life insurance for stent patients is knowing which life insurance company to apply with and avoiding some of the larger national insurance brokers who are unwilling to write “Higher Risk Life Insurance Applications.”

What Does that Mean?

Applying for life insurance with a stent in place will generally mean that the best possible outcome you can hope for is to be approved as a “standard” risk.

In these cases, receiving a “standard” rate is actually a great thing, because this means that given your current health condition, the insurance company believes that your represent a “normal risk”.

The problem is, many insurance brokers and carriers will automatically assume that anyone that had a stent placed should  immediately be classified as a “Sub-Standard or High Risk” rate class. And as a result, they may decide not to offer a traditional fully underwritten term life or whole life insurance product. Or a life insurance company may simply approve a client with a stent at a “sub-standard” rate that may prove to be too expensive for the client.

For anyone dealing with ongoing heart issues, burial and final expense insurance from the best final expense insurance companies might be your only option.

So What Determines Who Can Get a Standard Rate?

Every life insurance company out there is going to have a set of guidelines that they’ll follow when it comes to approving an application for life insurance. These guidelines are designed, not only to determine who the insurance company will and won’t insure, but the guidelines will also help determine the rate class that each applicant will be placed in when it comes time to determine the cost of the insurance being applied for.


And what that means is that while one life insurance carrier may use a set of guidelines that consider someone with a stent a "high risk for life insurance,” another life insurance carrier may in fact be more interested in that applicants current health before they just label them a “High Risk”!

How is that possible?

It’s simple. The life insurance industry is a very competitive industry, and unlike other insurance products, when a client decides to purchase a life insurance policy, that sale will typically last for years if not decades!

This is why, many different insurance companies find themselves having to carve out a “niche” (such as stents and life insurance) within the industry to gain a competitive advantage in order to obtain these highly valuable clients.

Now with over 600,000 new stents a year, you can see how your condition could represent fertile ground for any company willing to loosen up on their underwriting guidelines!

What are some of the things that the insurance companies are looking for?

When it comes to getting a “Standard” rate for life insurance with a stent in place, it really going to come down how many you have, and what, if any, was the triggering event that led to having the stent placed.

Generally speaking, to receive a “standard” rate for life insurance after a stent, you will need to have:

  • only one stent in place
  • not have had a heart attack or stroke leading to its placement.

Now if you have more than one stent, or have had a heart attack or stroke in the past, it’s not the end of the world. It just means that you will be considered a greater risk for life insurance and you’ll need to be even more careful about who you choose to apply for life insurance with. In other words, look for the most stent friendly life insurance company out there!

Questions the underwriter’s will want to answers to:

  1. How many stents do you have?
  2. Have you had a heart attack or a stroke?
  3. When were the stents put into place?
  4. Have you had a recent stress test?  If yes, what were the results?
  5. What medications are you taking?
  6. What is your current “injection fraction” (a measurement of the percentage of blood leaving your heart each time it beats).

So How Is Someone Supposed to Know Which Life Insurance Agency to Choose?

Like it or not, getting life insurance with a stent in place is going to mean more work!

Not necessarily more work for you, but certainly more work for your life insurance agent.  Which means that there are three things you’re going to want to make sure about before choosing who to apply with.

1). You’re going to need an agency that can write policies with dozens of different insurance companies.

Having only a few insurance companies to choose from may not be enough for your application when it comes time to getting stent patients life insurance. Plus, are we really interested in “just getting you approved”?  Or are we also trying to get you  the “Best Possible Deal Out There”!

2). Beware of the call center

When you apply for life insurance with a call center agent, you’re application is generally going to be just 1 out of the 100 or so that he or she will need to write that month to meet their “numbers”.

Now this is not a position you necessarily want to be in if it turns out that your application needs a little TLC.  After all, your typically call center insurance agent will need to write 4 or 5 new policies each and every day, just so that they can keep their job and be successful doing it. Can you image what the pressure is like for an agent working in that type of atmosphere?

Now picture just how much time such an agent can afford to spend on your application during the underwriting process?  Not much I’m afraid!

3). Don’t just apply and take a medical exam

Take your time—a true insurance professional should be able to send out a “pre-qual letter” to a dozen different insurance carriers so that they can see if your condition would be “acceptable”.

If done correctly, provided there are no additional “surprises” during your medical exam, you should feel pretty confident about being approved even before you’ve submitted your application.

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