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Qualifying for Life Insurance with Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease

Researcher & Writer
April 07, 2020

We don’t often get calls from folks who have been diagnosed with bicuspid aortic valve disease (BAVD), after all, it only affects around 2% of the population. However, if you have been diagnosed with BAVD it's important to to know the ins and outs of getting life insurance with a pre-existing condition.

When one looks at some of the underwriting guidelines with regards to how an life insurance company will view an application from an applicant who have been diagnosed with bicuspid aortic valve disorder, what you’ll find is that these applicants can literally be eligible for any number or different rate classes ranging from Preferred, all the way to Table H.

Read more: How do companies determine your health class rating

To be able to better determine what rate class you may or may not be eligible for, it only makes sense to take a quick look at exactly what bicuspid aortic valve disorder is, and what potential symptoms may be present in those who suffer from this disease.

What is Bicuspid aortic valve disease (BAVD)?

Bicuspid aortic valve disease is an inherited form of heart disease whereby two of the three leaflets found in a normal aortic heart valve fuse together during embryonic development creating a two-leaflet aortic valve (bicuspid) instead of a three-leaflet aortic valve (tricuspid).

What causes BAVD?

What causes BAVD is not completely understood, however recent studies to seem to indicate that BAVDs cause may be linked to the presence of another connective tissue disorder.  For now however, more research is needed before any definitive conclusions can be made.

What is known is that, bicuspid aortic valve disease does appear in about 2% of all births in the United States and is twice as common in males as it is in females.

What are the common symptoms of bicuspid aortic valve disease.

While present at birth, it is unusual for BAVD to be diagnosed that early simply because the defective aortic valve is usually able to function symptom free for many years before detection.  This is why most diagnoses’ will be made later in life in adulthood.  At which time, symptoms such as:

  • Stenosis may appear causing:
    • Chest pain
    • Shortness of breath
    • Dizziness and lightheadedness
    • Fainting spells.
    • Murmurs
    • Rapid or fluttering heart palpitations
    • Swollen ankles
    • Fatigue
    • Coughing while laying down

What are the treatment options for BAVD?

Treatment options will vary for those who have been diagnosed with bicuspid aortic valve disorder and will typically be dictated by the types of symptoms that you are experiencing.

There are many individuals who have bicuspid aortic valve disease, but because they don’t actually experience any symptoms they may not even know that they were born with a congenital heart defect.

For these individuals, and other like them, who have been diagnosed with BAVD and aren’t experiencing any significant symptoms, zero treatments will generally be prescribed.  These will also be the same individual who will have the best opportunity to qualify for a Preferred rate class on their life insurance application.

Surgical treatments may be required to repair or replace their defective aortic heart valve (artificial heart valve) for those diagnosed with BAVD.  In fact, nearly 80% of those who are actually diagnosed with BAVD will ultimately end up needing to have some type of corrective surgery performed.

These individuals may still be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy, only now, the insurance companies are going to be much more interested in the severity of their condition past and present.

Common questions you’ll likely be asked to determine the severity of your current condition:

  • How old were you when you were first diagnosed with BAVD?
  • Who diagnosed your BAVD? A general practitioner or a cardiologist?
  • Do you suffer from any other forms of heart disease?
  • What symptoms have you experienced due to your BAVD?
  • Have you had your BAVD surgically repaired? If so, when?  If not, will you need to have it surgically repaired?
  • Are you currently experiencing any symptoms related to your BAVD?
  • Have you received any type of long term prognosis from your doctor regarding your BAVD?
  • Are you currently working now?
  • In the past 12 months have you applied for or received any form of disability benefits?

From here, the insurance companies will generally have a better understanding of how severe your condition is and whether or not you will be eligible for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy.  They’ll also have a pretty good idea about what “rate class” you should qualify for as well.

Even if you’ve required artificial heart valve surgery to treat your bicuspid aortic valve disease, there is still a really good chance that you will be able to qualify for a traditional life insurance policy. Only now, it’s going to be more important than ever that you choose the right life insurance company and be able to demonstrate that you are in good health now.

Give us a call today or visit our Life Insurance Quotes page and see what we can do for you!

Call Today 888-234-8376

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