How to Get Term Life Insurance With Angina
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UPDATED: Aug 6, 2020
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Angina, or heart-related chest pains, can have a significant effect on your ability to qualify for life insurance. In fact, depending on the actual diagnosis, most life insurance companies will charge a substantially higher rate or even decline to offer coverage at all. If you have a history of angina, there is still an excellent chance of being approved for life insurance at a reasonable rate. The information below will provide you with an overview of angina, its impact on life insurance rates and some helpful tips on ways to improve your chances of getting the best possible rate. How? You first need to understand how life insurance companies handle applicants with angina. What do they look for? How can you prepare? What is the likely outcome?
Read on to find the answers and get started with your term life insurance application.
Types of Angina
Stable angina is the most common and occurs as a result of the heart overworking. With stable angina, there is a regular and predictable pattern of occurrence. The chest pains last a few minutes and can be relieved with angina medication (usually nitroglycerin). The presence of stable angina increases your risk of a future heart attack.
Unstable angina is a serious condition that requires immediate treatment. Unstable angina indicates that a heart attack could be imminent. It does not follow a predictable pattern and can occur without physical exertion and cannot be treated by rest or medicine.
Variant angina is very rare and usually occurs at rest. The pain can be severe and usually occurs between midnight and early morning. It is relieved by medicine.
Not all chest pain is considered angina. Chest pain or discomfort can be caused by other factors including a heart attack, lung problems (such as an infection or a blood clot), heartburn, or a panic attack.
As of 2011, the following numbers show the significance of angina:
- Deaths related to coronary heart disease account for nearly 20% of all deaths.
- There are 8,900,000 people in the United States suffer from angina.
- There are 15,800,000 victims of angina, heart attack and other forms of coronary heart disease that are still living
- An estimated 400,000 new cases of stable angina occur each year.
The Impact on Your Life Insurance Policy
When you apply for a life insurance policy, you will have to take a medical exam. During this exam, you will be asked questions about your family history, medical history, lifestyle, and smoking and alcohol usage. The person administering the exam will measure your height, weight, pulse and blood pressure.
What Life Insurance Companies Look For
Life insurance companies are concerned that those who have angina are taking the proper precautions to keep it under control. A medical history of regular physician checkups is important to the company.
The life insurance company will be looking specifically at:
- When you were diagnosed
- What your diagnosis was
- What steps you have taken since your diagnosis
- The degree of control as illustrated by medical records, height/weight and lab test results
- What type of treatment
- Any other medical conditions present
- Whether you are a tobacco user
How to Prepare for Your Term Life Insurance Application
There are important measures you can take to prepare yourself before applying for term life insurance. Doing so will help your chances of getting approved for the best rating class possible. Use the following tips to put yourself in the best position to win:
- Visit your doctor as often as recommended.
- Follow your doctor’s advice regarding medication and treatment.
- Make sure your medical records are regularly updated. This is crucial! The life insurance company will rate your application poorly if it is unable to determine your level of control.
- Get any other complications under control. For example, if you also have high blood pressure, make sure it is being treated as well!
Our Experience Has Shown
We’ve helped thousands of people apply for term life insurance, and many of those people had angina. Here are a few things we’ve learned:
- Premiums are lower for those who diet and exercise or keep their blood pressure down with medication
- Premiums are higher for those who do not follow up with a doctor regularly.
- We recommend getting a policy in force first at a premium rate you can afford. You can then focus on improving the rating class through better control or lab results.
Real Examples from Real Customers
Theresa applied for term life insurance when she was 55 years old.
- Diagnosed with angina at age 50
- Diagnosed with stable angina
- No other additional conditions found
- Visits doctor regularly
- Non smoker
- Outcome: Approved at a Standard rating class
- Premium: $365 annually
Not So Good Outcome:
Lisa applied for term life insurance when she was 51 years old.
- Diagnosed with angina at age 47
- Diagnosed with variant angina
- No other additional conditions found
- Non Smoker
- Outcome: Approved at a Table 4 rating class
- Premium: $ 1,555 annually
Samantha applied for term life insurance when she was 51 years old.
- Diagnosed with angina at age 50
- Diagnosed with unstable angina
- Outcome: Declined
You can see Theresa had the best outcome because her condition is stable and she is being successfully treated with medication. Receiving regular follow up appointments with her doctor also helped. Lisa’s angina is more severe, and although she had no other medical conditions and good follow up results, her variant results gave her a slightly worse prognosis. Finally, Samantha had the poorest outcome. Her angina is the most severe and her condition is not stable. This along with her more recent diagnosis and frequent hospital visits resulted in the decline of her application until she can stabilize her condition.
What This All Means to You
The good news about applying for term life insurance when you have angina is — yes, you can qualify for coverage! The bad news is the approval, and rating class can be very unpredictable and subjective. However, if you follow the advice we’ve provided and, more importantly, discuss your situation with your life insurance agent or broker, you can have a positive outcome.
And remember, if you are not pleased with the offer you receive, you can always try with another company or put the policy in force and work on improving the rating class through better control and lab results.