Last Updated: March 2021
If you have had health problems that resulted in needing a pacemaker, you might find securing life insurance intimidating. The good news is, simply having a pacemaker device doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for life insurance.
We’ve helped dozens of people who’ve had this surgery done secure the best rates available.
Due to a pacemaker classifying your coverage as high risk life insurance, it is important to understand what to expect when you decide to begin the application process.
In this article, we will cover underwriting life insurance with a pacemaker, what kind of rates to expect, and how to apply for life insurance after receiving a pacemaker.
- Can You Get Life Insurance with a Pacemaker?
- How Much Does Life Insurance Cost for People with a Pacemaker?
- Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask People with Pacemakers
- What if You are Declined for Life Insurance with a Pacemaker?
- How to Apply for Life Insurance for People with Pacemakers
Life Insurance is Boring. Let’s Get To The Root Of It! Here are the key takeaways…
Obtaining life insurance with a pacemaker can often be challenging. Depending on why the pacemaker was installed and your current health status, it is likely that you will pay much higher rates for your coverage, or it is possible you could be declined for coverage. Work with an independent life insurance agent to find the best company and to secure the lowest rates for your current needs.
Can You Get Life Insurance with a Pacemaker?
Yes! Life insurance for people with a heart condition, like having a pacemaker, is certainly possible. Having a pacemaker will classify you as high-risk, but working with an independent life insurance agent can help you to find the right company and policy with the lowest rates possible.
What is a Pacemaker and Why are They Needed?
A pacemaker is an electronic device that stimulates the heartbeat.
After having it inserted, you and the doctor will come up with a plan for how often and strong the device will work.
There are instances where a heart attack will require a pacemaker to be temporarily implanted, however, it is normal for that to eventually be permanent.
Some of the conditions requiring a pacemaker are significant heart block (particularly if it causes fainting) and sick sinus syndrome (bradycardia-tachycardia syndrome).
In the latter, the heart beats too fast at times and then too slowly. Sometimes, doctors that prescribe drugs used to control atrial fibrillation (a type of irregular heartbeat) result in profound bradycardia, requiring a pacemaker.
All of these factors above play a role in determining your life insurance rates.
How Much Does Life Insurance Cost for People with a Pacemaker?
When you start diving into the rates you will need to pay for life insurance with a pacemaker, it can get a bit tricky to pinpoint an exact cost. This is for several reasons.
First, the amount of coverage, kind of coverage, and duration of the coverage you select are going to impact how much you ultimately pay for your life insurance. This is the case whether you have a pacemaker or not.
Someone seeking term life insurance that is locked in for 30 years is going to pay much more than someone needing the same amount of coverage for 10 years.
Other health factors can also impact your rates. The most critical thing to understand when it comes to rates for your coverage with a pacemaker is that you need to be shopping your options with multiple life insurance companies and working with an agency that has to experience underwriting life insurance cases for individuals with a pacemaker.
Ultimately, this is going to give you the best chance of being approved for coverage at the best rates possible.
Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask People with Pacemakers
If you have a pacemaker or a biventricular pacemaker installed, then your process of applying for life insurance will be much different than that of someone who does not have a pacemaker.
You will need to Answer Health Questions
Your underwriter will be extremely interested in why you have a pacemaker, and how it affects your health. Some of the questions you might be asked include:
- When was your pacemaker or defibrillator installed?
- Why was the pacemaker installed?
- Have you ever had any pacemaker complications?
- Are you on any medications?
We’ll need to know as many details as possible. The more information you can provide, the better chance you’ll have of securing the best rate.
The best-case scenario is having medical records from your doctor we can review, but that’s not required (just very helpful!) as we’ll get them for you when your application hits underwriting.
Also worth mentioning is letting us know if there’s another health condition you’re dealing with like diabetes, previous cancer history, or death of your parents (mother or father) from any heart-related issues.
These will affect your rates as well.
If you already have life insurance and want to know why you didn’t get preferred life insurance rates, we can direct you to someone who can help answer questions you may have.
The Type of Heart Problems You have will Affect Your Rates
The good news is that people with pacemakers are rarely declined for life insurance if everything is controlled. If you were declined in the past, you probably just used the wrong company.
Here are some examples of the table ratings you can expect for different types of heart issues:
- If you have a Congenital heart block, you can expect a Table B health classification.
- For Sick Sinus Syndrome and heart blocks (other than congenital), you can expect a Table B as a best-case scenario if you’re over 55 years old.
- If you’re under 55 years old when the device was installed, you’re looking at a Table D health classification.
- If you have Atrial Fibrillation or Coronary Artery Disease, you’ll be rated based on those issues instead of any devices installed.
- If you have a defibrillator implant, a history of Congestive Heart Failure, Cardiomyopathy, or other complications, you’re not going to qualify for traditional coverage. You’ll qualify for a high-risk policy with a 2-year waiting period.
- If you’re currently a patient in a hospital awaiting the procedure, you’ll have to wait until it’s completed and a few follow-up appointments have been completed. We get a lot of calls from patients in the care of a cardiologist who just found out they need the procedure done. You’ll just have to wait until everything is under control and sorted out before applying.
What if You are Declined for Life Insurance with a Pacemaker?
As mentioned previously, in some situations, it can be challenging to obtain life insurance with a pacemaker.
Not having the ability to be approved for traditional coverage does not mean that you should stop searching for other viable options.
One of the best options you can choose is guaranteed issue life insurance.
While it does require a 2-year waiting period before coverage becomes fully active, it is still an excellent way to get some form of protection in place for your family.
If your health or situation improves in the future, you can always consider applying for traditional coverage again in the future.
How to Apply for Life Insurance for People with Pacemakers
Since we have worked alongside multiple carriers over the years, we can help you in finding the ideal company for you. If you are looking for an affordable rate on your life insurance despite your pacemaker, contact us and let us help.
Don’t let a pacemaker cause you to hesitate to apply for life insurance. Work with an independent life insurance agent to help you find the right company that will view your risk the most favorably.
We can help and have experience helping individuals in the exact same situation.
Also, be sure to check out our other guides below to learn more about how different types of heart conditions can affect life insurance approval and rates:
I had a pacemaker installed in May of 2014. It was for vagus nerve syncope.
We can help – just need a little more info and we can provide you with rates. Call us at 888-430-7668.
I HAVE A STENT AND A PACEMAKER…I NEED 50,000 OR 75,000 LIFE INSURANCE 20 YEARS…..
Hot a problem Heriberto. Just need to know some more details about those procedures (like when and how it’s going currently). You’re insurable – it’s just a matter of what company will approve you at affordable rates. We’ll do the research for you, just give us a call or fill out the quote form on this page.
My 60 year old husband has had an implanted defibulator for the past year and a half. It’s never gone off. Would this prevent us from being able to obtain life insurance for him?
Hi Sheryl, He won’t qualify for traditional fully underwritten life insurance. However, he can qualify for final expense life insurance with first day coverage. These are small whole life insurance policies that go from $5,000 to $40,000 of coverage and he can buy multiple policies to get more than $40,000 of coverage…depending on your budget of course.