Last Updated: March 2021
Life insurance and congestive heart failure can be tricky and certainly falls into the category of high risk life insurance.
The key to being approved is working with an agency who has experience underwriting congestive heart failure and having your medical records prepared in an organized manner.
The rest of this article will detail how we recommend applying for life insurance with congestive heart failure and what we have done in the past in order to get our clients approved with CHF.
- Can You Get Life Insurance with Congestive Heart Failure?
- Possible Life Insurance Table Ratings You Can Expect with Congestive Heart Failure
- Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your CHF
- Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance with CHF
- How to Apply for Life Insurance with Congestive Heart Failure
Life Insurance is Boring. Let’s Get To The Root Of It! Here are the key takeaways…
Obtaining life insurance with congestive heart failure is possible but will require that you have detailed medical records showing the current state and severity of your congestive heart failure. If you have not seen a doctor recently or been diligent keeping up with testing for CHF, you will likely be declined coverage.
Can You Get Life Insurance with Congestive Heart Failure?
Obtaining life insurance with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) depends heavily on how much information is available to evaluate your risk. Life insurance with a heart condition can be more pricey, but if you shop around, compare carriers, and find the one that views your risk the most favorably, affordable rates can be possible!
In general, the more information available, the better chance you have of getting better rates. Underwriters want to see EKG’s and current stress tests with Ejection Fractions.
If you haven’t had these tests done recently, get them done before applying for life insurance. If there’s no recent information, you’re looking at a decline. Underwriters want to know you’re actively taking control of your CHF.
Congestive Heart Failure is underwritten based on what condition or disease has to lead to the symptoms of CHF, what attempts you’ve made to treat the condition, and how well the treatment has worked.
Newly diagnosed cases of CHF are often postponed or declined pending evaluation for a cause.
Once a cause is known, life insurance underwriting will be based on the severity of symptoms and documented treatment successes for the condition.
Possible Life Insurance Table Ratings You Can Expect with Congestive Heart Failure
Here are some examples of table ratings you might get with congestive heart failure.
- A “Standard” life insurance health rating is possible (but very rare) with very mild heart disease where the heart’s effectiveness is stable and near normal. The heart’s effectiveness is usually measured via the Ejection Fraction (EF). The EF measures how much blood volume is pumped effectively with each heartbeat. Ejection Fraction measures of 55% and higher can often be underwritten at Standard rates if the condition is stable.
- Table 2 – Table 4 ratings are more common. Especially if you’re under age 60 with Ejection Fractions less than 55%.
- Table 4 – Table 6 ratings will be likely if you’re Ejection Fraction is in the 40%-50% range.
- If your Ejection Fraction is below 40%, but the underlying cause has been successfully treated and documented recovery is well underway with an increasing EF you may qualify for a Table 8 rating.
Anything not being successfully treated with an EF of below 50% will be a decline and you are only eligible for graded death benefit plans.
Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your CHF
Most people with CHF get declined for life insurance because they take the approach to apply and “let’s see what happens”. Proper case preparation for CHF cases is a must.
Here’s what life insurance companies will need to know:
- Date of Diagnosis
- What conditions have been diagnosed that lead to CHF? (Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiomyopathy, Heart Valve Disease, High Blood Pressure, Hyperthyroidism, Myocarditis, etc…)
- Approximate dates of the following (and were results normal)? Resting EKG, Stress EKG, Echocardiogram, Chest X-Ray
- Current Ejection Fraction of the most recent Stress EKG?
- Are all medications currently taken?
- Have any immediate family passed away from heart disease prior to age 60?
- Are there any other underlying health issues?
With this information, we can assess your Congestive Heart Failure and give you an accurate rate.
Anyone who doesn’t ask these questions is just guessing.
A very important part of applying for life insurance (that most agents fail to do) with Congestive Heart Failure is finding underwriting credits.
By underwriting credits, we mean things like healthy eating, exercise, no family history of heart disease, non-smoker, or any information that would help an underwriter lean toward a better health class rating.
Life insurance applications don’t ask this information.
We ask you these questions because we volunteer it to the underwriter through a “cover letter”. We’ve been able to secure better rates for those with healthy lifestyle habits.
As you can see, we’re very experienced in underwriting life insurance policies for congestive heart failure and other heart conditions. Don’t be discouraged if you’ve been declined. More than likely you picked the wrong carrier.
It really takes an experienced agent who knows the best carrier to see your CHF most favorably.
We have our “favorites” list of life insurance companies who have given favorable approvals time after time for those with CHF.
Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance with Congestive Heart Failure
If you happen to be one of the individuals who are possibly behind on their testing related to CHF or have been declined for coverage, you can always consider guaranteed acceptance life insurance coverage.
No medical questions will be asked on your application but in exchange for your approval, you will have to wait 24 months for your coverage to be fully active and in force.
The Best Guaranteed Life Insurance Companies with CHF
These are three of the top companies for guaranteed issue policies.
- American General Life (AIG)
- Gerber Life Insurance
- Great Western Life Insurance Company
It’s always best to compare multiple quotes from different carriers.
How to Apply for Life Insurance with Congestive Heart Failure
At Rootfin, we have a lot of experiencing underwriting life insurance with congestive heart failure and we want to help you too.
Working with an agency that has 60+ companies to choose from ultimately gives you the best chance to be approved and at the lowest possible rates.
Get your medical records in order and be sure to always compare rates and find the coverage that will provide that peace of mind to you and your family.
Best of luck with your search.
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:
Hi. I’m a 35 yr old woman diagnosed with chf in Jan of 2015. I’m looking for a 30 yr term life insurance policy if possible. I asked an insurance agent for help and was denied by every single company. I need some help and or more research. Thank you
Kennedy, there are options for you. We do have access to a product that can get you up to $150,000 of coverage with no health questions asked. Call us at 888-430-7668 for details.
hi jeff,,my name is chris tagel and back in august of 2012 i was diagnosed with chf..im 39yr old and been applying for life insurance and been denied..im wondering if you could help me out or tell me which way to go..thank you
Hi Chris, we sent you an email.
Hi I am trying to get some life insurance for my husband. I am finding out just how difficult it is to get it now that he has been diagnosed with a congested Heart failure. He also have hypertension, and diabetis 2 which has been for years, but treated, and controlled.
What would you suggest I do to get insurance for him. Thanks
We’ll shoot you an email. Thanks for reaching out.
I am currently looking for life insurance for my husband(47 years old) diagnosed with CHF due to a aortic valve closure. He has had the valve surgery, is currently being treated and is stable. Last EF just after the surgery was 25%, but we will reevaluate in August. He is otherwise healthy,good weight, recently quit smoking and is being treated with medication. I would also like quotes for myself. I am 46 and in good health,non smoker and healthy weight. Thank you for your attention.
Hi Amy, we sent you an email. Need a few more details and can provide you with some options. Feel free to call us 888-430-7668.
Hello, my husband is trying to get life insurance and he has been diagnosed with CHF. He is 45. If there’s any help you can give us please do. He keeps getting denied for coverage
There are graded death benefit policies available for him. Give us a call or fill out our contact form and we’ll get in touch.