Last updated: March 6th, 2018
Stent surgery is a critical, life-saving surgery for people with certain arterial conditions. In a healthy adult, arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body. Weak or blocked arteries occur over time and due to various health conditions. These require a routine, safe surgery called PCI or coronary angioplasty. This surgery removes the blockage in the artery and installs a stent.
A stent itself is a small mesh tube installed in the narrow or weak section of the artery. This tube, usually made of metal or fabric, supports the artery and allows proper blood flow. Occasionally, stents are medicated such that they slowly release medicine into the artery and blood.
Stents and Life Insurance
Stents are a surgical process that often leaves the patient with concerns and awareness of their own mortality. The process itself is relatively safe, for a surgical operation, but the conditions that require it are often shocking. A natural next step is to apply for life insurance.
The first thing to know is that no life insurance company will approve an application within six months of stent surgery. This is because that half-year period is the time of greatest risk. Most complications and side effects of stent surgery occur within six months. Once this time has passed, you are free to apply for life insurance.
If you have only had a single stent installed, and you had no significant event that triggered the surgery, you are likely eligible for standard life insurance rates with some carriers. Triggering events for stent surgery that affect costs include heart attacks and other threatening illnesses.
On the other hand, if you have more than one stent installed, or if you had a heart attack that led to stent surgery, chances are you will have a harder time finding life insurance. You will be considered a person of sub-standard risk. Some insurance carriers will decline your application based on those factors. Others will offer you plans at higher rates than if you were otherwise healthy.
Cost Factors for Life Insurance
If you are approved for a life insurance policy, your exact policy and costs will vary depending on your health situation. We will need to ask you several questions about your health situation, particularly about your stents, to determine the final rates.
- How many stents have you had installed? More stents means higher costs
- Did an event trigger the stent surgery, such as a heart attack or stroke? Triggering events lead to higher costs or declined applications.
- What is your ejection fraction? Your ejection fraction is a measurement of how much blood is pumped from your heart with each beat. A measurement of 55 or higher is normal, and any lower increases your health risks and leads to higher costs.
- When did you have stent surgery? If your surgery was too recent, you may be declined or have your application postponed. Stents that are aging can be health risks as well.
- A list of medications will be required, as some medications have an affect on risk and costs.
- When was the last time you had a stress test, and how did you perform? Negative results on a stress test are a sign of greater health issues, which lead to higher costs.
- What lifestyle changes have you made? Primarily, if you quit smoking after your surgery, you will see better results and better policies.
- Have you experienced chest pains since your stent surgery? Chest pains are a sign of complications and other serious health risks. In addition to contacting your doctor, be aware that this symptom is nearly guaranteed to result in a declined life insurance application.
Additional Questions from the Life Insurance Company
Anytime you apply for life insurance the insurance company will ask a lot of questions about your health, any particular conditions you have, and how those questions might be impacting your overall health. If you have a stent, the questioning will be much more extensive.
They will also ask you a lot of questions about your current lifestyle habits, your job, your hobbies, your family history, and much more. For example, they will ask if you have ever been skydiving or if you ever plan to skydive. If you participate in any high-risk hobbies, then you’re going to pay more for your life insurance protection every month.
The insurance company will not only ask lots of questions, they will require that you take a medical exam. Often times, the exam is administered in your home by a nurse or paramedic who comes to you. They check vital signs such as your blood pressure and heart rate. They’ll also measure your weight/height, and usually, they will take a urine sample and blood sample.
All of this information is required to make an accurate estimate of health insurance costs. Any insurance provider that does not ask for this information is not giving you an accurate estimate.
After the medical exam is complete, the results will be sent to the insurance company so they can review and compare them to their medical underwriting standards. If the company declines your application it does not mean you can’t get another company to approve. It might only mean you applied with the wrong company.
Working with an Independent Insurance Agent
As an applicant with a heart stent, you are likely to get wildly different rates from different insurance companies. The reason for this is because all the different insurance companies have wildly different medical rating systems as part of their underwriting process. However, some companies are more experienced working with high-risk applicants and will offer better rates than the majority of companies.
The challenge is how to find those companies that will look more favorably on your pre-existing condition. You could do some extensive research and build a long list of them to call on one at a time, or you could work with one of our highly experienced and resourceful agents who specialize in doing the difficult work for you. We are connected to a long list of highly rated companies that offer a wide range of options, and those connections give us the ability to compile a personalized set of quotes just for you. You can leverage our resources to save time searching, money on premium, and to make sure you get the right coverage for your family.
No one wakes up excited about the idea of shopping for life insurance, except our team. Part of our mission is to make sure you get the best rate possible on the best fitting policy for your need. If you have a heart stent and you have questions about how life insurance is still an option for you, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We are always happy to answer your questions and get you hooked up with the best possible plan.
If you would like to get a quote for life insurance with a stent, fill out the form on this page, or call us at 888-552-6159.