Life Insurance for Heart Attack Survivors

  Written by Leland Jeppesen

November 10, 2023

  Written by Leland Jeppesen



November 10, 2023

Every year in the US nearly 1 million people die of a heart attack, or what is known as Myocaria Infraction.  While it is true that a heart attack can impact your ability to obtain life insurance coverage, there are choices available for individuals who have survived an attack. In this section, we’ll explore how you can find the right coverage if you have had a heart attack. 

Key Takeaways:

  • There are life insurance options and providers available for heart attack survivors
  • Not all heart attacks are equal; severity, treatment, and medications make a difference in eligibility 
  • Working with an insurance agency experienced in covering heart attack survivors can help get better rates and avoid declines.

The Impact of a Heart Attack on Life Insurance

The truth is, that a history of heart attacks can have a significant impact on your life insurance coverage or possibly no impact at all. The severity of the episode can determine if an application is accepted and at what rate. 

Before shopping for your life insurance choices be sure to know and have read the details regarding your health. Here are some of what you ideally would have ready;

Your Basic health info; 

  • Your current height and weight
  • Tobacco history if any 
  • Date/s of heart attack/s
  • Prescriptions taken & dosages
  • Any other diagnosis (cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure) 

Specifics regarding your heart  

  • Was there an EKG done? Date and result if so. 
  • Was there a Coronary catheterization? Date and result if so. 
  • Was there a coronary angioplasty or bypass? Date and result if so. 
  • Was there any Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)? 
  • Was there a congestive heart failure diagnosis? 
  • Any accompanying health conditions (other diagnosis)? 

To help you find the best possible choices it is important to disclose as much as you can regarding the above. Also, be aware that insurers generally look back as far as seven years on medication usage. Not just what was taken but what was filled at the pharmacy. Then insurance providers use this to assess your risk level, decide if you will be approved and then determine the premium or rate you’ll pay. 

If your health profile is complicated OR if you are applying for coverage that requires a medical exam, then doing what is called a risk-assessment prior to submitting an application can be a good idea. This simply means the agent communicates your health summary to an underwriter without disclosing your personal identity (name/social security) to get an estimate as to what the final rate might be. This can be a big time-saver for those with complicated health history. Sometimes it does not make sense to apply for one company at all but makes tons of sense to apply at another since each company is different.   

Keep in mind; that there’s no guarantee that you’ll be approved. Factors such as age, the severity of the heart attack, and overall health will impact your application’s outcome.

Disclosing Your Heart Health

When applying for life insurance, be honest and transparent about your heart disease diagnosis. Failing to disclose your medical history could result in your coverage request being denied or even rescinded post-issue if there was a blatant omission. The worst-case scenario is a claim being denied due to what is deemed fraud. So don’t try to hide. The insurance companies can audit records if there is a death within the first two years of the policy.

The Impact of Heart Disease on Your Life Insurance Premiums

When determining your life insurance premiums, insurance providers evaluate your overall risk profile, including any pre-existing medical conditions. The more severe your heart disease is, the higher your premiums may be.

Severity of Heart DiseaseImpact on Premiums
MildPossibility of no impact
ModeratePossible 50%-200% surcharge 
SeverePossible decline or guaranteed-issue plans are only available.

An experienced agency will be able to help you compare quotes from multiple competitive providers to ensure you’re getting the best rates for your situation. Keep in mind that quotes are based on each insurer’s underwriting, which varies from company to company. 

Examples of providers for heart attack survivors:

Insurance ProviderPolicy NameDescription
PrudentialPrudential Term Essential Health This policy is designed for people with a history of smoking and heart disease, and provides coverage for up to 30 years.
Mutual of OmahaGuaranteed Issue Whole Life InsuranceThis policy is available to individuals between the ages of 50 and 85, with no health questions asked and no medical exam required.
John HancockJohn Hancock Vitality ProgramThis program offers discounted premiums and rewards for healthy lifestyle choices, which can be beneficial for heart attack survivors who have made positive changes to their health habits.

By exploring your options and working with knowledgeable insurance agents, you can find coverage that meets your unique needs as a heart attack survivor.

Whole Life or Final Expense Life Insurance 

Whole life insurance, or what is also called Final Expense if there is no exam required, is coverage that provides a death benefit and a savings component, allowing you to accumulate cash value over time. As a heart attack survivor looking for life insurance, whole life insurance can offer long-term financial protection for you and your loved ones. Here are some of the benefits of choosing whole life insurance:

  1. Lifetime coverage: Whole life insurance provides coverage for the duration of your life, as long as you continue to pay your premiums. This ensures that your loved ones receive the death benefit regardless of when you pass away, providing financial security even in your later years.
  2. Guaranteed cash value: With whole life insurance, a portion of your premium payments goes towards building cash value. This cash value grows over time and can be borrowed against or used for other financial needs.
  3. No medical exam required: Many whole life insurance policies do not require a medical exam if coverage is under $55,000. This makes it easier to obtain coverage as a heart attack survivor.

Term Life Insurance for Heart Attack Survivors

Term life insurance is another option that can provide the coverage you may need but at a lower cost than whole life insurance. The length of term policies usually ranges from 10 to 30 years, giving you flexibility when considering your insurance needs. For seniors, however, the older you are the shorter the duration available. You can see how long of a term you may qualify for on our site. Term life insurance only pays to your beneficiaries if you pass away during the policy term, so this will generally not cover final expenses like burial/funeral. Term typically expires before a senior reaches life expectancy which is why the plan is less pricey than whole life. 

Here’s a breakdown of the benefits of term life insurance:

Affordable PremiumsThe premiums for term life insurance are lower than whole life insurance because it only covers a specific period
Flexible Policy TermsTerm lengths can vary from 1 to 30 years, giving you the ability to choose the best coverage length for your needs
Coverage for Specific Time PeriodsIf you only need coverage for a certain length of time, such as until your children graduate college, term life insurance provides just that

A bit more on Prescriptions 

Oftentimes prescription can make or break your application. Prescription checks can go back as far as 7 years and involve what was filled, not just what was digested. So even if you never digested the med, if you filled it in the last 7 years, the insurance provider will likely see it. Try to think about what prescriptions you filled so your agent can help with finding a provider that is favorable to you. 

The Application Process for Heart Attack Survivors

Applying for life insurance as a heart attack survivor can seem like a daunting task, but with the right preparation, it can be a smooth process. Here is what you need to consider: Non-Med vs Full Med applications.

Application Process 

No Med ExamMed Exam
No Medical RecordsMedical records
Check on PrescriptionsCheck on Prescriptions
Check on claimsCheck on claims
1 week to get approved4-12 weeks to get approved
Coverage limitedCoverage unlimed

If you apply for a full-medical application the process is much more involved. It will take 4-12 weeks to get approved and will run your doctor’s medical records and pharmacy report. There is no limit at to how much coverage you may apply for if you meet the financial requirements (multiples of income or net worth). 

If you apply for a non-medical life insurance you are going to be approved normally within 1 week, but there is a cap of maybe $50,000 that you can be applied for. The carrier will see your pharmacy history and may see your claims history but not your doctor’s records which saves tons of time.   

Before you go and apply either way, know that you could be wasting your time going full-medical if you have had a sever heart attack or if you have been taking several serious medications. 

At the same token you may get a better rate than the non-medical life insurance if you are genrally in good health. An experienced agent will help you know the difference there.  


Understanding your insurance needs, working with an experienced & independent insurance agency, and disclosing your health history will help you get your best choices as a heart attack survivor. If you need further help you can use our heart attack questionnaire here and someone will get back to you.


What is the importance of life insurance for heart attack survivors?

Life insurance provides financial comfort and security for your loved ones in the event of your passing. It can help cover expenses such as funeral costs, outstanding debts, and provide a financial cushion for your family.

How does a heart attack and heart disease diagnosis impact life insurance coverage?

When applying for life insurance, it is important to disclose your medical history and heart attack diagnosis. Heart attacks and heart disease can affect your ability to obtain coverage and may result in higher premiums or exclusions on certain policies.

Are there specialized life insurance options available for heart attack survivors?

Yes, certain life insurance providers offer coverage options for heart attack survivors.

What are the advantages of whole life insurance for heart attack survivors?

Whole life insurance provides long-term financial protection for heart attack survivors. It offers a death benefit that remains in place for your entire life, along with a cash value component that can grow over time.

What are the benefits of term life insurance for heart attack survivors?

Term life insurance provides flexibility and affordability for heart attack survivors. It offers coverage for a specific term, typically 10-30 years, and can be a suitable option for those needing coverage during specific stages of life.

Why is final expense and burial insurance important for heart attack survivors?

Final expense and burial insurance policies cover the costs associated with funeral expenses, relieving the financial burden on your loved ones. These policies ensure that your final arrangements are taken care of without placing additional stress on your family.

How can I find the right life insurance provider as a heart attack survivor?

When searching for a life insurance provider, consider factors such as financial stability, customer service, and a strong track record of insuring individuals with pre-existing conditions like heart attacks. Work with knowledgeable agents who specialize in serving heart attack survivors.

How do I assess my insurance needs as a heart attack survivor?

Assessing your insurance needs involves considering factors such as your age, health condition, financial obligations, and specific coverage requirements. Take the time to evaluate your personal circumstances to ensure you select the most appropriate policy.

How do life insurance policies cover prescription medications for heart attack survivors?

Life insurance policies may vary in how they cover prescription medications for heart attack survivors. It is important to understand the different types of coverage and consider any specific medication needs when evaluating your options.

What is the application process like for heart attack survivors seeking life insurance?

The application process for heart attack survivors seeking life insurance involves filling out necessary forms, gathering required documentation, and potentially providing additional medical information requested by insurers. Working with a knowledgeable agent can help guide you through this process.

Why is it beneficial to work with insurance agents specialized in serving heart attack survivors?

Insurance agents who specialize in serving heart attack survivors can offer personalized guidance, access to specialized policies, and advocacy throughout the application process. They understand the unique needs and challenges faced by heart attack survivors.

How can I compare quotes and policy options for life insurance as a heart attack survivor?

When comparing quotes and policy options, review coverage details, premiums, riders, and exclusions. Consider working with a knowledgeable agent who can help you understand the nuances of each policy and guide you towards the most suitable option.

How important are regular check-ups for heart attack survivors?

Regular check-ups are crucial for heart attack survivors. They allow you to stay proactive with your health and can have a positive impact on your life insurance coverage. By maintaining good health and managing any ongoing conditions, you may have more favorable options available to you.

Why is financial planning important for heart attack survivors?

Financial planning is essential for heart attack survivors, particularly for seniors. Integrating life insurance into your overall financial strategy can ensure long-term security for you and your loved ones, providing peace of mind.

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