Unsurprisingly, as it is with many serious medical illnesses, heart attacks can have an adverse effect on life insurance applications. Many people talk about heart disease and think that getting insured after a diagnosis is impossible. This is not the case; it can be difficult but certainly not impossible.
Since the earlier half of the 20th-century heart health and medical procedures have made a huge leap forward. The Heart and Stroke Foundation stated that today 95% of Canadians who make it to a hospital after an attack survive, a jump of 30% from 65 years ago. Although a heart attack is still a very serious health crisis, with the right medical advice and procedures you can still live a healthy life.
This week, we at LIFC are looking at what you can do to improve your chances at getting insured after experiencing a heart attack. By knowing what to expect from your insurance provider and how to improve your health you will find a plan that works best for you.
What Your Insurer Wants to Know, What Helps, and What Works Against You
When your insurer sees that you have suffered a heart attack they are going to have some questions. Always be open and honest when applying for life insurance because withholding information is just going to make your situation worse. When going in for a meeting, make sure you have all necessary medical documentation ready because the insurer is going to want to know detailed information.
Be ready to answer questions such as:
- When were you diagnosed?
- What treatments have you had?
- How often do you visit your doctor for updates?
- What medication are you currently on? And what have you taken in the past?
Make sure you have the proper documents that cover these areas and ensure that they are as updated as possible. It’s important to have your physician’s contact information readily available so your insurer can reach him or her with any questions or concerns. You can even get your doctor to write up a personalized letter which can contain your most recent treatments, therapies, and meetings.
If you are still having chest pains, hypertension, arrhythmias, or other heart and artery problems after your heart attack, you can expect to face difficulty with getting insured. It will not be impossible for you, but depending on the severity of some of these issues you will run into some trouble. But what can you do better your chances?
Exercise and Weight Help
Improving your weight should be your first step to getting healthier again so you can get a better plan. Being overweight will harm your body and put it, and your heart, under more stress potentially making your condition worse. You need to accurately measure your body’s weight as being as little as 20% over your ideal number can add to the risk of another heart attack.
Actively check your BMI (body mass index) as well as your waist measurements. These two readings tell you about your level of stomach fat, which is one of the key factors in the risk of heart disease.
While measuring and updating your weight, you need to find an exercise regime and stick with it. Consult with your doctor and see what activities you can take part in and try to work them into your schedule. Typically, it’s recommended that you exercise at least 20 or 30 minutes each day to get your heart healthy again.
Smoking is the Worst Activity You Could Be Doing
Smoking is what will harm your application the most when applying for life insurance, especially after suffering a heart attack. Smoking directly contributes to heart attack risk and shows your insurer that you aren’t working to get healthy and obtain better coverage. Besides worsening your heart’s health, smoking can lead to a multitude of other diseases that can be fatal and leave you in worse insurable shape than you were beforehand.
In the end, stop using tobacco as soon as possible and do what it takes to quit. Use nicotine patches, chewing gum, or stop on your own so you don’t hurt your chance of being insured. Exercising can also help you break the habit; it will focus your mind on the activity and help you forget about the urge to smoke.
At LIFC, we recommend that you take your time after suffering a heart attack and shop around. Waiting until about 6 months after the attack has come and gone will give your body the necessary time to heal from the shock. Spend that recovery time with family and try to locate a brokerage that will be able to assist you with your specific needs.
We work with over 20 top Canadian providers, all of which have plans for different needs and budgets. Let us help take some of the strain away from you during a difficult time of recovery and allow us to guide you to the right insurance plan.