Very often the answer is yes and you may be able to get your life insurance at a standard or better rate class. When assessing coronary artery disease, or CAD, and heart attack history the life underwriter will assess the severity of the disease using factors including:
- Plaque burden by catheterization
- Number of events and stability
- Systolic left ventricle function
- Diastolic left ventricle function
- Exercise tolerance
- Current symptoms or stress test results
- Other vascular disease
Persons with single vessel disease tend to do quite well and may be offered life insurance at better than standard rates. For example, research has shown that a 56 year old man who had an AMI, acute myocardial infarction, caused by 95% LAD who had a stent applied could be offered a standard plus rate. Standard plus is a rate class that is just 1 step under preferred and better than the average person would be asked to pay. To get this rate a person would have to be a non smoker who is fully recovered from the MI. He would have to have good left ventricular function and do well on a stress test. In this case medicines including a beta blocker for blood pressure, a statin drug to reduce lipids and aspirin were prescribed to maintain normal values.
If the same person had three vessel disease with stents applied it is possible that he could get a policy at table C. What that means is the rate charged would be the standard rate times 1.75. While this is a higher rate than the average person pays it is still quite affordable, especially considering that the need for life insurance is high due to the increased risk.
In any case, once you have had an MI you will need an agent who can shop the market for the company that will give you the best rate. Some companies will decline applicants with an MI history and others will tack on a large extra premium. Your agent will need to find a company with an experienced underwriter who will fairly review your case and give you a fair rate.
Your agent should shop for you before you apply so you know what to expect. You will probably do best to avoid agents that represent only one or a “select group” of companies. If you do not get a rate you think is fair there is nothing wrong with seeking a better rate from another agent.