Getting Life Insurance After Heart Valve Surgery

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So having had a heart valve replacement myself and also having shopped for my own life insurance, I understand the struggles you may go through to get affordable life insurance after heart valve surgery.

Or you may have been told that you can’t qualify for life insurance, so haven’t bothered to look harder. 

Click here for details about my heart valve surgery.

First thing you need to understand when you’re considering buying life insurance after having heart valve surgery or for other significant cardiac issues is that you’re not going to qualify for Preferred Plus, Preferred or usually even Regular rates, but this doesn’t mean you cannot get affordable coverage.    

You will likely be “rated” or charged an additional premium on top of the “Regular” or Standard rates.  Our goal is to find you the quality insurance company that will offer you the smallest additional charge on your life insurance.

We know all too well how frustrating it can be to not qualify for the better rates when you may feel perfectly fine and your doctor tells you you’re doing great, but there are a LOT of variables involved in determining what you will actually pay.   

While your cardiologist has probably told you that you’ll live a normal life expectancy and you probably will, there are things that can go wrong and you are at a higher risk of having a stroke, a heart attack or other potential cardiac issues which could lead to premature death.   

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Our Promise to You:  We will shop with every competitive life insurance company to seek out the best rate for you and we will do everything we can to convince the underwriters why they should offer you a better rate than they normally would. 

Between the two of us here, we have over 69 combined years working in the life insurance industry to find consumers the best rate and value.  We have no loyalty to any one particular life insurance company.

Our loyalty is to you, the consumer.  We work for you!

We have developed relationships with underwriters and representatives at every major life insurance company, which has helped us secure offers on the toughest cases. 

We recently placed a case for a gentleman who had an aortic valve replacement and a stroke in recent past.  We even thought this case may not work out, but we shopped it with EVERY life insurance company and ultimately got a table 5 offer from an A+ Superior AM Best rated mutual company.  This offer was even better than the Table 6 to 8 ratings we were expecting. 

If we cannot get you an offer, nobody else can either.

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So Can You Get Life Insurance After Heart Valve Surgery?

Yes, you can.  There are hundred’s of different insurance companies that offer life insurance in the United States, so you just need to find the best insurance company for you. 

We shop with EVERY quality life insurance company (over 121 companies) when narrowing down best rates and life insurance companies for you, regardless of what type of heart valve issue you’ve had. 

Things that are important for us to know when shopping to get you best offer are as follows:

  • Your exact diagnosis and age at diagnosis?
  • Date of your surgery?
  • What surgical procedure you had?
  • Have all follow ups and cardiac testing been normal or good since surgery (i.e. echocardiograms, EKG’s, stress tests, etc)?
  • How is your overall health otherwise (i.e. do you exercise regularly, have good diet, no smoking, etc)

All of the above will be taken into consideration and will play a big factor in determining the rate for which you’ll qualify and the insurance company that will be best for you.  

Below we’ll take a look at the different type of valve issues, whether it’s the mitral valve, aortic valve, pulmonary valve or tricuspid valve for which you have an issue and what it could cost you to get life insurance.  

IMPORTANT: Any quotes below are only conservative estimates and the actual rate for which you qualify could be lower or higher than the estimates shown.  No 2 heart valve surgery cases are alike so it’s impossible to provide a generic quote that is 100% accurate.

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Life Insurance After Mitral Valve Repair

Mitral valve repairs are usually underwritten a little more favorably than mitral valve replacements

Balloon valvuloplasty or valvuloplasty for which a ring is placed so that the valve leaflets close correctly reducing your degree of mitral valve regurgitation are common mitral valve repairs.

Best prognosis and best life insurance rates if you’ve had a mitral valve repair will be most favorable if you have no more than mild residual mitral insufficiency after repair, your left ventricular ejection fraction is 55% or greater,  you have good exercise capacity and you’ve had no post operative complications.  

IMPORTANT: You will usually be postponed from obtaining life insurance until it has been 6 months since your successful mitral valve repair.

Keep in mind that rates are always changing, but below are some estimates of the possible cost to you at various ages if you’ve had a successful mitral valve repair. 

These are all 20 year guaranteed level rates for $250,000 of life insurance and are MONTHLY rates:

                 MALE         FEMALE
Age 30:     $44                $39
Age 40:     $55                $47
Age 50:     $114              $85
Age 60:     $206              $148
Age 70:     $651              $472

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Life Insurance After Mitral Valve Replacement   

When the mitral valve cannot be repaired, then it will be replaced with a mechanical valve like the St. Jude or Starr-Edwards valve OR it could be replaced with a tissue valve or bioprostheses like a specially treated human valve or animal valve like the Hancock porcine or pig valve.  

Each type of valve used for replacement has its advantages and disadvantages.

While the mechanical valves are supposed to last longer than the tissue valves, the mechanical valves have a higher risk of causing clotting issues which cannot be completely eliminated by using blood thinners. 

While you are less likely to experience clotting issues with a tissue valve, the tissue valves can deteriorate and may not last more than 10 to 15 years.  Then there are always risks regarding re-operation. 

Best life insurance rates if you’ve had a mitral valve replacement will be most favorable if your left ventricular ejection fraction is 55% or greater,  you have good exercise capacity and you’ve had no post operative complications.  

IMPORTANT: You will usually be postponed from obtaining life insurance until it has been at least 6 months since your successful mitral valve replacement OR you may be declined if it’s been 10 or more years since you had your mitral valve replaced with a tissue valve (due to the re-operation risk).

Below are some estimates of the possible cost to you at various ages if you’ve had a successful mitral valve replacement. 

These are all 20 year guaranteed level rates for $250,000 of life insurance and are MONTHLY rates:

               MALE         FEMALE
Age 30:   $60               $52
Age 40:   $68               $58
Age 50:   $160             $119
Age 60:   $354             $247
Age 70:   $861             $614

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Life Insurance After Aortic Valve Repair

Aortic valve repairs can also be underwritten more favorably than aortic valve replacements. 

If your aortic valve was only leaky, with no evidence of stenosis, than a repair may be your best option. 

The surgeon could reshape your aortic valve leaflets or patch them if they are torn or have holes in them.

Best prognosis and best life insurance rates if you’ve had an aortic valve repair will be most favorable if you have no more than trace amounts of leakage after repair, your left ventricular ejection fraction is 55% or greater,  you have good exercise capacity and you’ve had no post operative complications.  

IMPORTANT: You will usually be postponed from obtaining life insurance until it has been at least 6 months since your successful aortic valve repair, assuming all follow ups since the repair are good.

Remember that rates are constantly changing as are life insurance companies underwriting guidelines.  No two aortic valve repair cases will be offered the same rate classification as there are many variables involved in determining the actual rate for which you’ll qualify.  Below are some estimates of the possible cost to you at various ages if you’ve had a successful aortic valve repair. 

These are all 20 year guaranteed level rates for $250,000 of life insurance and are MONTHLY rates:

                 MALE         FEMALE
Age 30:     $44                $39
Age 40:     $55                $47
Age 50:     $114              $85
Age 60:     $206              $148
Age 70:     $651              $472

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Life Insurance After Aortic Valve Replacement   

When you have aortic valve stenosis or narrowing in addition to the leaking or regurgitation which could damage your heart, the aortic valve will need to be replaced with a mechanical valve, a human valve or with a tissue valve like from a pig or cow.

While the mechanical valves are supposed to last longer than the tissue valves, lifetime use of blood thinners life warfarin and plavix are required when you have a mechanical valve and there is always some risk involved with long term use of prescription blood thinning medications due to the risk of bleeding.  

While you are not usually required to take prescription blood thinners for life when you have a tissue valve, the tissue valves are not expected to last as long as the mechanical valves.  So there is always some additional risk involved since many people with tissue valves may likely have to have another valve replacement in the future. 

Best life insurance offers will be made to those who have an after surgery left ventricular ejection fraction of 55% or greater,  good exercise capacity and no post operative complications.  

IMPORTANT: You will usually be postponed from obtaining life insurance until it has been about 1 year since your successful aortic valve replacement OR you may be declined if it’s been 10 or more years since you had your aortic valve replaced with a pig, cow or other tissue valve (the concern here is the increased likelihood of having to have another valve replacement).  Transcatheter aortic valve replacements (i.e. minimally invasive for which old valve is not removed) will also currently be declined as this procedure is still too new.  

While the actual rates for which you qualify could be lower or higher than rates below, these are some conservative estimates of the possible cost to you at various ages if you’ve had a successful aortic valve replacement. 

These are all 20 year guaranteed level rates for $250,000 of life insurance and are MONTHLY rates:

               MALE         FEMALE
Age 30:   $67               $59
Age 40:   $81               $68
Age 50:   $192             $142
Age 60:   $398             $277
Age 70:   $950             $653

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Life Insurance After Tricuspid or Pulmonary Valve Repair

Whether you have regurgitation or stenosis of your tricuspid or pulmonary valve that requires prosthetic ring annuloplasty, valve leaflet patching or another type of repair, we will find the best rate and insurance company for you.

Similar to any other heart valve surgery, the echocardiogram and other cardiac test results after your repair will have the biggest impact on the rate for which you’ll actually qualify.

Normal cardiac test results after the valve repair in addition to overall good health otherwise will help us to get you the best offer possible.

A 6 month waiting period after successful tricuspid or pulmonary valve repair is still required before any of the competitive life insurance companies will make you an offer.

Below are conservative estimates of what you could expect to pay for life insurance after your successful repair assuming good health otherwise with no other cardiac issues.

These are all 20 year guaranteed level rates for $250,000 of life insurance and are MONTHLY rates:

                 MALE         FEMALE
Age 30:     $29                $25
Age 40:     $33                $29
Age 50:     $77                $61
Age 60:     $179              $126
Age 70:     $575              $411

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Life Insurance After Tricuspid or Pulmonary Valve Replacement

If your tricuspid or pulmonary valve has abnormalities which require surgical intervention and they cannot be repaired, then the valve needs to be replaced. 

As with the other types of valve replacements, you’ll either get an artificial heart valve or a tissue valve  from a pig, cow or a human.  As mentioned above, there a pros and cons to each type of valve and while the artificial valves are expected to last longer than the tissue valves, artificial valves require life long use of blood thinning medications which have their own underwriting issues. 

Regardless of the type of valve you’ve had placed, the results of all cardiac testing after the valve replacement in addition to your overall health will determine the rate for which you’ll qualify.   

A 6 to 12 month waiting period after successful tricuspid or pulmonary valve replacement will be required before you could qualify for coverage. 

Below are some estimates of what you could expect to pay for life insurance after your successful tricuspid or pulmonary heart valve replacement with good health otherwise.

These are all 20 year guaranteed level rates for $250,000 of life insurance and are MONTHLY rates:

                 MALE         FEMALE
Age 30:     $36                $31
Age 40:     $42                $36
Age 50:     $98                $73
Age 60:     $267              $145
Age 70:     $650              $552

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Bottom Line

There are no better rates available to you than we can offer from the 121 plus insurance companies that we deal with.

Every week we shop dozens of really tough cardiac cases to every life insurance company to narrow down which will be best. 

Feel free to call us at 1-800-380-3533, email us or simply complete the information in quote link above and we will find you the best offer possible.

It won’t cost you anything to find out what life insurance will cost you!

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