Getting Approved For Life Insurance With Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

by Jeff Rose on July 25, 2012

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Life InsuranceCongestive heart failure (CHF), can be a scary term to hear for many people.

This term does not mean that you are about to die, it just refers to a condition where your heart is unable to supply the body with sufficient oxygenated blood.

Being up front about any problem you have will allow you to be placed with a carrier that will suit your condition the best. There are some carriers that cover heart disease more aggressively than other companies.

Getting approved for life insurance with congestive heart failure is not impossible. In some cases if it is controlled and you have been improving, standard rates will apply.

What Impact With CHF Have On Life Insurance Underwriting ?

For CHF, the more information available, the better the underwriting assessments will be. Underwriters depend heavily on how much information is available and what the underlying cause is for the symptoms. Some information that is very helpful to underwriters are:

  • EKGs
  • Current stress tests
  • Echocardiograms (with Ejection Fractions)

For newly diagnosed cases, a full cardiovascular work up is critical. Congestive Heart Failure ratings are determined by what caused the condition. If cause is unknown, underwriting will be postponed until a cause is found. It is also highly important to see what steps you have made to treat the condition, and how well treatments have worked.

A good Ejection Fraction (EF), can be the difference between a standard rating and a lower table rating. The EF measure how much blood volume is pumped effectively with each heart beat. EF measure of 55% or higher can often be underwritten at standard rates, if stable. An EF reading between 40% – 50% is moderately rated. Severe ratings are to be expected with readings below 40%.

Getting approved with congestive heart failure at a reading below 40% can be difficult, but as long as the underlying causes has been treated successfully and recovery is underway with increasing EF readings, it is possible.

Underwriter Questions for Congestive Heart Failure

Before applying for life insuranceit’s important that you have all your information handy.   We’ll want to get as much information about your heart condition before proceed to match you with the right carrier.  Some basic questions that your underwriter will ask are:

  • Date of diagnosis
  • What conditions was diagnosed that lead to CHF
  • Dates of test or procedures that have been done to evaluate the condition
  • Most recent Ejection Fraction (EF) reading
  • Immediate family history of heart disease or premature death due to heart disease
  • Name of medications and usage

Here are some sample quotes for standard rates and different table rating for a 20 year $250,000 policy, (price is quoted as annual premium):


Note: Anytime you go up a table rating, expect a 25% increase on your insurance premium.


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