Life insurance for someone with atrial fibrillation

Someone with atrial fibrillation needs life insurance

Someone who has atrial fibrillation (AFib) may experience difficulty getting life insurance or getting it at an affordable price. This is because many people with also have complications that can lead to a premature death. And, not surprisingly, life insurers will either not want to take the risk at all; or will want to charge extra premium to cover the extra risk.

So what exactly is atrial fibrillation?

A normal heart will contract and relax to a regular beat. This regular beat move the blood into the heart and pumps it out to the rest of the body. With AFib the heartbeat becomes irregular. And this irregularity can cause a few problems.   

What are the problems AF causes?

When your heart rhythm is off your heart may not be able to keep up with your body’s needs. It may have to work extra hard. And this extra work can cause heart failure. The AFib flutter can cause blood to pool in your heart. If this pooled blood forms a clot, it could break off and travel to the brain; causing a stroke. And a stroke can mean premature death; which life insurers are trying to avoid.

But heart failure and stroke are not the only problems; just the most major. AFib usually travels with bad company like high blood pressure, cardiac artery disease, lung disease, and sleep apnea.

Additionally, some therapies can increase the risk of sudden death. Since blood pooling and clotting is a major problem, a standard therapy if to offer anticoagulant (blood thinner) medicine. Blood that is less resistant to clotting can cause someone to ‘bleed out’ after an injury or internal bleeding. But for many people the the risk of a bleed out is preferred than the risk of a stroke.

All in all people with AFib have a higher incidence of premature death which is why life insurers will want extra premium in order to take on the extra risk. Yet, some Afib cases are considered more risky than others.

What do life insurers want to know about someone’s Afib?

The life insurers will want to know whether the Afib is paroxysmal (intermittent) or chronic. They will also want to know if there is underlying heart disease or lung disease.

Someone with paroxysmal AFib with infrequent episodes and no underlying heart or lung disease could get as good as a standard rate. Whereas someone with chronic Afib and underlying heart or lung disease could be declined.

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