Burial Insurance After a Heart Attack: A Full Breakdown

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Did you know even if you’ve been declined from life insurance because of a recent heart attack, burial insurance is still available to you?

Though burial insurance covers a smaller ranger of benefits than life insurance, it still envelops final expenses to ensure you or your beneficiaries are taken care of in their final moments.

Furthermore, the persistent myth that burial insurance is outrageously expensive or borderline impossible after a heart attack is blatantly false. Affordable options are always available – never let an agent or insurance provider tell you otherwise.

Though there may be a waiting period for full benefit, you do not have to declare bankruptcy to secure burial insurance. 

In this article, we’re going to look at what insurers look for in terms of coverage and how you can find the best option for both your financial and personal needs. 

First and foremost, there are three types of coverage plans you could qualify for:

  • Level benefit
  • Graded 
  • Guaranteed issue 

The policy you fall under depends on how many health issues you suffer from and most importantly, how much time has elapsed since your last heart attack.

Carriers often work in the time frame of 12-24 months to determine your level of benefits. However, if your attack was more recent than a year, there are still options open to you. Let’s go over each scenario:

If you are still being treated for a heart attack or had one within the last year, a waiting period of 2-3 years for full benefits is unavoidable. Nevertheless, you still may qualify for the guaranteed issue.

The reason being is that these plans are the only ones available that require no medical underwriting (ie,mandatory health questioning).

You would be charged 10% interest if the person insured passed away during the waiting period, but accidental health is covered from the moment you sign. 

If you have multiple health conditions and are concerned no policy will want to take you on, don’t worry! Gradedpolicies are here for this reason.

The carrier will pay a portion of the amount, increasing their disbursement each year, until the 4th year of coverage, when they will cover the full amount. 

Note: Do NOT wait 2 years before getting a policy. In the event of another heart attack or unseen circumstance, you’ll want to get covered as quickly as possible. 

Let’s say you’re between 12 and 24 months. There are carriers that have these policies available, provided you do not have other health issues that would prevent qualification. 

If your heart attack occurred over 24 months ago, you’ll be treated as if you never had one at all: full benefit at the lowest price with no waiting period.

This is the level benefit policy, very similar to level benefit life insurance plans. These plans are not permanent and are affordable with reliable costs.  

Note: No matter the time frame, you will never be asked for a physical exam or EKG results. 

It is important to understand that unless you have a guaranteed issue, insurance plans will require medical underwriting: a set of medical questions to uncover if you have any other health issue or risk in order to determine your coverage. 

Let’s Go More into More Depth of What Can be Expected in this Process: 

Questions will vary depending on what specific provider you go to, but there are various ones that you can almost certainly expect to see, for example, if you suffer from any other severe medical conditions such as dialysis, cancer, congestive heart failure, Alzheimer’s, as well as many other illnesses.

They will inquire if you have a history of diabetes or high blood pressure, if you live in an assisted living facility, or if you can function on your own.

Questions you may also want to consider are how many heart attacks you’ve had and if you’ve had any chest pains since your last attack. 

One of the most prominent questions regards medications. Insurers will go over your prescription history. If you are on any sort of blood thinner, it will prompt a carrier to assume you have had a heart attack within their specified time frame.

Subsequent questions can be quite detailed, including how often your medication is filled and if there have been any gaps in refills. Some companies will work with you regardless of your medications, including blood thinners, but will require extra analysis. 

We’ve discussed different plans and what they require, but what about actually choosing a provider? With so many different insurance companies out there, it can be very difficult to know you’re getting the best deal that serves you.

You also hear about insurance scams and unreliable companies that either have horrific customer service, so your problems never get solved, or just take your money and run. There are a few things you can do about this: 

One way to solve this dilemma is to find an agent, ideally one who specializes in burial insurance.

This is an important distinction to make since many agents who do not know the field well will not be able to find a plan for you if your qualifications are abnormal, or will try to saddle you with a guaranteed plan when you qualify for something better.

Another reason a burial insurance agent is especially helpful is if your heart attack occurred between 12-24 months ago.

Most companies look at 2-3 years of your history, but there are specific ones that only go back a year. Your agent can help you find those few and far between companies, so you’ll have a better plan while waiting out the extra year to qualify for full benefits and coverage.

An agent can also help ensure you stay within budget and don’t get caught up in extra, unexpected fees.

Keep in mind that to find you the best plan, agents will most likely have a set of questions you’ll need to answer, including but not limited to: the last time you had an attack, how many attacks you’ve had, if you’ve ever had a prescription for nitro pills, if you had to have surgery for your attack (and if so, when), as well as what specifically you were prescribed for your heart attack.

Because there are scam artists out there, it is advisable to do heavy research before giving out any sort of personal information, medical or otherwise. Levison and Associates has a good reputation as an agency, as does Superior Mutual.

If finding an agent doesn’t interest you, there are many companies that are well known specifically for their burial and funeral insurance policies you can look into on your own. 

Gerber Life Insurance, for instance, boasts great guaranteed plans – you’ll get accepted no matter your health restrictions.

Mutual of Omaha rates well in level benefit and graded policies – some of their plans even include added benefits at no additional cost. 

American Life Memorial and Lincoln Heritage also rate well in burial insurance policies. 

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you do your research to ensure whomever you pick is best for YOU. The more knowledge you have, the better choice you’ll make, and the quicker you’ll know if someone isn’t trustworthy. No matter your situation or when you had a heart attack, there is an option out there that will work for you. It’s never fun, but necessary, and there are resources to help you with every step.

About Al Kushner
Al Kushner
He is a recognized financial educator, best-selling author, speaker, underwriting specialist and the founder & CEO of Superior Mutual, an independent insurance agency. He has helped families and individuals preserve, protect, and pass on a legacy since 1986. His mission is helping hard working seniors keep more of what they have worked a lifetime to save.

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