More than 1.1 million Americans live with a pacemaker. That number is large enough that the life insurance industry has moved to accommodate hundreds of thousands of people who have pacemakers and need coverage.
If you have a pacemaker, the important takeaway is that you will not be automatically rejected for a life insurance policy.
As pacemakers have become more common among the population, and as technology has made great strides, the device has no longer resulted in an automatic life insurance decline.
It is very likely that you will be charged a higher premium, but even that may not be as high as you think.
What is a pacemaker?
A pacemaker is a small device that is implanted under the skin of the chest and is used to control your heartbeat. It helps your heart beat more regularly if you have an irregular heartbeat, or if your heartbeat is slow.
There are several types of pacemakers.
Single chamber pacemakers
A single chamber pacemaker has electrical impulses. to the right ventricle of your heart, while a dual-chamber pacemaker carries electrical impulses to the right ventricle and right ventricle, to help control the timing of contractions between the two chambers.
The third type is the biventricular pacemaker, also called cardiac synchronization therapy.
It is for people with heart failure from abnormal electrical systems. It stimulates the lower chambers of the heart, including the right and left chambers, to streamline the heartbeat.
In some cases, pacemakers are temporarily implanted. This may include several weeks or months after heart surgery.
In other cases, they are used permanently to help manage an ongoing heart disease.
Pacemakers are battery powered and batteries can last between five and 1
How life insurance companies consider applicants with a pacemaker
Life insurance companies do not evaluate an applicant based on whether he or she has a pacemaker or not.
Of much greater interest are the underlying conditions that made the pacemaker necessary.
For example, some of the underlying conditions that a pacemaker will be used to regulate include atrial fibrillation ("afib"), heart failure, cardiomyopathy, slow heartbeat, coronary heart disease, congenital heart block or syncope.
Each underlying permit is assessed according to the way the insurance company considers the specific permit and rated accordingly.
Age Who P acemaker was implanted
The age at which the pacemaker was implanted plays an important role in determining your premium level. The older you are at the time of application, the more favorable the life insurance company will take.
For example, it is likely that you will receive a better premium rating if a pacemaker is inserted after the age of 60 than you would if it were implanted before the age of 40.
Length you have had the pacemaker
Insurance companies also look for how long you have used the pacemaker. As a rule, they will want to know that you have used it for at least 90 days and one year before you are eligible for coverage.
This gives the insurance company an opportunity to assess the pacemaker's effectiveness in treating the underlying health condition.
Of course, the insurance company will also address heart-related problems that are not successfully treated by the pacemaker.
All independent health conditions
the existence of any unrelated, pre-existing conditions would also be a factor.
And because a pacemaker handles your heart, they will want to know if you have ever experienced a heart attack or stroke, or if or not any of your parents or siblings have experienced either.
Other factors to consider include your current height and weight, ongoing tobacco use and how often you seek medical treatment and monitoring of your underlying condition.
Can I Get Life Insurance With A Pacemaker?
In most cases the answer will be certifiable yes! The purpose of the pacemaker is to successfully manage and treat your underlying condition.
If this happens, your application will likely be approved. The only real issue is the premium rate they charge for your policy.
Due to the health conditions that require the use of a pacemaker, it is usually necessary to go through a complete, medically signed application process to determine exactly what your premium will be.
You may get an "estimate of ball parks", but it will not be anything more than that. A full medical insurance could reveal a different result – either higher or lower on the premium.
If you get your pacemaker after the age of 60, your underlying condition is well managed and you are otherwise in good or excellent health, you may qualify
This means you will not get the best prices that the company offers ( preferred plus, preferred or standard plus), but you will still be at the lower end of the premium spectrum.  If you received your pacemaker before the age of 60 and you have other health conditions, or if your underlying condition has not been fully addressed by the pacemaker, you are likely to qualify for substandard grades.
These are also commonly referred to as table ratings, which are used by insurance companies to calculate premiums for those considered to have below-average health.
A typical life insurance company will have a table valuation chart that gives 10 different individual ratings. Each one will increase the premium by 25% to adjust for the higher risk associated with your overall health.
For example, if you receive a table rating of 1 (or A), your premium will be 25% higher than a standard premium level. If you receive a table rating of 2 (or B), your contribution will be increased by 50% above the standard premium level.
In extreme cases, a cable rating of 10 will result in a premium message that is 250% higher than the standard interest rate.
Undoubtedly, grades in the table will lead to higher premiums. But it will be a way to get life insurance coverage, albeit at a higher cost. However, you can at least partially compensate for the cost factor by taking a small death benefit.
Improving Your Life Insurance Approval Chance With A Pacemaker
If you have a pacemaker, the most important strategy you can implement is to make sure you apply to the right life insurance company. Accept it. We will discuss more about that topic in the next section.
It will be important for you to have regular follow-up visits with your cardiologist and other healthcare professionals. You must also be diligent in handling other therapies, including the use of medications.
It is at least as important to ensure that your overall health is where it needs to be. In addition to the condition that requires the pacemaker, you improve your chances of getting life insurance with the lowest possible premium rate by doing the following:
- Avoid smoking. If you smoke, you can join a smoking cessation program. You normally need to be smoke-free for at least two years to get better premium rates.
- Drive carefully. A pattern of mishap accidents or variable violations over the past three to five years will result in a higher contribution, regardless of other factors in your insurance profile.
- Maintain good credit. Bad credit has been associated with higher risk (stress, depression, etc.).
- Maintain the correct body weight. Obesity or even obesity will lead to a higher premium.
- Work closely with the care profession. Insurance companies are encouraged when applicants are proactive in managing their own health.
Following the above habits will not make your pacemaker mindset disappear. But it will minimize the impact and show that you are otherwise an excellent applicant.
Applying for life insurance with a pacemaker
We touched on this briefly above, but it's worth a deeper discussion here. Applying with the right life insurance company is mission critical if you have a pacemaker.
There is no standard remuneration for a pacemaker – or any other health condition – in the life insurance industry.
Some companies look more favorable, others more neutral, while others are still very negative. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people.
If you are not familiar with the life insurance industry, you do not know which companies are likely to approve your application with low premiums.  As a life insurance broker, that's what we do all day. We know exactly which companies to work with if you have a pacemaker or if you have any other complication in your insurance profile that makes you other than the "perfect applicant."
We work with dozens of life insurance providers and can limit the field to the handful that are most likely to give the lowest premiums. We can even shop your profile through several companies to arrive at the best.
None of these efforts will cost you more in premium than you would pay if you buy coverage directly from the supplier. We are reimbursed directly from the insurance companies, which does not affect the premium you pay at all.
And do not worry if you have previously applied for life insurance and have been denied due to your pacemaker. . It is quite likely that you have applied with the wrong company, or one that does life insurance only as part of a portfolio of insurance products.
If you have a pacemaker, you need specialization, not the company that sets the lowest premiums for the healthiest applicants.
* While we make every effort to keep our site up to date, you should be aware that "current" information on this site, such as quotes or relevant company information, may only be accurate from the last day of editing. Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services and its representatives do not provide legal or tax advice. Please contact your own legal or tax advisor.