Can You Qualify for Life Insurance if You Have Had a Heart Attack?
Yes! The good news is, if you previously had a heart attack, there are still great life insurance options available to you.
If you’ve experienced a heart attack in the past or have a family history of heart disease, learn how you can protect your loved ones financially with life insurance.
What is a Heart Attack?
A heart attack, also called myocardial infarction, occurs when a section of the heart doesn’t receive the oxygen-rich blood that it needs due to blockages of vessels.1 When blood is unable to flow to the heart, it causes that part of the heart to begin to die, and as a result the person has a heart attack.1 In some cases, a heart attack can be fatal depending on how long it takes for blood flow to be restored.1
Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attacks
Here are the common signs and symptoms of a heart attack. If you experience any of these, call 9-1-1 or an emergency number immediately.1
- Chest discomfort (pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness)
- Upper body discomfort (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, or back)
- Shortness of breath
- Light headedness
Risk Factors for Heart Attack
Many of the risk factors for heart attacks are controllable and are related to lifestyle choices:1
- Unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
- Unhealthy weight
- Excessive alcohol and drug abuse
How Heart Attacks Affect Canadians
There are an estimated 70,000 heart attacks each year in Canada – that’s one every seven minutes!2 Meanwhile, men are also two times more likely to suffer a heart attack than women.3 The Heart and Stroke Foundation is conducting ground-breaking research to help improve outcomes for Canadians who have had a heart attack.
Women and Heart Attacks
Heart disease is the leading cause of premature death in women, yet research disparities between the genders means women’s hearts are still misunderstood. Unfortunately, when it comes to heart disease women are under-researched and underdiagnosed. The unique physiology of the female heart makes prevention and treatment for heart disease challenging.
Women will often recognize classic heart attack symptoms such as crushing chest pain.1 However, symptoms like nausea, sudden fatigue or shortness of breath are not frequently recognized by women as signs of a heart attack.1 This can result in a delay in accessing emergency care, which means they are less likely to receive immediate treatment.1
Even if you have a family history of heart disease, there are several lifestyle adjustments that can go a long way towards helping to prevent a heart attack. Changing your diet and exercise regimens can be effective to improving your overall health.1 Reducing or eliminating unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol will also limit the strain upon your heart, lowering your chance of a heart attack.1
Treatment Options for Heart Attack
Treatment options will vary depending on the severity of the heart attack. However, with all forms of treatment, the sooner the better. You may require surgery or need medications. Click here for a full list of treatment options for heart attack.
Life Insurance Options
This traumatic and serious condition may have you thinking about how you can protect your loved ones financially in the event that you suffer complications after a heart attack.
Purchasing life insurance can provide the peace of mind that if you were to pass away unexpectedly, your loved ones wouldn’t be burdened by your debts. Whether it’s helping your loved ones cover your funeral expenses, make mortgage payments, or pay for your children’s post-secondary education, there are plenty of things a life insurance benefit can help with.
Permanent versus Term Life Insurance
When shopping around for the right life insurance for you, there are two options to choose from. Permanent life insurance provides coverage for the duration of your life, until you pass away. Your premiums are locked in at the time you purchased your policy. In contrast, term life insurance provides coverage for the duration of the term (usually 10, 20, 25, or 30 years) whereby when it ends, you must either renew or let it lapse.
No Medical Life Insurance
No medical life insurance provides coverage with a hassle-free application process. If you aren’t keen on traditional life insurance, which involves a lengthy application process including medical exams, then no medical life insurance may be the better option for you. There are no medical exams or tests (no needles or drawing of fluids). Simply answer some health-related questions and get your policy issued in just a few days. If you have history of heart attacks or you are at an increased risk of a heart attack, then no medical life insurance is a great option since it can allow you to get covered quickly, providing protection to your family.
Critical Illness Insurance
Critical illness insurance is a living benefit that can provide financial relief to you during a challenging time. If you have any risk factors, consider buying critical illness insurance early since heart attack can strike at any time. It can provide an extra financial cushion if you need income replacement for time taken off work or hiring a support worker to help care for you at your home. You can use your benefit to pay for anything you want. Think about how you’ll protect yourself and loved ones while you’re being treated or recovering from a heart attack.
One of the reasons why critical illness insurance offers great protection is because other types of financial relief – such as typical Disability Insurance – will not cover you if you are deemed able to work. Further, any existing insurance benefits offered by your employer may be capped, and Employment Insurance will only provide coverage for a maximum of 15 weeks (this can vary by province). Therefore, critical illness insurance can provide peace of mind that you’ll have enough financial support following a heart attack, no matter how long the road to recovery is.
Canada Protection Plan offers No Medical and Simplified Issue Life Insurance, helping those who previously had a heart attack financially protect their loved ones.
- 1 https://www.heartandstroke.ca/heart/conditions/heart-attack
- 2 https://www.heartandstroke.ca/what-we-do/media-centre/news-releases/monday-highlights-from-the-canadian-cardiovascular-congress
- 3 https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/heart-disease-canada.html