Is Life Insurance Available to Pacemakers?

You’ve always done your best to take care of your family. Even if you died, you’d like that to stay the same.

No matter what style you choose, a funeral costs a lot these days. And, of course, all the normal costs of living still have to be paid. When your family is sad, they don’t need more stress.


So, you’re thinking about getting burial and life insurance, but…

You are one of the 3 million people worldwide who have a pacemaker.

You may be worried about whether or not you can get burial insurance or life insurance if you have a pacemaker. If they do cover you, how much will it cost?

First, let’s put your mind at ease.

Even if you have a pacemaker, you can still get insurance.

Some companies’ rates may change as the process changes.

But don’t worry, because we’ll tell you everything you need to know about getting burial or life insurance when you have a pacemaker.


What Exactly Is a Pacemaker?

A pacemaker is a small piece of electronics put into your chest. It gets your heart beating at the right speed.

If the heart beats too fast or too slow, a pacemaker might be needed to fix the problem. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Heart block
  • After a heart attack
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome
  • Bradycardia
  • Heart failure

Putting in a pacemaker is a pretty straightforward surgery. A small cut will be made in the chest, and a wire that looks like a noodle will be put into the heart through a vein. This checks the rhythm of the heart.

The surgeon makes sure the wires are in the right place and then hooks them up to a generator that runs on batteries. Then, the device is set up to make your heartbeat at the correct rate. Once that is set, the pacemaker is put into a small pocket under your collarbone.

Most likely, you will have to stay in the hospital overnight so that the medical staff can make sure the pacemaker is working. After that, most of your follow-up care will be done by phone or computer.

A pacemaker insertion is a heart or circulatory surgery, and we’ll talk more about why this is important later.


If You Have a Pacemaker, the Type You Have Doesn’t Matter

There are two kinds of pacemakers: those with one chamber and those with two.

A single-chamber pacemaker only has one wire on the right side of the heart, either in the upper or lower chamber.

A pacemaker with two chambers has a wire in the right upper chamber and a lead in the right lower section.

The two kinds of pacemakers are treated the same by insurance companies. It’s doubtful that an insurance company will ask you what type you have.

So you don’t need to be worried about this.

How Long Has It Been Since Your Pacemaker Was Put In?

Having a pacemaker isn’t seen as a big risk by companies that offer final expenses or life insurance. Its age will affect how it’s underwritten.

How long it’s been since you got your pacemaker will affect your premiums and how long you might wait to get full coverage.

We’ll talk more about this in the section about rates below.

What About Battery Changes?

Pacemaker batteries can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, but they need to be changed every 6–7 years on average. Changing the batteries in a pacemaker is a simple outpatient procedure. You probably won’t even spend the night in the hospital unless you have other health problems.

Some burial and life insurance companies will count changing the battery in a pacemaker as surgery on the heart or circulatory system, while others will not.

This makes it very important to choose the right broker. A good insurance broker will know which insurance companies consider changing the battery in a pacemaker to be surgery and can point you to those that don’t.


Process of Applying for Insurance

People with pacemakers rarely can’t get insurance as long as their other health problems are stable.

How to apply for burial insurance or life insurance can be a little different from one company to the next, but here’s what you can usually expect.

All kinds of insurance companies will ask you about the drugs and alcohol you have used in the past.

Your insurance company will also look at your prescription drugs. From this list, they can tell what illnesses you have now or have had in the past by looking at the medicines you were given to treat them.

Questions and Answers About Your Pacemaker’s Health

An insurance company may or may not ask if you have a pacemaker, but they will ask if you have had any recent heart or blood vessel surgeries. As was already said, putting in a pacemaker does count as surgery.

The good news is that most questions also tell you how long you have to answer. Most contracts are for 12 or 24 months.

If you had surgery or changed the battery on your generator outside of the time frame given in the question, you can honestly say “No.”

Being honest is the most important thing. Again, you probably won’t be turned down for life insurance or burial insurance just because you have a pacemaker.

What if They Want to See My Medical History?

Most companies don’t ask for your medical records, but there are times when it could be helpful to give them to them.

How Much Will It Cost and How Long Will It Take?

As was already said, the most significant factor in how much your burial insurance or life insurance will cost is how long it has been since your pacemaker was put in.

Insurance companies will probably see you as a higher risk, but that shouldn’t stop you from applying.

Now, it’s a little hard to figure out the actual costs. The amount, type, and length of the insurance will all play a role. Even if you don’t have a pacemaker, this is still true.

But in general, if you are one of the following, you can expect this.

My Doctor Just Told Me I Need a Pacemaker

If your cardiologist just told you, you need a pacemaker or are in the hospital. You may have to wait before applying.

After the pacemaker is put in and you’ve been to a few follow-up appointments, you’ll fall into one of the following groups.

My Pacemaker Was Implanted a Year Ago

You can still get a life or final expense insurance if your pacemaker was put in less than a year ago, but you will have to pay a slightly higher premium (usually 15–30% more).

You might also have to wait for two years. If you die during this time, the insurance company will give your beneficiaries a refund of your premium and some interest. You will have regular coverage after two years.

Even though your premiums will go up and you will have to wait, an experienced insurance agency can look at your situation again after a year. You might be able to get a lower rate and full coverage right away without waiting.

I Have Had My Pacemaker for Over a Year

When you tell an insurance company about your health, they will usually look back two years. But some companies that sell burial and life insurance only look back one year.

A good insurance agent will be able to point you in the right direction.

If someone asks if you’ve had surgery on your heart or blood vessels in the past year, you can honestly say “no.” If you don’t have any other health problems, you could expect normal rates and coverage right away.

Even if you tell them about your pacemaker surgery, your premiums won’t go up as much, and you won’t have to wait as long. And after two years, your agent can look at the situation again.

My Pacemaker Was Implanted Over 24 Months Ago

Congratulations, you should no longer have to worry about the pacemaker.

Except for the most strict ones, all companies will give you their standard life insurance or burial insurance rates. And of the few that won’t, your agent can help you stay away from them.

You should be able to get the insurance that covers you right away and has the lowest possible premium.


Don’t let the fact that you have a pacemaker stop you from getting burial or life insurance.

Even if you have a pacemaker, you can still get reasonable rates and terms.

It is essential to find the right insurance broker to work with.

An insurance agent with a lot of experience will have worked with many companies over the years and helped many people in the same situation as you.

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