Getting life insurance for stroke survivors can be challenging at times. If you know anyone who has had a stroke, you know how devastating this medical condition can be. Many years ago my father and I were at the State Fair when he suddenly started not feeling well.
My father had numbness radiating down his arm and became tired and weak. He was always having a physical challenge with his body after decades of manual work, so I was not too concerned (here’s the truth – I was ignorant of the signs of a stroke or heart attack!).
I took my father home and carried on with my day. I called a few hours later, and he was confused and disoriented on the phone. I rushed to his home and immediately took him to the hospital; he was diagnosed with having had a stroke.
Although I was slow to recognize what had occurred, the doctors said I had gotten him in the nick of time. They performed critical medical treatment on him, and he has since fully recovered. We were both lucky that day!
What is a stroke?
A stroke occurs when the blood flow to a certain area of the brain is stopped. When the blood stops flowing, the brain cells are no longer supplied with life supplying oxygen and they begin to die.
When your brain cells die because of a stroke, the areas controlled by that area of your brain (such as memory and muscle control) are temporarily or permanently affected. Often, critical body functions needed for daily activity are lost.
People are affected differently by a stroke. It depends on where the stroke occurred in the brain and to what extent the brain is damaged.
Somebody with a minor stroke might only have a small loss of body function, such as temporary weakness in an arm or a leg. People with major strokes may be completely and/or permanently paralyzed on the left or right side of their body. They may lose the ability to speak.
People often recover from having a stroke, but over 2/3 of stroke survivors will have a permanent disability.
What are some numbers about stroke events?
- Around 800,000 people a year are diagnosed with a new stroke or recurrent stroke.
- Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds.
- Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death United States (killing approximately 130,000 people a year).
- One death will occur every four minutes from stroke.
- Almost 80% of strokes can be prevented.
- Strokes are the leading cause of disability in adults in the United States
- Strokes are equal opportunity events; they affect both men and women, but women or more likely to have a stroke.
There are three types of stroke:
HEMORRHAGIC STROKE – This is where an artery in the brain ruptures or a weakened blood vessel leaks blood (hemorrhagic) in the brain cavity. The leaking blood within the brain cavity will exert too much pressure on the brain cells, which will damage or kill your brain cells. This is the least common type of stroke, but it is the one that will most often result in the death of the patient.
ISCHEMIC STROKE – This is where a blood vessel that carries blood to the brain becomes blocked by a blood clot. These types of strokes account for approximately 85% of strokes.
WHAT IS TIA? Transient ischemic attack – when the blood flowing to a part of your brain stops for a short period of time, this is called a transient ischemic attack (TIA). TIAs typically last fewer than 24 hours before they disappear on their own.
- A TIA is a warning sign for future strokes. A TIA is a medical emergency, and you should seek immediate medical help.
- Over 1/3 of all people with a TIA will have a major stroke within one year if they have received no medical treatment. 10 to 15% of people who have had a TIA will have a major stroke within three months.
Life insurance for stroke survivors, can I get life insurance?
Can I get life insurance after a stroke? Yes, life insurance for stroke survivors is available! The severity of the stroke, the time that has passed since you had your stroke, and your current level of impairment (or lack thereof), will affect the type of life insurance plan for which you can qualify.
For slight or no physical impairment, term policies may be a good fit. For more significant levels of impairment, whole life products are often a good fit. And for severe levels of impairment, there are always guaranteed issue life insurance policies available.
What will the insurance companies want to know about my stroke and current health status?
- The date you were diagnosed
- Your specific diagnosis
- Initial tests and follow-up tests (CT Scan, MRI, EKG, ultrasound tests, etc.)
- What age you were diagnosed with a stroke
- If you have had more than one stroke
- The severity of the stroke, and any residual symptoms
- What medicines you are taking and how frequently
- Lifestyle choices – dietary habits, following doctor’s medical treatment plan, exercise program, etc.
- Your complete medical treatment plan
- Any underlying health or medical conditions (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.)
- How well-controlled your high blood pressure is (if any)
- If you use any tobacco products
Life insurance for stroke survivors – what if I have been declined for life insurance after a stroke?
You probably had the wrong life insurance agent or agency working for you! There are plenty of life insurance companies out there who will be happy to offer you post-stroke life insurance. You can qualify for a term life policy, a universal life policy, a whole life policy, or a guaranteed issue policy.
Remember many life insurance companies specialize in different medical and physical problems. Some insurance companies will have more favorable underwriting requirements than other companies.
Remember, if you save one table rating by going with another insurance company, that will save you 25% on your life insurance premium! Check out our life insurance table ratings article for more information. Here is a picture that shows you what impact table ratings can have on your life insurance premiums:
Life insurance for stroke patients – how can I get better rates?
There are several things you can do if you have had a stroke to get more favorable life insurance premiums:
- If you control your diet and exercise levels, maintain a good build (height vs. weight), and maintain your blood pressure at lower levels, this will help you qualify for lower insurance premiums.
- If you regularly follow up with your doctor and are diligent in following your doctor’s treatment plan, this will help you qualify for lower insurance premiums.
- If you follow all treatment and rehabilitation plans as specified by your doctor or physical therapist, this will help you qualify for lower stroke patient life insurance premiums. The less physical impairment you have, the better life insurance candidate you will be to an insurance company.
- Make sure your doctors maintain up-to-date records of your medications, treatment plans, and medical and physical progress. Insurance companies will review your medical records and this will help them understand that as your health changes for the better, you will become a better-qualified life insurance applicant for them.
Life insurance for stroke survivors – when is the best time to get life insurance if I already had a stroke?
Does life insurance cover stroke victims? Yes, but the best time is to get life insurance is before you have had a stroke; getting life insurance post-stroke will always be more difficult…and expensive!
We never know what tomorrow will hold for us, and after you’ve had a stroke, your life insurance premiums will be much more expensive. Get insured now!
If you have already had a stroke, the next best time to get life insurance is now. If you have had a stroke, you are more susceptible to having a stroke later in life. Insurance companies will always look at a single event stroke more favorably than multiple stroke events.
Get the life insurance you need and can afford, right now. As time goes on, and your medical diagnosis improves, we can always help you apply to different insurance companies to get a more favorable life insurance premium.
Remember, for each stroke related table rating, you will save an additional 25% on your insurance premiums.
A $10 savings each month will save you $2,400 for the life of a 20-year term insurance policy.
There are a lot of possibilities with life insurance if you are a stroke victim.
Getting life insurance for stroke survivors is possible! Getting life insurance for stroke patients is possible! Getting life insurance after a mini stroke is possible! Getting life insurance after a major stroke is possible!
Getting term life insurance after a stroke is possible. Getting whole life insurance after a stroke is possible! Getting universal life insurance after a stroke is possible!
Call us, and we can help you get your family or business protected!