2024 Burial Insurance after a Heart Attack

The key to getting the best final expense plan after a heart attack is to find which burial insurance carrier will give you 1st-day coverage. With 1st-day coverage, our burial insurance plan can also be used for all life insurance, cremation, or final expense needs.

The challenge is finding the right heart attack-friendly high-risk insurance company to provide the best rates for your condition.

This article will discuss what to expect if you have a heart attack and how to qualify for the best final expense insurance coverage.


What Is Heart Attack?

A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction, is a serious medical emergency that happens when the flow of blood to a part of the heart muscle is blocked, depriving it of oxygen. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, the affected heart muscle starts to die. Heart attacks are a leading cause of death worldwide.

The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is a condition in which fatty deposits called plaque build up on the inner walls of the coronary arteries. These plaques narrow the arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart muscle.

Treatment for a heart attack will depend on the severity of the blockage and the damage to the heart muscle. It may include medications to dissolve blood clots, procedures to open blocked arteries, and lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of future heart attacks.

Having a heart attack can make getting life insurance more challenging, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be denied. The heart attack’s severity, age, and other health conditions will all influence your premium.

Can I Get Burial Insurance After A Heart Attack? 

Yes, you can get life insurance, cremation insurance, burial insurance, or final expense life insurance after a heart attack. Your life insurance option will depend on the time that lapsed since your last heart attack and the severity of your condition.

There are two types of burial insurance available to people who have had heart attack:


Level coverage is a simplified issue burial insurance that covers you from the first day. You would qualify for this policy if your last heart attack was more than 12 months ago.

Burial insurance with no waiting period is generally cheaper than guaranteed issue life insurance. This plan does not have a waiting period, and your beneficiaries will be receiving the full death benefit when you pass away.


If your heart attack is very recent, meaning less than 12 months, guaranteed issue life insurance is your only option.

If you have other severe health conditions, then guaranteed issue burial insurance is perfect for you. These life insurance without health questions and no exam policies are the next best choice for heart attack patients who will not get through traditional life insurance underwriting.

You will be approved with a guaranteed issue or guaranteed acceptance life insurance regardless of your medical condition. They cost more than insurance policies with health questions, but they provide the protection you need.

You must live for the first two years before a guaranteed issue plan will pay for a natural cause of death. If you pass away during the waiting period, the company will return all your premiums to your beneficiaries with interest.

What Is My Best Insurance Option After A Heart Attack?

Your heart attack was over 12 months

Some burial insurance companies have a one-year look-back period for a heart attack. If your heart attack is over 12 months, we have insurance carriers that will offer level death benefits or immediate coverage. 

Best Option: Level Death Benefit Plan

We can help you get approved for life insurance with immediate coverage if your heart attack is over a year old and you have no other serious health issues.

Your last heart attack was over 24 months ago

Most insurance companies have a two-year lookback period on a heart attack. You have the best option if you had a heart attack more than two years ago.

Best Option: Level Death Benefit Plan

You qualify for level death benefit with most companies and can choose which company will offer you the best rates.

Recent heart attack (less than 12 months)

You could not avoid a waiting period if your last heart attack was within the last 12 months. If your heart attack is very recent, 12 months or less since your heart attack, your best policy option is to take a guaranteed issue no medical exam.

Best Option: Guaranteed Issue Burial Insurance

Guaranteed issue permanent life insurance will approve you regardless of your recent heart attack. It costs a bit more than a traditional policy, but it provides the protection you need.


Multiple heart attacks are considered to be a higher risk by insurance companies. Multiple heart attacks will only qualify you for a level death benefit plan if they occurred more than two years ago.

Your multiple heart attack is more than two years ago

Best Option: Level Death Benefit

Recent multiple heart attacks

Best Option: Guaranteed Issue Burial Insurance

A guaranteed acceptance policy is your best option if you have multiple recent heart attacks or a more severe form of heart failure or heart disease. 


Life insurance rejection will impact your record negatively because it will be reflected in the Medical Information Bureau (MIB), which keeps the information about approvals and denials. The life insurance company can access this information and influence your approval, resulting in higher premiums.

If you are declined life insurance because of your heart attack, we can help. Your best chance of being approved is with the help of an independent life insurance agency like Funeral Funds.

We will shop your case with multiple carriers to find the best plan.

We can get you a guaranteed issue policy if needed. These plans do not require a medical exam or health questionnaire; you can qualify regardless of your medical condition.

If you’ve been rejected for coverage in the past, we will help you apply with the right company and correct any wrong information in the MIB.

We can also reframe your application to include recent health improvements. If your insurance application was denied in the past, call us, and we will help you find the best option possible.


Life insurance premiums for smokers are twice that of non-smokers. This is because smokers have a higher risk of heart disease, repeat heart attacks, and premature death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that smokers have three times higher mortality than those who never smoked.

Best Life Insurance After Heart Attack

The best life insurance option after a heart attack depends on the timing and severity of your condition. If your heart attack was over 12 months ago and you have no other serious health issues, the best option for you is a level-death benefit plan. This type of life insurance plan offers immediate coverage and level-death benefits.

If your heart attack was within the last 12 months, you will have to go through a waiting period. In this case, the best policy option for you is a guaranteed issue final expense policy. Regardless of your recent heart attack, guaranteed issue life insurance companies will approve you, although it may cost a bit more than traditional term life insurance policies.

If you have multiple recent heart attacks or a more severe form of heart disease, your best option is a guaranteed issue burial insurance or a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. These insurance options do not require a medical exam or health questions, making them suitable for individuals who cannot qualify for a level death benefit plan.

Why Insurance Companies Care About Heart Attacks

The insurance companies know that a heart attack or myocardial infarction is very common in the U.S. In fact, it’s estimated that one happens every 40 seconds.

A heart attack is the number one cause of death in the country. 1 out of 3 deaths can be attributed to heart disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 730,000 heart attacks happen yearly. Most heart attack victims can recover from the first attack and live healthy lives for many years afterward. However, around 20% of patients aged 45 and older may have another heart attack within five years of their first attack.

Burial Insurance Underwriting If You Have a History of Heart Attack

Most (but not all) burial insurance companies ask some health questions on the application and perform a prescription history check to verify your health status.


Every burial insurance company with underwriting (health questions) will ask about recent heart attacks differently.

You will commonly see heart attack asked this way:

  • Have you been diagnosed or treated for a heart attack within the last 12 months?
  • Have you been diagnosed or treated for a heart attack within the last 2 years?

Most burial insurance companies ask about heart attacks within the last two years. Only a handful will have a one-year look-back period on a heart attack.


Insurance companies will also perform prescription history checks to verify your health status. The presence of heart attack medications or blood thinners will indicate that you had a heart attack.

Only a few drugs are explicitly used for heart attack patients. In most cases, they will see a prescription of blood thinners like Coumadin, Warfarin, or Plavix.

The insurance company will search for your prescription medication history to see if you have previously been prescribed these medications. If they find any, it will indicate you had a heart attack.

Here’s a list of common medications for heart attack:

  • Aspirin
  • Digoxin
  • Thrombolytics
  • Antiplatelet agents
  • Blood-thinning medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Beta-blockers
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Statins
  • Vasodilators
  • Warfarin

Taking blood thinners may affect your application approval as some companies are more restrictive for people taking blood thinners.

If you’re taking nitroglycerin or have an angina diagnosis, you will have difficulty qualifying for immediate coverage. With many burial insurance carriers, nitrate medications are an automatic decline. However, companies will still work with you, even though you’re taking blood thinners.

If your recent heart attack requires you to take a blood thinner for the rest of your life, we can still get you approved, but your premiums will likely be 20% higher due to the increased risk associated with the long-term use of blood thinner.

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost After A Heart Attack?

The cost of life insurance after a heart attack is determined by several factors: age, gender, state of residence, smoking status, and the type of policy you choose all contribute to the overall cost. Insurance companies assess these variables to determine the level of risk they are taking by insuring someone with a history of heart attacks and adjust premiums accordingly.


The cost of life insurance may vary depending on your age. If you are younger at the time of your heart attack, you may have more options for affordable life insurance policies. Insurance companies generally consider younger individuals lower risk, which can result in lower premiums.


Insurance companies consider statistical data that shows differences in heart condition and heart failure rates between men and women. Generally, men have a higher risk of heart disease and, therefore, may face higher insurance premiums compared to women.


Each state has its regulations and guidelines for insurance companies. Some states may have stricter regulations regarding coverage for individuals diagnosed with a heart attack or stroke. This could affect the availability and cost of life insurance.


Smoking status plays a critical role in determining rates. Insurance underwriters consider smoking as a high-risk factor, especially for individuals who have already had a heart attack.


The cost of life insurance will also depend on the level of coverage you can qualify for.  Level coverage plan with first-day coverage has a lower premium than guaranteed issue whole life insurance, which is more expensive.


The amount of coverage you need will influence the cost of life insurance. The higher the coverage amount, the higher the premium will be.

What Will We Ask You If You Had A Recent Heart Attack?

When applying for burial insurance coverage after a heart attack, you must provide as much information as possible. Your information will help us understand your current health and help us give you an accurate quote.

If you had a heart attack, we would ask you a series of health questions, which include:

  1. How many heart attacks did you have?
  2. When was your last heart attack?
  3. What medications do you take to treat your heart attack?
  4. What treatments were recommended to you?
  5. Are you taking nitro pills for the last two years?
  6. Do you experienced angina (chest pains) since the heart attack?
  7. Did you have any surgery like a heart bypass or stent placement because of your heart attack?
  8. Do you have other health conditions other than heart disease?

You need to be completely honest when you answer these questions. The more information you give, the better your chances of finding affordable coverage.

How Much Insurance Do I Need If I Had A Heart Attack?

The amount of burial insurance you need varies on your personal need, goals, and financial circumstances. 

Your burial insurance amount should cover your end-of-life expenses so that your family will not experience financial loss from your demise when you pass away.

Here are the steps to calculate your burial insurance needs:

1. Figure out your final expenses. Decide if you want to be buried or cremated. If you’re going to be buried when you leave this world, here are the average costs of funeral and burial expenses from the National Funeral Directors Association.

   *Request a general price list from your nearest funeral director to get an accurate price for each service you need.

2. Compute your other final expenses. Include your medical bills, outstanding debts, credit card debts, and other past-due accounts on your computation.

3. Add your burial or cremation cost with your other final expenses. Your final expense plus an allowance for inflation should be the amount of coverage to buy. The average burial cost today is around $10,000. It is wise to get at least $15,000 to cover inflation.

Life Insurance Payout After Heart Attack

Your life insurance payout will depend on the type of policy you have and the timing of your heart attack. The type of policy you have will determine how the payout is calculated and when it is paid out.

The timing of your heart attack can impact the life insurance payout. If you qualify for a level death benefit plan, your death benefit payout will start from the first day.

A guaranteed issue burial insurance policy will pay a death benefit after the first two years of the policy. If you die during the two-year waiting period, the insurance company will only return your premiums plus 7-10% interest.

How Can Funeral Funds Help Me?

Finding life insurance for seniors who have had heart attacks shouldn’t be a frustrating process; working with an independent agency like Funeral Funds will make the process easier and quicker. We know the right burial insurance carriers that only have a one-year lookback period on a heart attack.

If you have a health history of heart attack, let our licensed life insurance agents help you; we will work with you side by side to find the best life insurance companies for heart disease.

We will shop your case to different insurance carriers and get you the best price.

We will assist you in securing the coverage you need at a rate you can afford. So, if you are looking for heart attack funeral insurance, heart attack burial insurance, or heart attack life insurance, we can help.

Fill out our quote form on this page or call (888) 862-9456, and we can give you accurate life insurance quotes.

Funeral Insurance, Final Expense Insurance, Burial Insurance After A Heart Attack Infographic

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Get Life Insurance After a Heart Attack?

Yes, you can buy life insurance after a heart attack. If it was over a year ago, you could be eligible for burial insurance with level coverage. If it was recent, guaranteed issue life insurance is your best option.

Why Do Insurance Companies Consider Heart Attacks to Be a Risk Factor?

Insurance companies consider heart attacks to be a risk factor because they indicate a potential for future health complications. This increases the likelihood of the insurance company having to pay out a death benefit shortly.

Do Insurance Companies Require a Waiting Period Before Paying Out for a Heart Attack-Related Death?

Yes, insurance companies typically require a waiting period before paying out for a heart attack-related death. The length of the waiting period depends on the company and policy.

How Does the Cost of Life Insurance After a Heart Attack Compare to Regular Life Insurance?

The cost of life insurance after a heart attack may be higher than regular life insurance due to the increased risk. However, options like guaranteed issue burial insurance can provide the coverage you need regardless of your medical condition.

What Are the Options for Life Insurance Coverage if My Heart Attack Was Less Than 12 Months Ago?

If your heart attack were less than 12 months ago, your best option for life insurance coverage would be a guaranteed issue burial insurance. It approves you regardless of your recent heart attack, providing the protection you need.


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