Burial Insurance After Heart Surgery: Why Timing Matters

Burial Insurance After Heart Surgery
Burial Insurance After Heart Surgery: Why Timing Matters

There are many reasons someone would need to get heart surgery. From a simple stent implant to a heart transplant, the best burial life insurance companies will be interested in any heart procedure you have gotten.

Burial Insurance After Heart Surgery

When burial insurance companies ask about heart surgeries on their application for coverage, it spans to quite a few procedures that could indicate additional health concerns. The carriers will be interested in the amount of time passed since the heart surgery.

A recent cardiac surgery throws up a red flag for many providers. The insurance company assumes that if you have had recent heart surgery, a pre-existing condition could cause concern.

This red flag will instantly make it more difficult to obtain the coverage that you are looking for. However, you still have plenty of burial life insurance options.

Understanding Burial Insurance

Burial insurance coverage was designed to provide an affordable option to pay for senior’s funeral expenses. These plans are also called funeral insurance and final expense insurance. These different plan names are just marketing terms used by various life insurance companies.

Whole life insurance covers you for your entire life with consistent monthly premiums. As long as these monthly premiums are paid, your policy will never expire. This is paramount when obtaining coverage meant specifically to cover your funeral expenses.

Policy amounts range from $2,000 – $40,000, making funeral insurance for seniors an affordable option. Traditional whole life insurance begins at around $50,000 and extends into the millions. The higher your death benefit, the more you will pay in premiums.

Burial policies are “simplified issue,” meaning that you will never be asked to get a medical exam. You must qualify for the plans that provide immediate coverage by answering a series of medical questions. The companies will look into your medical and prescription history to confirm your answers to the health questions.

Whole Life Final Expense Insurance Benefits

  • Affordable
  • No Expiration
  • Coverage Lock
  • Price Lock
  • Builds Cash Value
  • No Medical Exam
  • No Waiting Period Options
  • Guaranteed Acceptance Options

Heart and sun in hands

Underwriting Requirements After Heart Surgery

Underwriting is the process in which a company decides whether or not to insure a person. Each insurance company sets its own acceptance standards.

Reasons for needing heart surgery can range from life-threatening to precautionary. Some final expense insurance applications will ask specifically about certain heart surgeries, while others will be more general.

Common types of heart surgeries include:

  • Angioplasty
  • Heart Transplant
  • Atherectomy
  • Heart Valve Replacement
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Bypass Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive (Port-Access Coronary Artery Bypass (PACAB or PortCAB)
  • Minimally Invasive Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (MIDCAB)
  • Stent Placement
  • Radiofrequency Ablation (Catheter Ablation)
  • Transmyocardial Revascularization (TMR)
  • Defibrillator (ICD)

Can You Get Life Insurance After Heart Surgery?

Even if your heart surgery was recent, there are plans available. The amount of time that has passed will be important and will heavily influence what coverage you can get. There will be an unavoidable waiting period if it has been less than 12 months since the heart procedure.

When You Had Heart Surgery Plays a Role

Life insurance companies will view your case differently depending on how much time has passed since your heart procedure.

Over 24 Months: Most funeral insurance companies will ask if it has been over 2 years since the heart surgery. Applicants that fit into this recovery timeline will have more policy options available to them with immediate coverage. Mutual of Omaha is a great option for this.

12 – 24 Months: Some providers will accept heart surgery patients after 12 months but less than 24 months since the procedure. These companies will often award immediate protection with slightly higher premium costs. Aetna’s Standard plan will accept you with this timeline.

Under 12 Months: If it is under 1 year since the operation, there will be a waiting period before full protection will be awarded. Typical waiting periods are 2-years with partial coverage if death occurs during this time. Guarantee Trust Life has the best policy structure at the lowest cost.

Plan Tiers

Companies will react to your heart surgery timeline by placing you into one of the four different plan types. Not every company offers each plan, so it is best to work with a specialized agent who has access to multiple life insurance providers.


All level plans have immediate coverage and have the strictest underwriting standards to qualify. Some final expense insurance companies divide their level policies into two categories, preferred and standard.

Preferred: This policy is reserved for the healthiest applicant that does not have a long history of pre-existing conditions. Seniors who have had heart surgery over 2 years ago would qualify for this option with most providers.

Standard: Slightly more lenient with its underwriting, standard plans are often available to seniors 12 – 24 months after a heart operation. This plan is slightly more expensive than preferred.


With a 2-year waiting period, graded policies are slightly easier to qualify for than either type of level coverage and are more expensive. If death occurs during the waiting period, there is a progressive payout structure. Usually, death in year one is 30% of coverage, year 2 is 70%, and death in year 3 or later, the beneficiary will get the full death benefit.


Also, with a 2-year waiting period, modified plans are even more lenient and come at an increased cost. If the insured dies during the waiting period, the beneficiary will receive the paid premiums plus interest as the death benefit. However, after the waiting period, they will get the full death benefit amount.

Guaranteed Issue

Guaranteed issue life insurance offers coverage to nearly all applicants. Like the others, this plan had no medical exam but what sets it apart from the rest is that there are no health questions. Carriers will implement at least a two-year waiting period with these policies that have guaranteed acceptance and a similar payout structure as modified during this time.

Guaranteed issue life insurance after heart surgery is only necessary if the senior has other pre-existing conditions that disqualify them from the other plan types. Beware of overpriced guaranteed issue policies that come to you through the mail from companies like John Hancock and Colonial Penn.

pen and paper checking boxes

How To Find The Best Funeral Insurance After Heart Surgery

Each company has its own requirements to qualify for the plans they offer. If you have another health concern, it is important that you work with an agent to find the best company for your unique situation.

With all of the different health qualifications, it can be hard to know where to begin. There are three things that seniors need to look for before applying to any one company.

Financial Rating: A life insurance company with a high financial rating is what you will want to look for. This rating signifies the carrier’s financial strength and whether they will pay their claims when due.

Cost: The cost of funeral insurance will never fluctuate, but your income might. Ensure that you can afford the premiums well into the future, as the policy will only stay active if you continue to make the monthly payments.

Begining of Coverage: It is not always possible to get immediate insurance protection. However, make sure you do not blindly accept the first offer that comes to you, especially if it has a waiting period. Always attempt to get immediate coverage.

Best Final Expense Insurance Company After Heart Surgery

The life insurance companies in the image below show which carrier is best given your heart surgery timeline.

When was your heart surgery company recommendations

Funeral Insurance Quotes After Heart Surgery

The quotes below show the price range that a senior can expect to pay for burial insurance. The price on the low end will be for someone in good health and after 2+ years since heart surgery. The high-end cost will be for a senior who has had a heart operation within the last 12 months. See quotes for a $25,000 whole life policy or get a personalized quote on this page.


Monthly Premium Range

Non-Smoking Rates

Age $10,000 $15,000 $20,000
45 $23 – $34 $32 – $49 $42 – $64
50 $24 – $39 $35 – $57 $45 – $80
55 $28 – $47 $40 – $69 $52 – $103
60 $33 – $54 $48 – $80 $63 – $119
65 $41 – $66 $60 – $99 $79 – $146
70 $53 – $80 $78 – $120 $103 – $177
75 $72 – $116 $107 – $173 $142 – $254
80 $98 – $190 $146 – $283 $194 – $411
85 $136 – $220 $202 – $328 $269 – $436


Monthly Premium Range

Non-Smoking Rates

Age $10,000 $15,000 $20,000
45 $27 – $47 $39 – $68 $51 – $89
50 $31 – $56 $44 – $83 $58 – $110
55 $36 – $61 $52 – $91 $69 – $135
60 $44 – $68 $64 – $101 $84 – $149
65 $56 – $91 $83 – $135 $110 – $199
70 $75 – $106 $110 – $158 $146 – $233
75 $100 – $150 $148 – $223 $197 – $328
80 $140 – $232 $208 – $346 $276 – $461
85 $193 – $312 $288 – $467 $382 – $621

How to Buy: Captive vs. Independent Agents

Both types of agents can sell insurance policies. However, the way they go about getting you a policy is very different.

Captive: A captive agency only sells products from one carrier. This can present a problem to the consumer because they will have to do their own shopping around to find the best policy. Many of the policies offered by captive agencies are very strict level policies or guaranteed issue life insurance. There might not be an ideal plan for the applicant’s specific health history.

Independent: An independent agency can sell products from multiple carriers. This allows the agents to have more freedom in what they are providing the consumer with. These agents can search their expansive databases to find the best plan at the lowest price that fits the needs of each client.

Rather than spending your time calling around to price check policies, working with an independent agent allows you to free up your valuable time and save money.

Why Willamette Life?

Willamette Life is an independent agency that specializes in burial insurance. We have helped many clients with pre-existing health concerns.

We will work hard to understand your unique needs to get you the best and most affordable final expense insurance policy available.

Man and woman laughing on the couch

Final Thoughts

a. It is possible to get affordable burial insurance after heart surgery. The insurance companies will look for the amount of time that has passed since your procedure.

b. If it has been over 2 years, most life insurance companies will treat you as though you are completely healthy and award you a top-tier plan. If it has been less than 12 months, fewer options are available, and there will be a waiting period.

c. Working with an independent agent is of the utmost importance when looking for funeral insurance coverage as they will be able to fit you with the best plan.

Willamette Life can find you the most affordable final expense insurance after heart surgery.

Give us a call at 844-576-0019

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