I tried to write an article a few weeks ago about term life insurance and I struggled to make it interesting.
Then it occurred to me that I should tell my story about why I love my life insurance and how I got it.
When I was born – I wasn’t supposed to live
I was born on April 15th, 1979 with blue feet. Most babies have blue feet, but mine stayed blue. They were blue because I had a coarctation of the aorta. This restricted blood flow to the lower portion of my body. My feet were blue because they weren’t getting enough oxygen.
The doctors at the hospital where I was born told my parents I wouldn’t live. I’m not sure if that was because of just the coarcation, or because I also had a ventricular septal defect. Yeah – my heart was a mess…
Hershey Medical Center saved my life three times
My parents got a second opinion at Hershey Medical Center. When I was three days old, the coarctation of my aorta was repaired by Dr. John Waldhausen.
Dr. Walhausen repaired the ventricular septal defect when I was three years old.
Then, when I was in third grade, he fixed aortic stenosis that I developed.
Dr. Waldhausen pioneered new methods of cardio-thoracic surgery.
At Indiana, together with David Nahrwold, Waldhausen developed the subclavian flap angioplasty for the treatment of aortic coarctation, which dropped the mortality rate from 60% to 3%.
I am confident I would not be here if not for the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Dr. Waldhausen.
I am part of a new generation
If you notice above, the procedure Dr. Waldhausen co-invented dropped the death rate of aortic coartcation from 60% to 3%. Prior to the advent of this technique, kids didn’t fare so well.
That puts me in a new class of patients. I am part of the first generation of kids who not only survived these congenital heart defects but thrived after their repair.
This designation has its benefits as well as its drawbacks.
First, I’m certainly glad I’m alive and well. I recently visited my cardiologist. I’m not normal – but everything is operating well and nothing has changed. It is kind of cool being a sort of trailblazer, setting the standard somewhat. It makes for interesting conversation at parties.
Unfortunately, the data on our health outcomes is not well established. Most days, this doesn’t really matter. On days when you’re applying for life insurance, it can be problematic.
I am Lucky to Have Life Insurance
I applied for term life insurance twice in my early and mid twenties. I was denied both times.
Having two insurance companies unwilling to bet that you’re going to live into your mid fifties can be disheartening…
Fortunately, those policies I applied for were mainly just to help me qualify for sales promotions with the companies I was representing. I wasn’t married, and didn’t have any children. No one was depending on that coverage coming through.
That changed drastically on May 30th, 2010, when my son was born.
I think any parents reading this will agree that no milestone in their life was as trans-formative as the birth of their first child. My perspective on everything changed.
Having Life Insurance Was No Longer an Option
Life insurance goes from being an option to being a necessity when you have a family that depends on you for financial support.
Term life insurance will not ease the emotional burden of losing a loved one. You can’t cuddle money. Your bank account won’t listen to how your day went.
Term life insurance provides affordable premiums for substantial benefits in the event of a tragic, untimely death. A check for hundreds of thousands of dollars prevents the emotional trauma of losing a loved one from compounding with severe financial distress.
Our Process of Getting a Term Life Insurance Policy.
The application process can be pretty nerve-wracking when you’re part of the first generation of kids who survived their congenital heart defects!
My wife and I decided which life insurance plans we should apply for and submitted our applications to Grange Life Insurance Company.
I recommend applying for a death benefit amount that equals five to ten times your annual gross income.
Underwriting classes for term life insurance include standard, preferred and super preferred. I applied for standard rates for myself. When you have health concerns you can expect to get a surcharge, called a table rating in life insurance jargon. The plan was to apply for the best case scenario rates and see what the insurance company offered me after performing their underwriting process.
After the application was received, we scheduled an appointment with a nurse who visited our home to perform official blood pressure. height and weight measurements. She also collected blood and urine samples.
This is called a para-medical exam. Depending on how much life insurance you apply for and how old you are, you may need to do a complete physical exam!
Like most life insurance companies, Grange requested medical history reports and ran a motor vehicle record for us. Then we waited for the results.
I was ECSTATIC when I found that I had gone from DENIED in the past to standard rates for my current term life insurance policy!
The Bottom Line
Chances are good that I will not need my Term Life Insurance. Its very unlikely that I will die while the policy is in force, and there is no living benefit associated with a term life policy.
The policy provides me and my family with peace of mind. Even though it is highly unlikely to get used – we don’t know for sure!
Young people, with young families, pass away tragically either from accidents or hidden health problems. If something unforeseen happens to me my family will have financial resources provided by my life insurance in my absence.
If you would like a review of your life insurance needs, please contact me Nate@NewHeritageInsurance.com, or schedule a call with me here.