The life expectancy changes resulting from heart disease are no longer sufficient to force MassMutual - a life insurance company - to continue charging elevated rates for coverage, the company announced.
MassMutual said the change in policy resulted from its continual monitoring of treatment and diagnostic technological improvements. The company's vice president and chief underwriter, Shelby Hollister, said heart disease sufferers should find out whether they are eligible for a policy.
"[At] MassMutual, we look at a 'whole' person in our underwriting process as opposed to as a sum of various medical conditions, and we provide incentives to live healthier life styles via 'credits' to reduce premiums, such as not smoking, managing cholesterol and blood pressure and maintaining a healthy weight," he said.
Despite this, MassMutual warned that heart disease is still the leading killer in the U.S., accounting for 30 percent of all fatalities.
Experts say that MassMutual's recommendation of healthy lifestyle changes can also result in reduced life insurance premiums from other companies, and that careful research can help consumers find cheaper life insurance quotes.