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Costs Associated with Heart Attack + Will Health Insurance Cover it All?

April 14th, 2020 | Cathy Jakicic

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States — one in every four deaths is attributed to heart disease each year. That means someone dies of cardiovascular disease every 37 seconds.[1]
About 18.2 million adults over age 19 have coronary artery disease (CAD) — a common form of heart disease. And while most deaths from CAD happen in older people, two in 10 deaths happen in adults under age 65.[2]
What causes a heart attack? A heart attack usually occurs when one or more of your coronary arteries become blocked. A heart attack can also be caused by a spasm of a coronary artery that shuts down blood flow to part of the heart muscle.[3]

There are a number of factors that could put you at a higher risk for a heart attack, in the remainder of this article we’ll talk about:
• Risk factors for a heart attack
• Reducing your risk
• Women and heart disease
• The potential costs of treating a heart attack
• Health insurance options that can help with costs

Want Help Comparing Insurance Options? Speak to an insurance agent today to get help understanding which health insurance options may be right for you.

What Are Risk Factors for a Heart Attack? The risk factors listed below can mean an increased risk of a heart attack, but they don’t cause heart attacks.
Individual risk factors can include:
• Age – The risk of heart disease increases for men after age 45 and for women after age 55.[4]
• Race – According to a report from the 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), black males were more likely to die of heart disease. A similar difference was found between black and white females.[5]
• Sex – The same report found that men, in general, were more likely to die from heart disease than women.[6]
• Family history – The risk of heart disease increases if your father or a brother was diagnosed with heart disease before 55 years of age, or if your mother or a sister was diagnosed with heart disease before 65 years of age.[7]
• Preeclampsia – A condition that can develop during pregnancy, preeclampsia is linked to an increased lifetime risk of heart disease.[8]
• Diabetes – Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease.[9]
• Depression – Adults with symptoms of depression have a 64% greater risk of developing CAD.[10]

Can You Reduce Your Risk of Having a Heart Attack?

You may be able to reduce your risk for experiencing a heart attack by addressing the following risk factors:
Eat a healthy diet. Eat a variety of nutrient-rich, health-promoting foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.[11]

Eat a diet that supports existing health conditions as indicated by your doctor, such as reduced sodium if you have high blood pressure, avoiding trans and saturated fats if you have high cholesterol or CAD,[12] and eating a diet that helps balance blood sugar if you have diabetes.[13]

Get regular healthcare. Work with your healthcare providers to manage high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and mental health conditions like depression.[14]

Get physical activity. Especially aerobic exercise like brisk walking, swimming and cycling; resistance training like lifting weights; and stretching, flexibility and balance training. Aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week for aerobic exercise and stretching.[15]

Manage stress effectively. Chronic stress increases your risk for a number of health problems ranging from depression, digestive problems, and sleep issues to heart disease. Try meditating, getting more sleep and seeking mental healthcare services like counseling if needed.[16]

Drink alcohol in moderation. While some studies have shown an association between moderate alcohol intake and a reduced risk of dying from heart disease, it’s hard to determine cause and effect. In any case, for most people, having an occasional drink doesn’t appear to be harmful; that means one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.[17]

Quit smoking. Smoking is a major contributor to heart disease, with cigarette smokers two to four times more likely to get heart disease than nonsmokers, and exposure to secondhand smoke posing a health risk to pregnant women, infants, and young children. According to the CDC, 34,000 nonsmokers die from heart disease each year.[18]

Women and Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups (2015-2017).[19] That said, cardiovascular disease remains under-diagnosed and under-treated in women due to the diagnostic challenges it presents, but also due to the long-held attitude that heart disease primarily affects men.[20]

One of the reasons heart disease and heart attack is challenging to diagnose is that women’s symptoms can be very different from those of men, and can actually be mistaken for other health conditions, like the flu or acid reflux.[21]

While women can experience the “classic” symptoms of a heart attack like left-arm pain, chest pain or pressure, they are more likely than men to have symptoms unrelated to chest pain, such as:[22]
• Shortness of breath
• Pain or pressure in the upper back
• Pain in one or both arms
• Sweating
• Dizziness, light-headedness, fainting
• Extreme (unusual) fatigue
• Indigestion, heartburn, nausea or vomiting
• Neck or jaw pain

And a woman with heart disease can sometimes be symptom-free until they experience a serious cardiac event, including a heart attack, heart failure or arrhythmia (palpitations).[23]
Some heart disease risk factors that appear to impact women in particular include:[24]

• Diabetes
• Mental stress and depression
• Smoking
• Being post-menopausal
• Complications during pregnancy, including high blood pressure or diabetes
• Family history of early heart disease

If you have any of the symptoms or risk factors for heart disease discussed in this article, it would be a good idea to speak with your doctor about your concerns. And if you’re experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, you should call 911 immediately.

The Potential Costs of Treating a Heart Attack

Heart disease cost the United States about $219 billion each year in 2014 and 2015, according to the most recent CDC data available. This included the cost of healthcare services and medicines, as well as lost productivity.[25]

By 2035, the total cost of cardiovascular disease is expected to reach $1.1 trillion ($749 billion in direct medical costs and $368 billion in lost productivity) when more than 130 million Americans are expected to have some form of cardiovascular disease.[26]

For an individual and their family, the cost of a heart attack can be high.
The cost of treating heart disease varies, but here are some examples of the types of care and costs that often accompany a cardiac event or diagnosis:
• Hospitalization for heart attack: $5,426 to $16,955 or more[27]
• Hospitalization for heart failure: $4,819 to $15,058+[28]
• Cardiac stent: $17,132 to $53,533+[29]
• Coronary angiogram: $6,318 to $19,741+[30]
• Left heart catheterization: $5,618 to $17,553+[31]
• Angioplasty (venous): $2,416 to $7,550+[32]
• Aortic valve replacement with bypass:$39,604 to $123,758+[33]

For most people, health insurance is a good option for helping with the high costs of care and treatment after a heart attack, from emergency care to hospitalization to surgery.

Health Insurance to Help With Costs After a Heart Attack

There are a few health insurance options that could help with the costs of treating a heart attack.
You will primarily want to consider ACA-qualifying medical insurance and, depending on your situation, may want to add a supplemental medical plan like:
• Hospital indemnity insurance
• Gap medical insurance
• Critical illness insurance

Let’s look at these in more detail.

Qualifying Major Medical Insurance

First and foremost, for someone facing a heart attack, ACA-qualifying health plans cover emergency services, and that includes emergency care that you may receive at an out-of-network facility. In fact, your insurance company cannot charge you more for obtaining ER care at an out-of-network facility or force you to obtain prior approval.[34]

Preventive and wellness services, as well as chronic disease management, are also essential benefits required by the Affordable Care Act.

So screening and treatment for diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, common contributors to heart disease risk, typically would be fully covered. Remember, the patient is responsible for deductible, copays and coinsurance costs.[35]

The ACA also requires that major medical policies be guaranteed-issue, so you can’t be denied coverage or charged a higher premium if you have a pre-existing condition,[36] however, your premium will likely be higher if you’re older and/or use tobacco.[37] In addition, there are no annual or lifetime benefits limits — also important if you’re dealing with a chronic condition.[38]

For all of these reasons, qualifying health coverage, whether it’s an employer’s group plan, one you purchase individually, or you obtain it another way (like Medicaid), is your most comprehensive coverage option if you experience a heart attack.

All that said, major medical plans with high deductibles or narrow networks can sometimes leave a patient with high costs that their policy will not cover. That’s where supplemental health insurance could be helpful. We’ll talk about that next.

Supplemental Critical Illness Insurance
In addition to the out-of-pocket costs with a major medical policy, you may also have out-of-network costs, non-medical expenses, and of course, your major medical premiums will still need to be paid each month to maintain your policy.

On top of that, if you experience a critical medical condition like a heart attack, you’ll likely need to take time off work to recover and may experience loss of income. All of that can leave you low on cash even if you have a “comprehensive” health plan.

Critical illness insurance could help in this situation. This type of policy generally has a relatively low premium, but only covers a limited number of illnesses, such as a heart attack, stroke or cancer.[39]

A critical illness policy usually pays a lump sum — which typically could be a few thousand dollars up to $100,000 – to help with those costs that may not be fully covered by your major medical insurance. Additionally, the funds can be used for non-medical costs like transportation or housing. Critical illness policies pay out once and then are done.[40]

Your premiums are usually based on a range of factors, including your gender, age, health and family history as well as the benefits level you select. Critical illness insurance is not guaranteed-issue, so you have to be approved by the carrier in order to enroll in a policy.[41]

Learn more about critical illness insurance and whether or not it’s worth it. Get a quote for a critical illness policy to compare costs and coverage. It just takes a minute.

Supplemental Gap and Hospital Indemnity Insurance
Other supplemental insurance you may want to consider include gap health insurance and hospital indemnity insurance. Both plans can help cover the high costs of hospitalization that may be associated with recovering from a heart attack or undergoing a procedure like a bypass.

Gap provides supplemental benefits as a lump sum. Get a quote for gap insurance.
Hospital plans provide benefits as a fixed amount on a per event, day, week, month or visit frequency. Get a quote for hospital indemnity coverage.
Summary + Next Steps

Heart attacks are a leading cause of death in the United States.[42] While some risk factors for a heart attack are beyond your control, such as age or family history, you may be able to reduce your risk with healthy lifestyle choices like eating a diverse, nutrient-rich diet, engaging in regular exercise and effective stress management.
ACA-qualifying major medical insurance is probably your best choice for benefits and coverage to help with the high costs of treating coronary artery disease and heart attack, but supplemental critical illness, medical gap or hospital insurance can provide additional benefits if needed.

If you’re considering supplemental coverage, call 888-855-6837 to speak with an agent to review your options, or obtain quotes for the health plans you’re considering to compare costs and coverage.


Sleep Tight, Sleep Enough

To sleep tight and sleep enough is critical to accomplishing almost any task.  However, many people have hard time to sleep or no time to sleep.  Although sleep is a health function, to sleep well also requires other skills, for each person is an integrated 6Q system.  With the right tools, they can solve both issues.  This video show you why and how.

In addition to the case in the video, we have had several other tough cases:

Do you sleep tight and sleep enough?  Consult us if you do not.

Video Transcript:

I just had a nap at my office, feeling totally refreshed.  Many people have hard time to sleep or have no time to sleep.  In fact, with the right tools, they can solve both issues.

Each person is an integrated system of 6Q. Sleep is a health function.  To sleep well requires other skills, which is why people often cannot sleep once something new happens. Poor sleep will further worsen their performance.  Sleep is critical not only to energy restoration, but also to healing, memory, aging, and attitude. That’s why a person can look much older and moody if the person cannot sleep well.

A person’s ability to sleep will impact their opportunities. For those with big dreams, they need to be ready to sleep in their office, car, on the airline, or whenever an opportunity arrives, so they can sleep enough.  Of course, it is better to have a sleeping bag ready.  Sleep should also be natural as sleeping pills can ruin the next day’s productivity and creativity.

How to sleep well?  Three keys. You first need a good body function, a comfortable environment, or your mind will be busy.  Then you need to be able to turn off the switch when it’s time to sleep. 

Let me tell you a story.  I met a woman who was an airline attendant. She came to the United States via marriage. Her husband saw her picture through her cousin and immediately fell in love. She loved the man as well.  Soon after they married, her husband wanted to have two boys.  She had two girls in between, so they end up having four children.  Their children are healthy and smart. The youngest was also the cutest.  He made his own money and bought her a cell phone when he was 19.

However, the woman felt she had achieved nothing.  She was in her 50s but looked like in her 60s. I told her to look at her life differently, as not everyone could have a loving husband and four loving children.  She has invested in her family, and now it is time to invest in herself. In the end, I asked her if she could sleep well.  She said no.  Her children often saw her wandering around in the middle of the night.  I asked her if there was anything that could make her tired quickly.  “Computer!” She said.  So I told her to play with the computer every night before going to bed.  A few weeks later, she looked at least 20 years younger, ready to be an airline attendant if she wants to.

That is how much good sleep, and enough sleep can do for a human being. This woman started a family in a totally new environment and did not viewed her life with the right perspective, which created intensive internal stress and impacted her sleep. Also, she lacked the techniques to sleep fast.  Once she had both, she recovered fast and became a new woman! I am very happy for her!

To sleep tight and sleep enough is critical to accomplishing almost any task.  It is important to have 6Q skills instead of a mattress or sleeping pills alone.  We need all of them sometimes. To help clients sleep well and sleep tight is a part of our consultation, training, and management. Contact us with your needs.  Also subscribe our channel.  You will find solutions nowhere else.  Remember the better you optimize your brain and health, the faster you achieve your success and happiness. Good Luck!



Can Behavior or EQ alone Build a Level 5 Leader?


Book: What Stops Leaders from Good to Great?

Read the book that many Fortune 500 CEOs wish they have before their “retirement.”  Identify your “missing software” to go from good to great beyond IQ. EQ and Behavior tools alone.  (2nd edition)


Many leaders work hard to go from good to great and build Level 5 leadership but have failed.  One reason is that some of them, including Fortune 500 CEOs, do not want to take their medicine when the price is low, and the result is fast.  In addition, traditional IQ. EQ and Behavior tools alone often have limited power over complex issues.

What Stops Leaders from Good to Great will first share with you what can stop leaders on their journey, how to get to the root causes, including those of Humility and Will, what are the differences between how to go from good to great.   Then the book will demonstrate how to strengthen leadership through multiple dimensions at leader, team, culture, and system levels.  Because the book aims to build Level 5 leaders who can retain startup DNA and be efficient with the hardest issues, you will read many fascinating stories how Yang identified the “missing software” and “unexpected” solutions and help CEOs and other executives strengthen leadership rapidly.

During her residency, Bin Yang noticed that many patients went to the hospitals since they could not handle challenges outside. To help her patients find “missing software” to meet their challenge, she invented the 6Q Approach, and many patients recovered quickly with minimum re-occurrence. Later, while amazed by Level 5 leadership, she also discovered that top MBAs and other institutions build leaders with IQ, EQ and behavior tools alone and often get poor results due to “intractable issues.” Through the 6Q Approach, Yang has helped many CEOs and other executives solve their “intractable issues.”

At last, the book uses many topics on CEOs since CEOs often face the most challenges in general.  While the book is excellent for those who desire to be a great CEO (president), the management principles apply to all other leaders and elites.

GET THE BOOK at Amazon

About the Author:

Bin Yang is the Managing Director of The Prince Synergy, a global CEO adviser and the inventor of the 6Q Approach.


Can People Skills Alone Manage Conflicts Efficiently?

Conflict management for leaders is essential to leadership success because conflicts are inevitable as long as strategic shifts and structural changes are necessary.  How to manage conflicts has challenged many leaders.  Recently, a CEO wanted to improve his conflict management and was particularly interested in deep human knowledge.

Are people skills alone sufficient conflict management for leaders?  NO, because many conflicts are self-induced.  The Executive 6Q Assessment found that the CEO needed several puzzles– vision, innovation, deep knowledge of talent, etc.  One issue was that he could easily lose temper over low-grade errors.  Looking back, he has been at the top of his class from elementary to MBA.

Optimize Conflict Management with the Right Tools

Should we modify his behavior or ask him to consolidate with others publicly? No, instead I told him one story.

I acted like him until I suffered from Traumatic Brain Injury due to an auto-accident.   In the beginning of my recovery, my cognitive ability was about elementary school level.  I could be easily frightened when I walked on the street since I did not know what to do, so I had to hold my father’s hand.  Gradually, my cognitive ability came back, so did my confidence.  One day, I was no longer afraid.    Even since, I have learned to be empathetic with those who commit mistakes—they do not want that happen, either- and in the meantime, inspire them to learn from their mistakes and grow.

The CEO thanked me for sharing my story.  He has faced the same conflicts fewer and fewer each day.

Like EQ and behavior alone cannot build a Level 5 leader, the key to improve conflict management is to evaluate leaders’ underlying structure, choose the right follow-up strategies, models, practice classes, and not to waste time on the secondary behaviors.  Self-discovery is important but not always efficient.   Public consolidation with others often come with unnecessary humiliation and resistance, which can slow down the problem solving.   Existing 360° assessment results are helpful, and there is no need to repeat the assessment since it mainly collect observation, not the root causes.   Most training on conflict management for leaders can be done in an efficient and comfortable way, such as listening to a story like the above CEO.

How to Optimize Conflict Management for Leaders Efficiently?

There are two kinds of conflicts—self-induced and environment related.  Is it easier to improve self or change others?  A great leader needs both.

A leader’s fairness comes first.  Otherwise, conflicts can emerge anywhere if the leader tries to disregard others’ benefit, take advantage of others or play personal favor since no many people are stupid.   What comes the next is leaders’ vision, Ego, innovation, leadership styles, legal sense, structure making, resilience, etc.  Why?  Most people would rather tolerate a leader’s people skills if the leader can see far, take right action, and be fair.

Many leaders do not know their talent deep enough, which affects how they task talent, execute their strategies, and prevent conflicts.  The lack of deep knowledge of their talent has a lot to do with the leadership and talent development history– most institutions focus on IQ, EQ, and LQ but fail to know the other half of the human system.

In addition to taking the right action, leaders can win hearts easily in daily work through mental and health management.

Different root cause require different solutions, which can be diagnosed first.   Usually,  the Good to Great Leadership CLASS 1 minimizes self-induced conflicts; CLASS 2 deepens leaders’ talent knowledge, leadership styles and conflict management skills; and X-Class helps to win more hearts and save more human capital.   Clients can start to see results in days to weeks like the CEO did in the case above.    No need to worry if someone has had too many complaints.   In fact, the change can be more impressive than others’.  And we will help to magnify the change elegantly.


How we help clients


About the Author 
Bin Yang is the author of What Stop Leaders from Good to Great, and the Managing Director of The Prince Synergy (, a leading consulting firm that explores missing tools in leadership and success, and solves the hardest issues that no one else can.

If you’d like to learn how to be a great leader and enhance your 6Q instead of IQ and EQ alone, consider reading the life stories in the book and trying the mini quiz.  The webinars are also available for hands-on experiences. The Prince Synergy customizes most of its classes and programs based on the Executive 6Q Assessment results.   For more information or to schedule an interview, lecture, or appointment, please contact 310-668-1828.


Case Studies: Find What Is Missing in ICU, Get off Ventilator in 3 Days!

Accidents happen all the time, whether it is an auto accident or a workplace accident. Many high-cost health claims, disabilities, and deaths can be prevented. Below were our Founder’s personal stories after her mother and she were involved in a tragic auto accident in 1997.

Get off Ventilator, Regain Independence

My mother was put on a ventilator in ICU since she could not breathe on her own. About five weeks later, she was diagnosed ventilator-dependent for the rest of her life since she could not improve.  My mom refused to live on the ventilator, so I had to be the one to discontinue her lifeline. I decided to exam her myself first. To my surprise, I found she could breathe by raising and relaxing her diaphragm (abdominal breath). I taught her a new way of breathing. She got off the ventilator in three days. Later she regained her independence through both Eastern and Western medicine.

Almost every doctor knows abdominal breath that humans use during childhood, but it can be hard to go outside the adult area to find tools and save lives.

While it is painful to lose loved ones, loved ones also have the right to live with dignity and make his or her own life decision. I was lucky that I went to medical school and could save my mother.  I would respect her wish and help her had I failed as suicide was not an unwise decision for her.



Case Study: Beat Cancer with Enjoyment!

Our Founder never had the chance to tell the following story to her best friend, Tova, who died of brain cancer. We post it here to benefit those in need.

“An old man had a rare kind of cancer that had no treatment. My school wanted to buy his body for research. He asked my school to pay him ahead of time since he had no family. My school agreed. The man enjoyed himself with the money. Three years later, his cancer disappeared.”

Go out to enjoy yourself if you have no (more) medical treatment. The story may happen to you!  


Case Study: Recover from Traumatic Brain Injury, Stop Venting Stress on ER

A business owner suffered from Traumatic Brain Injury from an auto-accident and needed to relearn almost everything, which frustrated him greatly. He often called 911 to go to Emergency Room (ER) to scream at the Doctors and Nurses there to vent his stress. His “ER visits” lasted for years, and ER could not help to change his behavior.

Get to the Root Causes of His Behavior.

Our Founder was doing her ER rotation when he was venting his frustration on ER. Understanding his pain and struggles, she went to talk to him, asked about his progress, shared with him how she went through his pains and struggles, recovered herself, and passed medical license exams. After comparing his situation with hers, she told him, “You have more resources than I had. If I could make it, so can you!”

Stop Venting Stress on ER in 10 minutes

In the end, the business owner thanked our Founder. He never went back to the Emergency Room. Soon someone heard he returned to his work. The communication lasted for about 10 minutes. 


Case Study: Should A CEO Be Charming?

Mr. M, the CEO of a large construction company, was excellent in construction work and devoted to his job.  However, he was impatient with his staff’s “silly” questions and wanted the team to follow his development model. He also liked to wear his college outfits wherever he went.  As a result, his chairman concerned his manner and image could cost their business opportunities.

The Executive 6Q Assessment found that Mr. M was excellent in schools, from elementary to university.  He had a healthy Ego and was sharp in decision-making, learning, customer needs satisfaction, etc.  However, he was weak in emotional control and expression, poor Public Relationship awareness, and had limited conflict management skills and leadership styles.

Bring Internal Charm Out
We recommended custom “Be Charming, Win Heart and Minds” to address his issues.   Mr. M quickly understood the gap between his self-awareness and others’ perception, his natural skills and professional levels, and developed the skills and styles needed.  In less than three months, he won the hearts and minds of his staff back.

Should a CEO be charming?  Of course!   Our CEO studies have found that no CEO can achieve desirable results if others cannot perceive his or her leadership properly.  People skills or physical appearance alone cannot make a charming CEO, not to mention an exceptional CEO.  Being charming also means less conflicts and resistances to handle and more hearts and minds to win.

Most CEOs do 1 of 2 things: (1) speak to other CEOs and ex-CEOs and (2) talk to a professional coach.  The first can advise Mr. M based on their experiences, and the second mainly encourages Mr. M. to find his own solutions or give him some EQ tools and behavior modification.  Neither could solve Mr. M’s problems quickly.  For more discussion, please read Identify  Your Missing Software, Go from Good to Great Efficiently Chapter 5.

Relate reading:
Should a CEO Be Charming, Win Hearts and Minds?

More Case Studies 


Case Study: 30-year Insomnia Is Over!

An office manager suffered severe insomnia since she had night shifts 30 years ago — she could only sleep 2-3 hours a day. Her hair became white and thin (hair loss) when she was a little over 50, which happened to none of her family members. Her doctor prescribed the same sleeping pills for each of her visits, and she kept on going back to the same doctor. She got agitated easily, and could not stop worrying over something simple; for example,  she could stay up whole night if one relative was coming to visit her. She wanted to take care of EVERY issue. 

The Executive 6Q Assessment found that she poor energy restoration, limited relaxation methods, and poor sleeping habits. No time management, decision-making or other issues noticed.

A comprehensive approach
We first modified her sleeping habits and daily life management. We also taught her two particular relaxation methods before sleep. No pills or psychotherapy.

Sleep well again after 30 years! Hair grows back!
After two weeks, she could sleep about 6 hrs at night, and not get agitated easily. Soon her problem-solving also improved, and her hair grew thicker!

More Cases Studies on Insomnia