OBJECTIVE--To determine the life and health insurability and employability of young adults with congenital heart disease. DESIGN--Questionnaire study. SETTING--Cardiac department of a tertiary referral hospital for children. PATIENTS--Young adults 18-30 years old with a variety of congenital heart defects, both simple and complex, including postoperative patients. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Availability of insurance at normal or high rates, with or without special conditions or exclusions. Prospects for employment. RESULTS--Questionnaires were sent to eight large life insurance companies, five health insurance companies and, 15 employers, and 26 replies were received (93%). The consensus for life insurability was that young adults with mitral valve prolapse without regurgitation, postoperative ductus arteriosus, and aortic coarctation were insurable at standard rates. Those with any of the other heart defects listed were either insurable at high rates, or in the case of many lesions, not insurable at all. The consensus for health insurance was that insurance was available, but with complete exclusion of benefit for the cardiac disorder. Employment prospects were good for those with simple defects, but poorer for those with complex lesions. CONCLUSIONS--Prospects for insurance and employment for young adults with complex congenital heart lesions are poor. Inconsistencies found in insurance and job policies may be due to lack of appropriate guidelines for the outcome of young adults with corrected and uncorrected congenital heart disease.
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