Adults with congenital heart defects can live long, full, and active lives. But they are different from adults with other heart problems like coronary artery disease. They typically have unique issues with things like health insurance, birth control, pregnancy, and employment.1, 2
Adults who have congenital heart defects need routine checkups. Be sure you have a primary care physician. You might also need to see your cardiologist regularly, such as once a year.
Most adults with
congenital heart defects don't have limitations on what kind of job they can have. But before you start career planning, get an expert opinion from your doctor about your
physical capabilities and risk for future heart problems. With this information, you can make realistic choices and get
Some adults with congenital heart defects may be restricted from certain
types of jobs
because of the potential risks to others in the event that they aren't able to
carry out their duties because of physical problems. But this doesn't mean
that you should otherwise be restricted in your employment options.
Although very few adults with congenital heart defects are considered
disabled, employers may negatively assess an adult's capabilities because of
false ideas about the condition. Become informed about your legal rights. For
example, your health status should not be part of a job interview. Also, in the
United States, you have some protection with federal regulations, such as the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, and the
Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999.
It is important to maintain health insurance,
because you need regular medical checkups.
People with heart defects may have problems qualifying for health
insurance. Many companies restrict or deny coverage for new clients with
preexisting heart conditions.
If you are changing health insurance plans or applying for new
coverage, be aware that you might have difficulties. Research your options carefully before changing policies, and find out
whether you may qualify for state or federal assistance
Depending on the circumstances, some adults with congenital heart
defects may only be able to get health insurance through an individual plan.
Although many adults have some form of group coverage through their employers,
they may be placed in a high-risk category and have to pay higher premiums than
other people. Be sure to investigate all your options thoroughly. Laws that
govern these types of health insurance issues and policies change often.