Coronary heart disease may prove to be a little less damaging to life insurance prices.

The life insurance arm of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford (NYSE:HIG), says it is cutting the cost of life insurance for many older U.S. residents who have been successfully treated for coronary heart disease.

The new rules apply to men and women who are ages 71 to 85, are otherwise in good health, and have no history of cancer, diabetes or other serious medical conditions other than coronary heart disease.

Hartford made the change because it has found that the life expectancy for many older Americans who have had coronary heart disease is about the same as the life expectancy for other individuals of the same age, the company says.

The new rules probably could help lead to lower prices for about half of the Americans over age 70 who undergo bypass surgery or angioplasty, the company estimates.

- Allison Bell