Contrary to popular belief, being diagnosed with cancer (even terminal cancer) does not necessarily mean you will not be able to purchase a good life insurance policy. Many different variables will be considered during the life insurance underwriting process. Your health is only one of these variables. If you are one of the 1.5 million Americans who has received a cancer diagnosis, it is important to realize that you are not without options.
In this post, we will briefly discuss the process of purchasing life insurance with cancer. We will also attempt to answer some of the questions that you may have. Though having cancer will undeniably have a significant impact on the process as a whole, reasonable financial solutions are likely well within your reach.
Different Types of Life Insurance Policies Available for Cancer Patients
To understand the impact that cancer has on the cost of a life insurance policy, you must first recognize that there are many different types of life insurance policies currently available. Life insurance is a powerful financial asset. It can come in many various forms and have many different potential uses.
Generally speaking, most life insurance policies can fall into one of two main categories. Term life insurance covers you for a specific amount of time—usually 10, 20, or 30 years. Permanent life insurance will provide you with coverage for your entire life and may also have additional financial benefits attached to them (such as a cash value).
Within these two broad categories, many other variables will also be at play. For example, there are several types of both term and permanent life insurance that do not require a medical exam. If you currently have cancer, taking the time to research the different options you have available is an absolute necessity.
In an industry that is as complex as life insurance, you may wonder how having cancer can impact your life insurance policy. Well, it very much depends on the type of policy you are buying. While many different life insurance policies will outright deny you coverage due to your medical condition, others may not even ask if you have cancer at all. Some policies will be somewhere in between on this spectrum and will allow you to have coverage but also require that you pay a higher monthly premium.
Most life insurance providers offer a wide array of different policies to appeal to the broadest demographic possible. Even if you apply for a policy and you are initially rejected, there still may be other options available.
It all depends on the type of cancer that you may have. For example, non-melanoma skin cancer and ovarian cancer are considered low risk by life insurance companies, and they will not affect your premiums amounts at all.
The life insurance carriers use the following classes to categorize your eligibility:
The life insurance underwriter may add an additional fee, also called flat extra charge to the premium amount depending on the type of cancer that an applicant has.
For example, we had a case where our client had a Stage T2a melanoma. While many companies declined the application, one company said that they would approve it at a standard rate and will add an $8.50 flat extra per thousand for six years. Put in numbers let’s say this guy needed a $100,000 amount of coverage for a 20-year term. If the standard rate for that coverage amounted to $600 a year, this would be the base rate of the policy. With an $8.50 flat extra, there would be an additional $850 a year ($8.50 x 100) for a total premium of $1450 a year for the first six years. After that, the extra charge would go away, guaranteed, and the price would go down to $600 a year for the rest of the 20 years.
By understanding the example mentioned above, we can conclude that even though cancer patients have to pay some extra amount for a few years, they can still get a life insurance policy with a reasonable rate.
>> Are you looking for affordable life insurance rates? Need to discuss few things before you make this important decision? Speak to our knowledgeable representatives now.
Applicants applying for a policy with common and treatable forms of cancer such as thyroid, breast, prostate, and testicular cancer are most likely to get a “standard” rating under ideal situations.
However, for patients who have with a history of high-risk cancer such as leukemia or colon cancer, the insurers may offer them a “substandard” rating at best or even decline their application altogether.
A patient whose cancer has metastasized won’t be able to obtain a policy. Most life insurance companies will not offer a policy to someone who is currently in the remission stage. Look for a guaranteed policy instead or try getting one through your employer at a ‘group’ rate.
It is also important to recognize that not all instances of having cancer are treated equally by life insurance providers. During the medical exam and questionnaire portions of the underwriting process, the underwriter may ask you following types of additional questions:
Of the life insurance policies that do take your health into account during the underwriting process (which is the majority of them), most attempt to create a “comprehensive” picture that considers multiple different variables. Things such as your weight (BMI), your family medical history, your status as a smoker, and other medical conditions can all also have an impact on the cost of a life insurance policy. You should also note that if you are currently diagnosed with cancer, but are able to recover in the future successfully, you may be eligible to have life insurance with high monthly premiums. These high premiums will later be adjusted as your condition gets better.
Because such a large portion of the American population (about 1 in 200) is currently diagnosed with at least one type of cancer, life insurance companies have made a substantial effort to develop policies that are compatible with this demographic. If you are trying to purchase life insurance with cancer, you should likely begin by looking at the policies that are easiest to qualify for.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Policies, as the name might suggest, will be issued to almost anybody, regardless of their current medical condition. These policies do not offer death benefits the size you might find elsewhere, but they are still a legitimate option for individuals who are trying to provide their family with some long-term financial protection. If you currently have cancer or you are currently in the remission stage, these policies will likely be the best option for you.
Once you are out of the remission stage, you may also be able to qualify for some affordable permanent or term life insurance policies as well. The “waiting period” for you to qualify for an ordinary life insurance policy will usually depend on the type of cancer that you had. For example, while breast cancer survivors can often qualify in 1-5 years, survivors of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma may have to wait 3-10 years. Your eligibility will also depend on numerous other variables in addition to your cancer, which is why it is so important to do your research and compare multiple different providers.
There are many difficulties that individuals with cancer will inevitably have to face. Though the road to recovery may not be easy, it is important to recognize that the life insurance industry is still willing to work with you and provide you with reasonable financial solutions. Even if all you end up qualifying for is a guaranteed life insurance policy, having a reliable source of financial security such as life insurance can certainly give you one less thing to worry about.
Let our team at LifeQuote help you find a policy you need to protect your family. Whether you are a cancer survivor or a cancer fighter, we will contact multiple insurance carriers and look for the best policy that aligns with your condition. This is a specialized process and only a knowledgeable agent with contacts in the industry can help you out.