Life Insurance with Prostate Cancer.
In this article, we wanted to take a moment to answer some of the most common questions we get from folks applying for life insurance after being diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.
Questions that will be addressed will include:
- Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer?
- Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer?
- What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
- What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
- What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Can I qualify for life insurance if I have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer?
Yes, some men who have been previously diagnosed with Prostate Cancer will be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. The only problem is that because Prostate Cancer can often become a complicated illness that can be treated in a variety of different ways (or left untreated entirely) most of the best life insurance companies are going to want to know a lot more about your Prostate Cancer diagnosis before they will make any decisions about your application.
Why do life insurance companies care if I’ve been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer?
Pretty much any time an individual has been diagnosed with a pre-existing medical condition, it’s safe to say that most life insurance companies are going to want to learn a little bit more about it before making any decisions about your life insurance application.
When the pre-existing medical condition in question happens to be Prostate Cancer, well, you can bet that that is definitely going to pique an insurance underwriter’s interest. After all, Cervical Cancer does account for over 30,000 death each and every year. The good news is that the mortality rate for this “type” of cancer has dropped by nearly 50% from its peak in 1993 till now, which is largely due to education promoting early detection and advancements in treatments.
Nevertheless, insurance companies still view Prostate Cancer as a serious risk for them to insure which is why anyone who has been diagnosed with this condition (regardless of how early) will be viewed as a “high risk” applicant that will need to be asked a lot of questions before being approved for coverage.
What kind of information will the insurance companies ask me or be interested in?
Common questions you’ll likely be asked once it has been determined that you have been previously diagnosed with Prostate Cancer may include:
- When were you first diagnosed with Prostate Cancer?
- What led to your Prostate Cancer diagnosis? Were you experiencing any symptoms of your disease?
- How was your Prostate Cancer diagnosed?
- What stage was your Prostate Cancer at when it was diagnosed?
- Stage 1: Prostate cells begin to look “suspect.” At this stage, some doctors may recommend treatment, while others may simply choose to monitor your situation more closely. All suspect cancer cells remain contained with the prostate itself.
- Stage 2: PSA scores may be slightly elevated; more active monitoring may be recommended, or in some cases, radiation therapy or surgery may be performed. All suspect cancer cells remain contained with the prostate itself.
- Stage 3: Suspect cancerous cells have begun to spread outside of the prostate but have not spread to one’s lymph nodes or other parts of the body. Active treatment is usually warranted in this situation and may include radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and/or surgery.
- Stage 4: Cancer cells in this stage will have spread throughout the body, including organs such as one’s bladder, rectum, lymphatic system, and in some cases, one’s bones. Treatment options at this stage will usually focus on improving one’s quality of life vs. being able to eliminate one’s cancer completely.
- Are you currently treating your Prostate Cancer? If not, when was your last date of treatment?
- What treatment options did you receive?
- Radiation therapy,
- Hormonal therapy,
- When was the last time you had a PSA test performed? What was its score?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other pre-existing medical conditions?
- Are you currently working now?
- In the past 12 months, have you applied for any disability benefits?
With this information in hand, most life insurance companies (and us as well) will have a pretty good idea about what “type” of life insurance policy you may be able to qualify for as well as what “kind” of rate you might be expected to pay.
What rate (or price) can I qualify for?
Unlike many other “types” of cancer where it can be difficult for an insurance company to get an accurate idea about how “serious” one’s condition is, Doctors and Insurance companies alike have found that performing a PSA Test or Prostate-Specific Antigen Test to determine how “active” one’s cancer is can be quite useful.
This is why…
Insurance companies will rely very heavily on this exam and typically use your PSA score to guide them on how they will and won’t underwrite your life insurance policy.
For this reason, it’s important to have an idea of what a “normal” PSA score should look like before you apply for coverage so that you can avoid any unnecessary DENIALS as well as reach out to different insurance companies before you apply to see if they will be willing to make any exceptions for you if you do not meet these “ideal” scores.
Normal PSA by age:
40-49: 0 to 2.5 ng/ml
50-59: 0 to 3.5 ng/ml
60-69: 0 to 4.5 ng/ml
70-79: 0 to 6.5 ng/ml
*We should not that researchers have found that PSA levels can vary amongst different racial groups and that while these PSA levels represent “normal” levels, many life insurance companies will be a bit more “lenient” when making their underwriting decisions.
That said however…
It’s fair to say that if you currently have a PSA level well above 7.0, chances are you’re not going to be able to qualify for a traditional term or whole life insurance policy. In cases like these, you may need to either postpone applying for coverage right away or choose to purchase an “alternative” product like an Accidental Death Policy or Final Expense Insurance policy, which won’t take one’s PSA score in account.
You have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, and your current PSA levels are below 7.0, and you have either been treated and/or cured of your disease, there is a very good chance that you may be able to qualify for coverage. In fact, you may even be able to qualify for a Standard rate, which is pretty impressive considering a Standard rate is considered “normal”.
The only trick is…
You’re now going to need to be much more careful about “which” life insurance company you choose to apply with because not all life insurance companies are going to be super “lenient” with those who have been previously diagnosed with Prostate Cancer no matter how low your PSA score is. Which brings us to the next topic we wanted to take a moment and discuss, which is…
What can I do to help ensure that I get the “best life insurance” for me?
In our experiences here at IBUSA, we’ve found that usually, the “best” approach in helping someone find the “best” life insurance policy for them is to first:
- Fully understand what an individual is trying to achieve by purchasing their life insurance policy.
- Are you looking to:
- Cover the cost of a mortgage?
- Replace lost wages?
- Protect a child or spouse?
- Or just cover one’s final expenses?
- Are you looking to:
- Then provide one with plenty of options to choose from so that you’re not limited to just one or two different options.
This is why…
We here at IBUSA choose to work with so many different life insurance companies so that when it comes time to help you decide “which” life insurance company is going to be the best for you, we don’t have to apply a…
“One Size Fits All”
Approach. Instead, we can make dozens of different life insurance companies compete for your business. So, what are you waiting for? Give us a call today and experience the IBUSA difference.