Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States, and it can be a life-altering diagnosis. If you are one of the many men diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may be wondering how it will impact your ability to purchase life insurance. This guide will answer that question and provide information on how to get life insurance after prostate cancer.
This guide will answer the following questions:
- Can you get life insurance if you have prostate cancer?
- Can you get life insurance after prostate cancer?
Can I Get Life Insurance With Prostate Cancer?
If you have prostate cancer, it is possible to get life insurance. But the cost and availability of life insurance may vary depending on the company. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with an independent life insurance agent who represents many different companies.
What Is Prostate Cancer?
The prostate is a small gland that surrounds the urethra at the base of the bladder. Men with a family history or older in age have an increased risk of getting prostate cancer. Most prostate tumors are called adenocarcinomas. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men outside skin cancer.
Outside of lung cancer, prostate cancer leads to the highest death rates in men.
PSA is used as a screening test for prostate cancer, especially when combined with a rectal examination. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a glycoprotein made by the prostate and is measured on a blood specimen. Causes of an elevated PSA include irritation (bicycle riding, for example), prostatitis, BPH, and cancer.
Prostate Cancer Life Insurance Underwriting
In life insurance underwriting, prostate cancer is assessed by stage and grade.
Stage refers to the extent of cancer, the tumor size, and/or how much it has spread.
The Gleason System grades the aggressiveness of the tumor ranging from 2 to 10. The higher the Gleason score, the more likely a tumor will spread beyond the gland to other parts of the body. A Gleason score of 2 – 4 is considered non-aggressive, while a Gleason score of 8 – 10 is considered aggressive.
Cancer treatment often consists of prostate resection called a radical prostatectomy or radiation.
Hormonal treatment can be offered to older men for metastatic disease or men in poor health.
After diagnosis and treatment, PSA levels are monitored over time. A rising PSA suggests that a tumor is currently present, and a persistently low PSA suggests successful control.
What Life Insurance Companies Look For In Prostate Cancer Survivors
- If the cancer is confined to the prostate, it is removed surgically, and the survivor has been cancer-free with a low Gleason score for at least one year.
- If the cancer is confined to the prostate, eliminated by radiation treatment successfully, and the survivor has been cancer-free with a low Gleason score for at least one year.
Factors in the Decision Process
- Age of the applicant
- Stage and Gleason score of the prostate cancer
- Medical treatments
- The date that primary treatment ended.
- Recurrence or spreading of the cancer
- Prostatic Specific Antigen (PSA) levels
- Compliance with routine surveillance testing
Guidelines to be Considered for Coverage
- Early-stage prostate cancers can be considered once in remission for at least one month, depending on the age at diagnosis and the cancer details.
- The more advanced the prostate cancer, the longer the waiting period.
What If I’m Declined Coverage?
Even if an insurer declined your life insurance application, you could still purchase a guaranteed issue policy.
What Is A Guaranteed Issue Policy?
A guaranteed issue policy is life insurance that does not depend on your health. This means that you will be able to get life insurance even if you have had a stroke and have been declined before. However, there are a few drawbacks that you should consider before getting this type of policy.
Many insurers that offer guaranteed issue life insurance policies have a limit on the death benefit. This amount is usually between $25,000 and $30,000, depending on your age.
If you die from natural causes, your family will have to wait for two or three years before the company will pay the full death benefit. Most companies, however, will pay a benefit equal to the total premiums paid plus 5 to 10 percent.
Since the insurer is unsure how healthy you are, they will charge you more for your life insurance policy than someone healthier.
Although there are some disadvantages to guaranteed issue life insurance, it is still a better option than asking your loved ones to pay your final expenses.
Need Help Getting Life Insurance Coverage?
If you have a preexisting medical condition and want to buy life insurance, you will need help from an expert. This person can help ensure that you get coverage so that you don’t get declined.
Warning: Applying for life insurance without a medical exam can be risky. If you get declined coverage, it could be at least two years before you can get any life insurance.