Life Insurance with Thyroid Cancer

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Life insurance is an important investment that can help provide financial security for loved ones in the event of an unexpected tragedy. For those who have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, obtaining life insurance can be a challenging and complicated process. This guide will explore how to get life insurance with Thyroid Cancer and provide guidance for patients and survivors seeking coverage.

Understanding Thyroid Cancer and Its Impact on Life Insurance

When diagnosed with thyroid cancer, individuals face the difficult reality of being unable to acquire life insurance coverage due to this condition affecting the thyroid gland in their neck. The hormones produced by this gland are responsible for regulating metabolism, however, fortunately, it is usually treatable.

Life insurance companies evaluate applicants based on their health and the likelihood of premature death. For individuals with a history of thyroid cancer, insurance companies may view them as higher risk and may require additional information or medical exams before offering coverage.

Types Of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is increasing each year due to increased detection and clinical awareness.


Papillary Thyroid Cancer is the most common form. Papillary, papillary-follicular, and follicular are considered “differentiated” and have good prognoses, particularly at ages 20 to 40. Unfavorable pathological thyroid cancer subtypes include tall cell, columnar, solid (trabecular), clear cell, and diffuse sclerosing.


Follicular cancer that is “widely invasive” through the capsule or showing vascular invasion tends to be more aggressive at presentation. Hurthle (oxyphilic) and insular cancer are more aggressive forms of follicular cancer.


Medullary cancer appears sporadically as part of familial medullary cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasias (MEN) 2a and 2b. Stage I medullary cancer has a good prognosis, while higher stages do not.


Anaplastic type of thyroid cancer has a grave prognosis.

Treatments for Thyroid Cancer

Surgical excision (with or without node and neck exploration, depending on the stage) followed by a radioisotope is typical. Stage I well-differentiated tumors less than 1cm do not need radioiodine ablation; surgery is adequate for small tumors.

Factors That Affect Life Insurance Coverage for Thyroid Cancer Survivors

Several factors can impact life insurance coverage for thyroid cancer survivors, including cancer stage, treatment options, and the length of time since the cancer diagnosis.

Stage of cancer

The stage of cancer is an essential factor in determining life insurance coverage. For example, individuals with early-stage thyroid cancer may have a higher chance of obtaining coverage than those with more advanced stages. Similarly, individuals who have undergone successful treatment and have been in remission for several years may have a better chance of being approved for coverage.

Treatment options

Treatment options also play a role in life insurance coverage. For example, insurance companies may view individuals who have undergone surgery or radiation therapy for thyroid cancer differently than those who have only received medication treatment. Insurance companies may require medical records or additional medical exams to evaluate the applicant’s health status.

Time since diagnosis

Lastly, the time since the cancer diagnosis can impact life insurance coverage. Individuals in remission for several years may have a better chance of obtaining coverage than those recently diagnosed.

How to Obtain Life Insurance Coverage After a Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis

For individuals who have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, obtaining life insurance coverage may seem like a daunting task. However, there are steps that individuals can take to increase their chances of obtaining coverage.

  1. Work with a qualified insurance agent: The first step is to work with a qualified insurance agent with experience working with high-risk applicants. These agents can help guide individuals through the application process, provide information on the different types of coverage available, and help identify companies that are more likely to provide coverage.
  2. Provide medical records and undergo medical exams: Additionally, individuals should be prepared to provide medical records and undergo medical exams to help insurance companies evaluate their health status.
  3. Obtain a letter from a treating physician: Individuals may also want to consider obtaining a letter from their treating physician indicating they are in good health and have a low risk of cancer recurrence.
  4. Be prepared to pay higher premiums: Lastly, individuals should be prepared to pay higher premiums for coverage. While life insurance for thyroid cancer survivors may be more expensive, the investment is worthwhile for the peace of mind it provides.

Guidelines for Coverage

  • Early-stage thyroid cancers can be considered once in remission for at least one month.
  • If the cancer is more advanced, the waiting period is longer.
  • No aggressive histology was present.
  • The tumor was completely removed.
  • No more than one relapse and all treatment was concluded.

What Insurance Companies Look For With Thyroid Cancer

The type of life insurance coverage with thyroid cancer is based on the cell type, TNM classification, and age at diagnosis.

Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common and has a good prognosis with low staging. Some very low-risk papillary tumors may be accepted once treatment has been completed. For others, a longer postponement period and higher rating may be required.

Factors in the Decision Process

  • Age of the applicant at diagnosis
  • Type and stage of the thyroid cancer
  • Date when surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment ended
  • Treatments
  • Recurrence or spreading of the cancer
  • Compliance with routine surveillance testing

What If I’m Declined?

Even if your life insurance application was declined by an insurer, you could still purchase life insurance through a guaranteed issue policy.

Consider 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.


In conclusion, obtaining life insurance coverage after a thyroid cancer diagnosis can be challenging but is not impossible. By understanding the factors that impact coverage, working with a qualified insurance agent, and being prepared to provide medical information, individuals can increase their chances of obtaining coverage and providing financial security for their loved ones.

How To Get Life Insurance With Thyroid Cancer And After Thyroid Cancer.

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.

Impaired Risk Life Insurance
Have You Been Declined Life Insurance Coverage Before?

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the best life insurance companies for thyroid cancer patients?

Because of their higher maximum coverage levels, affordable rates, and strong financial rating A.M. Best, Banner Life, AIG, and Pacific Life are the best life insurance companies for thyroid cancer patients.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

The Annuity Expert is an online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. My goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning or find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates for you. 

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