Prostate cancer has been one of the easier cancers for life insurance underwriting for a long time, but the criteria for those low stage and grade cases has been expanded to areas not seen before. In recent weeks I’ve been all over this forum about breakthroughs in life insurance underwriting for HIV positive, but as huge as that is, from a cancer standpoint this would be the equivalent.

For several years now it has not been unusual to get better than standard rate approvals on successfully treated prostate cancer that was stage 1 and a Gleason grade of no more than 3+3=6. Successful treatment is defined as a PSA of 0 after a radical prostatectomy or a PSA of .5 after other less invasive treatment methods. The time post treatment used to be set in stone at a year but there are now companies that have shaved that down to 6 months or even upon reaching those PSA levels, even if that is only a month.

Something I’ve talked about for a few years now is the possibility, within specified guidelines, to get early stage and grade prostate cancer approved when a client opts for watchful waiting or active surveillance. While this isn’t new I think it is worth passing on that companies are starting to become more aggressive in this area. It used to be that the underwriting window was only slightly cracked open and a man needed to have the low stage and grade, and be over 70 years old, and have been diagnosed within the last 5 years, and have no family history of prostate cancer, and be able to prove a genetic predisposition to immortality.

So, changes? We just placed a case in force where the applicant is age 60 and has been on watchful waiting for 4 years and are on track for another approval where the client is 60 and has been on watchful waiting a whopping 13 years, since age 47. These are men who took to heart what their urologist told them and feel assured that by keeping an eye on things they’re good to go. The medical truth is that neither of these guys is any more likely than someone without prostate cancer to die from prostate cancer.

A change from one company came in the form of this scenario:

, a 68-year-old non-smoking male with a history of elevated
and stable serial PSA testing had a prostate biopsy 13 months ago
• Biopsy revealed high-grade PIN.
• Most recent PSA on his insurance lab testing has remained
slightly elevated at 6.0, but stable from prior PSA testing.
• Has excellent follow-up care and is followed regularly by his
Even with elevated but stable PSA levels and the abnormal biopsy
Brian now qualifies for Preferred Nontobacco rating. This would have been a standard table 2 previously.

And now we have a company that will cover low stage and grade prostate cancer within a year of the biopsy whether you’ve done anything about it or not. You don’t even have to have a plan. They are hedging their bet a bit by only writing 10 year term up to $1 million, but the window is opening more every day. Stay tuned.

Bottom line. I’m not personally sure I like the idea of all of us living to 110, but but when modern medicine renders a mortality assumption out of date, it opens doors for those who couldn’t cover their families before. That’s a good thing. If you have any questions or need more information, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.