Prostate cancer, and specifically the great changes in life insurance underwriting for prostate cancer, are in the news. Well, they’re on my mind and in my blog. That is just one step below the Wall St. Journal and on a good day, like today, one step above it.
Prostate Cancer Life Insurance
Low stage (T1a-c), and low grade (Gleason 6 or better) cases have been the easier prostate cancer life insurance approval to achieve for a lot of years now because of successful treatment of the disease. Companies have been very flexible on the treatment as long as its’ success is born out by the PSA post treatment.
With a radical prostatectomy, success is when your PSA reaches an undetectable range, usually .01. With other forms of treatment, such as seed implants, the PSA needs to reach and hold at .05 or under for six months. These can generally get approved for term or permanent life insurance at better than standard rates.
Rather than prostate treatment, is the option of watchful waiting. If the PSA is relatively low, say, under 6, and the stage and grade are low as described above, it is becoming more and more common to just check the PSA on a regular basis. If it jumps significantly, the other treatment options are still available. In a lot of cases treatment is never needed. Watchful waiting has become more acceptable to life insurance, especially in those 65 or older.
Getting Life Insurance With Prostate Cancer
Recently a few companies have ventured out a little further, offering prostate cancer life insurance approvals for Stage 2, Gleason 7 prostate cancer. This is great news when you consider that the Gleason grade goes up, while not quite as dramatically, at least something like the Richter scale. The mortality assumptions at a Gleason 7 are significantly higher than at Gleason 6. Gleason 8 is at this point not insurable.
For those who have been declined for life insurance due to a Gleason 7, it’s time to revisit that. To look into getting an approval for any stage or grade prostate cancer it is imperative that I see a copy of the surgical pathology report if treatment was pursued or the needle core biopsy results if there wasn’t any invasive treatment.
I don’t have all the answers for prostate cancer life insurance, but I have more than most. More opportunities are opening up for approvals where they weren’t available before and for you it’s worth looking into further. If you have any questions or would like to discuss what it will take to find out if we can get you approved, call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.