Can you get life insurance after completing cancer treatment?
I wish the answer to that question was always yes. Since it’s not, let’s talk about the criteria that need to be met in order to get life insurance after completing cancer treatment. Most importantly you need to know that life insurance underwriters will not approve a policy for someone who has had cancer unless the cancer is cured. Cancer in remission is not cancer cured.
What types of cancer are insurable post treatment?
With cancer in remission out of the picture let’s look at some examples of cancer that can be approved for life insurance soon after completion of treatment. You can apply for life insurance and get good rates after a low stage and grade melanoma has been removed. The stage and grade indicate the parameters of the cancer such as how big, how deep, and if it has spread beyond the site of the lesion. You can apply and get good rates with low stage and grade breast cancer as soon as treatment is completed. The same is true when low stage and grade colon cancer polyps have been removed.
After low stage and grade prostate cancer has been treated, you can apply and get good rates when your PSA reaches either 0 with a radical prostatectomy or .5 if the treatment is radiation or radioactive seed implant. Prostate cancer is the only cancer that can get approved for life insurance without treatment if your doctor chooses a practice called active surveillance or watchful waiting. This is generally an option that is considered for men in their 60’s or older who have a low stage and grade, apparently slow growing cancer. By monitoring the PSA and doing biopsies when prudent, some prostate cancer may never need to be treated.
This isn’t a complete list of cancers that are insurable post treatment, but it you keep in mind low stage and grade and cured, it is worth having a life insurance agent discuss your case with underwriters to see if it can be approved.
The home run!
Life insurance underwriting of successfully treated cancer has improved vastly over the last 20 years, mirroring the options and improvements in treatment. Rates of standard and better being available very soon after treatment wasn’t an outcome that existed with any companies not all that long ago. Now several companies, emboldened by by medical breakthroughs are passing that good feeling on to customers. Not unlike cured Hep C and completely controlled HIV, medical science is moving the dial in underwriting of cancer.
If you have questions or would like to discuss your situation or get quotes, get a copy of your surgical pathology report and call or email me directly. My name is Ed Hinerman. Let’s talk.