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Is life insurance available after prostate cancer?
Finding affordable life insurance after prostate cancer is possible. But, you must know the secrets to finding the carriers that will underwrite you the best when researching life insurance after prostate cancer.
You see every life insurance company will evaluate your health and lifestyle differently. With over 1,000 life insurance companies in the U.S. it might seem impossible to find the companies that offer the lowest rates.
The agent can be your secret weapon
The simple fact is underwriting life insurance after prostate cancer takes a special “niche” type of insurance carrier. Many agents only represent one insurance carrier. These captive type agents will offer no alternatives other than their primary company. What if their primary company doesn’t specialize in underwriting those with a history of prostate cancer?
Your best choice is an independent agent. An independent agent will typically represent dozens of life insurance companies. This alone helps your odds at finding a company that specializes in life insurance after prostate cancer.
But, there is more thing that is important. There are lots of agents that are independent agents. But, just being an independent agent doesn’t mean they are an expert in the “special risk” life insurance arena.
Think of it like this. A general practitioner doctor can diagnosis lots of illnesses. But, would you want a general practitioner performing brain surgery or open heart surgery? No, you would want an expert.
An independent life insurance agent, who has been in the business for 10 years or longer, and has a history of dealing with people who have pre-existing medical conditions gives you the best chance at finding the lowest rates.
These agents will know what questions to ask and what companies to go to. In fact, out of all of the life insurance companies operating in the U.S. perhaps only less than 20 really specialize in underwriting life insurance after prostate cancer.
Underwriting of prostate cancer
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that surrounds the urethra at the base of the bladder. Risk of caner increases based on family history and advancing age. Most prostate tumors are adenocarcinomas.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men (after skin tumors). In terms of cancer deaths in men, prostate cancer ranks second behind lung cancer.
The current available screenings tests are PSA (prostate specific antigen) and digital rectal exam. PSA is a tumor maker specific to the prostate. The range for PSA varies with age. While PSA values greater than 4 have generally been considered abnormal at all ages, there are no absolute cutofff values that determine whether an individual has prostate cancer or benign condition.
Below are the age adjusted PSA values:
- Age 50 or less- Less than 2.5
- 50-59- Less than 4.0
- 60-69 Less than 6.0
- 70 and older- Less than 10.0
In underwriting, prostate cancer is assessed by stage and grade or gleason score. Stage refers to the extent of the cancer tumor size and or spread. The Gleason system grades the aggressiveness of the tumor from 2 to 10. The higher the gleason score the more likely a tumor will spread beyond the gland to other sites. Gleason 2-4 is non-aggressive while Gleason 8-10 is aggressive.
When life insurance companies evaluate the risk for coverage they will use the pathology report. The pathology report will give them the information on the stage, grade or gleason.
Life insurance companies will also be interested in how the disease has been treated. Treatment most often consists of prostate resection called a radical prostatectomy or radiation.
Hormonal treatment is offered to elderly men, for metastatic disease, or to men in poor health. Localize low-grade prostate cancer is sometimes not treated, but followed with close observation.
After diagnosis and treatment, PSA levels are followed over time. A rising PSA suggests that a tumor is currently present and a persistently low or undetectable PSA suggests successful control.
Questions for life insurance after prostate cancer
Your special risk life insurance agent will typically need some information from you in order to determine if an insurance company would be able to make a current offer for coverage.
- Date of Birth?
- Date of first diagnosis?
- How was the cancer treated? I.E. Observation only, Radical prostatectomy, Radiation therapy (seed implant), hormone therapy, TURP?
- Are you taking any medications?
- What stage was the cancer? If available, provide pathology results
- What was the Gleason score?
- What was the date and result of the most recent PSA?
- Any tobacco use in last 5 years?
- Any other major health considerations? I.E. Diabetes, heart disease, etc.
The answers to the above questions will help your agent shop coverage among the companies that specialize in life insurance after prostate cancer.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples for those diagnosed with prostate adenocarcinoma with no other concerning medical conditions on just how a life insurance company might evaluate:
CLIENT A– Best case after radical prostatectomy- Cancer confined to prostate (completely excised with negative surgical margins) more than one year after surgery, age at application greater than 50. Gleason score less than 6 and current PSA levels undetectable. OFFER- POSSIBLE STANDARD WITH NO RATING
CLIENT B- Best case after radiation- Cancer confined to prostate, more than one year after radiation treatment, age at application greater than 50. Gleason score less than 6 and PSA less than 0.2 for at least one year with no rise. OFFER- POSSIBLE STANDARD WITH NO RATING
CLIENT C– Best case under close surveilliance- Cancer confined to prostate, age at application over 60. Gleason score less than 6, and PSA less than 10 but not rising. OFFER- AGES 60-64 POSSIBLE 50% SURCHARGE. AGES 65 AND GREATER POSSIBLE 25% SURCHARGE
These are just a few of the examples of how a life insurance company may underwriter coverage for prostate cancer under a best case scenario. It is important to remember each case is underwritten individually.
Final ratings and premiums will be based on the stage, treatment, Gleason score and current PSA levels.
So, if you are looking for the most affordable life insurance after prostate cancer you must use an experienced life agent that specializes in this niche area.
If you would like a free evaluation of your situation, please contact us at 1-888-393-9003 or firstname.lastname@example.org