Life Insurance with Leukemia.

According to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®, approximately every three minutes one person in the United States is diagnosed with leukemia, a blood cancer.  Nearly 156,420 people in the U.S. will have been diagnosed with this condition by the end of 2014.

What Is Leukemia?

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain, leukemia is cancer of the white blood cells.

It starts in the bone marrow, spreading into the blood and striking other organs. The many types of leukemia depend on how aggressive (acute vs. chronic leukemia) the disease is.

Acute cases involve immature bone marrow cells, which cannot properly operate. The number of these abnormal cells increases quickly.  In contrast, chronic leukemia involves more mature cells, which can still perform some of their normal functions.

The most common types of leukemia are acute myeloid leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.


Underwriting for life insurance after you have had leukemia depends on the stage and age that the client was first diagnosed.

If you were stage 0, under the age of 50, you will most likely see a decline in coverage.  If you were stage 0, and over the age of 50, you may be able to qualify for coverage, but will see a table rating on top of the standard rates.

Getting life insurance after a stage 1 diagnosis will make it difficult to qualify for coverage and each application will be evaluated on a case by case basis.  If you do not qualify for a fully underwritten life insurance policy your only option will be a graded benefit plan. You can read more about graded plans below.

Pre underwriting questions:

  • Treatment type?
  • The stage of your leukemia?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Last treatment date?
  • First treatment date?

Possible Outcomes

Acute lymphoid leukemia/acute myeloid leukemia:
Best case: Standard
Typical case: Standard with a flat extra
Worst case: Decline

Chronic lymphoid leukemia/hairy cell leukemia:
Best case: Table 4
Typical case: Table 8 – Decline
Worst case: Decline

Stage Median Survival

Likely outcomes of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) come down to the stage diagnosed.  Most common causes of death from CLL are infection and bleeding.

Stage 0 (elevated lymphocyte count) 12+ years
Stage I (elevated lymphocyte count + enlarged lymph nodes) 8+ years
Stage II (elevated lymphocyte count + enlarged liver or spleen) 6+ years
Stage III (elevated lymphocyte count + anemia) 4+ years
Stage IV (elevated lymphocyte count + low platelet count) 4+ years
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Leukemia Survivors

Leukemia cancer survivors may be able to get two types of life insurance. Remember the underwriting will be difficult, but we have years of experience and a track record unmatched of working with cancer survivors.

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance for a leukemia cancer survivors is an option if you can qualify per the the underwriting guidelines. Term life insurance is the most affordable life insurance option, but it also does not last forever. Term life insurance will only cover you for a temporary length of time, for example, 10 years, 20 years, or 30 years.

Permanent Life Insurance

Budget permitting, permanent insurance is the best policy for any leukemia cancer survivor. A permanent life insurance policy offers rates that are remain level throughout the life of the policy and you will have full death benefits for life.

With a permanent life insurance policy monthly premium payments build up cash value, which can be used for many different things. It also allows you to withdrawal and spend a portion of the death benefit if you become terminally ill. Permanent insurance policies never expire, no matter what your health status or age.

Leukemia Patients

Graded Death Benefit (Guaranteed Issue)

If you currently have leukemia and want life insurance you only have one option?  A guaranteed issue policy. This is a type of policy that asks no medical questions and requires no medical exam.

You can learn more about our guaranteed issue life insurance carriers and guidelines here.

So if you are a current leukemia cancer patient and you are undergoing treatment currently your only option is a this type of policy.

Help from Local Life Agents

Local Life Agents counsels every current and potential client, including those who have (or have recovered from) leukemia.

Your completion and submission of the enclosed questionnaire will enable our professionals to comprehensively find, analyze and offer life insurance policies that best reflect your needs and budget.

We present you with options, so you can make the right decision – with all the relevant facts at your disposal – when you purchase life insurance.

Quote Questionnaire

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