Guide to Life Insurance and Prostate Cancer
The American Cancer Society tells us that 1 out of every 7 men in the US will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. Prostate cancer is second only to skin cancer as the most common cancer in American men. As the second leading cause of death in American men, prostate cancer has a reputation as an infamous killer. One out of every 36 men will die from prostate cancer, and about 2.5 million prostate cancer survivors are in the United States today.
In 2014, it’s estimated that 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed, and 29,480 men will succumb to their disease. 60 percent of new diagnoses are in men over the age of 65. Three quarters of men in their 80’s are diagnosed with prostate cancer. It’s very rare for men under 40 years of age to develop prostate cancer.
What is Prostate Cancer? PSA Levels?
One reason life insurance companies make applicants take a paramend exam is to test blood profiles for certain red flags. Abnormal PSA levels in your blood can throw up major red flags for a life insurance underwriter. All to often males don’t have regular checkups to test for potential health problems. So in order to make a wise underwriting decision, the life insurance companies underwriter’s will look at PSA level, among other things to determine if you can qualify for life insurance.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a substance made by cells in the prostate gland (both normal cells and cancer cells). PSA is mainly found in semen, but a small quantity is also found in the blood, which life insurance companies will test for in your blood profile during the paramed exam.
Most healthy men have levels under 4 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) of blood. The chance of having prostate cancer goes up as your PSA levels go up.
Once a PSA reading of 4.0 or higher is seen, typically the Dr. will request a biopsy be done to determine if there are signs of cancer.
As well, if your free range PSA levels are low (anywhere from 10%-25%) your Dr. will request a biopsy to further diagnose. A lower percent-free PSA means that your probability of having prostate cancer is greater and you should most likely have a biopsy.
Underwriting For Prostate Cancer
Insurance underwriters are responsible for assessing the risk of each new policyholder. By asking you in-depth questions about your medical history, the underwriter is able to assess whether or not they want to take a chance on insuring you. The underwriter is required to ask many questions, some of which are listed below.
Questions an Agent Will Need To Know
- When were you first diagnosed with prostate cancer?
- What stage was/is your cancer or what was your Gleason Score?
- How was the prostate cancer treated?
- Are you currently being treated for prostate cancer?
- What was the result of your last PSA assessment and when was the test taken?
- What was the PSA prior to treatment?
- Do you have any major health problems other than prostate cancer?
After Prostate Cancer
If you’re a Prostate cancer survivor and have a good prognosis and outlook from past treatment, their may be traditional life insurance options available. Traditional meaning their are no limitations to the policy you can get. It means you qualify and can choose any death benefit amount and any length you desire. A term or permanent policy. However, you must be able to prove to insurance underwriters that you’re a good risk to take and that you are now in good health.
Prostate cancer survivors do have an uphill battle when trying to secure a policy. When you work with an agent who has experience working with this type of risk it will greatly increase your odds of getting approved for coverage.
If I can prove that I’m a good risk, what are my policy options?
Prostate Cancer Patients
What if I’m undergoing treatment currently?
Prostate cancer patients who are denied other types of life insurance policies are always eligible for a Graded Death Benefit Policy with payouts of up to $25,000. It’s not much but it can pay for a funeral and other burial expenses.
Graded Death Policies
Graded Death Policies will not pay out the full death benefit until after a two-year waiting period has passed since the policy was issued. If the policyholder dies before the waiting period is up, the beneficiary will receive all premiums that were paid into the policy plus interest. Anyone can get a Graded Death Policy after cancer.
Graded Death Benefit policy are specifically designed for policyholders who have had cancer or other serious medical issues. They are know as guaranteed issued life insurance policies. Policyholders must be at least 50 years old to qualify for coverage with most companies, and premium costs are based upon age and gender.
If you have a terminal cancer diagnosis or are currently undergoing treatment, a graded death benefit life insurance policy is going to be your only option for life insurance.
How can I get a quote?
If you want to see if you can qualify for coverage fill out our prostate cancer questionnaire below and we will have an agent contact you within 24-48 hours.
We will talk about your options, if you can qualify, and what the cost will be. Trust in us to get you the answers you need!