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Life Insurance With Current Cancer

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    Cancer is a serious medical condition that can have a devastating impact on your life.

    Being diagnosed with cancer often brings about financial difficulty in addition to the emotional stress and physical pain associated with the disease itself.

    Fortunately, life insurance can provide significant financial protection for those affected by cancer.

    This article will review:

    • Your options for life insurance with current cancer
    • Why life insurance companies care about cancer
    • How life insurance companies ask about cancer diagnoses within their application questions and underwriting as a whole

    Life Insurance Options With Current Cancer

    The first step in determining your life insurance options with current cancer is to look at the type of cancer that you have. If you have skin cancer (basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer), then you’re in the clear. You should have no problem getting simplified issue term life insurance or whole life insurance (also known as “no-exam” life insurance).

    However, if you have internal cancer, things will be more difficult. Of the 15 carriers that we cover and the 39 in total that we surveyed more broadly, not a single carrier offers underwritten term life insurance or whole life insurance to those who currently have cancer.

    If you currently have internal cancer, guaranteed issue life insurance is going to be your best option. Guaranteed issue policies are exactly what they sound like. If you meet the age and geographic eligibility criteria, you are guaranteed to be offered coverage. As a result, there are no medical exams or health questions on guaranteed acceptance life insurance applications.

    Note that the rates for guaranteed issue policies will be significantly higher than underwritten policies and they will have a two-year waiting period. If the death occurs within the first two years of the policy, your policy will simply refund the premiums you’ve paid (with a small amount of interest).. After the first two years, however, your policy will pay out 100% of the face amount.

    ProductCoverage Available?
    Term Life InsuranceNo
    Final Expense InsuranceNo
    Guaranteed Issue InsuranceYes

    How Common is Current Cancer in the United States?

    Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States after heart disease.

    In 2019 for instance, 1,752,735 new cancer cases were reported and 599,589 cancer patients succumbed to cancer. Cancer was diagnosed in 439 out of every 100,000 individuals, and 146 people died from the disease.

    The most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer in the United States include breast, prostate, and lung cancers and colorectal cancer. Other types, such as skin, leukemia, and lymphoma, are also relatively common.

    Why Life Insurance Companies Care About Current Cancer?

    Life insurance companies care about cancer because it is a serious condition that carries an increased risk of mortality.

    Cancer is a disease characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells in the body.

    It can affect various organs and systems and can have a wide range of complications, depending on the type and stage of cancer.

    Causes of cancer vary, but in many cases, one severe health condition increases cancer risk. For example, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) increase their chances of lung cancer as much as 4 to 6 times.  COPD also impacts life insurance rates negatively, especially if there is oxygen use.

    One of the main concerns for life insurance companies is the risk of mortality associated with cancer. People living with cancer are at a higher risk of dying from the disease or its complications, such as organ failure or sepsis.

    Some types of cancer, such as lung or pancreatic cancer, have a higher mortality rate compared to others. In addition, cancer can also lead to secondary cancers or metastasis, which can further increase the risk of mortality.

    Another concern for life insurance companies is the risk of cancer treatment. Cancer treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. These treatments can have side effects that can further increase the risk of mortality or lead to long-term health complications.

    What Key Questions Are Asked by Carriers?

    1. Stage of tumor, if known?
    2. Grade of tumor, if known?
    3. Any spread to lymph nodes?
    4. If yes, how many nodes involved?
    5. Type of treatment?
    6. Date and type of surgery, if any?
    7. Date all treatment completed?
    8. Date of most recent follow-up?
    9. Name and address of health care provider with most complete records?
    No-Exam, Cash Value
    Burial Insurance
    Gender
    Tobacco

    15 companies competing for your business

    97% of the time we beat Colonial Penn

    30 days to get your money back, no questions asked

    * Based on website quote requests, through 2/28/23.
    (Check your rate to see their rates vs. ours)

    Term Life Insurance When You have Current Cancer

    Term life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that provides coverage for a specified time, typically 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. It pays out a death benefit to the beneficiary in the event of the insured’s death during the term of the policy.

    Term Life Insurance Application Questions About Current Cancer

    CompanyApp QuestionsDecision Criteria
    Mutual of Omaha

    Has the Proposed Insured ever been diagnosed as having Cancer, Leukemia, Melanoma or any other internal cancer (except basal cell or squamous cell
    skin cancer)?

    Decline (Unless its basal or squamous cell skin cancer, then approved)

    American Amicable

    Has any Proposed Insured been diagnosed, treated or been prescribed medication by a medical professional or currently under treatment for cancer in any form, lung disease or disorder, seizures, mental or nervous disorder, bi-polar disorder, paralysis, blindness?

    Decline (Unless its basal or squamous cell skin cancer, then approved)

    In the table above, we’ve provided two examples of how simplified issue term life insurance applications ask about cancer.

    As you can see, Mutual of Omaha’s application asks about any diagnoses related to cancer, leukemia, melanoma, and other internal cancers. It specifically calls out basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer as exceptions.

    As the second question shows, American Amicable simply asks about “cancer in any form,” with a “yes” answer resulting in a decline.

    Although both of these carriers decline people with current cancer, you can still obtain guaranteed issue life insurance.

    Final Expense Life Insurance when you have Current Cancer

    Final Expense life insurance is a type of whole life insurance policy designed to cover end-of-life expenses such as funeral expenses and other financial obligations. It offers an affordable way for individuals with cancer to ensure their loved ones are not burdened with these costs after death.

    Final Expense Application Questions: Current Cancer

    CompanyApp QuestionsDecision Criteria
    American AmicableAre you currently hospitalized, confined to a nursing facility, a bed, or a wheelchair due to chronic illness or disease, currently using oxygen equipment to assist in breathing, receiving Hospice Care or home health care, or had an amputation caused by disease, or do you currently have any form of cancer (excluding basal cell skin cancer) diagnosed or treated by a medical professional, or do you require assistance (from anyone) with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating or toileting?Decline (Unless its basal or squamous cell skin cancer, then approved)
    TransamericaHave you had, been diagnosed with, treated for, tested positive for or been given medical advice by a licensed member of the medical profession for any of the following: Metastatic cancer, recurrent cancer, multiple cancers or cancer with lymph node involvement?During the last 2 years have you had, been diagnosed with, treated for, tested positive for or been given medical advice by a licensed member of the medical profession for any of the following: Cancer (other than basal cell carcinoma)?During the last 4 years have you had, been diagnosed with, treated for, tested positive for or been given medical advice by a licensed member of the medical profession for cancer (other than basal cell carcinoma)?Prior to the age of 45, have you had, been diagnosed with, treated for, tested positive for or been given medical advice by a licensed member of the medical profession for cancer (other than Basal Cell)?Decline (Unless its basal or squamous cell skin cancer, then approved)

    American Amicable and Transamerica both ask questions about cancer in order to determine if an individual is eligible for health insurance coverage.

    The American Amicable requires the applicant to answer questions pertaining to occurrences in their lifetime and within 24 months.

    The Transamerica carrier requires responses related to 4-year periods, metastatic cancer, and cancer before 45 years of age. This provides a comparative analysis between two carriers with regard to health-related criteria for qualification.

    Guaranteed Issue Final Expense Insurance

    Guaranteed Issue Final Expense Insurance is a type of policy that does not require the applicant to answer any health questions in order to be approved.

    This makes it ideal for seniors and those with medical conditions who may have difficulty finding coverage from other companies due to their age or health status.

    Premiums for Guaranteed Issue Final Expense Insurance are generally higher than those of other types of policies, but the coverage can give peace of mind that expenses are covered in the event of death.

    No-Exam, Cash Value
    Burial Insurance
    Gender
    Tobacco

    15 companies competing for your business

    97% of the time we beat Colonial Penn

    30 days to get your money back, no questions asked

    * Based on website quote requests, through 2/28/23.
    (Check your rate to see their rates vs. ours)

    No-Exam, Cash Value
    Burial Insurance
    Gender
    Tobacco

    15 companies competing for your business

    97% of the time we beat Colonial Penn

    30 days to get your money back, no questions asked

    * Based on website quote requests, through 2/28/23.
    (Check your rate to see their rates vs. ours)