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How Does Bladder Cancer Affect Life Insurance?
Most bladder cancers (95%) are transitional cell carcinomas (TCC) that originate in the inner lining.
Other types of bladder cancer such as adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are considered higher risk than TCC.
The following underwriting guidelines apply to TCC bladder carcinoma.
The underwriting concern with bladder carcinomas has to do with the high rate of repeat cancer.
Our article, Cancer Life Insurance provides detailed underwriting advice regarding what life insurers look for.
Life Insurance by Bladder Cancer Stage
There are many variables when it comes to bladder carcinoma underwriting.
The best way for us to help you will be to gather your cancer history details and shop out to companies for feedback.
Stage Tis bladder cancer
Unlike most in situ cancers that are considered to be low risk, in situ bladder cancers are high-risk tumors.
In situ bladder carcinomas may be hard to spot and have a greater risk of becoming invasive bladder cancers.
For that reason, in situ bladder cancers typically require a 2 year postpone period after completion of treatment.
Stage Ta bladder cancer
Life insurance may be available as soon as you complete your follow-up testing.
As long as there were less than 3 tumors and none were greater than 3cm in size.
If you meet these criteria, standard rates plus an additional expense called a flat extra is available.
The flat extra is temporary but would add $500-$750 per every $100,000 of coverage.
Flat extras typically last 3-4 years and then drop off.
Greater than 3 tumors or greater than 3 cm in size?
If this is the case, life insurers will postpone offering coverage for 1 year after completion of follow-ups.
At that time, standard rates with a flat extra of $600 – $750 per every $100,000 of coverage is common.
In this case, the flat extra would last for 5 years.
Stage 1 bladder cancer
The availability and price for stage 1 bladder carcinomas depend on:
- The number of tumors
- The size of the largest tumor in the bladder
- The cancer grade – low grade or high grade
- The number of occurrences
- Use of BCG as part of treatment
The best-case scenario for a low-grade bladder carcinoma is a 1 year postpone.
After the postpone, a 50% table rating and a flat extra (for 5 years) of $600-$750 per every $100,000 of coverage are added.
Most high-grade bladder carcinomas will require a 2 year postpone period.
Once life insurance is available, a 50% table rating and a flat extra (for up to 10 years) of $1,000 per every $100,000 of coverage.
The number of times you’ve been treated will impact underwriting and could result in companies declining you.
Stage 2 bladder cancers
Life insurers will most likely decline to offer life insurance to you unless a radical (total) cystectomy has been completed.
Once a total cystectomy has been completed, life insurers postpone coverage for 3-5 years from the date of surgery.
When life insurance is available, standard rates with a 50% table rating are common.
Some insurance companies may add a flat extra expense of $1,000 for every $100,000 of coverage.
The duration of the flat extra would depend on your exact medical history.
Stage 3 and Stage 4 Bladder Cancer
Guaranteed issue life insurance may be the only option available.
This type of policy is typically limited in coverage to approximately $25,000.
Accidental death benefit insurance is also available.
Bladder Cancer Underwriting Questions
Here’s what we need to know about your bladder cancer history:
- When were you diagnosed with bladder cancer?
- What stage was the bladder cancer?
- Were any lymph nodes positive for cancer?
- Was cancer a low grade (well-differentiated) or high grade (poorly differentiated) cancer?
- How was bladder cancer treated?
- Transurethral Resection (TURBT)
- Cystectomy – Partial or Radical
- Chemotherapy – Either intravesical (entered into the bladder) or systemic (injection or pill).
- If you had a TURBT, did you receive BCG or mitomycin after the TURBT?
- If yes, please include the start and completion dates.
- Has the bladder carcinoma recurred?
- How often do you visit your physician for follow-up testing?
- When were your last cystoscopy and urine cytology tests?
- What medications and dosages do you take?
- Are you a cigarette smoker?
- If you quit, when did you quit smoking?
- Have you had any other health issues in the past or present? If yes, please describe.
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Bladder Cancer Conclusion
We’ll work with you to find the best life insurance options available to you today.
Once we receive feedback from life insurance companies, we’ll give you a range of pricing and what to expect from life insurance underwriting.
Also important for you to know is that over time life insurance rates may improve based on your health history.
Please take a few minutes to complete your quote request today.
Michael Horbal is the founder and owner of RiskQuoter.com and a licensed life insurance agent who has helped thousands with affordable protection for families and businesses.