Life insurance underwriting for endocrine disorders involving the thyroid gland are common, with most thyroid conditions having minimal impact on life insurance underwriting. Common conditions include hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, goiters, and thyroid nodules.
Hyperthyroidism refers to the condition where too much thyroid hormone is produced. Typically the T3 and T4 are elevated, and TSH is low. Typical treatment includes thyroid medication, and as long as thyroid functions are controlled, it is a non-factor from a life insurance underwriting standpoint.
Hypothyroidism refers to the condition where there is not enough thyroid hormones. T3 and T4 are low, and TSH is typically elevated. Thyroid hormone replacement is the common treatment and again is a non-factor from a life insurance underwriting standpoint.
Thyroid nodules are lumps that form in your thyroid. While most thyroid nodules are benign, approximately 5% will turn out to be cancerous. Thyroid nodules may be difficult to work with at times, depending on the time of examination you’ve had to address the nodule.
Sonogram – many times when a thyroid nodule is discovered, a common follow-up test is to have a sonogram of your thyroid. The sonogram may provide clues to your physician that may indicate cancer. The flip side of this is that many sonograms may provide an indication that no cancerous clues exist….and this is where underwriting can get derailed quickly.
Sonograms by themselves do not rule out the possibility of cancer. If you have an established history of sonogram follow-up of the nodule with an endocrinologist, showing a hypofunctioning (cold) nodule that is stable with no changes, we are able to get competitive offers.
Fine Needle Biopsy is the gold standard for life insurance underwriting purposes. If you have a biopsy and the results are benign, the best rates that you would otherwise qualify for are available. If the results are indeterminate or suspicious, most companies will postpone offering coverage to you until it is further evaluated.
Additional comments about thyroid nodules:
If the nodule was recently discovered and your test was a sonogram, companies may postpone offering coverage to you until there is a history showing stability and no indication of cancer. A fine needle biopsy may be needed to get coverage now.
Should you get a biopsy? You never know what the outcome will be until the test is complete. The best way to handle this is to try and get coverage first using the sonogram results. You may then decide to have a biopsy completed, and assuming favorable results, we can re-shop the market for better offers.
If it turns out that you have thyroid cancer, we are able to get coverage for most people soon after the completion of treatment. Here is where you’ll find information about Thyroid Cancer Underwriting