Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer – Navigating Your Options in 2024

prostate cancer life insurance

Get the answers you need to make an informed decision about your life insurance.

Getting life insurance after prostate cancer might seem difficult, but it’s possible!

This guide will help you understand:

  • Whether you’re likely to qualify for life insurance
  • What things affect your chances for getting coverage
  • How to find an insurance company that fits your situation

Life Insurance Eligibility

Even with a prostate cancer diagnosis, you may still be eligible for life insurance. Several factors impact your eligibility, including:

  • Your age when diagnosed with prostate cancer.
  • PSA level at the time of diagnosis
  • The type of prostate cancer treatment received:
    • Radical Prostatectomy
    • Radiation
    • Active Surveillance – Watch & Wait
    • Other
  • Start and end dates of all prostate cancer treatment
  • Time since treatment ended
  • Prostate cancer stage information
  • Gleason score
  • Positive or negative surgical margins
  • Any recurrence of prostate cancer
  • Genomic test results
  • Did you receive any hormone treatments?

Several life insurers specialize in high-risk life insurance underwriting for prostate cancer.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions about prostate cancer, and we have the answers!

Can I Get Life Insurance with Prostate Cancer?

Getting life insurance when you have prostate cancer and your treatment plan is active surveillance is complicated. This is especially true if you are under the age of 60.

Is life insurance available to you?

Coverage AvailableAge 45-59Age 60+
TermYES(1)YES
UniversalYES(1)YES
G. I.YESYES
AccidentYESYES

When you have cancer and are being monitored, insurance companies require your complete PSA history to offer life insurance.

(1) Some 55-59-year-olds may be eligible for coverage depending on age, cancer details, and treatment.

PSA needs to be stable for 12 months for age 60 or older and 3-5 years for age 59 or younger.

Ideal active surveillance candidates:

You can get life insurance if you have cancer and meet the following criteria.

  • Age 60 or older when diagnosed
  • Stage 1 cancer cells
  • Gleason Score of 6 or less
  • Stable PSA for three years or longer
  • Regularly scheduled visits with your urologist.

Standard rates are available after a 12-month postponement period.

Active Surveillance Case

Age 69 when diagnosed
Stage T1a
Historical PSA of 5.0
Rising PSA Level
5.1 at diagnosis
5.6 at six months
Gleason 6
Active Surveillance
Life insurers were concerned about the 0.5 increase in 6 months for the active surveillance history.

However, it was documented that he planned to start treatment should his PSA reach 6.
APPROVED – Standard Non-Tobacco Rate

Unfavorable Active Surveillance Factors:

  • Age 55 or younger when diagnosed
  • PSA Level of 10 or greater
  • Gleason Score of 7 or greater
  • Stage T2 or greater
  • If your urologist recommends surgery or radiation.

Some cases may encounter a flat extra expense.

Note: Genetic testing such as the Oncotype DX GPS test may help.

The above assumes you’ve had no other significant health history, such as diabetes, heart disease, hepatitis, or other cancers. If you have anxiety triggered by cancer, companies don’t hold that against you for underwriting.

Skin cancer is ok as long as it isn’t melanoma.

The best life insurance companies for cancer patients will depend on the above factors.

Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer Surgery

If you had prostate cancer surgery (radical prostatectomy), life insurance might be available in as little as three months after surgery![1]

Standard rates are possible, and Prudential may consider a non-smoker plus rate.

Ideal Radical Prostatectomy Candidates

The best life insurance companies for prostate cancer survivors go to men who meet this criteria:

  • Pretreatment PSA levels of 10 or less
  • Gleason score of 6 or less
  • Post-surgical pathology stage T2b or less
  • Negative (clear) surgical margins
  • PSA level less than 1.0 after treatment
  • Age 60 or older at the time of diagnosis
  • No family history of prostate cancer
  • No lymph node involvement

If you don’t meet the above, there will be a 12-month postponement period for life insurance. [2]

Radical Prostatectomy Case – Gleason 6

Gleason 6 – Radical Prostatectomy
Age 55 at the time of diagnosis
Stage T1b Prostate Cancer
PSA was 6
Gleason was a 6
Radical prostatectomy two years ago
No further treatment is required.
No recurrence
The only other issue was elevated cholesterol
APPROVED – Non-Smoker Plus rate

Radical Prostatectomy Case – Gleason 7

Age 54 when diagnosed
Stage T1c prostate cancer
PSA was 6
Gleason = 7 (3+4)
Radical prostatectomy three years ago
No further treatment is required.
No recurrence
APPROVED – Standard Non-Tobacco rates plus a 3-year flat extra expense of $600 per every $100,000 of coverage. The Gleason 7 is the reason for the more expensive life insurance rate.

Unfavorable Radical Prostatectomy Factors:

  • Pretreatment PSA 11-20
  • Gleason 7
  • Cancer stage T3a
  • Hormone therapy before treatment
  • Diagnosed between the ages of 50 – 55
  • Positive surgical margins
  • PSA >1.0 after surgery
  • Gleason 8
  • Cancer stage T3b or greater *
  • Hormones after treatment *
  • Any Recurrence *
  • Diagnosed before age 50 *
  • Cancerous lymph nodes

* Requires a five-year postponement [1]

Can prostate cancer survivors get preferred life insurance rates?

It’s really difficult to get a “preferred” life insurance rate after prostate cancer.

Prudential, John Hancock, and Symetra are the only companies willing to consider preferred rates.

Prudential will consider preferred rates if it’s been two or more years since the radical prostatectomy and you meet the above criteria[3] [4]

John Hancock will consider preferred rates ten years after radical prostatectomy.

Symetra’s Preferred Cancer Program (PCP) is case by case for consideration.

Life Insurance After Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Most clients will need to wait a minimum of 12 months from the completion date of radiation treatment before life insurance companies will offer coverage.

Underwriters want to see that the treatment works and that the cancer is in remission.

Critical to getting insured is the need to have documented follow-ups and all PSA test results from the first elevation to 12 months after completing radiation.

Ideal factors for radiation patients

  • A pretreatment PSA level of 10 or less
  • Gleason score of 6 or less, and some Gleason 7 (3+4)
  • Post-treatment PSA level of 0.2 or less.
  • PSA level stable for more than 12 months
  • Age 60 or older at the time of diagnosis

If you meet the above, some life insurers will consider “standard” rates or possibly a “non-smoker plus” rate.

Radiation – Brachytherapy

Age 68 when diagnosed
Stage 1
Pretreatment PSA = 6.5
Gleason Score – 6
Brachytherapy treatment
Post-treatment PSA Level has been 0.8 – 1.0.
No recurrence
Slightly elevated liver enzymes.
Underwriters focus on PSA levels after reaching your nadir (lowest level) for brachytherapy cases.
APPROVED – Standard Non-Tobacco rates.

Unfavorable radiation treatment factors:

  • Gleason Score of 7 (when it’s a 4+3)
  • Under Age 60, when diagnosed
  • Hormonal Therapy
  • PSA Increase of 1.0 or more above your nadir
  • Gleason Grade of 8 or greater.
  • PSA increases greater than 2.0 ng/ml are considered a recurrence.

Cancer recurrence requires a five-year postponement period.

Types of radiation treatment include:

  • Internal radiation such as brachytherapy.
  • External radiation – EBRT- IMRT, IGRT, 3D-CRT, SBRT, and Proton Beam.

A quick note about radiation – The type of treatment and radiation dose doesn’t matter as much as the medical outcome.

We’ll also need to know about prostate disorders such as BPH, prostatitis, and high-grade PIN.

Have you had any genomic testing completed? Let us know your test and the result, as it can help with underwriting.

Genomic prostate cancer tests include:

  • Decipher
  • FoundationOne Liquid CDX
  • Oncotype DX
  • Prolaris Test
  • ProstaVysion

We’ll share these test results with companies to get coverage for you.

Prostatectomy Combined with Radiation

When you receive surgery and radiation, there will be a postponement period that follows the above radiation guidelines.

In addition, the rates tend to be more expensive due to the increased concern about your diagnosis requiring both treatments.

Underwriters are concerned about the potential to spread to lymph nodes, your bladder, or gastrointestinal organs.

Any underwriting offers will likely include a table rating and a flat extra expense.

Hormone therapy, if any, is also a vital factor to disclose.

We found an excellent resource for understanding your diagnosis at the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Recent Articles:

Denied Due to Prostate Cancer?

Have you been denied because of prostate cancer?

Many declines are due to working with the wrong life insurer, as only a few specialize in high-risk cases.

Burial insurance for cancer patients may be possible for those with advanced stage 3 or stage 4 cancer.

Prostate Cancer FAQ

The following are the most common questions we receive.

Can I get life insurance after prostate cancer?

You can get life insurance if you meet the criteria we described above.

Can I get life insurance if I have prostate cancer?

Life insurance is available if you meet the active surveillance criteria described.

Which life insurance companies are best?

Prudential, Lincoln Financial Group, John Hancock, and Protective Life are some of the best insurance carriers.

How does prostate cancer affect underwriting?

For example, some companies specialize in radiation and active surveillance, while others specialize in radical prostatectomy.

Can I get life insurance if I was previously denied?

Remember that only a few companies specialize in high-risk coverage. That’s why it’s crucial to work with us.

Do life insurers favor one type of prostate cancer treatment?

In the early years, life insurers prefer radical prostatectomy. Radiation and active surveillance receive similar offers as more time passes.

Final Thoughts

There’s never any pressure or obligation with our service.

We provide underwriting feedback from insurance carriers specializing in high-risk underwriting.

With Covid still prevalent, some companies have limited offers for older ages, but we can help you navigate that.

Please take a few minutes to submit your request.

Sources for This Article

[1] Prudential Financial, Inc. (2017) Prostate Cancer [PDF file]

[2] Lincoln National (2020) Prostate Cancer Life Insurance Application Result

[3] Prudential Financial, Inc. (2016) Good News for Clients Treated for Cancer [PDF file]

[4] John Hancock Insurance (2018) Field Underwriting Guide – Your Guide to Underwriting Impairments, Part II Pg. 23 [PDF file]

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