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Buying Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer | Prostate Cancer Life Insurance

We all know that life insurance is essential, but getting a new policy after being diagnosed with prostate cancer can be difficult.

That’s because many companies won’t insure you or will charge you more based on your health history.

RiskQuoter helps you compare prostate cancer quotes from high-risk life insurance companies and finds the right policy for your situation.

Life Insurance with Prostate Cancer

Life insurance with prostate cancer is possible if you choose active surveillance.

Your entire PSA history is needed to get life insurance offers while in active surveillance (watch and wait).

Coverage Available Age 45-59 Age 60+
Term NO(1) YES
Universal NO(1) YES
G. I. YES YES
Accident YES YES
(1) Some 55-59-year-olds may be eligible for coverage

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:

  • 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 postpone period.

Unfavorable 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.

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

Life Insurance After Prostate Cancer

Life insurance depends on your cancer history and treatment for prostate cancer survivors.

Radical Prostatectomy

Life insurance is available in as little as three months after open radical prostatectomy or laparoscopic surgery if: [1]

  • 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 time of diagnosis
  • No family history of prostate cancer
  • No lymph node involvement

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

If you don’t meet the above, you have to wait 12 months to get life insurance. [2]

Can prostate cancer survivors get preferred life insurance rates?

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

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

Unfavorable factors that affect underwriting:

  • 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]

Radiation Therapy

Life insurance is available 12 months (sometimes sooner) after radiation therapy.

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

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 time of diagnosis

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

We need your entire PSA and biopsy history (dates and level) from when it first became elevated until now.

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 postpone 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 dose of radiation doesn’t matter.

Underwriters are more interested in the 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? It’s important to let us know what test you had and what the result was, 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 and Radiation

Life insurance underwriting is case by case as this is considered a more extensive cancer.

Minimum postpone periods follow radiation guidelines.

A radical with positive surgical margins is viewed more favorably than cancer that spreads beyond the prostate gland.

Prostate Cancer Underwriting Questions

Underwriters need to know:

  • When were you diagnosed?
  • What was your PSA level at the time of diagnosis?
  • How was cancer treated?
    • Radical Prostatectomy
    • Radiation
    • Active Surveillance – Watch & Wait
    • Other
  • The date of surgery or the start of treatment?
  • The end date of all therapy?
  • What stage and grade was cancer?
  • What was the Gleason score?
  • Were surgical margins positive or negative?
  • Has cancer reoccurred?
  • Have you had any genomic testing?

Let us know if you’ve had other health issues, such as heart disease, as they may impact underwriting.

With the above, we’ll be able to provide you with accurate life insurance quotes based on your medical history.

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.

Life Insurance Success Stories

Here are some actual clients that we have helped.

Gleason 6 – Radical Prostatectomy
  • Age 55 at the time of diagnosis
  • Stage T1b Prostate Cancer
  • PSA was 6
  • Gleason was a 6
  • Radical prostatectomy 2 years ago
  • No further treatment required.
  • No recurrence

Approved – Non-Smoker Plus rates

Gleason 7 – Radical Prostatectomy
  • Age 54 when diagnosed
  • Stage T1c prostate cancer
  • PSA was 6
  • Gleason = 7 (3+4)
  • Radical prostatectomy 3 years ago
  • No further treatment required.
  • No recurrence

Approved – Standard Non-Tobacco rates plus a 3-year flat extra expense of $600 per every $100,000 of coverage.

Gleason 7 is the reason for the more expensive life insurance rate.

Active Surveillance Treatment Plan
  • Age 69 when diagnosed
  • Stage T1a
  • Historical PSA of 5.0
  • Rising PSA Level
  • 5.1 at diagnosis
  • 5.6 at 6 months
  • Gleason 6
  • Active Surveillance

Approved – Standard Non-Tobacco rates.

For the active surveillance history, life insurers were concerned about the 0.5 increase in 6 months.

But, it was documented that he planned to start treatment should his PSA reach 6.

Radiation using 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

Approved – Standard Non-Tobacco rates.

For brachytherapy cases, underwriters focus on PSA levels after reaching your nadir (lowest level).

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.

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

Conclusion

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

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

Please take a few minutes to submit your request.

Related Articles

References

[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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Meet the Author - Michael Horbal

That’s me to the left. I’m the founder and owner of RiskQuoter. I hate the fact that many people pay too much for life insurance because they end up with the wrong life insurance company, agent or both.

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