Does Life Insurance Cover Cancer?

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Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of death worldwide. Being diagnosed with cancer is scary, and the last thing you want to do is leave a financial burden behind for your loved ones to deal with if you die. It’s essential to make sure your family has the financial coverage they need with the right life insurance policy. Here’s how life insurance for cancer patients works and some options that may be available to you. 

Can I get life insurance as a cancer patient?

If you’re wondering if you can buy life insurance with cancer, you’ll be happy to know that there are life insurance policies available to cancer patients. Life insurance companies consider cancer a natural cause of death, so many policies will pay for your death benefit if this was the cause.

Although some applications may take a bit more leg work to get approval, your application can be approved sooner if you have a cancer diagnosis with a higher survival rate like thyroid, cervical, or skin cancer. 

Factors that can affect eligibility and rates for cancer patients

Here are some factors that may affect life insurance eligibility and rates for cancer patients:

  • Your current health status: Your health status will help determine your approval and how much coverage you qualify for. If you smoke or consume alcohol, it can lessen your chances of being approved. 
  • Your age: You’re most likely to qualify for life insurance if you’re younger, and you can receive better rates based on your age. 
  • Your treatment plan: Your insurance company will need to know the details of your cancer treatment plan, how long you’ve been in treatment, how the cancer is responding, and how the treatment is affecting your health when considering your application. 
  • Your family history: If your immediate family has a history of cancer, this can increase the rates you’ll have to pay.
  • Your cancer status: Those with cancer that has metastasized, or spread to other areas, may be more difficult to insure. But if you are out of treatment or in remission, you may be more likely to qualify and get more favorable rates.

Life insurance for cancer patients

Here are some life insurance plan options for cancer patients:

Term life insurance

A term life insurance policy provides you with coverage for the duration of your term, which typically ranges from 10 to 30 years. Term life offers an affordable premium based on your calculated risk of death during your policy, your age, and a medical exam.

Whole life insurance

A whole life policy gives you coverage for your lifetime. Your premium rate is based on your medical exam and the amount of your guaranteed death benefit. This policy also allows you to collect cash value over time.

Simplified issue life insurance

A simplified issue offers limited life insurance using a short health questionnaire and no medical exam. You’ll get higher coverage amounts, and coverage issue is available within days instead of weeks or months with a traditional policy.

Guaranteed issue life insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a permanent policy that doesn’t require a medical exam for approval. But since you don’t need a medical exam, the coverage you can receive with this insurance plan will often be lower.

If your cancer is advanced or you’re currently in treatment for cancer, term and whole life policies might not be available to you. In this case, a guaranteed issue policy may be a good option to consider.

The bottom line

Although life insurance for cancer patients can be more expensive, it may be worth the cost by giving your loved ones added financial security. Compare your options and choose a policy based on your budget and needs. When you select a life insurance plan for cancer and the right coverage amount, your family’s financial future will be protected for years to come.