Cancer patients have enough on their plates without worrying about how to secure a life insurance policy. Unfortunately, many cancer patients incorrectly feel that a life insurance policy is out of reach. But the good news is certain types of life insurance policies are accessible to those with cancer. Here’s how to find a life insurance policy if you have cancer.
Are cancer patients eligible for life insurance?
It can certainly be more challenging for a cancer patient to find life insurance policy options that accept their current medical condition. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. There are a few factors that are reviewed by insurers when looking at eligibility and rates, including:
• Gender: Women tend to get more favorable life insurance rates than men since women generally live longer.
• Age: Those who are younger tend to receive more favorable rates from insurers.
• Health status: A cancer diagnosis is something insurers will come across in a standard medical review. And to properly gauge insurable risk, the life insurance company may need additional information to make an informed decision. Insurers may ask about the type of cancer, the stage, if cancer has spread, the current treatment plan, and family history. And your responses to these questions may determine eligibility.
What types of life insurance plans are available to cancer patients?
The most traditional life insurance options, term life and permanent life insurance, may be off the table for cancer patients. But there are other options to consider, including:
• Group life insurance: Typically provided by an employer, a group life insurance plan may not require any medical review. That means cancer patients may have guaranteed life insurance coverage up to a certain amount. It’s important to keep in mind that this kind of employer-subsidized coverage tends to offer a small death benefit payout ($50,000 or less is common). But it can often be enough for cancer patients to cover final arrangements or even leave a small legacy for loved ones.
• Guaranteed issue life insurance: A guaranteed issue life insurance policy again offers a small death benefit payout. But unlike group life insurance, you’ll need to apply for this policy as an individual, and premium payments may be high. That said, a guaranteed issue policy is a whole life policy, meaning you’ll have lifelong coverage even as your treatment evolves. Plus, there’s no medical exam required, meaning cancer patients may easily qualify.
How to choose the right life insurance plan for cancer patients
The right life insurance plan for you depends on what you want from the policy. If you’re looking to cover only final expenses, a guaranteed issue policy may be worth the price to ensure loved ones won’t need to pay out of pocket for a funeral. You may look to a group life insurance policy when your employer offers one, and you’re not financially prepared to pay for a policy right now.
It’s also essential to assess the reputation of the insurance company. Choose one that has excellent customer service and a history of helping cancer patients get life insurance coverage.
The bottom line
A cancer diagnosis doesn’t immediately put an end to having a life insurance policy. But it may limit your options. That’s why it’s important to assess life insurance companies and available policies. Then, ask for quotes and choose the most appropriate policy for your financial and medical situation.