Medical Advances May Allow You to Qualify for Life Insurance After Illness

In the past, insurers would have rejected applicants who had survived cancer; or, at the very least, made them wait a few years to reapply at a higher rate. However, the tide has turned, and it’s now easier to find coverage if you’ve been diagnosed with certain types of cancer or controlled diabetes.

Medical advances have improved patients’ survival rates, which have caused insurers to revisit underwriting policies. They are searching for diseases with the best chance for recovery and offering affected individuals coverage at standard rates.

Prostate cancer survivors are one group that has benefited from this new underwriting approach. Previously, suppose you had been treated for prostate cancer. In that case, you might have had to wait five years from the surgery date before being considered for life insurance coverage, provided that you didn’t experience a recurrence. Even after you were approved, you would undoubtedly pay a higher premium over the policy’s life. However, due to the advances in early detection, successful treatment protocols, and excellent survival rates, some life insurance carriers now offer these survivors’ policies at standard rates. Waiting periods to apply for coverage have also been reduced to about two months after surgery, depending on the prognosis and if the pathology reports are encouraging.

Breast cancer survivors are another group that has been re-evaluated. Several insurers will consider patients 40 or older with a small, localized Stage 1 condition who have been given a good prognosis for survival by their doctor. Applicants must also have completed treatment and the first follow-up visit and show no sign of recurrence. They, too, no longer have to wait years to apply, as was the case in the past.

People with diabetes may also be able to find coverage from many insurers if they have good test results and show their condition is under control.

The rules can vary from company to company when it comes to underwriting. The key to success lies in the way you present your case. The best approach emphasizes how well you are controlling your condition. Be sure to supply information from your doctor that supports your claim.

If one insurer rejects you, keep trying. One company may leave you entirely, while another will provide you with coverage at affordable rates.