Our top 5 life insurance tips for prostate cancer survivors will help you find the best rate available based on your prostate cancer history.
Prostate Cancer Survivors Life Insurance
You're not alone if you've been diagnosed with prostate cancer....180,000 men will be diagnosed this year alone! Our expertise helps cancer survivors find affordable life insurance.
No time to wait? (These quick links will take you to your topic of interest)
- Prostate Cancer Underwriting Overview
- Radical Prostatectomy Underwriting
- Radiation Treatment Underwriting
- Watch and Wait/Active Surveillance
- Prostate Cancer Client Success Stories
Since 1998, we've been helping men like you find your best life insurance rate.
If you haven't done so already, we recommend that you check out the following resource.
Our link to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) does not represent an endorsement of our service by PCF, and is for information purposes only.
Prostate Cancer Underwriting Overview
Life insurance underwriters look for the following information
- Age - Your age at time of diagnosis.
- PSA levels - Before and after treatment.
- Prostate Cancer Stage - From the pathology report or biopsy report.
- Gleason Score - What was your Gleason Score?
- Prostate Cancer Treatment Received - Surgery, Radiation, Active Surveillance/Watch and Wait.
See below for actual prostate cancer cases that may be similar to your history.
How Underwriters View Your Prostate Cancer History
Important to know is that only a handful of life insurance companies are aggressive for prostate cancer underwriting. Furthermore, most of these companies are only competitive for very specific medical scenarios.
The point being that your unique medical history will determine which companies are best for you. If you've been declined in the past, let us know as most likely the wrong company was used.
How Your Type of Prostate Cancer Treatment Affects Life Insurance Underwriting
If you're looking for term life insurance after prostate cancer, our updated prostate cancer guidelines make it easier for you to understand how your treatment affects the availability and timing of life insurance.
Radical Prostatectomy Underwriting
Radical prostatectomy histories receive the most aggressive offers from underwriting. A radical prostatectomy is an operation to remove the prostate gland and some of the tissue around it.
Typically, and elevated PSA level followed by PSA monitoring and a prostate biopsy will provide a prostate cancer diagnosis. The biopsy report provides an estimated cancer stage and estimated Gleason score.
Once the radical prostatectomy has been completed, the pathologist will determine the final prostate cancer staging, Gleason score and will determine if surgical margins were positive or negative.
PSA levels after surgery should be zero or close to it and should not rise.
Life insurance may be available 3-12 months after a radical prostatectomy. It may be possible to obtain standard or standard plus rates. In limited cases, a preferred rate is available.
Radiation requires longer postpone periods after treatment than a radical. The reason why is that underwriters need to see proof that radiation treatment has worked for you.
Most radiation treatments including brachytherapy or external beam radiation such as IMRT, 3D-CRT, SBRT, proton beam, require 12 month postpone periods or longer.
Your PSA level needs to decrease over time, and PSA levels should be stable for about 12 months. It's important for you to have all PSA level readings from the time treatment started until now.
If your PSA level has increased by 0.2 ng/ml or greater since its lowest reading, most underwriters will consider this as a recurrence. Life insurance is difficult to obtain after a recurrence.
Watch and Wait/Active Surveillance
If you've been diagnosed with prostate cancer and your treatment plan is active surveillance/watch and wait, life insurance is very tricky.
We have definitely noticed an increase in the number of younger insureds opting for active surveillance. With that being said, the availability of life insurance companies is very limited.
Under Age 50 - life insurance is generally not available. The one company that specialized in this age group left the market in early 2016.
Age 50 - 65 - life insurance may be available if your PSA level has been stable for 2-3 years and is 10 or less. Your Gleason score needs to be 6 or less.
Age 65+ - Low stage 1 - 2b prostate cancers with Gleason scores of 6 or less, PSA levels of 10 or less and stable are insurable with a number of companies.
The key with active surveillance/watch and wait is to have frequent follow-ups and stable PSA levels.
Insureds age 65 and older may be able to obtain standard rates, while younger insureds will have additional expenses called table ratings and/or flat extras added to the price of the policy.
Prostate Cancer Underwriting Conclusion
Regardless of the type of treatment you choose, we have life insurance options for you. It is important that you have complete details and the entire PSA level history in order for us to effectively shop for you.
When we receive your information, we'll discuss with you first and will then reach out to companies for feedback. Once that feedback is received, we'll let you know what each company has to say in terms of underwriting and price.
Client Success Stories
Here are some actual case histories that may be helpful to you.
Case Study #39 Brachytherapy Treatment
Our 71 year old client was looking for $250,000 of life insurance. His prior agent had him apply to the wrong company, and he was promptly declined....Good for us though as I knew I could help!
The prostate cancer details include the following:
- Age at time of Diagnosis – 68
- Stage 1 prostate cancer.
- Pre-Treatment PSA Level – 6.5
- Gleason Score – 6 (3+3)
- Treatment – Brachytherapy – Radiation Seed Implant
- Post-Treatment PSA Level – Range has consistently been 0.8 – 1.0 since completion of treatment.
- Recurrence? No
With any type of radiation treatment, the underwriter is ultimately looking at your post treatment PSA levels. We were able to find our client an affordable policy that he accepted.
Full details and underwriting offers are here for Case Study #39 - Brachytherapy Underwriting Outcome
Case Study #41 - Watch and Wait/Active Surveillance
Our 69 year old client needed $500,000 of life insurance to protect his family.
Prostate Cancer Case Study Details:
- Age at time of Diagnosis - 69
- Stage T1a prostate cancer.
- Pre-Treatment PSA Level - 3.1
- Gleason Score - 6
- How Was Prostate Cancer Treated - Watch & Wait
- Post-Treatment PSA Level - 3.6
- Has There Been Any Recurrence? N/A
Watch and Wait Underwriting Outcome:
After a year of watching PSA levels rise, our client had a biopsy and was diagnosed with stage prostate cancer, Stage T1a, Gleason Score of 6. At time of prostate cancer diagnosis, his PSA level was 3.6...up from 3.1 6 months ago.
With active surveillance and/or watch and wait prostate cancers, there are only a few companies willing to consider coverage. Our client was satisfied and accepted the offer we obtained.
Check out the full details here for Case Study # 41 - Watch and Wait prostate cancer
Case Study #38 - Radical Prostatectomy
A 54 year old business owner looking for $500,000 of buy-sell life insurance.
Prostate Cancer Case Study Details:
- Age at time of Diagnosis - 54
- Cancer Stage - T1c
- Pre-Treatment PSA Level - 6
- Gleason Score - 7 (3+4)
- Prostate Cancer Treatment - Radical Prostatectomy
- Has There Been Any Recurrence? No
Radical Prostatectomy Underwriting Outcome:
For this particular case, the most difficult aspect of the case is the Gleason Score. When scores are 7 or above, less companies become available to you.
You'll find the full details regarding the accepted offer we obtained for Case Study #38 - Radical Prostatectomy Gleason 7
These are just a handful of the most common scenarios we encounter.
Additional Prostate Cancer Resources
Many people wrongly think that if they've been declined by one company, all companies will decline them. The reality is that each company has its own set of underwriting guidelines.
There are certain companies out there that specialize in prostate cancer underwriting, and we'll show you which companies are best for your situation.
Prostate Cancer Reference Material and Sources Used:
- American Cancer Society - Key statistics for prostate cancer
- Underwriting: What Every Producer Must Know - by Hank George, FALU, CLU, FLMI
- WebMD - Radical Prostectomy information
- The Academy of Life Underwriting - Intermediate Life Insurance Underwriting textbook - Chapter 3 Prostate Cancer
- John Hancock Life Insurance Company - Agent and Broker Companion Guide - Your guide to underwriting impairments.
- Prudential Life Insurance Company - Rx for Success for prostate disorders, prostate cancer, prostate specific antigens, including but not limited to #0191079, #0192164, #0277877
- LifeInsuranceAdvisors.com prostate cancer case studies from 1998 - 2016.
GenRe - Risk Matters - Prostate Cancer
How Do We Know What We Know About Prostate Cancer Life Insurance?
My name is Michael J. Horbal. I learned prostate cancer underwriting working for the largest high risk life insurance distributor in the U.S. I worked on thousands of cases, helping agents nationwide with their clients prostate cancer histories.
Recognizing the need for consumers to have an accurate resource for high risk life insurance information, I started this company to help you find affordable life insurance rates based on your prostate cancer history.
Did you have a stage 1 prostate cancer?
This case study shows you what underwriters are looking at when considering life insurance for a stage 1 prostate cancer treated surgically with a radical prostatectomy.
Prudential Life Insurance Company may be a great option for your prostate cancer life insurance needs. Prudential’s life insurance underwriting for prostate cancer, has long been one of the most aggressive life insurance companies to work with. As a company that specializes in impaired risk life insurance, Prudential has established guidelines for underwriting prostate cancer […]
Prostate Cancer Survivors Life Insurance You’re not alone if you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer….180,000 men will be diagnosed this year alone! Our expertise helps you find your best rate. No time to wait? (These quick links will take you to your topic of interest) Prostate Cancer Underwriting Overview Radical Prostatectomy Underwriting Radiation Treatment Underwriting […]
Prostate cancer life insurance case study 41 for your review. Keep in mind that while each case is uniquely different, impaired risk life insurance companies that are competitive with prostate cancer histories, look for the following information. Prostate Cancer Life Insurance Case Study Overview If you have a history of prostate cancer, life insurance underwriters are […]