Life insurance is available for thyroid cancer survivors, whether you’ve had papillary thyroid cancer, follicular thyroid cancer or medullary thyroid cancer. Find out how much life insurance should cost you based on your cancer history.
This thyroid cancer insurance article covers:
- Is life insurance available if I had thyroid cancer?
- How long after thyroid cancer do I have to wait for life insurance?
- Papillary thyroid cancer life insurance – When is it available?
- Follicular thyroid cancer life insurance – Can you get it?
- Medullary thyroid cancer life insurance – Is life insurance possible?
- What do life insurers look for with thyroid cancer histories?
- Get a life insurance quote today
Our expertise in underwriting life insurance for cancer survivors will help you find your best rate based on your individual cancer history.
Is life insurance available if I had thyroid cancer?
Yes, life insurance is available for thyroid cancer survivors. Most people who’ve had thyroid cancer are insurable as soon as treatment and follow-ups have been completed. This is especially true for papillary thyroid cancer survivors.
According to Endocrineweb.com, 70-80% of all thyroid cancers are papillary thyroid cancer.
If you need help with a condition such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, our thyroid diseases life insurance section will help if you.
How long after thyroid cancer do I have to wait for life insurance?
The postpone (waiting) period for life insurance depends on the type of thyroid cancer you had, the severity and treatment received.
You’ll find detailed thyroid cancer information in this article, broken out by the type and staging of your thyroid cancer.
Factors that may increase the postpone periods include radioisotope test scans that are positive, or calcitonin levels that are not stable after medullary thyroid carcinoma treatment.
Papillary thyroid cancer life insurance – When is it available?
In most cases, life insurance for papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) survivors is available as soon as treatment and follow-ups have been completed. Completion of treatment means that thyroid surgery such as a lobectomy or thyroidectomy has taken place, and the latest radioisotope scan (if applicable) is negative.
Standard rates are available for many stage 1 papillary thyroid cancers and stage 2 thyroid cancers.
If you were diagnosed prior to age 20 or after age 60, life insurance is available although rates may be less favorable and include an additional expense called a flat extra.
Stage 3 thyroid cancers will receive a flat extra expense in addition to the standard rate. Flat extras vary by company and will last 3-5 years after the completion of treatment.
Stage 4a thyroid cancers will be postponed for a minimum of 5 years after completion of all treatment.
The availability of life insurance will depend on all medical factors and will include a table rating and/or a flat extra expense.
Stage 4b thyroid cancers (metastatic thyroid cancer) are postponed for a minimum of 10 – 15 years.
The availability of life insurance after stage 4b depends on where the cancer spread to, and how effective treatment has been.
Follicular thyroid cancer life insurance – Can you get it?
Follicular thyroid cancer (FTC) accounts for approximately 15% of all thyroid cancers.
Both follicular and papillary cancers are also known as Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancers (DTC), and share a similar life insurance underwriting outcome.
An exception to this is Hurthle Cell thyroid cancer.
Hurthle Cell is a variant of follicular cancer, tends to occur with older ages, and with insureds who have more serious risk factors than those with traditional follicular thyroid cancer.
The treatment received for Hurthle Cell tends to be more aggressive and impacts underwriting postpone periods.
Medullary thyroid cancer life insurance – Is life insurance possible?
Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) accounts for less than 5% of all thyroid cancers and can be difficult to insure. The reasons why medullary thyroid cancers are difficult with life insurance underwriting has to do with their aggressive nature and resistance to some forms of treatment.
Medullary thyroid carcinoma is either familial (each generation of a family) or it is sporadic.
This type of cancer develops from the “C” cells of the thyroid gland, which normally make the hormone calcitonin to control the amount of calcium in your blood.
The underwriting concerns that make life insurance difficult for medullary thyroid cancers include:
- Cancers may occur earlier in life and spread more quickly than other thyroid cancers.
- Radioactive iodine therapy does not work with medullary thyroid cancer.
Calcitonin levels should remain stable after treatment. Underwriters will want to see multiple checks of calcitonin levels before insuring you.
From an underwriting standpoint, medullary cancers are a case by case process and typically require postpone periods of 3-5 years after the completion of treatment.
Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer
All Anaplastic thyroid cancers are stage 4 cancers and are not insurable. This type of cancer is very aggressive and spreads quickly.
Guaranteed issue policies may be considered but keep in mind that the death benefit is not typically available until the policy has been active for 3 years.
What do life insurers look for with thyroid cancer histories?
To receive accurate life insurance quotes based on your cancer history, the following is needed:
- When were you diagnosed with thyroid cancer?
- What type of thyroid cancer did you have?
- How was the thyroid cancer treated?
- What stage was the thyroid cancer?
- Were any lymph nodes cancerous?
- Did the cancer spread to other organs?
- Has there been any recurrence?
Life insurance carriers review your entire medical history as part of their underwriting process.
Once we have the medical information needed, we shop out to companies using a quick quote process.
A quick quote allows us to reach out to life insurance carriers on an anonymous basis for underwriting feedback.
The benefit to you is that it only takes about 3 days to hear back from companies that specialize in thyroid cancer.
Once we have that feedback, we can tell you what to expect in terms of underwriting and price.
If you haven’t tried it already, check out our article How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?
It’s a great article to help you figure out the amount of insurance to consider.
Please take a few minutes to complete your thyroid cancer quote request today.
You’ll receive customized quotes based on your thyroid cancer history. If you are running instant quotes for yourself, select “Regular” or “Regular Plus” when running quotes.
Michael J Horbal is the owner of LifeInsuranceAdvisors.com, an independent life insurance agency specializing in high risk life insurance. Since 1998, Michael has helped thousands of consumers with their personal, business, and estate planning life insurance needs. Check out our life insurance blog for detailed articles to help you.