How To Get Term Life Insurance If You Have Lung Cancer


08/08/2012 By: in Life Insurance


Term Life Insurance and Lung CancerLung cancer is cancer that starts in the lungs. Lung cancer is more common in older adults. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. The more cigarettes you smoke per day and the earlier you started smoking, the greater your risk for lung cancer. However, lung cancer has occurred in people who have never smoked. . Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer for both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t get approved at the best rating class with the lowest premium possible. How? You first need to understand how life insurance companies handle applicants with heart murmurs. What do they look for? How can you prepare? What is the likely outcome?

Read on to find the answers and get started with your term life insurance application.

 

Lung Cancer Statistics

As of 2011, the following numbers show the significance of lung cancer:

  • 208,493 people in the United States were diagnosed with lung cancer, including 111,886 men and 96,607 women.
  •  158,592 people in the United States died from lung cancer, including 88,541 men and 70,051 women.
  • An estimated 3,000 nonsmoking adults will die each year from lung cancer related to breathing secondhand smoke.

 

Treatments and Prevention

It has been estimated that as many as 65 - 85% of cancers can be prevented through diet and lifestyle changes. Here are some ways you can decrease your risk factors and improve your chance of kidney cancer prevention:

  • Choose a diet rich in a variety of plant-based foods
  • Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all
  • Select foods low in fat and salt
  • Prepare and store foods safely
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco in any form

 

If lung cancer is found, necessary treatment steps must be taken immediately. Treatment varies by the individual circumstances. Treatment depends on tumor size and location, stage and grade of the disease and other factors. In some cases, patients may have to undergo surgery to remove the cancer. Use of radiation, chemotherapy or some combination of the two is highly likely.

Doctors may use several tests to accurately stage a lung cancer, including laboratory (blood chemistry) tests, X-rays, CT scans, bone scans, MRI scans, and PET scans. Abnormal blood chemistry tests may signal the presence of metastases in bone or liver, and radiological procedures can document the size of a cancer as well as its spread.

NSCLC are assigned a stage from I to IV in order of severity:

  • In stage I, the cancer is confined to the lung.
  • In stages II and III, the cancer is confined to the chest (with larger and more invasive tumors classified as stage III).
  • Stage IV cancer has spread from the chest to other parts of the body.

SCLC are staged using a two-tiered system:

  • Limited-stage (LS) SCLC refers to cancer that is confined to its area of origin in the chest.
  • In extensive-stage (ES) SCLC, the cancer has spread beyond the chest to other parts of the body.

 

What Life Insurance Companies Look For

Life insurance companies want to see that people with a history of lung cancer have (1) received full treatment, and (2) have completed regular follow up visits per doctor’s orders. Lifelong follow up is very important, as recurrences can occur as many as 30 years after the initial diagnosis.

The life insurance company you apply with will be looking specifically at:

Term Life Insurance and Lung Cancer

  • Your age at diagnosis
  • The amount of time since diagnosis
  • The stage and grade of cancer
  • The tumor size
  • Whether there was any recurrence of cancer following recovery
  • Length of time since treatment and/or recovery
  • The treatment success and adherence to treatment recommendations
  • Follow up visits as recommended by doctor
  • Whether you are a tobacco/drug/alcohol user
  • Any other major health problems

 

How to Prepare for Your Term Life Insurance Application

There are important measures you can take to prepare yourself before applying for term life insurance. Doing so will help your chances of getting approved at the best rating class possible. Use the following tips to put yourself in the best position to win:

  • Have all doctors’ name/address/phone available.
  • Make sure your doctor(s) has copies of all records regarding the cancer treatment, pathology reports, and follow up reports.
  • Have a list of all medications and their dosages available.
  • Do not skip any follow up visits with your doctor.

 

Our Experience Has Shown …

We’ve helped thousands of people apply for term life insurance and many of those people had lung cancer. Here are a few things we’ve learned:

  • Life insurance companies usually postpone applicants who have not followed doctor’s orders regarding follow up visits, or those that have outstanding follow up visits.
  • Generally speaking, life insurance companies do not make policy offers while the applicant is currently in treatment.
  • You may be declined if you apply too soon after finishing treatment, typically within the first year.
  • Approval is more likely the longer it has been since treatment, with no recurrence.
  • Rating classes better than Standard are rare. Most applicants with a history of breast cancer receive a Sub-standard rating class or a policy with an extra premium of some degree.
  • The best chances for approval with a good rating class and no extra premium are:
  • Over age 40 at diagnosis
  • Early stage, small tumors
  • The life insurance company will usually decline applicants if the cancer metastasized.

 

Real Examples from Real Customers                                                                         

Good Outcome

Jackson applied for term life insurance when he was 56 years old.

  • Diagnosed at age 50
  • Stage 0 lung cancer
  • Treatment involved surgery, radiation and chemotherapy
  • Positive results from follow up appointments with doctor
  • No other medical conditions
  • Outcome:  Approved at a Standard rating class
  • Premium:   $509 annually

Not So Good Outcome

Joan applied for term life insurance when she was 45 years old.

  • Diagnosed at age 42
  • Stage 2 lung cancer
  • Treatment involved surgery, radiation and chemotherapy
  • Positive results from follow up appointments with doctor
  • No other medical conditions
  • Outcome:  Postponed for 10 years from treatment ending (age 50)

Poor Outcome

Roger applied for term life insurance when he was 38 years old.

  • Diagnosed at age 34
  • Stage 2 lung cancer
  • Treatment involved surgery, radiation and chemotherapy
  • Has not seen a doctor in over two years
  • No other medical conditions
  • Tobacco User
  • Outcome:  Declined

 

You can see Jackson had the best outcome, due to a low-stage cancer that was caught early and treated. Being over age forty and having regular follow up appointments with his doctor also helped. Joan’s cancer was more extensive, and although she had no other medical conditions and good follow up, her application was postponed until more time has passed since treatment. Finally, Roger was the youngest of the group when he was diagnosed. However, his lack of routine follow up and tobacco use resulted in his application being declined.

 

What This All Means for You

The good news about applying for term life insurance when you have a history of lung cancer is -- yes, you can qualify for coverage! Your outcome and resulting premium cost will depend greatly on a number of factors, including your age, stage of cancer, treatment, follow up, medical history and more.

While you can control the outcome to some extent through good follow up and lifestyle habits, other uncontrollable factors will come into play when the life insurance company reviews your application.

Remember, you could be asked to wait and apply later (postponed) or your policy may cost more due to an extra premium being applied (flat extra for a specific number of years, usually 1-10). But these are temporary measures and eventually you will get the coverage you seek and a more affordable premium cost!

As always, please discuss your situation with your life insurance agent or broker, and provide as much information as you can. They will help direct you to the best life insurance company based on your individual circumstances. And if you are not pleased with the offer you receive, you can always apply with another company.



This entry's tags: QuickQuote, term life insurane, premium, health, cancer, lung cancer, cigarettes, declined

0 User Comment(s)