eFinancial: How to Compare Life Insurance Plans for Cancer Patients
CHICAGO, November 24, 2021 (Newswire.com) - For many cancer patients, the idea of life insurance may feel out of reach. Luckily, there are life insurance options available for those battling cancer. While insurers typically look to insure those with lower-risk health issues, certain policies may be available to cancer patients. Here's what to know about life insurance for cancer patients and how to compare plans.
Eligibility factors for life insurance
When applying to any life insurance policy, the following factors may influence eligibility and rates:
- Age: Younger applicants have more life ahead and are typically provided with more favorable rates, all other factors equal.
- Gender: Since women tend to live longer than men, females may be offered better rates, all other factors equal.
- Health status: Life insurance companies base rates on lifestyle choices like tobacco use and look at the risk associated with a given occupation or hobby. Revealing a cancer diagnosis may prompt further questions that could change policy options and rates.
For cancer patients, insurers will likely be interested in:
- Family history: Cancer in the immediate family and those with a genetic predisposition may increase rates. Insurers are also interested in the age of a family member's diagnosis and may view diagnosis at a later age more favorably.
- Type of cancer: Certain kinds of cancer, like melanoma, are more common and have higher survival rates, making them more insurable than other, more severe cancers.
- Stage of cancer: End-stage cancer diagnoses will be more challenging to insure.
- If cancer has spread (metastasized): People with cancer that has spread to other areas can be more difficult to insure.
- The treatment plan: If the treatment plan is getting results and the cancer is responding to treatment, there may be a greater chance of receiving approval for a policy.
- Cancer status: Those who are multiple years out of treatment and in remission tend to get more favorable policy terms and rates. Someone currently in treatment may benefit from waiting a few years to lock in a better rate and saving what they might have paid in premiums during that time.
It can be best to give the life insurance company as much information as possible to make an informed decision.
Types of life insurance plans for cancer patients
The following two types of life insurance are often available to those with a cancer diagnosis:
- Guaranteed issue life insurance: Also known as burial coverage, a smaller guaranteed issue life insurance policy will be enough to cover funeral expenses and maybe even leave a small legacy. The major benefits of a guaranteed issue policy are that there's no medical exam required and it's a whole life policy, which means coverage for a lifetime. But there are some downsides to guaranteed issue life insurance, like the death benefit being limited to around $25,000 and that premiums may be expensive.
- Group life coverage: Group plans are typically available through employers and often insure participants up to a set amount ($50,000 is common) without a medical exam. Plus, since employers may cover the entire premium, this option tends to be low or no cost to the policyholder.
How to compare life insurance plans
When reviewing multiple life insurance plans, cancer patients should consider:
- Company reputation: Look for a reputable insurance company with good customer reviews and a proven track record of insuring cancer patients.
- How much money is needed: If funeral expenses are the only concern, a guaranteed issue life insurance policy may be the right move. But if the cancer patient has debt to cover, like a mortgage, they may seek a larger policy that will make a meaningful impact on debt repayment.
- Budget for policy premiums: Even policies that offer a small death benefit could cost a pretty penny each month. It's important to assess available policies in terms of what the policyholder can afford. That way, the policy will be a benefit that gives peace of mind, not something that adds to the financial burden.
The bottom line
Certain kinds of life insurance plans may be an option for cancer patients. When considering a guaranteed issue or group life insurance plan, it's important to find a reputable lender and choose a policy based on how much coverage the policyholder needs. And while premiums for cancer patients may be higher, it could be worth it for those who want to leave financial support for loved ones.