It used to be that if you had a history of breast cancer, getting life insurance was virtually impossible. However, because so many women are showing breast cancer who’s boss and continuing to live long, health, normal lives after beating breast cancer, life insurance companies have actually started to reconsider providing coverage for breast cancer survivors.
What You Need to Know About Getting Life Insurance as a Breast Cancer Survivor
Of course, the news that life insurance companies have reconsidered giving life insurance to women who have survived breast cancer is exciting news; however, that news doesn’t necessarily mean that getting life insurance coverage is easy. But, it also doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible. You will have to put a bit more effort into getting life insurance coverage than the average person, but it can certainly be done.
If you are a breast cancer survivor, here’s a look at what you need to know to make the process of getting life insurance coverage a possibility, if not a piece of cake.
Rely on Your Agent
Every life insurance company will take your health, both current and past, into consideration when determining the coverage they will offer you, and the amount you will have to pay for that coverage. If your past medical records show that you had breast cancer, the insurance agency will look at your specific health history differently than they would for other people. This is where your agent comes into play. Your agent will use his or her expertise and resources to help you find the most affordable and the best life insurance coverage for you.
How You can Help
You shouldn’t rely solely on your agent to do all of the work for finding the best and most affordable life insurance coverage for you. There are certain things that you can do to make the task of finding life insurance easier for your agent, including:
- Letting your agent know what specific type of breast cancer you had.
- What stage and grade your cancer was when it was diagnosed.
- When you were diagnosed; at what age and in what year.
- When did your treatment start and when did it end.
- What type of treatment you received.
- Whether or not you had any metastasis or if any lymph nodes were involved, and if so, what the details are.
- What the size of the tumor was.
By providing your agent with all of this information, he or she will be able to accurately find a company that would be the best fit for you. Additionally, you should also present the agent with a copy of your pathology report, as it will be a significant help in prequalifying your risk. Once you present all of this information to your agent, he or she can start working.
Important Information to Know
The less advanced your breast cancer was and the less treatment that was needed to treat it, the better for your life insurance. Life insurance companies view breast cancer survivors as a high risk, so the less severe your breast cancer was, the better your chances are of receiving coverage. Additionally, the type of treatment that was needed to destroy the cancer can have a direct impact on your overall health. Certain treatments for cancer can have detrimental effects on your overall health, making you more susceptible to the development of certain diseases in the future.
If your breast cancer was at stage 3 or 4, then your chances of getting life insurance coverage are slim. However, if you have been in remission for 10 or more years, your chances of getting life insurance coverage will increase. If your cancer was at stage 0, 1 or 2, you do have a fair chance of being approved for life insurance coverage. The stage of your breast cancer, the size of your tumor, and the metastasis status will all be taken into consideration and will assign you a rate class by the life insurance company.
What is a Risk Class?
Essentially, a risk class determines how much of a risk you are to the life insurance company. These classes include:
- Preferred, which means that you are in great health and are a minimal risk to the life insurance company
- Standard, which means that you are in average health and you are a slightly higher risk to the life insurance company
- Substandard, which means that you are in poor health and are considered a high risk to the life insurance company
If you have a history of breast cancer, you can expect that your best risk class ranking will be standard; though many breast cancer survivors will receive a substandard rating by most insurance companies.
Chances of Getting Life Insurance as a Breast Cancer Survivor
As a breast cancer survivor, you are surely wondering what your chances of getting health insurance coverage actually are. While this is difficult to determine, as each person is different, and so is each life insurance company, here is a look at what the average person’s chances are of getting life insurance as a breast cancer survivor:
- If your cancer was at a stage 0, 1 or 2, it didn’t spread, and the treatment was quick and not aggressive, you can expect that your chances of getting life insurance coverage will be pretty average. You can also expect that you will receive standard rates.
- If your cancer was more advanced, a stage 3, 4 or 5, it spread and it required aggressive treatment, and if you have only been in remission for a short period of time, you will have a more difficult time getting life insurance coverage. Unfortunately, you are considered a greater risk for a life insurance company, which means that they may deny your coverage. If, in the event that your coverage is approved, you will likely pay a significantly higher rate for your life insurance coverage.