Last Updated: May 2020
Individuals with a history of bladder cancer are often curious as to how complicated obtaining life insurance with cancer will be, and what will be involved in the process.
The good news is that it is only becoming easier to obtain life insurance and the companies have been making the process more streamlined than ever. Even for individuals with health histories or current health problems such as bladder cancer.
Several factors go into obtaining life insurance after bladder cancer and it is important that you understand what to expect.
In this article, we will cover:
- How Does Bladder Cancer Affect Life Insurance Rates?
- Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your Bladder Cancer
- The Best Life Insurance Companies for People with Bladder Cancer
- How to Apply for Life Insurance with Bladder Cancer
How Does Bladder Cancer Affect Life Insurance Rates?
We’ve helped many of our clients who have a history of bladder cancer secure affordable life insurance coverage. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get asked during this process.
Are Preferred Rates Possible with Bladder Cancer?
The short answer is yes! Preferred life insurance rates (some of the best rates issued by an insurance company) are available to individuals who have had their 15-year anniversary of being cancer-free.
On the flip side of that, if you currently have bladder cancer or have not yet had your one-year anniversary of being cancer-free, you won’t qualify for traditional life insurance. You can, however, qualify for graded death benefit policies.
These are life insurance policies at a lower death benefit that have a two-year waiting period before any benefits payout.
Since the recurrence rate of bladder cancer is high, insurance underwriters want to see that you have a routine follow-up with a urine cytology test and/or cystoscopy procedure.
Those with the greatest risk for recurrence are those with tumors that are large, high grade (II & III), or those with multiple tumors.
Those who show consistent follow up will be offered better rates than those who don’t have consistent follow up with their doctors. Underwriters also like seeing that bladder cancer was detected and treated in the early stages.
The best-case scenario for someone with a history of bladder cancer is preferred rates, while the worst case is a flat out decline (as is the case if you still have bladder cancer).
Most people will land somewhere in the middle. Depending on the severity of cancer and the type of treatment, some insurance companies will issue a flat extra.
What is Flat Extra and Does It Apply To Bladder Cancer?
A flat extra is an amount in addition to the insurance premium that is added by the insurance company. It can be temporary or permanent.
Flat extra amounts range from $5 to $15 per $1,000 of coverage.
The amounts in the chart below reflect the flat extra as annual amounts. If you pay insurance premiums on a monthly basis, simply divide the amounts below by 12 to find the monthly amount.
With a history of bladder cancer, it is very difficult to say for certain if you will be expected to pay this flat extra charge or not.
It will depend on which life insurance company you ultimately decide to work with and your specific medical background.
Underwriting: What Life Insurance Companies Will Ask About Your Bladder Cancer
Being prepared for the life insurance application and having answers to key questions about your health and cancer status will help streamline the process. Below we will list some questions you might be asked by the underwriters.
You will need to Answer Health Questions
The process of buying life insurance can sometimes feel intrusive, but bear in mind, life insurance underwriters ask specific medical questions in order to understand your health history.
In addition to asking you the questions below, we’ll obtain an APS (Attending Physician’s Statement) from your doctor’s office(s) to confirm those questions.
It’s best to be as upfront and honest with us as possible, as this will help us determine the best insurance company fit. Here’s what we’ll need to know about your bladder cancer:
- How was cancer treated?*
- What was the date your treatment was completed?
- Have you been taking any prescriptions?
- What stage was cancer?**
- Were lymph nodes involved? If yes, how many?
- Have you been told there’s been any recurrence?
- When was your last cystoscopy and urine cytology?
- What were those results?
In addition to the above questions specific to bladder cancer, you’ll also be asked general health questions such as your height and weight, and if you’re a smoker.
Bladder Cancer Treatment Options
Bladder cancer treatment may have included one of the following:
- Endoscopic resection
- Endoscopic resection and chemotherapy instilled in the bladder
- Radical cystectomy
- Radiation therapy
- Systemic chemotherapy
The Various Bladder Cancer Rating Systems
Knowing what rating you fall under will help you figure out what your rates will be. There are numerous rating systems on bladder cancer, so we’ve created a table to make things easier.
|Stage 0 (In Situ)||In-Situ or 0||Tis|
|Stage III||B2 or C||T2N0M0
|Stage IV||D1 or D2||T3BN0M0
The Best Life Insurance Companies for People with Bladder Cancer
There are many great top life insurance companies to consider, but these two companies are some of the best when working with bladder cancer.
Mutual of Omaha
One of the best life insurance companies for bladder cancer is the Mutual of Omaha. They offer preferred rates to individuals who are 15 years of post-cancer treatment and standard rates to individuals who are 10 years of post-cancer treatment.
The caveat is that cancer must have been superficial (consisting of papillary tumors that are mucosally confined (Ta)), and were grades I & II only, consisting of no more than two lesions.
Transamerica is also one of the best life insurance companies when it comes to bladder cancer.
They offer preferred rates to non-smokers who are at least five years of post-cancer treatment.
For more severe cases of cancer, a 10-year waiting period is required.
How to Apply for Life Insurance with Bladder Cancer
Once we have your health questions answered, we will email your information (without your name or any other identifying information attached to the file) to multiple life insurance underwriters with the insurance companies that we know will view your bladder cancer most favorably.
We have years of experience helping those with a history of bladder cancer get the life insurance policies they need at affordable prices and would love to do the same for you.
Since we work with so many different life insurance companies, and they all have different ways of assessing risk, we’ll help you apply with the company that will look most favorably at your risk.
We’ll compare the responses and rates and go from there.
The great part about this process is it secures you a tentative life insurance approval – meaning that if everything is as you said it was and nothing different comes back in your medical records/APS, then this is the rate you get.
The life insurance company cannot give you a higher rate unless they found some concerning or contradictory information. This is why we ask you to be as transparent as possible when speaking with us.
The last thing to remember, if you get the insurance premium offered to you doesn’t fit your budget, you have the right to walk away from the process with no obligation to purchase.
Next Steps for Obtaining Life Insurance with Bladder Cancer
- Complete the quote form on this page
- Complete this contact form OR
- Call us at (888) 430-7668
Also, be sure to check out our other guides below to learn more about how different types of cancer can affect life insurance approval and rates.