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Can a Cancer Survivor Get Long Term Care Insurance?

by Jack Lenenberg

Cancer Long Term Care InsuranceThe underwriting of long term care insurance differs dramatically from the underwriting of life insurance, or even health insurance for that matter.

In our experience, cancer is the 4th most common reason for admission into a long term care facility.  Metastatic cancer results when cancer spreads to a distant organ through the lymph or circulatory system.  Common sites for cancer include the breast, lungs, prostate, colon, pancreas, lymph, brain and bone.

Treatment of cancer may involve surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.  In some cases, treatment may involve all 3 forms. Ideally, the treatment of choice is surgery where the cancer is completely removed, and has not spread.

We receive many calls from cancer survivors curious to know if they can medically qualify for long term care insurance.  Many cancer survivors are conditioned to life insurance underwriting guidelines that may require up to 7-10 years of stability prior to considering an application.  And even so, the life insurance premiums offered may be higher than offered for other applicants.

With long term care insurance it may be surprising for you to know that a history of cancer is often insurable, and many times at Standard healthy rates.

The long term care insurance underwriter will focus on the length of time since the date of the last treatment, also known as the stability period.

These are a few of the questions the long term care insurance underwriter will ask:

  • Date of the cancer diagnosis?
  • Where was the cancer located
  • What stage/grade was the cancer?
  • Was there any lymph node involvement?  If so, how many nodes were involved?
  • Was the cancer diagnosed as metastatic
  • Is this a recurrent cancer or is there a history of other cancers separate and distinct?
  • What type of treatment was received? (Surgery, Chemotherapy?)
  • Date treatment was completed?
  • Any complications or residual probalems?

Many early stage cancers located in the breast, bladder, colon and prostate may be insurable after a stability period of only 12 months.

Some later stage cancers such as Stage III or Stage IV may require a stability period of 24 months, 36 months, or longer from the date of the last treatment;  or the underwriter may not offer coverage at all.

With cancer history, each company underwrites differently.  Some companies require a shorter stability period prior to accepting an application; other companies require a longer stability period.  Some companies will assess a higher premium for the cancer history; other companies will offer Standard rates to cancer survivors;  Some companies will offer coverage to recurrent cancer history; other companies will decline for all recurrent cancer history.

When you apply for long term care insurance it is critically important to work with an experienced and independent long term care insurance agent that can shop your medical records to all of the top rated companies.

If you wish to be approved for long term care insurance and have a history of cancer-or any adverse medical history, for that matter-give us a call direct toll free at 800-891-5824.  We will help you get your application approved.

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Jack Lenenberg

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