Navigating Life Insurance As a Cancer Survivor

by GregP_WN

As a cancer survivor, you’re probably eager to begin a new chapter in your life. But despite a positive outlook, it can be challenging to overcome the worries associated with life after cancer—especially when it comes to finances.

Navigating Life Insurance As A Cancer Survivor

One of the best ways to lessen the anxiety and fear of what’s ahead is by creating a solid plan. Of course, your plan is going to look different from another person’s plan, but the result of intentional planning should be similar in that you (and others) will hopefully live a better life because of it.

You should lean on your support system to help with developing your plan. If you do, you can help your family and loved ones prepare for when you are no longer able to be here with them in the physical world, as well as lean on them to help you organize your finances long-term. If you have to manage your finances alone, call your cancer center to set up an appointment with a financial counselor. These professionals can help you better understand and deal with financial changes and they can shoulder some of the responsibility to eliminate some stress.

You might be thinking: how on earth do I make the most of the time I have left with financial debt looming over my head? Well, you’ll need to determine the actual makeup of your plan, but a good first step is to revisit your life insurance coverage or look into new policies. Why? As a cancer survivor, you probably know how important it is to live life to the fullest. But it is equally as important to set aside time to prepare yourself and your family for the future and for when your journey on earth comes to a close—and in comes navigating life insurance.

A history of cancer might raise the cost of life insurance, but it won’t necessarily prevent or disqualify you from getting coverage. To get started, here are some tips on navigating life insurance as a cancer survivor.

Life Insurance Factors

Life insurance provides a safety net for your family—or whoever your chosen beneficiary is—even after you’re gone. A life insurance policy comes with financial protection and peace of mind, but a lot of factors can impact your rates, making the application process a somewhat stressful experience.

As a cancer survivor, one of the biggest factors that can raise the cost of life insurance is your health. Luckily, as noted earlier, having a history of cancer doesn’t prevent you from getting coverage—but you should know, companies will base your rates and qualification status on many factors like:
The date you were originally diagnosed with cancer
● The type of cancer
● The date of your last cancer treatment
● The above information combined with your overall health history

It is also important to note that companies weigh these factors differently, so it’s not as simple as saying “company X is the best for cancer survivors.” As a result, you should lean on others to guide you through this part of the process to find the best available rate.

Life Insurance Basics

Once you qualify for coverage, you’ll need to determine the best type of life insurance for your situation and future. Two of the most common types of life insurance coverage are term and whole life insurance.

With term life insurance, you pay for a set period of time (so you won’t be paying for any coverage you don’t need). Term policies also provide enough financial assistance to cover debts and final expenses, and are usually the cheapest option. On the flip side, whole life is a permanent form of life insurance that remains active for the length that you pay the premiums. Whole life insurance also has a cash value component but is more expensive and less flexible than term life insurance.

If enough time has passed since your last cancer treatment, you might be able to qualify for a traditional policy—like whole or term life insurance—but this can vary a lot depending on your health history and the qualification factors for each company. There are other options available if you don’t qualify for a traditional policy, though, like guaranteed issue life insurance.

Guaranteed issue policies are a type of whole life insurance, but they differ in that you don’t need to get a medical exam or answer pressing medical questions (in most cases) to qualify. The downside to these policies is that they are more expensive and come with fewer benefits, however, it’s better to look into a guaranteed issue policy than nothing, as it still provides a small death benefit for your family or named beneficiaries.

Either way, it’s best to apply for life insurance online, where an expert can offer advice and walk you through policy recommendations based on your specific health history. Life after cancer is certainly no walk in the park, but leaning on loved ones—or professionals—to help you figure out your future can help to lessen some of the stress.

Dollar Bill Financial Benefits Of Life Insurance

Financial Benefits of Life Insurance

The financial toxicity of cancer is no joke. Even though you are cancer-free, financial debts still linger and can take a toll on your health. Cancer patients and survivors are twice as likely to declare bankruptcy, so it’s understandable if just the thought of reviewing your current financial situation feels overwhelming. Then add in the wide range of emotions that accompany managing finances like stress, guilt, shame, and fear—just to name a few—and you’re probably ready to throw in the towel on getting organized financially. But don’t give up just yet! There are steps you can take to help lessen the financial burden of cancer.

It’s never easy to discuss death—let alone plan for it. But if you want to protect your family and ensure they are covered after you are gone, future life planning after cancer is a must. A solid life insurance plan is a great place to start when it comes to planning for the future and sorting out financial matters, and it offers a lot of fantastic financial and lifestyle benefits like:

Covers your family from having to take over financial debts
● Provides peace of mind and added security
● It’s part of a long-term financial plan that supports a healthy lifestyle

Health Classification Breakdown

Health classification breakdown

Shopping for life insurance doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Try your best to remain positive and know that it is possible for cancer survivors to get a policy that is affordable. The type of life insurance you get is going to depend on things like the stage, grade, and treatment, but it is worth it to shop around and get various quotes based on your health classification.

If one company denies you coverage, don’t worry, keep in mind how each insurer has very different guidelines when it comes to cancer types and exclusion periods. You can lean on loved once to help you prepare answers to expected questions you’ll be asked, like these below:

While it is possible to get a policy, you can expect to be asked questions like:

● What type of cancer did you have and where was it located?
● Are you in remission/cancer-free?
● In order to determine whether or not the insurer requires a waiting period, they’ll ask about your last treatment date.
● What medical conditions or lifestyle habits do you have or do that might impact your health?

The way your health classification breaks down is going to vary on the type of cancer you had. Some providers also take the pathology report into account, too. According to data from the National Cancer Institute, the top five cancer diagnoses for men and women looking for a life insurance policy are:

● Women: Breast, Lung, Colorectal, Uterine, and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
● Men: Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, Bladder, Melanoma

The waiting periods for purchasing life insurance will vary depending on the type of cancer you had and your other medical history factors. For example, the likely waiting period for lung cancer is between three and five years, but if you had stage 2 lung cancer, it would be closer to five years. You can discuss waiting periods and factors with a professional once you begin the life insurance application process.

Future Planning Family At Beach

Future Planning

It is extremely difficult to navigate life’s unexpected hardships (like cancer) without the unconditional care and support that comes from your loved ones. It’s no different once you’re cancer-free, too. You might feel guilty about relying on family or caregiver once in remission, but it’s important to keep in mind the fact that having someone there watching out for you is what family is all about, and it will make it easier trying to plan for your future if you let people continue to help when they can.

Even though the rate of cancer-related deaths in the United States is going down, it is important to consider life insurance to help support you during the rest of your journey. As you know, the unexpected can hit at any moment, and life insurance is one way to ensure coverage and security for you and your loved ones. With a solid plan, you can live the rest of your life better and happy, soaking up the wonderful moments with those who mean the world to you.

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