It’s not exactly a walk in the park to qualify for life insurance with ovarian cancer.
But it can be done.
The reason is simple. Your overall risk skyrockets in the eyes of underwriters once you’ve been diagnosed with a late-blooming type of cancer like ovarian cancer.
What we mean is this: ovarian cancer usually has no early symptoms. The first symptoms occur in later stages. Even then they are vague symptoms, such as loss of appetite and weight loss.
The fact ovarian cancer’s symptoms first occur later on means most people are first diagnosed in a later stage. Not only is late stage ovarian cancer more dangerous, but it’s also much more difficult to effectively treat.
However, there are still some instances where you can qualify for a Standard rate with ovarian cancer. There are also a handful of great life insurance alternatives if you’re denied traditional coverage.
Here’s everything you need to know about applying and qualifying for life insurance with ovarian cancer.
Why Does Ovarian Cancer Affect Life Insurance?
Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer which starts in a women’s ovaries and immediate surrounding tissue.
Because it has few symptoms, it often spreads to other parts of the body before it’s diagnosed.
The cancer’s lack of symptoms is why regular screening is so important for at risk women. It’s also why it’s so essential to pay close attention to your body.
According to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, new scientific research shows there are some warning signs of ovarian cancer.
Although they’re not exactly symptoms, they can be seen as such. Keep an eye out for these to detect ovarian cancer early on.
These early warning signs of ovarian cancer include:
- Loss of appetite
- Urinary symptoms
Basically, you’ll sometimes notice a change in your body’s normal functions. These changes are persistent and long lasting.
Be sure to visit a doctor if you start experiencing such symptoms.
Detecting ovarian cancer early is the key to effectively treating it.
In addition to improving your overall prognosis, early detection of ovarian cancer translates immediately to improved chances of qualifying for life insurance.
Most life insurance providers are much more likely to offer full coverage to cancer survivors whose cancer was detected early on.
Simply put, the earlier on your ovarian cancer is diagnosed and the earlier treatment is started, the greater your chances of qualifying for traditional life insurance coverage.
Who Gets Ovarian Cancer?
Ovarian cancer affects women from all ages and walks of life.
Certain women are at a greater risk for developing the cancer. Women in high-risk groups should schedule regular screening from a doctor.
Women who haven’t been pregnant and carried to term before turning 26 years old are also at a greater risk for developing ovarian cancer. Each full-term pregnancy brings the risk down even further.
It’s also important to note some studies show breastfeeding might lower the risk of developing ovarian cancer even more.
Using birth control pills reduces the risk of developing ovarian cancer. The longer you use the pills, the lower the risk in general.
Studies have also shown ties between certain fertility drugs, a family history of certain cancers (especially ovarian, breast, or colorectal cancer), and estrogen or hormone therapy and ovarian cancer.
Finally, certain diseases, including Peutz-Jeghers syndrome and MUTYH-associated polyposis, show a strong correlation with the development of ovarian cancer.
Questions You’ll Be Asked
You can expect to answer a wide range of questions which cover your basic lifestyle and health history when you apply for life insurance.
This is why it pays to prepare ahead of time, before starting applications. Do this and the information you need will be close at hand while applying.
Each life insurance provider uses the health and lifestyle information you provide on your application to assess your overall risk to the company.
An underwriter looks over your application and your answers to the questions asked to determine how much of a risk you pose.
- Those who pose minimal risk will receive the best premiums and policy types.
- Those who pose some risk receive mediocre premiums and policy types.
- Those who pose a lot of risk will be denied altogether.
Unfortunately, most people with ovarian cancer fall into the last group. In fact, most of those with a history of cancer will be denied from traditional coverage altogether.
There are some exceptions to this rule. Chief among them is if your ovarian cancer was diagnosed very early on.
To receive coverage from most life insurance companies, your ovarian cancer must have been diagnosed in “stage zero.”
Those who were diagnosed in “stage one” theoretically have a shot of qualifying for coverage, although your chances are still pretty slim.
Of course, qualifying for coverage depends on more than your ovarian cancer alone. Though it plays a big role, you must also be in stellar overall health to qualify.
No matter your level of health, those who have been diagnosed with “stage two,” “stage three,” or “stage four” ovarian cancer almost certainly won’t qualify for traditional life insurance coverage.
Though it can be tempting to stretch the truth while filling out your life insurance application, it’s best to be honest from the beginning.
Most life insurance providers now require a recent medical exam with the application. Even those who don’t will soon find out if you don’t list your ovarian cancer diagnosis on their application.
While filling out your life insurance application expect to be asked all the standard questions, including your overall lifestyle and health.
Questions you can expect to answer which pertain specifically to ovarian cancer include:
- When were you first diagnosed with ovarian cancer?
- How long has it been since your diagnosis?
- What were your symptoms?
- What was your treatment like? Do you take medications?
- What is your current prognosis?
Answering these questions is the vital first step of the life insurance application process.
The Approval and Application Process
The application and approval process for applying for life insurance is relatively straightforward, even for those with ovarian cancer.
It starts with filling out the application and submitting the medical exam. An application and medical exam must be given to each provider you apply to.
This is where the wait begins. While easy, the life insurance application often lasts between 4 and 6 weeks.
It’s during this period of time where the life insurance underwriters review your application and medical exam to assess your risk for their company.
Though some companies now offer expedited approval, this generally isn’t available for those with a serious illness or medical condition like ovarian cancer.
Your Life Insurance Options
Ovarian cancer automatically disqualifies most people from traditional life insurance.
A small percentage of those who were diagnosed in “stage zero” as well as an even smaller percentage of those diagnosed in “stage one” have a chance of qualifying.
Those who were diagnosed in these stages must prove their treatment was effective and they have a positive prognosis. Great overall health is also a necessity.
Those with a later stage of ovarian cancer, such as “stage two,” “stage three,” or “stage four,” won’t qualify for traditional coverage.
Luckily, you still have other options if denied. Those with ovarian cancer can still buy life insurance alternatives, like a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.
Find the Best Life Insurance After Ovarian Cancer
The key to finding the best life insurance after ovarian cancer is checking out your options.
Apply to several providers to see if you qualify for traditional coverage. If you do, you can then compare the different options to find the best premium and policy.
If you don’t qualify for traditional coverage, you can begin to research alternatives, such as guaranteed issue life insurance.