Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients

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Life insurance for cancer patients provides peace of mind that your loved ones are protected against a potentially devastating financial burden should you pass away. With suitable life insurance, you won’t leave your surviving family members with a hefty bill for your final expenses or at risk of losing the family home. However, finding life insurance after a cancer diagnosis may be particularly challenging, and it may be difficult to find a suitable policy with an affordable premium.

To help, we looked at various options and companies, analyzing factors including cost, coverage options, provider network, and industry rankings. This round-up presents our top choices for the best life insurance for cancer patients.

The Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients in 2021

Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients
Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients

Best Overall : Mutual of Omaha

Mutual_of_Omaha

Mutual_of_Omaha

Why We Chose It: Mutual of Omaha is our overall category leader for life insurance for cancer patients because of their excellent history of client satisfaction, catalog of life insurance policies, and simplified underwriting alternatives that don’t require a medical exam.

What We Like
  • Options for no medical exam

  • Competitive rates

  • May cover a variety of health issues

What We Don't Like
  • Potential two-year waiting period

  • Qualifying age is 75 in New York rather than 85 elsewhere

  • Minimal online account management

Mutual of Omaha has been serving clients since 1909 and currently offers a diverse range of offerings, including permanent and term life insurance. Their A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best speaks to their reliability.

A streamlined underwriting process, low monthly premiums, top ratings for customer satisfaction, and products suitable for cancer survivors make them a worthy overall pick.

An option for cancer patients ages 45 to 85 is the Living Promise policy, with coverage up to $40,000. Policies are guaranteed acceptance and you won’t need a medical exam. Living Promise policies may contain a graded benefit, meaning if you die during the first two years, your beneficiary will receive all premiums plus 10%. 

You can get both a quote and purchase your policy online. Your premium is based on your answer to some basic health questions including tobacco use, medications you take, any family history of significant conditions like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, and whether you’ve been diagnosed with any similar health issues. 

Sample premiums for every $1,000 in coverage for a non-tobacco using 50-year-old man and woman are $38 and $32 per year, respectively, plus an annual policy fee of $36. For $40,000 in coverage, this is around $130 per month for a man and $110 for a woman. (Note that rates may vary by location.) This policy includes an Accelerated Death Benefit for Terminal Illness or Nursing Home Confinement Rider.

People in remission should contact Mutual of Omaha to determine if they could qualify for other life insurance products. This may depend on the type of cancer diagnosed, time in remission, and other factors. 

Mutual of Omaha offers coverage in all 50 states.

Best For Guaranteed Issue : AARP

AARP

AARP

Why We Chose It: AARP is our best pick for the guaranteed issue because they won’t decline coverage for pre-existing health conditions like cancer, and there’s no medical exam or medical history questions.

What We Like
  • Options for no medical exam

  • Online quotations

  • Good reputation

What We Don't Like
  • Must be over 50

  • Restricted to AARP members

  • No options for New Jersey and Washington

AARP is a not-for-profit organization that aims to empower Americans over 50. Its life insurance policies are underwritten by the New York Life Insurance Company, which has an impressive A++ rating with AM Best, indicating superior financial stability. 

Providing you’re over 50 and become an AARP member, you can choose AARP’s Easy Acceptance Whole Life Insurance. It features guaranteed acceptance providing you are not terminally ill, and there’s no need for an invasive physical examination despite a cancer diagnosis.

Using the AARP website, you can get a basic quote. Sample costs for a 50-year-old female are $111 per month, and $158 for a male, for the maximum $25,000 of coverage. (Note that rates may vary by location.) A drawback is that you’ll have to make payments for two years before your named beneficiaries are eligible to receive benefits should you pass away.

Your rates won’t increase once AARP approves you, and there are no further premiums past age 95, thanks to the “Paid-Up” benefit which keeps your coverage in effect for the rest of your life with no additional payments. 

There are also options to customize your policy with accelerated benefit and waiver of premium riders, but those who require coverage greater than $25,000 may need to consider other AARP policies with higher death benefits. 

AARP policies are available in 48 states (New Jersey and Washington are excluded).

Best For No Medical Exam : United Home Life

United Home Life

United Home Life

Why We Chose It: United Home Life is our choice for no medical exams life insurance as it offers cancer patients a range of whole life policies with no medical exams or invasive testing.

What We Like
  • Options for no medical exam

  • Good reports of client satisfaction

  • Available countrywide

What We Don't Like
  • No public online quote system

  • Low coverage levels

United Farm Family Life, the parent company of United Home Life Insurance Company, started in 1937. Headquartered in Indianapolis, these companies now have a joint $2 billion in assets and over $20 billion of effective life insurance policies. United Home has an AM Best rating of A- (Excellent), meaning it’s in a solid position to financial obligations to policyholders.

United Home Life offers four simplified issue life insurance policies with no physical examination requirement, making it our best for no medical exam choice. These simplified issue products do not require medical exams, blood work, or statements from your doctor, but you will need to complete a 10-minute phone interview and answer health questions. 

Plans include a no-cost Terminal Illness Accelerated Benefit Rider. This means that should you receive a diagnosis of a terminal illness, your policy will accelerate some or all of the death benefit, allowing you to live out your remaining time with added financial security.

You’ll need to contact an agent to understand if you’re eligible for these policies with a cancer diagnosis and what your costs would be. 

With the guaranteed issue whole life policy, you cannot be turned down for a cancer diagnosis, and your premiums won’t increase, providing you pay on time each month. Plus, policies are available up to age 100. 

United Home Life’s whole life policies were some of the more costly we found, with monthly costs of $207 and $221 for females and males, respectively, for $25,000 in coverage. (Note that this may vary by location.) There is a two-year waiting period for full benefits, except for cases of accidental death, when the full death benefit will be paid.

Best For Patients in Remission : Fidelity Life

Fidelity LIfe

 Fidelity LIfe

Why We Chose It: Fidelity Life provides potentially suitable term and whole life options, plus a guaranteed issue RAPIDecision Final Expense policy in case you don’t qualify for other options.

What We Like
  • Options for immediate coverage

  • No medical exam options

  • Online quotes

What We Don't Like
  • May need to answer health questions

  • Premiums may be expensive

  • Not available in Wyoming and New York

Illinois-based Fidelity Life offers a range of term, whole life, and accidental death life insurance products. In 2020, it had $32 billion of life insurance policies in force and $421 million in total assets.

Fidelity states that depending on your cancer diagnosis, treatment options, and prognosis, they may offer term and whole life insurance options. For standard policies, you’ll need to complete a medical questionnaire, but there is no physical exam. Your health determines your approval and premium. For people aged 50 to 85, the RAPIDecision Final Expense coverage could provide almost immediate coverage with no waiting periods.

Contact Fidelity Life to inquire about coverage following a cancer diagnosis. The online quote system doesn’t have the capability to include any specific health information, only the option to rate your health from poor to excellent. 

The guaranteed issue policies have neither physical exam nor medical questions. Using the online portal, the RAPIDecision Final Expense policy of $50,000 in coverage on a 20-year-term would be $25 a month for a 50-year-old male or female (which may vary by location).

Fidelity Life includes a terminal illness rider at no charge, meaning that you could receive an early payout of some of the death benefits should you be diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The company has an AM Best rating of A- (Excellent) and is available in 48 states (excluding New York and Wyoming).

Final Verdict 

When you’re diagnosed with cancer, having adequate life insurance in place may become a priority. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your loved ones will have financial security should you pass away.

With an excellent reputation for customer satisfaction and a range of life insurance policies, including options for simplified underwriting, Mutual of Omaha is our overall pick for cancer patients' life insurance. They should have an option suitable for most individuals who have received a cancer diagnosis

AARP deserved our top choice for guaranteed issue policies because no matter what health issues you have, they won’t decline your application. You’ll also have no concerns about medical history or questions. However, you’ll need to be aged 50 or over and willing to join the AARP.

If medical exams feel like a barrier to life insurance, look at United Home Life, our category leader for no medical exams. With a range of whole life policies with no medical exams, they may be a good choice for someone with cancer.

Finally, Fidelity Life may have suitable term and whole life options for those in remission depending on your health situation. If you don’t qualify for standard policies, they also have guaranteed issue options.

Compare Providers

Best Life Insurance for Cancer Patients
Insurance provider Monthly premium female Monthly premium male Coverage
Mutual of Omaha
Best Overall
$110 $130 $40,000
AARP
Best for Guaranteed Issue
$111 $158 $25,000
United Home Life
Best for No Medical Exam
$207 $221 $25,000
Fidelity Life
Best for People in Remission
$25 $25 $50,000

FAQs

What Is Life Insurance for Cancer Patients? 

Life insurance is an agreement between you and an insurance provider that states that you will make premium payments to the insurance company, and should you pass away during the coverage period, they will pay a death benefit to your beneficiaries.

Policies can be term or permanent life. Permanent life insurance provides lifetime coverage whereas term policies only cover a set period (e.g., 20 years).

Both term and permanent life insurance policies typically cover cancer. If someone dies due to cancer during the coverage period, the policy will pay the death benefit to the named beneficiaries. 

Note that policies such as accidental death and dismemberment do not cover cancer; they only pay a benefit if you die from an accidental cause.

Can I Get Life Insurance After a Cancer Diagnosis? 

If you don’t have a life insurance policy in place, it will likely be more difficult and expensive to do so following a cancer diagnosis. However, every case is different and life insurance companies take a range of factors into account if you’ve had cancer, including the type and stage of cancer.

With many cancers, life insurance providers won’t typically accept policy applications for two to three years (or more) after you are in remission. The initial premiums will cost considerably more during this time as this is when the company assumes the greatest risk for paying out a policy. As time passes, the risk of the cancer returning diminishes as do the cost of premiums.

You will need to grant permission for the insurer to contact your medical provider. They will request your medical history, and these details could affect your policy. Some insurance providers will require a physical examination before considering your application.


How Much Does Life Insurance Cost for Cancer Patients? 

Typically, life insurance for someone who has had, or currently has cancer, is more expensive. These policies cost more because the insurance company cannot calculate your risk by analyzing your health data. 

Additionally, you won’t have as many options available to you. Many insurance companies won’t qualify you for the standard term and whole life policies, leaving you to select from a limited range of guaranteed issue policies. 

Our research found policies costing from $25–$221 each month for coverage up to $50,000.

When Can I Buy Life Insurance as a Cancer Survivor?

You may find that life insurance companies are unwilling to issue policies for several years after remission, but as time passes, the chance of cancer returning declines, as does the insurance companies’ risk.

The insurer will likely ask numerous questions about your cancer diagnosis and treatment to establish the risk level. They may ask about your date of diagnosis, family history, type and stage of cancer, and treatment regime. Expect that they will want to verify this information through your medical records. 

Each provider has its guidelines, and some are more flexible than others. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, talk with several companies to find the most suitable for your circumstances.

Methodology

We evaluated 21 insurance companies offering life insurance policies suitable for cancer patients before choosing our four top picks. We considered various factors in our evaluation, including the cost of monthly premiums, benefit amount, and ease of applying and purchasing. Additionally, we looked at the company’s reputation and policy offerings. 

We also considered how easy it is to obtain a quote and whether people must undergo a physical medical exam as part of the application process. Because client satisfaction and financial stability are also relevant factors, we also reviewed customer feedback data and AM Best ratings before deciding on the top options for life insurance for cancer patients.

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Article Sources
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  1. Life Insurance. Coping Practically. Cancer Research UK.