Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Nov 26, 2021

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The Truth in a Nutshell

  • If you have an active cancer diagnosis, it can be challenging to purchase a life insurance policy
  • Once a cancer patient is in remission, they might qualify for term or whole life, but they need to be in remission for a period of several years
  • If you need life insurance while you have cancer, you can purchase a guaranteed issue policy that requires no medical exam

Of all the news you can receive, a cancer diagnosis might be the most terrifying. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, the last thing you want to worry about is life insurance.

However, life insurance can offer your loved ones financial protection when they want to support you. No one wants to think about their own death, but you can prevent your family from being saddled with huge medical bills by getting life insurance.

Many people think that cancer is something life insurance does not cover, but that’s not necessarily true. You have options for coverage, even with a cancer diagnosis.

Finding affordable life insurance companies that take cancer patients is a challenge, but it’s not impossible. If you’re ready to see what quotes might look like for you, enter your ZIP code into our free tool to begin.

Life Insurance Companies That Take Cancer Patients

Life insurance companies aim to insure people that are at the least risk of dying. While they provide a valuable service, life insurance companies still need to turn a profit. If they insure people that die without making many payments, they’ll lose thousands of dollars.

So, can cancer patients get life insurance? Yes — it’s just a little trickier.

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How can you find life insurance companies that cover cancer patients?

The good news is that there are numerous avenues to explore for life insurance with a cancer diagnosis. On the unfortunate side, most plans offer limited coverage. However, some insurance is better than none.

With 1.8 million Americans diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2020 alone, there is a huge need for life insurance options. While there are some life insurance companies that don’t take cancer patients, the following will work with you.

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha is one of several companies that offer guaranteed issue life insurance, or life insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam. No-medical-exam policies are ideal for people with a cancer diagnosis or any other serious health issues.

Omaha has an A.M. Best rating of A+, and it offers both term and whole life policies.

One of Mutual of Omaha’s best life insurance plans for cancer patients is its Living Promise plan. People ages 45 to 85 are eligible for this plan, and it offers up to $40,000 in coverage without a medical exam.

A final advantage that Mutual of Omaha offers is more leniency towards past medical issues. When your cancer is in remission, Omaha will often reevaluate your eligibility for other policies.

AARP

For people over 50, AARP offers strong life insurance policies, some of which are available to cancer patients. AARP is a not-for-profit, meaning it offers people over 50 highly competitive rates. With an A.M. Best rating of A++, it’s easy to trust AARP.

For cancer patients, AARP offers guaranteed acceptance life insurance. This plan has a medical questionnaire you have to fill out, but you won’t be rejected because of a cancer diagnosis. As long as you aren’t terminally ill, you can purchase this policy.

While AARP’s insurance plans are top-rated, one downside is that your beneficiaries probably won’t receive a payment if you die within the first two years of your policy.

Fidelity Life

Fidelity Life is another company with a stable A.M. Best rating of A-. Fidelity Life is a great option for cancer patients because a standard policy doesn’t require a medical exam. You will have to complete a medical questionnaire, but a cancer diagnosis won’t immediately disqualify you.

Fidelity Life offers almost immediate approval on its RAPIDecision Final Expense plan. This plan is for people ages 50 to 85 and offers coverage up to $250,000. While you don’t need an exam, you do need to contact an agent to purchase the plan.

If you’re ready to see what quotes might look like for you, enter your ZIP code into our free tool to begin.

How much does life insurance for those with cancer cost?

Unfortunately, there are two options when looking at rates from life insurance companies that take cancer patients. One is that you find an affordable rate that has a small amount of coverage. The other is that you get more coverage but pay much higher monthly rates.

Take a look at some examples below.

 Max Coverage for Cancer PatientsAverage Rate for Non-Smoker Woman, Age 50Average Rate for Non-smoker Man, age 50
Mutual of Omaha$40,000$110 a month$130 a month
Fidelity Life$10,000$48.11 a month$60.93 a month
AARP$25,000$111 a month$158 a month
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While there are other life insurance companies for cancer patients, these rates will give you a general sense of how much insurance without a medical exam will cost.

What life insurance can you get with cancer?

The insurance policies that you’ll be able to purchase depend on the status of your cancer. People with an active cancer diagnosis and those that haven’t been in remission very long will probably have to purchase guaranteed issue.

However, if your cancer has been in remission for years and you don’t have any other serious health risks, you might qualify for term or whole life. Your eligibility for these plans largely depends on how long your cancer has been in remission.

The amount of time you need to be in remission varies by company, but it’s generally between two and five years. Life insurance companies typically define that period by your last cancer-related appointment.

If you attend more than one cancer screening per year, you’ll probably need a guaranteed issue plan. Applying for life insurance when you have a cancer diagnosis (or you’re in remission) means you’ll be asked questions.

During your health exam, remember to be as honest as you can. While companies ask about different things, here is some general information you should be prepared to provide:

  • The date of your diagnosis
  • The type of cancer you had, what stage it was, and if it metastasized
  • Where the cancer was located, how big it was, and if it affected your lymph nodes
  • What treatments you had, when they started, and when the last treatment was
  • Whether your family has a history of cancer
  • If you are in remission
  • If you’ve ever relapsed
  • A list of medications you’re taking

If you can provide this information, the application process for life insurance will go much smoother. If you currently have cancer, you can prepare yourself for future life insurance applications by keeping track of your treatments and appointments.

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Get Quotes From Life Insurance Companies That Take Cancer Patients

Facing a cancer diagnosis can be scary, and the last thing you want to worry about is your loved ones struggling with medical bills if the worst comes to pass.

While a guaranteed issue policy doesn’t provide very much coverage, it would at least keep your family from struggling under the weight of medical expenses.

When you need to find life insurance companies that take cancer patients, shopping around is integral to finding the best rates. If you’re ready to see what quotes might look like for you, enter your ZIP code in our free tool today.