October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. It’s a great reminder to encourage people to take the steps needed to detect cancer in its earliest stages. Every October, many breast cancer charities try their best to bring attention to the disease and raise funds for future research.
You can work to prevent breast cancer by getting regular screenings, but also by making some lifestyle changes. These changes include watching your weight, eating vegetables, watching your alcohol intake, and also knowing your family history. However, breast cancer can affect anyone, male or female, and it’s helpful that there are so many resources and medical advances available.
A history of breast cancer doesn’t make getting life insurance impossible. Many companies are able to offer life insurance to those who are just a few years from recovery. The main factors to consider when determining if a cancer survivor is insurable for life insurance is the stage/grade of the cancer, the date of diagnosis and recovery, and the type of treatment. When underwriting a life insurance policy for any female, it is great to see that routine mammograms have been completed.
Join the fight against breast cancer and help raise awareness and encourage regular check-ups to help reduce the risk of cancer. Also, know that life insurance can be very affordable for breast cancer survivors!
As we transition away from September, we are graciously welcomed by the color pink. Everywhere you turn in October you will be reminded of the many women (and even men) who have courageously battled with breast cancer. This month isn’t about professional athletes showing their feminine side with pink patches on their jerseys but to bring awareness and support to a disease that will affect 1 in every 8 women. October embodies the color pink as its identity for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, not because it is synonymous with females, but because the true essence of the color brings a sense of comfort, warmth and hope that everything will be okay. And now there is new hope for breast cancer survivors when applying for a life insurance policy.
Not too long ago, breast cancer survivors had little-to-no hope of acquiring life insurance, even after undergoing successful treatment and remaining cancer-free for years. But with the overwhelming awareness and support for research over the past decade, the rate of survival has dramatically increased. This is BIG news for life insurance underwriters who are basing policy approvals/denials on the likelihood of post-treatment survival. Due to the increasing survival rate, the underwriting process for breast cancer survivors has dramatically changed, allowing survivors obtain to policies if they meet certain guidelines. Below is a list of the new standard questions:
- What type of breast cancer?
- When you were diagnosed?
- What stage were you in?
- How big was the tumor?
- Were lymph nodes involved
- Did it metastasize?
- What type of treatment did you receive?
- How long since treatment?
- When did you start/finish treatment?
- Was there any recurrence?
- Are you on medications, what kind?
The likelihood for acceptance and the policy rate issued relies heavily on the answers to these questions. Those survivors who were diagnosed early with no lymph nodes affected and received treatments have an almost guaranteed standard rate approval. The more mature and involved the cancer becomes, the tougher the requirements become. However, the longer the period of time one waits to apply for life insurance – postpone period – after successfully completing treatment, the better odds you have of qualifying for a standard rate.
It is worth mentioning that as research and survival rates continue to grow, some life insurance companies are now beginning to offer some breast cancer survivors standard rates, without the flat extra fee. This flat extra fee is common for cancer survivors and is an additional premium that can decrease and disappear over time, so long as the client remains cancer-free. The Good News: the upward trend in breast cancer survival is allowing companies to do away with this flat extra fee for those who had stage 0 or 1 with no lymph node involvement. This flat extra fee will most likely appear for those who had more advance staged breast cancer, but will similarly diminish over time.
Therefore, best rule of thumb is to stay up to date on your check-ups, seek a doctor for any concerns, and live a healthy, smoke-free lifestyle. The sooner any cancer is found, the better the chances are for survival as well the ability to obtain a good life insurance policy once recovered. Mammograms: good for your health, good for your life insurance rates!
Applying for life insurance is a process and it all starts with evaluating your health and lifestyle choices. In fact, this is the most crucial part of the process because the results will determine your premium and more importantly if are even eligible for a policy. Life insurance companies want to make sure they are investing in reliable clients and your longevity is directly linked to this variable. So, before you start reaching out to companies for rates, consider these 15 basic reasons why people are denied. If you fall into any of these categories, you may want to reconsider your lifestyle before you move forward. Remember, qualifying for any of these reason will not necessarily kill your chances at a policy, you may just pay slightly higher for the coverage.
- Overweight or Obese
- Income Limitations
- Elevated Cholesterol, Lipids and Triglycerides
- Elevated Liver Function
- Blood or Protein in the Urine
- Hazardous Occupation*
- Hazardous Extra-Curricular Activities
- Drug Use
- Your Driving Record
- History of Cancer
- Previous Declines on Life Insurance Applications
- AIDS or HIV
- High Levels of Glucose or Blood Sugar
To read more about the logic behind these red flag factors click here.
*Forbes magazine’s top 10 deadliest jobs.
We want to share this fun fact with you as we continue to celebrate Long-Term Care Awareness Month.
It should come as no surprise that life expectancies have increased. In 1900, the life expectancy was 50 years. In 2014, life expectancy is now 80 years. That’s a 60% increase!
It should also come as no surprise that health expectancy has risen. Health expectancy is the number of years that you are expected to require health assistance and will accumulate medical expenses.
From 1900 to 2014, health expectancy has increased from 2 years to 15 years. That is a 750% increase!
An important part of any financial/retirement plan is being prepared to handle a long-term illness. At GWE, we can show you options to address this concern.
We want to kick off long-term care awareness month with some food for thought!
There are three types of long-term care insurance policies:
- life insurance with LTC riders
We want to tell you a fourth policy…possibly the best policy there is: memory-boosting foods.
One of the leading causes for long-term care insurance claims is a decline of cognitive ability. Keep your mind strong and enhance brain function with these foods that have been scientifically proven to stop and possibly reverse age-related memory loss.
Blueberries are loaded with anthocyanins, which are powerful phytochemicals that give them their blue hue. They are a natural chemical compound that has been proven to give people a substantial delay in mental decline.
Consuming high amounts of vegetables lead to less age-related memory decline and kale is one of the most impressive. Brush with olive oil for an added brain boost.
This fatty fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, a structural component of the brain that enables neurons to conduct signals to the brain.
Nuts and Seeds
All varieties of nuts and seeds help promote steady blood flow and ease inflammation, which is critical for keeping your memory sharp. Bonus: they are also a heart-healthy food.
This secret weapon has been proven to increase blood flow to the area of the brain associated with dementia. Be brave and drink beet juice, or just add a few slices to a salad.
To discuss any of these four policies, contact Keith Eig, CLU, CLTC.