Most people who apply for insurance are aware that they are required to fill out the basic application, as well as a medical exam.
But when you are plagued with adverse medical conditions such as prostate cancer – or even if you have a family history of prostate cancer – there are specifics your company will have to look more closely at in order to make their determination.
One piece of data that is of particular importance is an applicant’s PSA ranges.
PSA stands for prostate-specific antigen, an enzyme emitted from the prostate which is higher in the blood of men with prostate cancer.
How Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Ranges Can Affect Your Life Insurance Application
When you have prostate cancer – or even if there is a family history of prostate cancer – and you are seeking coverage, the life insurance company (or companies) that you are applying with will want to know your PSA ranges.
A PSA test can measure the level of prostate-specific antigen in a man’s blood. In order to do so, a blood test needs to be taken, and a sample will then be sent to a lab for analysis. The results are then reported as “nanograms” of PSA per milliliter, or ng/mL, or blood.
Typically, it is common for a man to have a temporary elevation of his PSA level – which is often of no concern to a life insurance company’s underwriter, especially if the particular company is more on the progressive side.
All life insurance companies go about underwriting in a unique way with their own standards for acceptance.
With that in mind, while some may deem a particular applicant who has certain PSA ranges as being a Standard policyholder, other insurance carriers may rate the very same applicant (who has the very same features) as a Substandard.
There are certain reasons why an individual may have unusually high PSA readings in his test.
One could be due to temporary inflammation of the prostate gland. Another may be due to recent physical activity.
Unfortunately, because some insurance agencies are not aware of this, some applicants end up with not the best rates.
What Information Are Underwriters Looking For
When it comes to prostate-specific antigen ranges, your underwriter will be looking at even more specific considerations.
As an example, while all carriers may differ somewhat, the “normal” or acceptable ranges are based upon your age.
These are as follows:
- 40 to 49: Maximum 3.0 ng / ml
- 50 to 59 – Maximum 4.0 ng / ml
- 60 to 69 – Maximum 5.0 ng / ml
- 70 and over – Maximum 6.5 ng / ml
The underwriters are also seeking information on the applicant’s PSA velocity, which considers an individual’s PSA over time. In this case, the quicker it increases, the higher its velocity – and, the greater chance that cancer is present.
In general, an increase in an individual’s PSA level that is more than .75 to 1.00 ng / ml per year will be of concern to a life insurance underwriter.
That is an even more accurate factor if this increase has been going on for more than two years continuously.
Another area where the life insurance underwriters will look for information is regarding the individual’s PSA density.
PSA density is the evaluation of PSA with relation to the size of the individual’s prostate.
In this case, having a lower number will be better. The density number can be reached by dividing the PSA by the prostate gland’s size.
This information can be received from the person’s ultrasound report.
The underwriters will be concerned if there is a value that is greater than .2 in this figure.
What If You Have Already Been Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer?
In some cases, an applicant for life insurance may have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
In this case, there is additional information that is pertinent to the insurance provider as they proceed through the application and underwriting process.
This will help them with their decision regarding a policy, as well as in determining an appropriate premium rate.
Your underwriter may as the questions below to determine your coverage:
- When was the initial diagnosis of prostate cancer?
- If diagnosed with prostate cancer, what stage of cancer do you have?
- If prostate cancer was diagnosed, what was the Gleason score?
- If cancer was diagnosed, how is it being treated? (i.e., by observation only, with radiation, with hormone therapy, a prostatectomy, TURP, etc.)
- What are your current PSA levels, and what were the approx. date that these levels were measured? If your PSA levels are rising, what were the previous PSA levels and dates?
- Are you currently on any medications, and if so, what are the medications and the dosages?
- Do you have any other adverse health issues? (looking for life insurance for diabetics?)
- Are you a smoker?
In addition to these questions, you can expect a medical exam before your policy is approved. The examination will put you face to face with medical professional who will take your temperature, check your bp, and acquire urine and blood samples.
They will most likely ask to see the records from your doctors outlining your overall health and history of prostrate cancer treatments.
Once the life insurance company has received all of your information, they can make an accurate determniation on your level of coverage and how much it will cost you.
How Much Will Your Life Insurance Cost
Life insurance rates can vary based upon a number of different factors. Certainly, these include your gender, stage of life, type of policy, and the sum of your coverage.
Even with high PSA levels, you could still be able to obtain very affordable rates on your premiums – especially if your health is strong on all other accounts.
You could be given a Standard or even a Preferred rating if you are in good or Excellent health, even with high PSA levels. If this is the case, your premium rates will likely be favorable.
If, however, your health is below par, you could be rated Substandard. If so, your premium would typically be higher than someone who has a Standard rating, or average, policyholder.
For some people who have adverse health issues, a no medical exam life plan could provide a good option for obtaining sufficient coverage at the best rate. This is obviously the route to take when you do not qualify for coverage that is medically underwritten.
While the premium rate for no medical exam coverage is usually more expensive than a medically underwritten one of the same caliber, the no medical exam policy could provide the insurance protection that is needed when other policies are out of reach.
Where to Find the Best Premium Quotes on Life Insurance If You Have High PSA Levels
If you’re shopping for life insurance and your PSA levels are high, your smartest option is to seek out an agent or a provider who has a variety of carriers available.
That way, you can compare multiple plans and companies, and from there make the determination as to which one is ideal for your goals.
Ready to get started? Life insurance is crucial, and you can get the policy you need with an insurer you can trust.
We would love to play a part in that process. Since we work with a number of leading life insurance providers, we’ll get you the flexible options you deserve and give you all the info you need to pick your ideal policy.
It’s as simple as picking up the phone or completing our insurance form here today.
If you’re still wondering what all insurance options are available to you with high PSA levels or you’re wondering about the basics of life policies, contact us.
Our team of professionals can provide you with any of the information you need to ensure that you feel comfortable in moving forward.
Don’t leave your loved ones’ financial future to chance.
Even if you have a health issue, there are many life insurance options at your disposal. So, don’t delay- let us help.