Thinking about life insurance with Hodgkin’s or Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is important. The reason why it is important is that most cancer patients think that it is almost impossible to obtain an insurance cover.
Many of them believe that the chances of their eligibility are zero.
But should not the case. Lymphoma does not disqualify the patient from taking a life insurance cover.
If you want to know more about life insurance for patients with Lymphoma, keep reading. We will explain just that in a short while.
Before we delve into the details of the discussion, let us say that Hodgkin’s or Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a cancer of lymphocytes. It attacks lymphocyte, which is the bedrock of our immune system. When this happens, it leaves the victims exposed.
Notice that Hodgkin Lymphoma progresses in an orderly manner while non-Hodgkin type does not. So it is easier to treat the Hodgkin type than the non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
What is Lymphoma and Its Types?
Lymphoma occurs when the lymph cells become cancerous. It makes it difficult for the lymph nodes to move fluids rich in white blood cells to various parts of the body.
We all know that the white blood cells are the soldiers that fight bacteria and virus.
So, when the lymphocytes become cancerous, it makes it difficult for lymph nodes to filter bacteria and virus.
It becomes difficult to capture intruding bacteria. The result is the bacteria and virus easily spread to other parts of the body.
Types of Lymphoma
They are of two types: Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL).
It is also referred to as Hodgkin’s diseases and is characterized by swollen nodes. The diseases develop from abnormal B lymphocytes. Notice that Hodgkin’s Lymphoma comes in five major subtypes.
Surprisingly, in the US alone, there were about 8,500 new HL cases reported in 2018. About 1050 people were expected to die from the ailment in 2019.
Typically, two age groups are highly susceptible to Hodgkin’s diseases. They are common in people aged 16 and 34 years. Notice that cells with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma have large cancerous cells. Even though, they are also common in people aged above 55 years. The Lymphoma is characterized by large cancerous cells referred to as Reed-Sternberg cells.
It consists of any other Lymphomas. When it attacks the nodes, it has the same features as the Hodgkin’s and the victim will have swollen nodes. But they are distinct if observed under a microscope.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma comes in 30 subtypes. But many of the NHL look alike and so it becomes difficult to classify them. They come in a variety of names such as hepatosplenic Lymphoma, MALT Lymphoma, Mantle cell Lymphoma and many more. According to WHO, there are more than 61 types of NHL.
Having said all that, it is worth noting that the different types of HL are microscopically distinct. They cause a wide range of diseases and so far, Lymphoma is the most prevalent type of blood cancer in the US.
About 74,680 cases were diagnosed in 2018. But the victims do not have the large Reed-Sternberg cells that are common in Hodgkin’s patients.
Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance for Lymphoma Patient
At this point, you are well placed to discuss life insurance for patients with Lymphoma.
By the way, studies show that the number of people dying from the disease has been on the decrease in the past decades. The death rate is now down to about 20% since the 1990s. It means that more insurance companies are now willing to insure Lymphoma patients.
Well, you may not buy the cover in the middle of treatment. But you will be eligible once you are through with the protocol.
What coverage will be available to patients?
Both term and whole life insurance covers are available for consideration. The term life may available for 5, 20 and even 30 years. It is cheaper than whole life because if the term lapses you get nothing. But if you die during the term, the insurer will pay the policy’s face value.
In the case of a whole life, you receive a lifetime cover. It also builds cash value with time. It is an expensive cover but could be available to the survivors.
Guaranteed Issue Policy
It is one of the policies that are readily available to cancer patients. Unfortunately, very few people are familiar with the concept of guaranteed issue. Nevertheless, the cover features the following:
- You will not be asked for an exam or required to answer medical questions
- Your application will be guaranteed
- The monthly premiums do not change
- The beneficiaries are guaranteed benefits
- The cash value accrues
- It does not have an expiration date
- It has a mandatory graded period
- You must complete the waiting period
Of course, the main drawback of the cover is that you need to survive the graded period. It is only after you survive the period that the beneficiaries can be assured of full benefits.
For your information, the graded period is the time you must stay alive after signing a contract. After the period, the cover will come in force. The length varies from one insurance company to another. Besides, it is dependent on the carrier you purchase the policy from. However, most of them will take about 2-3 years.
So what happens if you pass away during the graded period?
If you die during the graded period, the beneficiaries will just receive a partial payout. If you have already paid some premiums, they will be refunded with an interest.
For better results, you should buy the graded issue policy as quickly as it is possible. Starting early is recommended since the amount you pay is pegged on the applicant’s age.
Stage of Lymphoma and Your Policy
Typically, Lymphoma can be categorized into 4 main stages. Each stage is defined by the area cancer has invaded and where it has spread to. Also, the policy you will be allowed to take will be determined by the stage of your Lymphoma cancer. To get us started, let’s look at each stage.
Stage one- you will be considered to be in stage 1 if cancer is in one of the organs or has affected lymph node
Stage two- You will be said to be in stage 2 if tests show that the cancerous cells are present in two lymph nodes. It should be either near to each other or on the same part or side of your body. Alternatively, tests should show that the cancer is in the lymph nodes near one of the organs.
Stage three- here, cancer should be detected in the lymph node or near the two sides of the body. It is possible that cancer could be in more than one lymph nodes.
Stage four- when cancer is detected in an organ and the neighboring lymph nodes, you will be considered to be in stage four. The cancerous cells may spread to other organs including the lungs, the liver, and the bone marrow.
Well, at stage four, it is believed that the cancer is at an advanced stage. But the good news is that even at this stage, it is still treatable.
Whatever the stage of your cancer, you can still get life insurance. Even though, you must beware that insurers have strict guidelines that should be adhered to. This way you will easily secure the policy.
What you should do.
When you apply for a guaranteed life insurance policy, you need to disclose the level of your cancer. If any of the levels have been treated successfully, you stand a better chance of being covered. You will also get a policy with favorable terms.
Treatments You Are Taking is Important
As mentioned earlier, the treatment you have undergone is critical. Thus, insurance may need to know the details of the treatment. It helps them to weigh the risks and side effects.
The main treatments for HL are radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Some patients respond well to stem cell treatment or immunotherapy. However, other factors such as the stage and general health are vital. Also, the general health and the location of cancer may affect the results you get.
Other treatment options
You may also consider alternative methods. They include the use of special diets, vitamins, and even herbs. Whether these options work or not is a topic for another day. But studies show that some of them are critical in helping relieve symptoms. They will help you feel better. However, you must allow your doctor’s advice to determine the best treatment option to be pursued. If you are contemplating taking a cover, see the details of the policy.
Are You in Remission?
Your insurer will be interested in knowing the ailments you have. They may also want to know those you have been treated from. They will ask you plenty of queries including whether you are in remission or not. Remission refers to the absence of disease. In essence, they will be trying to establish if you have undergone Hodgkin’s Lymphoma treatment.
If your doctor advises that you are in remission, you must tell the policy carrier you have chosen about the same. But you must stay diligent about tests and medical appointments. Follow up examinations may be critical at this stage. It helps to detect signs of relapse. Besides, it helps the oncologists to monitor the progress of your recovery.
Are You a Survivor?
You may not be aware that treatment can effectively cure Lymphoma. Even though, it is stressful to go through the treatment. But by the end of the day, you will be excited to learn that you are a survivor. However, you must complete the treatment to stop recurrence. Notice that the insurer will be interested in knowing the things you do.
Specifically, they will want to know what you do as a survivor to lower the risk of recurrence. Eating certain types of foods and exercising is important. Checking your weight regularly and not smoking are some of the things you may need to do to lead a healthy lifestyle.
How to Buy a Policy?
We have said here that Lymphoma will not stop you from buying a life insurance cover. But we want to reiterate that being a survivor may impact on the policy options.
The good news is that you can now buy life insurance at any time. However, the type of Hodgkin’s will determine the type of policy you can qualify for. The underwater will evaluate your application and advice you accordingly.
If the cancer was diagnosed early you will be better off. If you have successfully undergone treatment, you may buy the traditional life insurance. Also, if you are in remission, you will by a cover at favorable terms.
Unfortunately, if the cancer was detected while at an advanced stage, it may be late. But if you are currently on treatment consider the guaranteed issue life insurance. Also, if the period you entered remission is less than three years, the traditional cover may not be available. In which case, you will need to consider the guaranteed issue.
Whichever the case, our company offers free quotes that will help you compare and make a decision.
If you have read this article up to here, you now know that Lymphoma patients can access a life insurance cover. Also, survivors can access both traditional and guaranteed life insurance.
However, one needs to do certain things if they look forward to getting a cover at favorable terms. Besides, a survivor may still need to consult a doctor consistently for a period of up to 10 years. After which they may need to continue visiting the oncologist once in a while.