How to anticipate a life insurance rating for cancer

Posted by Jack Cotlar, M.D. on Sat, Aug 17, 2013 @ 11:56 PM

Cancer is one of the more coshutterstock 142163296 resized 600ncrete medical underwriting problems that underwriters see. In order for the producer to have some idea of what a rating might be for the client, he or she can ask the underwriter by phone call or email. So what specifics does the underwriter need to know? They are the same ones that underwriters must discover in order to use their company’s reinsurance manual:
1.    Type of cancer (breast, prostate, colon, etc)
2.    What the pathology report says about the cancer
   a.    Stage, for example, “T1N0M0”
   b.    Grade, for example “well-differentiated” or grade 2 or, for prostate cancer, “Gleason      3+3=6”
   c.    Margins of the specimen removed: free of cancer or not free of cancer
3.    How was the cancer treated? Generally it would be by radiation, chemotherapy, surgery or some combination of these.
4.    What was the date of the last form of therapy? For example: if radiation follows surgery, then it would be the date of the last dose of radiation.
5.    What type of surveillance testing is being done?
a.    Type of test (colonoscopy for colon cancer, PSA for prostate cancer or mammogram for breast cancer, etc)
b.    Date of most recent test and its result
6.    Has there been a recurrence of the cancer, if so, when?
7.    Is the client currently in remission (is free of cancer)?

This information can be found in the medical records, often included in the most recent pages of the physician following the client for cancer and from the client himself or herself. If you are able to relate as much of this information as possible to the underwriter, he or she will be able to give you an accurate rating for this condition from which you can plan your strategy with confidence.

Contact me if you have any questions or comments.

Dr. Jack Cotlar

Topics: medical underwriting, Cancer, communicating to the underwriter