Insurance After Cancer Diagnosis


Individuals diagnosed with cancer have limited options when attempting to buy insurance after being diagnosed with cancer. One type of insurance that is particularly difficult to obtain is a life insurance policy. Another type of insurance that can be difficult to obtain after a cancer diagnosis is health insurance. Most private insurers that offer life insurance polices do not provide coverage while an individual is undergoing treatment.

Llife Insurance Coverage

The availability and price of life insurance that individuals can obtain after cancer diagnosis depends on factors such as the length of time an individual has been cancer free. The curability of the cancer as well as the type of cancer are also factors that can determine price and eligibility. Cancer that is low-level, such as non-melanoma skin cancer, may not affect how an insurer bases the availability of coverage. Most insurance companies will not provide coverage to anyone who is still undergoing cancer treatments.

Life Insurance Eligibility

Individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer will only be eligible for life insurance coverage after meeting certain requirements depending on the insurer. One common requirement is that an individual needs to be currently in remission or cured from cancer. Another requirement is that an individual's last treatment date must be a certain period, such as three months. Some insurers may have a period that lasts up to five years. Individuals also need to be between the ages of 21 and 90.

State Health Insurance Pools

Individuals denied health insurance coverage in the standard market because of their issues or a pre-existing condition can obtain coverage from a state high risk pool. The pools are typically available for individuals who cannot obtain health insurance from a private insurance company. The premiums are much higher than premiums that are charged for policies by a private insurer.


Individuals diagnosed with cancer may be able to apply to government health programs such as Medicare, a federally run health insurance program funded by Social Security for people who meet certain criteria. Individuals need to be at least 65 or are permanently disabled and currently receiving Social Security. Young people with cancer are eligible for the program if benefits from Social Security have been collected for at least two years.


Medicaid is a state administered health insurance program that is federally funded for individuals that meet certain income requirements. Eligibility requirements can vary from state to state but include low-income families with children, children younger than 6 and recipients of Supplemental Social Security Income. Individuals who qualify will pay a small fee for services or receive heath care for free.

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