Benign prostatic hyperplasia (commonly known as Enlarged Prostate) affects more than 3 Million American men. Enlarged Prostate is, in some ways, simply a natural part of a man growing older.
Published statistics shared by WebMD supports the frequency with which Enlarged Prostate impacts the senior population:
- 50% of American men aged 51 – 60 years old have BPH symptoms
- 90% of American men aged 80 years or older have BPH symptoms
Enlarged Prostate, or BPH, presents with symptoms that are very similar to prostate cancer. However, only in a very small percentage of men does Enlarged Prostate turn-out to actually be prostate cancer.
So if Enlarged Prostate is generally not malignant (or cancerous) then why would a life insurance company care about a benign diagnosis?
Well, because BPH that remains unsuccessfully treated will result in other serious health issues such as kidney damage, acute urinary retention, and infection.
These are critical conditions that can possibly shorten an individual’s life span. Obviously this matters a lot when you’re buying life insurance!
Now you can see more clearly why life insurance companies want to know more about your Enlarged Prostate diagnosis and treatment.
Plus, let’s not forget they will also evaluate any other risks you put down on your application.
If not, you can bet the life insurance carrier will find out anyway. And if and when they do this works out really badly for you. Their thinking is if someone didn’t tell the truth on one issue what else might they not be telling the truth about.
I work with dozens of top quality life insurance companies that are able to provide affordable over 50 life insurance. Lean on me to guide you and to know which company is most likely going to look at your application most favorably.
In the process of securing life insurance for lots and lots of people over the years, I’ve found out quite a bit of insider information.
For example, I am very familiar with what to expect when men with Enlarged Prostates shop for life insurance.
Check out my pro tips below.
Pro Tip 1 – If No Other Health Issues Preferred Rates Are Possible
Often times applicants that are 50+, like yourself, can qualify for a Preferred Rate life insurance policy based on the following criteria:
- You have an Enlarged Prostate (BPH) but no cancer detected
- Your Enlarged Prostate was detected early and you are doing what’s needed to treat the problem
- Your Enlarged Prostate hasn’t caused you frequent, increasing symptoms
- You are effectively managing your Enlarged Prostate symptoms
- You have no other chronic health conditions
- You avoid high risk behaviors
The Preferred Rate is pretty much “the usual” rating for Enlarged Prostate sufferers so long as they meet the above measures and have no other concerning medical history.
The life insurer will look closely at your application, medical records, diagnostic testing, and other reference items. Collectively these details will build a portrait that can be better evaluated and rated.
Typically if your overall health isn’t quite as good and/or you having a enlarged prostate is a relatively new thing for you chances are you will fall into a Standard Rate class.
Pro Tip 2 – PSA Levels Matter
During your BPH journey, your family doctor or urologist has certainly ordered a Prostate-Specific Antigen, or PSA Test.
The PSA is a diagnostic blood test used to measure the protein produced by both normal and malignant prostate gland cells.
Be aware, there’s really no defined normal or abnormal level of PSA in the blood. Plus, PSA levels may change over time within the same man.
All that being said, life insurance companies do review PSA test results. The life insurer will take your PSA numbers into consideration when figuring out your overall risk.
Insurance Guidelines for PSA Levels
In theory, it’s thought the higher the PSA number then the higher your chances of prostate cancer.
In reality this is not true. What we do know is PSA numbers tend to rise as a man gets older. So high PSA levels are not always a reliable indication of cancer.
Obviously, if you’ve already been diagnosed with Enlarged Prostate, your urologist has reviewed your PSA results and ruled out a cancer diagnosis.
If you’re reading this article, it’s pretty safe to assume you want to know how the insurance company will evaluate your PSA numbers.
The following are some general guidelines for what may be considered a normal PSA level. For example, if your PSA is under 4.0 and you are in your fifties you may qualify for Preferred Rates. Of course this assumes everything else related to your health looks good.
- 50 years of age and younger = 2.5 ng/ml
- 50 – 59 years of age = 4.0 ng/ml
- 60 – 69 years of age = 6.0 ng/ml
- 70 years of age and older = 10.0 ng/ml
PSA Levels and Sub-Standard Rates
If your PSA level is higher than the appropriate level listed, you may be able to get a Standard Rate, but you should be prepared to receive a Sub-Standard (aka Table) Rate.
A Table Rating for many insurance carriers relies on up to 16 different levels.
Each level of a Table Rating represents approximately a 25% premium increase above the Standard (Normal) Rate.
Pro Tip 3 – Other PSA Factors to Consider
Your PSA number isn’t the only factor life insurers will review. Insurance companies also look at an applicant’s PSA velocity. This concept relates to how your PSA changes over time.
Rule of Thumb #1: The quicker your PSA number increases over time means the higher the velocity. The higher the velocity means the greater your chance of cancer becoming present.
In our experience, insurance carriers tend to believe PSA increases of .75 ng/ml to 1.00 ng/ml per year is a red flag.
A higher velocity doesn’t necessarily mean you will be declined for coverage. However, it will influence your rate class (lower it) which could influence your premium amount (increasing it).
Rule of Thumb #2: A lower PSA density (below .2), the better your rating.
The life insurance company will take a look at your most recent PSA levels and ultrasound report.
The carrier will compare your PSA number in relation to the size of your prostate.
Your PSA density can be figured out by dividing your PSA number by your prostate gland’s size.
Are you getting worried? Or confused? There is nothing to fret about.
Give me a call to discuss your Enlarged Prostate diagnosis, as well as all your PSA results. I can help you figure out what rates you are likely to qualify for.
Pro Tip 4 – Enlarged Prostate Questions You’ll Need to Answer
In order to obtain the cheapest life insurance over age 50 you will just have to go through the normal process same as anyone else and wait for your application to be evaluated.
Part of that evaluation will be a review of your answers to the application questions. These answers can also move your insurance rating up or down, depending on your response.
Remember, honesty is ALWAYS the best policy!
- Date of Diagnosis: When were you initially diagnosed with an Enlarged Prostate? How severe is your BPH?
- Treatment Plan: How have you been treating your Enlarged Prostate symptoms? Are you taking any prescribed medications? Which medication and what is the dosage? Are you following your urologist’s orders? Do you attend regular check-ups?
- General Health: How would you describe your overall health? Do you have any other chronic health conditions? Do you have a heart murmur, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, etc.? Are you overweight? Do you take maintenance medications? Are you being treated for any mental conditions such as depression or bipolar disorder?
- Lifestyle: Do you maintain a healthy diet and active life? Did you know that BPH can worsen if you are not keeping fit and active? Do you avoid high risk hobbies? Is your driving record clean without any DUI convictions?
- Tobacco Use – Do you currently smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products? If you are a former smoker, has it been more than 12 months since your last cigarette?
Rule of Thumb #3: Smokers typically pay DOUBLE the premium of their senior peers that do not use nicotine.
Let’s face it, smoking complicates your health and leaves you vulnerable to a premature death. So life insurers will expect you to pay more towards your coverage.
Pro Tip #4 – The Best Time to Call for Coverage is now!
An Enlarged Prostate diagnosis can cause many men and their families to worry that life insurance will not be affordable, or simply not available at all.
You should know that is not the case. Enlarged Prostate (aka Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) is not necessarily life-threatening and is extremely common.
I’m happy to discuss your life insurance options with you, and help you figure out the best solution for your life insurance needs.
I look forward to speaking to you soon.