How Thyroid Cancer and Thyroid Conditions Can Affect Life Insurance

A woman receives a thyroid check-up at her doctor's office

Applying for any life insurance policy will involve full disclosure of your health history and medical problems. Life insurance companies use this information to determine the level of risk that comes with insuring you. Depending on your health, insurance companies can determine to cover you at a higher cost or to deny coverage completely.

Thyroid conditions are one health concern that can lead to an increase in insurance premiums. The type of life insurance policy you’re able to purchase can be affected by past and current thyroid problems. Let’s look at how thyroid disease and conditions can impact your life insurance coverage.

Common Thyroid Conditions

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck. This vital part of the endocrine system helps make hormones. These hormones affect many parts of your body and how they work. Thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism—including burned calories and heart rate.

But much like other parts of your body, you can experience thyroid issues. Common thyroid conditions and types of thyroid disease include:

  • Thyroid nodules: Abnormal growths of thyroid tissue aren’t usually serious. These can occur as solid or fluid-filled lumps. A small percentage are cancerous, but they typically don’t need to be removed unless they cause difficulty swallowing or choking. 
  • Goiter: A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland. While not cancerous, it can cause difficulty with swallowing or breathing.
  • Thyroiditis: Thyroiditis is inflammation of the thyroid gland.
  • Hyperthyroidism: If your thyroid gland produces more hormones than your body needs, it can induce rapid symptoms such as weight loss, anxiety, high blood pressure, or insomnia. 
  • Hypothyroidism: If your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones, you have hypothyroidism. Signs of this thyroid condition include weight gain, constant fatigue, weak or slow heartbeat, poor memory, constipation, and sensitivity to cold.
  • Thyroid cancer: There are five different types of thyroid cancer that are often curable.

Regular examination of your neck can help you find lumps that could be signs or symptoms of thyroid problems. If you think you may have issues with your thyroid based on symptoms, schedule an appointment with your physician.

Thyroid Conditions May Impact Your Life Insurance

Your life insurance application may be impacted by any past or current thyroid conditions. As part of the life insurance underwriting process, you’ll be asked about any health problems and your medical history, including thyroid issues. The good news is that thyroid issues are often easily treatable, and there are insurance companies out there who are relatively friendly to customers with thyroid issues.

Generally speaking, however, most companies don’t see thyroid problems as a complete disqualification for coverage. Each life insurance company has different rules for underwriting, and some companies may raise your premiums based on thyroid problems. Other companies may deny you coverage outright. 

Life insurance companies that cover thyroid disease patients can instead place you into a different type of health class, where you’re rated for risk. An agent will ask you several questions about your health history to give you an idea of what you may qualify for, but your final rating will come after your application goes through underwriting. This official rating determines your premiums.

Life Insurance Health Classifications for Thyroid Conditions

The two most common class ratings for life insurance are preferred and standard. Preferred rates are often given to those whose thyroid conditions are under control and have no other health issues. Standard health class ratings tend to be more common for hyperthyroidism patients who regularly see their endocrinologist and have the condition under control. In addition to the basic preferred and standard rates, you may qualify for preferred plus and standard plus rates depending on your health history and current conditions.

Life Insurance Options After Thyroid Cancer

Even if you have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer or have completed treatment, life insurance is still an option. Your approval will likely depend on the type of thyroid cancer and your treatment plan. Different companies have different guidelines. The underwriting process for life insurance after thyroid cancer will be extensive, but there are still options available.

Best Life Insurance for Those with Thyroid Conditions

Your medical history impacts the type of life insurance you can buy, but generally speaking most types of life insurance are available after treatment. This includes term life insurance, whole life insurance, and final expense life insurance.

Term life insurance is usually the most affordable robust life insurance option, followed by whole life insurance. While term life insurance is purchased for a set period of time—a term—whole life insurance policies cover you from the time of purchase until your death. Some whole life insurance policies allow you to build a cash value that you may borrow against, whereas term life insurance does not.

Other Life Insurance Options

For those whose thyroid conditions are more serious or who have several other complications, term life and whole life insurance may be out of reach. In these cases, insurance policies with lower death benefits may be the best option. This can include final expense insurance or even a guaranteed issue life insurance policy that doesn’t require a medical exam, usually through accelerated underwriting.

SelectQuote can help those with thyroid conditions buy affordable life insurance.

Finding affordable life insurance while dealing with a thyroid condition or in the aftermath of a thyroid cancer diagnosis can feel complicated, but SelectQuote can help. Our licensed insurance agents get to know you and your medical history. With this information in hand, we work with some of the most trusted insurance carriers to compare rates and find you life insurance coverage at the best rate possible.

To learn more about how SelectQuote can help you shop for life insurance and save you money and time, contact our team of licensed insurance agents today.

We do the shopping. You do the saving.