Lung disease encompasses a wide range of afflictions—from the very treatable pneumonia to the controllable but incurable emphysema and lung cancer, whose victims have a five-year survival rate of just six to fifteen percent.
Whether an individual with any of these diseases is insurable, and at what cost, depends on a variety of factors, including the disease itself, when the disease was discovered, its severity and whether it can be cured, says Dr. Robert Pokorski, chief medical strategist for The Hartford.
On the up side, Pokorski says it is possible to buy term and whole life insurance at preferred rates – the second best on a rating scale– with some common lung disorders, such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis (after recovery), asthma and sleep apnea. Standard rates are possible for sarcoidosis and tuberculosis after treatment has been completed and if there are no residual problems, or another illness, he adds.
“Some lung diseases, including lung cancer, tuberculosis and lung infections, must be cured before an individual can buy insurance,” Pokorski says. He says for serious illnesses, such as lung cancer, most applications are postponed for three to five years after completing treatment, followed by four to five more years of additional premiums.