MassMutual Introduces New Underwriting Guidelines to Make Life Insurance More Broadly Available to Cancer Survivors

Dec 07, 2010, 15:00 ET from MassMutual

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on a long-standing commitment to helping people before, during and after a cancer diagnosis, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) has broadened its life insurance underwriting guidelines for prostate cancer survivors.  

According to recent(1) statistics from the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, other than skin cancer.  It is estimated that about one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.  

"The good news is that we'll be able to cover the majority of prostate cancer survivors," said Val Kaufman, MD, FACC, DBIM, vice president and chief medical director, MassMutual.  "In general, there are now more favorable ratings for men over the age of 55 whose cancer is confined to the prostate, is not considered high grade, has been successfully treated with surgery or radiation, and has favorable follow-up results."

MassMutual is known for continually evaluating and updating its underwriting guidelines to reflect the benefits of the most up-to-date diagnoses and treatment advances. In fact, for more than 45 years, MassMutual has been a leader in providing insurance coverage to breast cancer survivors.  

"We believe more cancer survivors than ever are qualifying for coverage, and with shorter waiting periods and lower premiums," said Dr. Kaufman.  "This oftentimes comes as a surprise for many cancer survivors."  

It was certainly a surprise for one of MassMutual's policyholders, Julie McCollum, a 48 year-old certified public accountant from Scottsdale, Az.  "I was shocked to learn that I was able to qualify for a whole life insurance policy after having had a cancerous kidney removed just three years earlier," said Ms. McCollum.  "I have two school-age daughters that I have to think about, and I have to thank my financial advisor for suggesting that I consider this form of coverage and walking me through the whole process."

MassMutual 'walks the talk'

"We walk the talk at MassMutual," said David Artzerounian, MD, vice president and chief medical officer, MassMutual, who noted that MassMutual CEO and President Roger Crandall is a member of the CEOs against Cancer' program with the American Cancer Society.  "MassMutual recently(2) received the CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ accreditation, which recognizes the company's commitment to reducing the risk of cancer for employees and their families by promoting healthy lifestyle choices, encouraging early detection through cancer screenings, and ensuring access to quality treatment," he added.

"These are real honors for us, as it demonstrates that our commitment starts at the top and is embedded in our corporate culture," said Dr. Artzerounian.

MassMutual donates more than $100,000 to cancer-related organizations in 2010

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, each time a financial professional affiliated with MassMutual conducted a "Pearls of Wisdom®" financial education seminar,(3) MassMutual contributed $500 to $1,000 to a local cancer-related organization, such as the American Cancer Society.  This year's seminars resulted in more than half of MassMutual's agencies conducting almost 100 sessions, reaching scores of women and their family members and friends while also resulting in more than $100,000 in donations.  

Pearls of Wisdom seminars teach participants about the importance of financial preparedness and the steps they can take to better protect their families and their futures in the face of life challenges, such as cancer.  Among the lessons that MassMutual's financial professionals convey is that many cancer survivors can be eligible for most types of insurance despite often-held beliefs to the contrary.

Between 2005 and 2009, MassMutual donated more than a half million dollars to cancer-related organizations across the U.S. and grew its focus on breast cancer awareness as a homegrown platform for year-long financial educational opportunities for women.

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About MassMutual

Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyholders. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyholders every year since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company's strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.

MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.

(1) November 2010

(2) October 2010

(3) Minimum of 20 participants


Paula Tremblay


SOURCE MassMutual