Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) has significantly revised its underwriting guidelines to expand insurance access to more individuals diagnosed with breast cancer, according to a news release.

The insurer has been providing insurance protection for patients diagnosed with breast cancer for more than 50 years.

Previously, physicians gave primary attention to the anatomic features of cancer, such as tumor size and the presence and extent of metastasis. More recently, however, doctors have shifted to the prognosis-based staging of breast cancer. 

This new system considers those anatomic features together with hormonal and HER-2 receptor status (named for a gene with a role in tumor development), the tumor grade and genetic features of the tumor. This new, more holistic approach results in hundreds of possible combinations that are grouped into prognostic stages.

The adoption of the prognosis-based staging of breast cancer in underwriting guidelines has enabled MassMutual to revise those guidelines and thus expand access to life insurance coverage to more individuals diagnosed with breast cancer and makes it possible for others to qualify for better rates.

With the revised underwriting guidelines, more individuals may qualify for a policy immediately after successful completion of their treatment and can be reclassified into lower risk classes. They can also be eligible for more favorable ratings. 

For example, guidelines for non-invasive breast cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS—abnormal cells inside the milk ducts) have been revised to address a wider range of scenarios.

At the beginning of the year, MassMutual also significantly expanded its suite of employee benefits, which included an enhanced cancer care offering to employees. If employees or their dependents receive a cancer diagnosis, they now have unlimited access to an oncology nurse who provides concierge-level service. This service helps patients navigate the health-care system to get the care they need and creates a customized support plan to help them identify the right facilities, doctors and treatments.

Additionally, MassMutual introduced a new caregiver leave that provides employees with up to two weeks paid leave to care for a loved one who is suffering from a serious health condition. It is at the discretion of the employee to define who a “loved one” is since there is no requirement that the person be an immediate family member.

According to Dr. Claudia Coplein, head of health and wellness at MassMutual, professionals and loved ones can play a significant role, both physically and emotionally, in the overall support and well-being of someone facing the evaluations, decisions, treatments, worries and stresses that can come with a diagnosis of cancer.

First « 1 2 » Next