How Expensive Is Cancer?

Just how much does cancer cost? It’s difficult to pinpoint, but what is easy to determine is that cancer can be extremely expensive, even financially toxic for some people. The Cancer Action Network estimates that the 2014 cost of cancer care in the United States was a staggering $87.8 billion, a number shared by patients, employers, insurance companies and public programs. CAN notes it’s difficult to put a price tag on the individual costs of cancer because there is so much variation in treatment methods and insurance options, but out-of-pocket expenses may easily exceed $200,000, according to the organization’s cancer treatment cost statistics. Forbes estimates that the average cost of cancer treatment was equal to about 11 percent of patients’ income in the United States. Where does all the money go? There are a number of things that drive expenses, such as high prescription costs, copays for doctor visits, exorbitant costs of treatments like chemotherapy and hospital fees for surgery. Then there is the indirect, and often unexpected, cost of cancer care. Expenses like childcare, mental-health treatments, transportation to appointments, lost income from reduced working hours and potentially a job loss all add onto the cancer treatment cost, and can significantly overwhelm patients. Financial Help For Cancer Patients Some may be so eager for quick cash that they decide to sell their life insurance policy in what is called a viatical settlement. Such an agreement involves the transfer of a policy to a third party for less than what it is worth, with the policyholder able to use the lump sum proceeds to address his or her immediate financial needs....

Can a Cancer Patient Convert Life Insurance to Cash?

When facing mounting debt, some cancer patients and their families may begin to explore the best way to convert life insurance into cash and supplement their dwindling income. Some consider taking advantage of a life insurance conversion credit and switching their policy from term life to whole life, others explore medical and cancer loan options. Medical emergencies or cancer treatments often leave people unable to work or forced to work fewer hours, leading to reduced pay. Paying necessary bills like mortgage or rent become a major roadblock to recovery. On top of shifting lifestyle changes, cancer, serious illness, and many medical conditions often come with hefty price tags. If you are in need of financial assistance, how can you convert life insurance into cash and get relief from a financial crisis? 1. Use your policy’s benefit riders. Life insurance is generally considered a way to protect one’s assets and beneficiaries after death, but in some cases, its value can be maximized while a person is still living. If your policy contains a benefit rider, such as accelerated death, accidental death, or disability income, then your insurance company may allow you to draw cash advances from the amount you have paid into a policy. The type of policy you have will play a major role in how you can convert your life insurance policy into cash. Cash advances and allowances are typically only used for permanent, or whole life policies. 2. Take advantage of a term life insurance conversion credit If you have a term life insurance policy you may consider asking your insurance company about a life insurance conversion credit and switching to a whole life policy...

What is a Death Benefit Rider?

Life insurance is traditionally understood as helping people plan and prepare for the end of their lives. Many policyholders aim to use the amount of their plan to help beneficiaries pay for things like funeral costs, to settle final arrangements or to help reduce debt once they have passed. However, after the lifelong investment that many sink into a plan, they should be able to use the value whenever they need it and, that’s where a death benefit rider may come in. How Does a Death Benefit Rider Work? A rider functions like an add-on to an insurance plan, allowing the policyholder to opt for certain protections that are customized to his or her particular situation. There are different forms a death benefit rider can take, but many center on giving the individual access to the cash value of his or her insurance plan while he or she is still alive. For instance, an accelerated death benefit generally enables policyholders who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness to draw cash advances against the value of the death benefit. Another option is the enhanced death benefit, which pays out the highest investment gain the policy attained, even if the market value is less. Those with a variable annuity death benefit may be able to attach riders to enable cash advances and a payout that is higher than the minimum. Pros and Cons of Death Benefit Riders Death benefit riders can help policyholders customize a plan that makes sense for them; however, there are some factors to consider. Riders do increase the cost of a plan, which could be a...