The Viatical Settlement Checklist

Life insurance is often considered as a means to help loved ones pay for your final expenses; however, situations may arise that would make having access to those funds prior to your passing the smartest financial option. Life Credit’s Living Benefit Loan Program allows you to borrow against your life insurance policy’s death benefit in order to cover cancer care and other pressing financial obligations. Another option is  a settlement called a viatical, life insurance can be sold to another party. There are pros and cons to viatical settlements, which each person needs to carefully consider before choosing the path that’s right for them. What happens under a viatical settlement? This is an option that can only be considered when someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness, typically with a life expectancy of less than two years. In this case, the person may want to access the funds to take care of end-of-life planning, such as home care or hospice. Consulting with your medical team to have them assess and document your prognosis should be one of the first steps anyone should take who is considering a viatical settlement. Other factors to consider are the length of your policy — viatical life insurance settlements usually only apply to policies older than two years — and whether the policy was issued by a licensed and insured provider. The value of the policy is also a major consideration, and one that involves its age, the cost of the premiums and the unique health circumstances of the policyholder. What happens under a viatical settlement is that the buyer will often agree to...

5 Riders to Consider in Your Life Insurance Policy

Life insurance policy riders can be vital tools for protecting yourself and your loved ones, adding extra value to your policy. There are many different types of riders, and all are designed to meet specific needs, allowing you to custom-build a policy to your unique circumstances. Many riders are incorporated into an insurance policy upon initial purchase, but some life insurance companies may allow you to add on riders throughout the duration of your policy. As always, consult with an insurance professional to determine which rider may be best for you. Here are five of the most common life insurance policy riders you may want to consider to ensure you’re getting the most out of your policy: 1. Long-Term Care Rider: Life insurance with a long-term care rider enables you to draw upon your policy’s death benefit long before you pass away. You can use the funds for assistance with care, such as paying for a home-care nurse or for living expenses at a nursing home or assisted care facility. Typically, eligibility requirements mandate that policyholders be unable to perform a number of daily tasks by themselves, such as dressing or eating. This type of rider can be an effective way for policyholders to avoid having to drain savings or retirement plans and also ensure they can benefit from their policy while still alive. 2. Living Benefits Rider: This type is another of the life insurance policy riders that allows you to access your death benefit before you pass. In order to qualify, you usually have to have a chronic or terminal illness; if approved, you can use the...

How to Choose a Home Health Care Provider That’s Right for You

When you’re in the midst of undergoing treatment for cancer or another serious illness or are making arrangements for your final days if facing a terminal diagnosis, it’s important to have a strong support system at home. Often, that support can come in the form of a home care provider. Such providers vary in terms of their background, education, and responsibilities, which is why it’s important to do your research when choosing a home care provider, to ensure you or your loved one work with someone who will be able to provide the right level of care. If you’re considering this option and wondering how to choose a home health care provider, the best place to start is to understand the differences between the titles of the most common types of providers. Common Types of Home Health Care Providers: Personal care aide: This type of provider is a good fit for someone who needs some assistance with daily household tasks but who can still manage his or her medical care relatively independently. A PCA can assist with everything from heavy lifting to cleaning and making meals, driving patients to appointments or on errands, and providing support and companionship. Home health aide: An HHA is equipped to meet more serious medical needs. He or she generally has completed vocational or community-college training in this area and is certified by the state. In addition to helping a patient with daily tasks like using the restroom or getting dressed, an HHA can take vitals, dispense medication, and ensure the individual is following through on prescribed treatments. Certified nursing assistant: A CNA is appropriate...

Indirect Costs of Cancer & Unexpected Out-of-Pocket Expenses

It’s no secret that cancer care is expensive: From treatment to medication, the financial side effects of a cancer diagnosis are often, unfortunately, one of the first things patients worry about when considering their care. However, on top of the cost of medical treatment, there are a number of hidden, indirect costs of cancer that often significantly drive up the price tag of treatment — and for which patients should be ready. What are some of the Indirect Costs of Cancer? Loss of or Reduced Work Hours:  When someone is being treated for cancer, his or her lifestyle may be completely upended. If they’re working-age, they may need to take an extended leave from their job, reduce their hours (and, subsequently, their income) or could lose their position altogether. While disability may be an option for some, it won’t entirely close the gaps caused by lost wages. Childcare:  While the person battling cancer is the focus of any treatment plan, there are likely many other people who will be affected. For instance, if the patient has children, there needs to be attention given to childcare: With long hours spent at therapy and even more hours spent recuperating from treatments or surgery, caring for a child at the same time is impossible. That means many parents need to line up after-school sitters or arrange for new transportation to and from school or extracurricular activities — all indirect costs of cancer that few people consider. Personal Caregiver:  If a cancer patient is older or doesn’t have a strong support system nearby, he or she may also need to consider caregiving options...

Cost of Care for 3 Common Types of Cancer

While a cancer diagnosis of any kind brings with it a wealth of financial worries, not all types of cancer are the same — so the cost of cancer treatment can vary greatly. Costs depend on a number of factors, such as the method of treatment — radiation therapy versus chemotherapy versus surgery, or sometimes a combination of all of these approaches. Costs also impacted by the type of imaging needed, the extent of the medication regimen, length of hospital stays and level of home care required, as well as many other considerations. Despite many differences, the cost of cancer treatment is often very significant, no matter the type of cancer, which is why it’s important for patients to have an idea of total costs before starting treatment, so they can be prepared and also explore all of the options for financial assistance for cancer patients. Here are some of the projected costs for treatment of the most common forms of cancer: Breast Cancer  NCI predicts women diagnosed with breast cancer will pay a mean of $23,078 in the first year after diagnosis, followed by annual costs of $2,207. If the diagnosis ends up coming within the patient’s last year of life, the cost is a staggering $62,856. Prostate Cancer  For men diagnosed with prostate cancer, NCI estimates they will pay $19,710 for the cost of cancer treatment in the initial year, followed by annual costs of $3,201. If it is a late-stage diagnosis and the patient dies that year, the projected cost of care is $62,242. Lung Cancer  Lung cancer is among the more costly types of cancer....