Learn about financial help for cancer patients, life insurance loans, borrowing against your life insurance death benefit, viatical settlements, and many other topics. Life Credit Company thrives on being your resource when it comes to financial help for cancer patients.
This is part one of Navigating Cancer Care, a three-part series that will provide cancer treatment basics, including guidance on finding financial assistance for cancer patients. No matter who the patient is, getting the news that you have cancer is a life-changing moment, one that does not come with a roadmap. Few people realistically anticipate ever receiving that diagnosis, so if it does come, most are not only unprepared for what their next steps should be, but also lack an underlying understanding of cancer treatment basics. A measure of awareness about what comes after an initial diagnosis can go a long way toward easing patients’ minds and shedding light on the path forward toward health. So what are some of the cancer treatment basics? Each cancer has to be treated on an individual basis, as the area of the body it is affecting, its level of progression, the person’s age, and many other factors affect a potential treatment plan. In general, however, these are some of the most-common treatment approaches: Surgery: This is often the first line of defense against cancers that have yet to fully metastasize, or spread. There are a range of surgery options, from minor to more invasive, depending on the person’s individual case. Chemotherapy: Perhaps the treatment most publicly associated with cancer, chemotherapy involves the delivery of a drug regimen to attack and kill cancer cells. The therapy is often associated with side effects such as nausea and hair loss, though symptoms vary widely. Radiation Therapy: In this treatment, radiation is used to damage and ultimately kill cancer cells, with the aim of shrinking tumors.... read more
The financial burden of cancer may be significantly shaping how the disease is affecting Americans, on both individual and societal levels, according to recent research. Nearly one-third of cancer patients are suffering from the financial effects of cancer, a report in the journal Cancer found. The study reported that those who were bearing a financial burden had lower physical- and mental-health outcomes than cancer patients who were financially stable. The financially strapped patients were at an increased risk for depressed mood and for anxiety related to potential cancer recurrence than their counterparts. Overall, the study found that the financial burden of cancer significantly affected patients’ quality of life. The study was on par with other recent research. According to the Washington Post, cancer patients are more likely to declare bankruptcy than those without the disease. Worse still, those patients who do declare bankruptcy are more likely to die from the illness than cancer patients with a better financial prognosis. What can be done to combat these frightening statistics? The problem is a multi-pronged one, as costs add up for cancer patients on many fronts, from treatments to prescription drugs to lifestyle factors, such as reduced working hours or increased need for childcare. That’s why an individualized approach to reducing the financial burden of cancer can be helpful. One option is using one’s life insurance policy, such as through Life Credit’s Living Benefit Loan program. Through this effort, patients can borrow against their life insurance policy for any number of needs—to buy their medications, to pay for life-saving treatments, or to settle bills that added up because of lost wages.... read more
Claiming life insurance death benefits can be a lifesaving option for a person’s family after he or she passes away and can even be beneficial for the policyholder while he or she is still alive. When selecting a life insurance policy, it is important to consider the pros and cons of each option, especially the policy’s death benefit. Death Benefit Pros Death benefits are generally designed to help a policy holder’s beneficiaries pay for his or her final arrangements, to settle debts and, in some cases, to help them save and build wealth. Some policies also include the option of claiming life insurance death benefits through loans while the individual is still alive. That can be an effective way of paying down debts and confronting financial emergencies, such as cancer or other critical medical conditions. Death Benefit Cons Death benefits vary greatly depending on the individual’s policy. For instance, term policyholders generally cannot draw on their benefits while they’re still alive. Those who want that option would need to invest in a whole or permanent life insurance policy, which is generally more expensive as it lasts throughout the duration of an individual’s life. That means higher premiums each month, which can be challenging for many, especially those who are just starting out. Another Option Those considering the best options for claiming life insurance death benefits can also explore avenues like Life Credit’s Living Benefit Loans. This program allows policyholders—regardless of whether they have term or whole life insurance—to borrow against their policy’s death benefit to address immediate financial concerns. Individuals can receive up to half of their death benefit,... read more
Are you considering whether your life insurance cash value can help you confront a medical crisis like cancer? You’re certainly not alone. Many cancer patients are facing significant financial burdens, and life insurance can be one way to overcome some of those obstacles. First, it’s important to understand the basics of how life insurance builds cash value. Understanding Your Life Insurance Policy’s Cash Value One of the major differences between whole and term life insurance policies centers on cash value. Term policies are applicable for a set number of years and do not accumulate cash value. Once the term has ended, the policyholder does not have any coverage and cannot draw on any of the premiums he or she paid throughout its duration. Whole life insurance, on the other hand, is active throughout an individual’s life and builds cash value over the years. So how does life insurance accumulate cash value? A policy’s value grows as the individual pays the agreed-upon premiums. A portion of the premiums goes to the person’s death benefit, which will be paid out to survivors after he or she passes away, and a portion is set aside as the policy’s cash value. How Can Life Insurance Help Me as a Cancer Patient? If a person chooses a payout or to sell a life insurance policy, he or she will only get the life insurance cash surrender value. Often, the surrender value is lower than the actual cash value of a policy, so the holder will not truly be getting back what he or she put into it. Sometimes, cancer patients may settle for this... read more
If you’re considering investing in life insurance, one of your first decisions is likely term insurance vs. whole life insurance. The type of insurance you choose will dictate the level of protection you get, and for how long, so it’s important to understand which policy fits best for your individual situation. What is the Difference Between Term and Whole Life Insurance? There are a few key differences between term and whole life insurance, including: Length of coverage: Term policies only offer death-benefit coverage for the policyholder for a set number of years, while whole life, instead, extends through the person’s death. Whole life insurance typically provides both a death benefit and a cash savings, where term does not accumulate cash value. Premiums: Because whole life has a longer coverage period, monthly premiums may be higher than those associated with term policies. Living death benefit: Many policies only allow clients to add a rider such as a living death benefit—which enables the person to draw cash from the policy in the event of a terminal illness—to a whole life policy. Life Credit’s Living Benefit Loans, however, allow policyholders to borrow against the death benefit of both term and whole life policies. Term Insurance vs. Whole Life Insurance So which type of policy is better? It largely depends on a person’s unique situation. Term insurance is often a good fit for younger individuals, who want to protect their families in the event of an unexpected loss, all at a price that doesn’t break the bank. However, when the term finishes, the policyholder will lose protection, which can be a... read more
The cost of cancer treatment may be one of the first worries that crosses someone’s mind when he or she receives a cancer diagnosis. Fears over how to pay—and even if they can pay—for quality care shouldn’t be top of mind for those dealing with life-threatening illnesses but, unfortunately, that is a reality for far too many people. Research has consistently found that cancer patients face serious risk to their financial well-being because of their care. It’s difficult to determine the average cost of cancer treatment—as each person’s insurance, diagnosis and treatment is different—but one study found that patients were paying, on average, 11 percent of their income in out-of-pocket treatment costs. Sixteen percent of those surveyed reported significant financial distress, and that was despite 60 percent of those individuals having health insurance. Where exactly does all the money go? What are the out of pocket costs of cancer treatment? Co-pays: Visiting doctors and specialists on a regular basis can amass a significant number of office co-pays. Treatment: From pill regimens to chemotherapy, many patients are expected to pay at least part of treatment costs out of pocket. Testing: With high-deductible plans so common these days, the routine testing before, during and after cancer treatment can come with a high price tag. Lifestyle changes: Many patients overlook the lost wages that stem from reduced working hours that are often necessary during and after treatment. Transportation: Getting to and from medical appointments can be costly, as patients often have to enroll in transportation services or rely on rideshare options when loved ones aren’t available. The American Cancer Society’s Costs of... read more