Top Financial Assistance Resources for Cancer Patients

Financial assistance is most often associated with college tuition, but it’s also available for another very costly time in one’s life: a cancer diagnosis. From life insurance loans for cancer patients to initiatives that help patients with everyday expenses, there are a number of programs available to alleviate the financial burden that most cancer patients face. Here are a few of the options cancer patients can consider when looking to get their finances on the right track—so their health can follow: · Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition: If you’re looking for a broad overview of the different options available, Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition’s website provides ample information. Users can sort through programs for people with varying needs, from meal-delivery services to wish-fulfillment initiatives. Life insurance loans for cancer patients: Not all life insurance policies allow holders to draw on their value; policies usually must meet certain requirements, and patients often have to have a terminal prognosis. Instead, Life Credit’s Living Benefit Loans program allows policyholders with at least $75,000 in any type of life insurance to borrow up to 50 percent of the policy’s death benefit, which is often released in just days and can be used to cover a range of costs. Life Credit Company provides Living Benefit Loans to those who need it. Follow Life Credit’s simple 3 step process to financial assistance for cancer patients. Local-level programs: While many large national agencies offer resources, there are also local efforts across the country. The American Cancer Society and United Way, for instance, each enable patients to search for individualized services tailored to their geographic locations. Condition-based efforts: People...

How to Manage the Cost of Treating Prostate Cancer

An early diagnosis and expert treatment are both keys to recovering from prostate cancer. Another often overlooked element of this journey is financial help for prostate cancer patients, which can assist them in receiving proper care and reducing stress—which can take a toll on one’s mental and physical health. Prostate cancer is a very survivable disease, but intervention usually involves surgery or even a series of surgeries combined with other therapies like radiation treatment. Costs vary widely and often depend on insurance and diagnosis, but a recent study by the University of California San Francisco found that one surgery for low-risk prostate cancer can cost more than $19,000, with a high-risk treatment averaging around $50,000. So, what financial help for prostate cancer patients is available? There are a number of options, such as the American Cancer Society’s wide-ranging resources for patients with varying types of cancer, including prostate. Cancer Care also offers individual condition-based financial resources, along with counseling and other assistance programs. There are also options for patients to access their own resources, such as through Life Credit’s Living Benefit Loans program. Patients with at least $75,000 in life insurance are eligible to receive up to half of their policy’s death benefit, which can be used as financial help for prostate cancer and those with other conditions. Borrowing against their own life insurance enables patients to access funds into which they’ve already paid quickly and easily, and to regain full ownership of the policy once the loan is repaid. Financial help for prostate cancer can be a significant contributor to one’s future health, as patients—even those who are...

Creating a Plan After a Cancer Diagnosis  

Planning is essential for any major life experience: going to college, buying a house, having a baby. Getting details in order, schedules on track and options sorted can help the best decisions be made, with the best outcomes. The same can be said for unfortunate situations such as a cancer diagnosis. A cancer care plan is an often-overlooked yet highly essential component of a person’s journey through and beyond cancer. From the day a diagnosis is delivered to the moment the news of remission comes, being prepared and informed through a cancer care plan can make each step a bit easier. What is the best way to make a cancer care plan? It’s important to proactively consider the different areas of your life that will be changed by your diagnosis, and then explore the options and opportunities that exist within each to make those changes more manageable. A typical plan could include: Treatment: Among the most important aspects of a cancer care plan is treatment. This portion of the strategy should include research about healthcare facilities, physicians and different treatments available. Patients should understand the ins and outs of each treatment, including the costs, side effects and recovery times. Finances: A cancer care plan should address the patient’s overall financial picture, including estimated costs for treatments, co-pays, and other medical expenses. This aspect of the plan should also include resources for financial assistance for cancer patients. Caregiving: Cancer can interrupt daily responsibilities, such as caring for children or elderly parents. A cancer care plan can address how those obligations will be handled during a patient’s treatment and recovery, including rotating schedules of family...

What Can You Expect to Spend Out of Pocket When You Have Cancer?

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...

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....

Converting Life Insurance Into Cash: What Does This Mean for a Cancer Patient?

When facing mounting debt, some people may begin to explore the best way to convert life insurance into income. This is a challenge frequently encountered by those grappling with a medical emergency, such as cancer. Income for cancer patients is often sorely needed. When someone is undergoing cancer treatments, he or she may not be able to work or may have to work fewer hours, leading to reduced pay, which can make paying necessary bills like mortgage or rent a major roadblock. On top of shifting lifestyle changes, cancer and other medical conditions often come with hefty price tags. From treatment to medication and everything in between, patients facing serious illnesses are also likely facing serious costs. That’s why some searching for ways to generate money for cancer patients may turn to life insurance.  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. Some insurance companies allow for an individual to draw cash advances from the amount they have paid into a policy in case of emergency, such as if he or she is facing a terminal illness. However, the type of policy is key, as such an allowance is typically only used for permanent, or whole, policies. Policyholders can consider converting term to whole life in order to access funding for cancer patients, though that approach can have some drawbacks, such as higher premiums, which can be an obstacle for those already dealing with increased medical costs. Life Credit takes a different approach with loans that allow...