The Importance of Cancer Screenings

The prospect of treating cancer is daunting for any patient—especially so if the person is diagnosed with late-stage cancer. One of the best ways to help catch the disease before it progresses or spreads is through regular cancer screening. What is a cancer screening? A cancer screening is a type of evaluation that looks for potential signs of cancer before a person develops symptoms. This can be particularly effective, as symptom development may not arise until the cancer has progressed and may be harder to treat. By looking for and diagnosing cancer through early screening, patients stand a much better chance at surviving and thriving after a diagnosis. What does a screening look like? Now that you’ve answered what is a cancer screening, you may wonder what it entails. There are many different types of screenings and they can be employed separately or together, based on the patient’s medical history and risk status. A physical exam may be the most common and involves a physician closely examining the patient’s body to look for anything unusual while also taking a history and learning about the patient’s habits or other problem areas. Other screening procedures involve lab tests, imaging, and genetic tests, all of which can flag potential signs of cancer. Should I get a cancer screening? Those who have a risk for cancer should consider regular screening. For instance, patients who have survived cancer or who have close relatives who have been diagnosed are advised to be screened periodically. Similarly, smokers, those with blood clots, patients with genetic mutations, and those who are of advanced age are also prime candidates...

3 Questions to Ask Your Insurance Company before you Pursue a Living Benefit Loan

Figuring out the best way to use your life insurance when you have cancer is a challenging task that all too many people face. The disease brings with it seemingly insurmountable financial challenges—for treatments to medications to disruptions like the loss of a job—leaving many patients in critical need of quick financial assistance. Life insurance can be a valuable tool to close financial gaps. However, completely cashing out or selling your policy can seem wasteful after years of investing in the product to help your family in the future. Instead, Life Credit’s Living Benefits Loans are a viable option if you’re considering using your life insurance when you have cancer. The program allows you to borrow against the cash value of your policy—and you get to reap the financial benefits: no more premium payments, no obligation to repay the loan and a guarantee that, upon your passing, your policy’s death benefits cover the loan and any additional benefits will be distributed to your beneficiaries. Before deciding which option to pursue, make sure to ask your insurance company these three questions: Does my policy have any cash value? If your policy has built cash value, your insurance company may allow you to draw from that for immediate financial support. If so, you may be able to keep your policy active and leave some funds for your beneficiary. Does my policy have living benefits? Regardless of cash value, your policy may have a living benefits option, which could allow you to essentially take an advance on your death benefit. That way, you may be able to take advantage of the longtime...

Can Life Insurance Affect your Medicaid Eligibility?

Medicaid is a vital tool for millions of Americans. In fact, 72 million Americans—or 20% of the country’s population—depend on this federal government assistance, which is designed to provide financial support for low-income individuals. But, can life insurance affect your Medicaid eligibility? It’s an issue that’s especially salient today, as so many Americans find themselves victims of the climbing unemployment rates, and others are facing the unfortunate reality of a cancer diagnosis or other serious medical illness. If they’re faced with feeling like they have to choose between a policy they’ve invested in for many years or the ability to access critical financial support, the financial stress may be just as damaging as any physical, mental or emotional struggles they’re undergoing. Is Life Insurance an Asset when Applying for Medicade? It’s a question that anyone who is considering applying for Medicaid needs to explore. Medicaid requires that enrollees have less than $2,000 in assets—which typically includes checking and savings accounts, stocks and bonds, and additional properties and vehicles other than your primary ones. Though many don’t consider it at first, however, life insurance can also count as assets. Term life insurance doesn’t build cash value—so if you have this type of policy, you don’t need to consider the question, can life insurance affect your Medicaid eligibility? However, if you have a whole life insurance policy, which does accrue value, your eligibility may be in jeopardy. Medicaid considers policies with a face value of more than $1,500 to be an asset; so if your death benefit is worth more than that, you may not be approved. What Are the Options?...

End-of-Life Financial Planning Checklist

No one wants to think about end-of-life planning, but not being prepared can be damaging both for yourself and your loved ones—mentally, emotionally, and financially. On the financial front, we all plan and budget for big, life moments: college, a new job, buying a car or house, a wedding, having a baby and retirement, among them. So, why not also include end-of-life planning on that list, as your last moments are just as momentous as all of those other milestones in your life? Life Insurance: Know what your life insurance policy provides for you and your family. Consider the death benefit available and explore what financial obligations you may have near the end of your life, including medical bills and long-term care. If you may need financial assistance upfront, you can consider a Life Credit Living Benefit Loan to borrow against your policy and get immediate financial help—that can be paid back through your policy after your death. Will: This is an essential component of end-of-life planning. A will is a binding legal document that outlines details like how your assets will be distributed and, if you have minor children, who will serve as a guardian. Without a will, those decisions won’t be in your control. Beneficiaries: From life insurance to 401(k) plans, it’s critical to name beneficiaries so that your financial products can be properly distributed to those you select. Ensure that any joint accounts, such as a savings account with a spouse, are set to have a right of survivorship. This will allow your spouse or other loved one to inherit the funds without red tape like...

Do I need to pay back my life insurance loan?

If you’ve borrowed against the cash value of your life insurance, you may be wondering, should I pay off my life insurance policy loan? Especially if you’re facing a serious illness, worrying about unpaid debt may be the last thing on your mind; however, not paying back a loan against your insurance policy could significantly impact your finances and those of your family. It’s important to first understand what a life insurance policy loan is and how it works. Policyholders who need quick access to cash—such as if they’re diagnosed with a serious illness and have mounting medical bills—may be able to apply for a loan through their insurance company that can give them access to the cash value of their plan. Not everyone is eligible, though: Such loans are only available to those with whole or universal plans, not term, and are only worth up to the amount the policy has accrued in cash value; those who haven’t been paying into their policies long enough for them to accumulate such value may not be able to secure a loan. When it comes to the question, should I pay off my life insurance policy loan, you should learn about the particular provisions of your loan. Most insurance companies that allow policyholders to borrow against their policies’ cash value require that you pay the loan back in full before your death. During that time, the loan will accumulate interest—at a rate that may be as high as 8%—which can make the payback amount drastically increase over time. Do Insurance Policy Loans Mandate Repayment? Most insurance policy loans, however, don’t mandate...