Being in a place of financial stability is hard enough to achieve in our society. Unless you happen to have a high paying job or very minimal debt, most people find themselves living paycheck to paycheck and have a hard time should an unforeseen expense arise. The dishwasher breaking or a minor car accident become situations that are difficult to overcome.
Now take that set of circumstances and add a cancer diagnosis to the mix. Suddenly, being able to barely meet monthly expenses becomes a struggle to pay for expensive treatment and wondering how you’re going to keep the power on. When patients choose to undergo treatment and battle their cancer, it instantly creates a financial dynamic that adds to their stress. However, there are resources available that help to cover the costs of treatment and address additional living expenses, like viatical settlements. Let’s explore some of these options.
A Review Of Traditional Resources
Many people end up being diagnosed with cancer when they already have medical coverage, so they typically have a history of receiving assistance for minor ailments. While most major health insurance carriers will not cover your costs entirely, there’s a good chance that the bulk of your treatment will be taken care of.
If you are assigned a case manager, be sure to stay in communication with him or her and keep a close eye on the payment of your claims. Consumers always have the option of appealing a denial of payment, so building a relationship with your case manager might be helpful so that you have an advocate.
Other individuals diagnosed with cancer are eligible to receive help from the government in the form of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and disability benefits. Funding from these sources can help to provide cash in your wallet to pay for living expenses and missed time from work. When you combine the benefits from your insurance with assistance from federal programs, you might not have to pay very much out of pocket for your treatment. Other fund their costs by selling their life insurance through a viatical settlement.
Thinking Outside Of The Box
It’s tough to ask for help, especially when you’re facing the task of a long and difficult recovery from a life-threatening disease. However, with the increased connectivity we enjoy through social media and the internet in general, many people choose to create a crowdfunding page to help offset the costs of their treatment.
Popular sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter are platforms where you can share your story, provide pictures and updates, and receive donations from anyone in the world. It’s not unheard of for people to raise tens of thousands of dollars in a minimal amount of time due to the far reach of these websites.
A less common option for patients to utilize is the partnership of a financial planner. If you are in a situation where you could possibly take out a line of credit or pull equity from your home to pay for treatment, a financial expert will be able to guide you through your options and help you understand the ramifications of each scenario.
Aside from the usual choices that most people think of when it comes to borrowing money from a creditor, some companies are now creating a structure to specifically assist cancer patients. One such group, Life Credit Company, offers a loan that is designed to be used only to offset the costs of cancer treatment. Rather than burdening their clients with loan payments over the course of many years, their loan is paid off with the maturity of their life insurance policy.
Viatical Settlements Could Help Fund Chemotherapy
A viatical settlement is when you sell your life insurance policy to a third-party investor. They can often pay you a cash value of 10% to 80% of the death benefit. In exchange, the investor pays the ongoing annual premium and collects the death benefit when you pass away. Many cancer patients find this as a good method to fund their ongoing cancer costs.
Get an instant estimate of your policy value here. This could be an important option in not burdening your family with debt. At the same time, be practical about making sure your family is taken care of after you pass.
Non-Profits Are A Great Resource
Doing just a little bit of research can yield an immense amount of organizations that help with the financial ramifications of a cancer diagnosis. One in particular, HealthWell Foundation, offers patients financial assistance to deal with a variety of issues. They create individual funds that can be applied toward treatment costs not covered by insurance, grants to reduce medical debt, and monetary support to help transition back into your normal routine after your treatment is completed.
Another incredible resource is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, who dedicates an entire page of their website to receiving financial help during cancer treatment. Practical costs are addressed, including co-payment assistance, travel coverage, and lodging support. They also offer contact information for other organizations who provide relief with your rent, mortgage, and utility payments.
Your Hospital Provides More Than Just Treatment
If you are having a difficult time paying for treatment, the chances are you’re not the first patient to face hardship and you won’t be the last. Depending on your particular financial situation, you might be eligible to work with your hospital or doctor’s office under what they term “charity care.” Typically a social worker has the best access into guiding you to these programs, and it has the potential to significantly reduce your medical debt.
Remember that your medical providers are there as allies and want to be able to treat your cancer without it creating an undue hardship. Many medical practitioners are open to creating payment plans or can work out terms that meet the needs of everyone involved. Usually, as long as you make a good faith effort to pay as much as you can, when you can, medical providers will be flexible.
Peace Of Mind Helps With Recovery
Being able to utilize one of the many resources listed above will go a long way toward recovery, not just in the financial sense but toward your physical recovery as well. Being diagnosed with cancer is quite possibly one of the scariest challenges that an individual might face in their entire lifetime. It requires immense focus and positivity to be able to receive treatment and fully recover.
Imagine being distracted by your finances at all times, and the effect it would have on your physical recovery. Now, contrast that image with one of peace and focus, knowing that your treatment is paid for and that once you fully recover, you’ll be able to resume your life with your same home and car, with all of your bills covered. The thought of receiving financial assistance through your cancer treatment is the boost of positivity that’s needed during this trying time.
Ovid is a life settlement exchange. We instantly match you with institutional buyers who are interested in your policy, based on you and your policy profile. Getting an offer for your policy from Ovid buyer partners is completely free. If you do want so sell your policy, Ovid has proven to help obtain average payouts above the industry average. We’re based in San Francisco and have been featured in Forbes, US News, Business Insider for the incredible work we do for consumers. You can learn more about Ovid here.