Every day people struggle to cope with the financial burden of cancer. In fact, more than 4,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each day. No one is prepared to deal with that diagnosis from an emotional standpoint, and the vast majority are not prepared to deal with cancer from a financial angle.
At Cancer Tutor, we often are asked how to fund a natural or integrative cancer treatment. For people seeking immediate funds, we have a way that you probably have not considered.
Cancer Tutor has hundreds of options for different natural treatments and protocols, and even clinics that can help for those who want to go the natural route — but treatments can get expensive, quickly. And often natural cancer treatments are not covered by traditional insurance, which means one thing: cash out of pocket.
It’s no surprise that one of the most common questions we receive at Cancer Tutor is “How am I supposed to pay for this? I have spent all my money on my doctors’ bills, chemo, travel expenses …” (Not to mention possible lost wages for having to take off from work to get treated.)
Did you know you can sell a life insurance policy? Yes – sell your life insurance policy, get money into your bank account in as little as three to seven days, and use the funds to do whatever you want. It is called a viatical settlement.
Living with a cancer diagnosis should not be the end of your life. The expenses that come with fighting cancer can drain your finances, leaving little money in the budget for things that truly matter.
- You’ve always wanted to travel but cannot because money is tight.
- You want to pay school or college tuition for a loved one.
- You want to gift your church or a charity and see your money in action.
That “bucket list” money may be as close as a desk drawer. A viatical settlement could be the answer you and your loved ones seek.
A viatical settlement will give you money now – not after you die, left to be split up among beneficiaries.
At its core, a viatical settlement is a financial transaction between you (the policyholder) and a licensed provider. The provider and policyholder are the only two parties that are mandatory in a viatical settlement (more on how to cut out the middleman later), meaning working directly with a provider is the best way to maximize your settlement value.
After researching the viatical landscape, Cancer Tutor recommends Abacus Life Settlements, a safe, state-licensed company that has been offering viaticals since 2004 and has not had a single regulatory issue.
Abacus has underwriter tables to assess the policyholder based on their impairments or whatever illness with which they’ve been diagnosed. This allows Abacus to have a general idea of what type of life expectancy – or term duration modeling – would be used to purchase the policy.
“That’s far different than what you see and have seen in this industry for a long time,” Abacus President and CEO Jay Jackson noted. “The traditional industry process is someone calls an intermediary and then gathers some basic information.”
Companies that act as intermediaries (a middleman or broker) often take up to 30 percent of your settlement value, and lead generation or marketing companies take a share as well. Also, there are several viatical settlement companies, many of them without proper licensing and short company histories.
‘We can qualify very quickly’
Abacus has a different way of doing business: one-on-one – no intermediary, no broker, no middleman necessary. Cancer Tutor visited the Abacus offices in Orlando, Florida, and was impressed with the efficient and thorough process the company uses to address individual cases.
After examining the underwriting (this entire process is done in-house under one roof), Abacus determines the premiums – what the future cost is to obtain the policy. Abacus gets this information from the insurance carrier.
“Because we do the underwriting right away in-house, we can get an idea whether we can provide a better offer,” Jackson said. “We can get those illustrations very quickly with most of the cancer patients that we work with because, in a lot of cases, they’re term policies.
“We can generally qualify very quickly if we are able to look at your policy tables to identify exactly what future premium costs will be if it is a term policy. We can get that data right away in most of our cancer cases as long as the insured can get us their policy contract. This is just one of the things Abacus does to set our timeframes apart from everyone else in the settlement industry without sacrificing quality.”
Jackson notes a universal life policy or potentially a whole life policy requires a little more work after contacting the carrier. On average the process takes three to five business days but can sometimes take seven business days.
After underwriting and premiums, Abacus must determine what the policy is worth during that given period of time.
“It’s just math,” Jackson said. “For us, there’s not any fees or commissions, or any other type of expense that an insurer would pay or be subject to because we’re making the offer directly.
“It’s the same algorithm effectively for every client. We’re not looking at this client and saying we’re going to offer you less because of any random factors. What we’re saying is, that this is the math and we walk every client through that same exact process.”
Typically, the initial call and determining whether Abacus will be able to fund the viatical settlement is less than 30 minutes. (You can contact Abacus at (800) 561-4148.) After that, Abacus encourages the policyholder to speak with their family. If the policyholder determines a viatical settlement is right for them, there is a 15-minute closing interview. Abacus will issue documents that the policyholder will have to fill out and have a notary sign. Once the paperwork is received, Abacus will transfer the funds via bank wire to the policyholder’s account.
At that point, the cancer patient can use the money for whatever they choose.
Why can Abacus process a settlement in days – as few as three to seven days – rather than several weeks, in many cases? The policyholder deals directly with Abacus, which has funding available for disbursement. It really is that simple – one-on-one between you and Abacus, and then the money is wired from Abacus into your bank account.
A strong financial solution
Viatical settlements have become incredibly safe and well regulated by states in the past decade. Many states require specific licensing and practice strict oversight to ensure customer safety. Consumers are better protected than ever before in the viatical and life settlement industry. It is a safe option for consumers.
For many individuals facing a terminal illness, a viatical settlement is a strong financial solution. Patients and their families can receive immediate funds to pay for medical expenses or quality of life experiences.
Coping with a medical crisis while worrying about medical bills can be overwhelming; it's a potent 1-2 punch to the gut. With the cost of healthcare continuing its year-over-year rise, even people with excellent health insurance are struggling to keep up with medical expenses.
If you are struggling to afford medical bills, having issues keeping up with your premiums, or just want immediate income, a viatical settlement is likely right for you.
Patients that can easily handle their premiums should take a serious look at their life insurance situation. If there is no need for an immediate lump sum of cash, there may not be a need to pursue a life settlement.
Realistically, the greatest payout you can receive from a life settlement is from receiving the full death benefit when the insured passes. However, your insurance company wants your policy to lapse; they get to keep all the money. Insurance companies will encourage you to take a low-ball surrender value or lapse the policy altogether.
In March 2015, ThinkAdvisor reported the number of policies that were lapsed by seniors over age 65 exceeds 1.1 million with a face value of $112 billion.
Based on 2008 data compiled by publicly available sources, more than 250,000 universal and variable universal policies with a face value of approximately $57 billion were lapsed by seniors over age 65. When term and whole life policies are included, the number of policies exceeds 1.1 million with a face value of $112 billion. If the data were available for 2014, the amount would be even greater.
The pro-consumer approach
“If you look at the last decade of growth, the reason why firms like Abacus are now quite successful is attributable to the level of due diligence, transparency, efficiency, and most importantly the pro-consumer approach that Abacus has taken,” Jackson said.
“We’ve now grown to one of the top three industry purchasers in the asset class,” Jackson added. “I use the word purchaser rather than provider because that language can get confusing to somebody from the outside looking in.
“Since a settlement is often a very emotional decision that can present a mental hurdle for an individual to get past,” Jackson said, “it is extremely important that our process remains pro-consumer and we meet all of the relevant regulatory requirements; we’re heavily regulated by each state’s insurance department.”
It is our experience that Abacus often makes the strongest possible offer in every case. The company truly is committed to its mission of helping you focus on healing instead of medical bills. However, if you choose not to work with Abacus, the company will help connect you with other reputable viatical companies.
If you are going to reach out to Abacus have your most recent medical data and the last annual statement regarding your life insurance policy.
Regarding the policy, the more information you have – when it was issued, when it expires, etc. – the quicker the process will be.
A viatical settlement can provide needed funds for someone facing late-stage cancer and relieve the added financial stress of expensive premium payments. With Abacus, there is no cost and no obligation to accept the funding if an offer is given. It is easy to find out if you qualify and how much you or your loved one may receive.