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Experiencing Financial Hardship? Prevent Your Life Insurance Policy from Lapsing with the Funds for Living and Giving Program

September  18,  2019 in

Unfortunately, when many Americans experience a health crisis, it’s often accompanied by a crisis of another sort – financial hardship.

Even with top-notch medical insurance, a health crisis can drain savings accounts, eat up paychecks and max credit cards. Out-of-network doctor visits, drugs not covered by an insurance plan, transportation costs and a range of other expenses can quickly add up.

This problem is so common that there is even a phrase for it: financial toxicity. “The terms financial toxicity and financial distress are used to describe how out-of-pocket costs can cause financial problems for a patient,” explains the National Cancer Institute. Those diagnosed with cancer, a late-stage illness or chronic disease (such as heart disease, ALS or Alzheimer’s) are at highest risk.

When experiencing financial toxicity, some may worry about compromising one of their most valuable assets – their life insurance policy. If a patient chooses to pay for health care costs rather than their life insurance premium, that life insurance may lapse. The effects of that situation can be dire for the patient’s loved ones.

Fortunately, there’s a way to not only avoid this scenario, but also to leverage your life insurance plan to actively combat financial strain. Indeed, life insurance can be a key resource for preventing financial hardship.

At Fifth Season Financial, we provide this assistance through our Funds for Living and Giving (FLAG) program. Specifically, many people view their life insurance policies as an asset that comes into play after they’re gone — but that’s not always the case. To-date, we have provided over $190 million in financial assistance to more than 600 patients with advanced-stage illnesses. 

Here’s what our FLAG program offers:

  • Advances individuals a significant portion of the face value for their life insurance policy (as opposed to the cash surrender value) at a time when they need funds the most: Those with an advanced-stage illness and policies of $50,000 and above may qualify, and the entire process typically takes fewer than two months.
  • Once funds are advanced, Fifth Season Financial takes over all premium payments – helping to reduce the bills that led to financial toxicity in the first place: Unlike a traditional loan, there are no current payments. The individual’s life insurance policy is kept in place and any fees or costs (plus the loan itself) are paid using the proceeds of the policy. With FLAG, we work directly with insurance and health care providers, freeing individuals from onerous paperwork.
  • Individuals can use their FLAG advance in any way they choose with zero restrictions: Some might put them to use on medical expenses — paying down bills, covering new treatments, or purchasing necessary medical supplies. Funds don’t have to be used in this manner, however. The goal of the FLAG program is to improve our clients’ quality of life, whether that means taking a memory-making vacation with family, paying for in-home care, financing a necessary home improvement project, or pursuing a number of other priorities. 
  • Clients don’t need to choose between taking care of themselves or their loved ones: In more than 90 percent of cases, funds remain in the policy to be passed on to beneficiaries.

Here is one patient’s story:

“Fifth Season Financial made the most difficult event in my life much more bearable. When my beloved wife of 20 years was diagnosed with triple negative inflammatory breast cancer, the course of the disease was aggressive and fast. We needed more than health insurance and hospice could offer. We needed home health aides, and I needed to be able to stay home from my busy practice to be with her. Borrowing the funds against her life insurance policy allowed us to ease her into a peaceful transition from this world while staving off a second disaster of the financial type.” – William in Texas

If you or a loved one is facing an advanced-stage illness and in need of financial help, learn more about our FLAG program and contact us today.

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Relieve financial stress with the FLAG Program, a viatical alternative that uses your life insurance for a cash advance

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