Grappling with an advanced-stage illness is a most difficult journey. Add to that the financial factor – from staying on top of bills to deciphering complex health insurance policies – and it’s easy to understand how patients and their families can become overwhelmed.
There’s even a name for this phenomenon: “financial toxicity,” or “the problems a cancer patient has related to the cost of treatment,” according to the National Cancer Institute.
This financial hardship can be especially challenging for patients navigating a brain cancer prognosis. The cost of brain tumor treatment and surgery is often expensive: “From the time of diagnosis, through surgery, through rehabilitation, and ultimately, for those with malignant brain tumors… it probably totals today close to $600,000 to $700,000,” explained Zeesy Schnur, executive director of the Brain Tumor Foundation, in Everyday Health.
The National Brain Tumor Society recently broke down the costs of care, and found that “brain cancer had the highest per-patient initial cost of care for any cancer group, with an annualized mean net cost of care approaching $150,000.” At $135,000 – $210,000, brain cancer also had the highest net cost per patient for last-year-of-life care relative to other cancers.
So, what can be done to manage these high medical costs? Where can brain tumor financial assistance be found? Here are two ways to get started:
Tap into the vast network of support organizations.
Fortunately, there is a robust network of organizations and resources that help brain cancer patients and their families gain financial control. The American Brain Tumor Association has a list of such resources on their website that range from discount prescription plans to free transportation and a host of other no-cost support services for those undergoing treatment. The National Brain Tumor Society also offers a list of resources and can serve as a database of financial assistance options and opportunities.
Combined, these networks can provide some financial relief – as well as education, advocacy, and an important sense of community – during a challenging time.
Leverage your life insurance policy.
Many individuals facing a late-stage illness don’t realize they have a powerful and flexible financial tool at their disposal: their life insurance policies. Indeed, many policies can be leveraged proactively and in ways patients often don’t expect.
Fifth Season Financial’s Funds for Living Program allows individuals with a serious illness to take a loan against their existing life insurance policy. This advance can be used to help with treatment costs, from prescriptions and medical visits to surgeries and other procedures. Patients aren’t limited to using their funds for medical-related expenses, however — there are absolutely no restrictions when it comes to how the money may be spent.
Once a patient is enrolled in the Funds For Living Program, Fifth Season Financial takes over all future premium payments, providing further relief. The insurance policy is kept in place and, in over 90 percent of cases, funds remain to pass on to beneficiaries. Remember, there is financial help for brain cancer and meningioma patients. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed and are seeking ways to cover the expenses, contact Fifth Season Financial at (866) 459-1271 or by visiting www.fifthseasonfinancial.com/funds-for-living-program/ to determine if the Funds For Living Program is the right fit for you.