Life insurance policy loans can provide peace of mind
Few professions have occupational hazards that can match those of firefighters. There are the immediate dangers — from fires and explosions to collapsing buildings — but also the long-term dangers that stem from prolonged exposure to smoke and toxic chemicals.
As a result of these hazards, firefighters are more likely to confront serious diseases later in life. “A growing body of research and data shows the contributions that job-related exposures have in chronic illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease,” reports the National Fire Protection Association.
Indeed, recent studies from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health revealed that cancer is the leading cause of death in firefighters. These brave men and women, who put their lives on the line to protect others, face a 14 percent increase in cancer-related deaths, compared to the general population in the United States.
For many firefighters, this health crisis is accompanied by a financial crisis. The price of treating cancer often leads to financial toxicity – a situation where mounting medical bills, out-of-network expenses, and a limited ability to work leave patients in a state of heavy debt, or even bankruptcy. “Financial toxicity can also affect a patient’s quality of life and access to medical care,” explains the National Cancer Institute.
Fortunately, when current or former firefighters are given a cancer diagnoses, there is a lesser-known solution available to alleviate financial toxicity.
Know your resources
When it comes to treating cancer and paying for that treatment, many people assume their health insurance is their one and only resource. Health insurance policies are a key tool, but they’re not the only resource. Borrowing against life insurance is also possible – and can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding financial hardship.
Choose the right option
Life insurance policies can be leveraged in a number of ways. In some cases, patients can borrow directly from their policy provider if the policy has cash value (which, unfortunately, is often not the case). Or, they can sell their policy through a life settlement. While a carrier loan or cash sale might be the right fit for some, there is a third option that often takes less time and requires forfeiting less money to taxes and fees. At Fifth Season Financial, our Funds for Living Program can advance patients a portion of their life insurance policy. In more than 90 percent of FLAG cases, funds remain in the policy to pass on to beneficiaries.
Use it wisely
With the Funds For Living Program comes a great deal of flexibility. Patients can spend their money however they’d like. Funds may be used for medical bills, but could also finance a much-needed vacation, cover home improvement or mortgage costs, or make a gift to loved ones possible. Further, Fifth Season Financial takes over premium payments, providing financial relief and freeing patients up to focus on what matters most – their health.
If you’re a current or former firefighter faced with occupational cancer, you shouldn’t have to battle financial toxicity, too. Fifth Season Financial’s Funds For Living Program can provide much-needed financial assistance for chronic illnesses. To learn more about the program, contact us today.