A viatical settlement is when you sell your life insurance to a third party. Instead of waiting until death to receive a payment from your life insurance company, you get access to the funds right away. Generally, to qualify for a viatical settlement, you need to have a life-threatening illness, and for most people, that is cancer.
Although you can use the funds any way you like, many people decide to use viatical settlements to cover the cost of their medical bills. Using your settlement for those expenses helps you to stay on track financially with the rest of your goals. Here’s a look at just a few of the ways a settlement can help you financially.
Offers Continued Access to Current Healthcare Providers
Legally, the only medical entity required to see you, regardless of whether you can pay, is the emergency room (ER). Unfortunately, medical clinics, private doctors, and even oncology units in hospitals can refuse to treat you unless you have the means to make payments. Typically, insurance helps with that process, but you are likely to have copays or deductibles even if you are well insured.
To keep seeing your medical team, you usually need to stay on top of your payments. If you don’t make timely payments, some clinics may refuse to provide additional medical care to you. When you use a viatical settlement to cover your bills, you ensure that you can maintain access to your current care providers.
Helps With Mortgage or Rent
When you’re juggling lots of medical bills, you may have trouble staying on top of your other financial obligations. In particular, many people may struggle to pay their largest bills, and for most people, that is your monthly rent or mortgage payment. As you know, if you can’t stay up to date on your mortgage, you risk going into default and facing foreclosure. Similarly, if you can’t make rent payments, you may face eviction, and depending on the laws in your area, that process can be a lot faster than going into foreclosure and losing your home.
One option with a viatical settlement is to use the funds to pay for medical bills so that personal funds can be used to pay for rent or mortgage. However, since funds are unregulated, the funds may also be used to pay for rent or mortgage directly, relieving you of the stress of worrying about a roof over your head.
Allows You to Keep Paying Your Bills
In addition to paying your biggest bills, a viatical settlement can also help you stay current on your smaller bills. After you use the viatical settlement to cover your medical bills, you can easily use the rest of your funds for electricity, natural gas, car payments, car insurance, and any other small bills that you have. Keep in mind that you deserve to be comfortable. Battling cancer can be physically and emotionally draining. If you can afford to, you may want to treat yourself to “extras” such as cable TV, streaming services, or even leasing a nicer car.
Gives You the Financial Flexibility to Try Experimental Treatments
There are no restrictions on how you can use a viatical settlement. You can use the funds for traditional medical care, but you can also use your settlement to try experimental treatments. Whether you need to travel to other countries, pay for doctors who aren’t covered by your insurance plan, try supplements, or explore experimental treatments in other ways, a viatical settlement can help you with those extra costs and considerations.
Lets You Take Time Off Work
Tragically, many people have to work through their cancer treatments. If you’re short on funds, you may end up forcing yourself to go to work regardless of how you feel. That can be hard emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, and on countless other levels. However, when you get some extra money for a viatical settlement, you can get some financial relief, and hopefully, you can stay on top of your financial goals while also taking some time off from work.
Helps Caretakers Take Time Off Work
In that same vein, if you have a full-time caregiver, they may need some relief from their 9-5 job. A viatical settlement can help them to take time off work as well. Depending on your situation, you may want to pay them for taking care of you, or you may want to cover some of their bills so they don’t have to work.
Provides Relief From Insurance Premiums
A viatical settlement can also help you get a bit of relief from your insurance premiums. When you are ill and struggling to make ends meet, you may be tempted to stop paying bills that don’t seem necessary, and for some people, life insurance may fall on that list. However, if you quit paying your premiums, you won’t get any benefits from your plan. Instead, if you opt for a viatical settlement, you get the payout from your insurance right away, and the company that gives you the settlement takes over your premiums.
Doesn’t Put Your Family’s Life on Hold
When someone has cancer, it affects their entire family. Often, their family members may have to put their hopes and dreams on hold to take care of the person with cancer or because of financial struggles. When you use a viatical settlement to provide some financial relief to your family, your loved ones don’t necessarily have to put anything on hold. Instead, they can go to college, keep working on their new business, build a new home, or whatever big goals you are working on right now.
Viatical settlements can sound confusing, but they are relatively straightforward, especially if you work with the right company. At American Life Fund, we make the process as fast and easy as possible. Start by getting an estimate today, or contact us to learn more.