This is part one of a series of articles that will be written on financial tools that could be used to provide additional funds for medical needs and care.
I’m sure many of you are aware of the life insurance policies that many of our parents or grandparents purchased for us when we were children. They weren’t large, but they provided a foundation. They were called Gerber Policies. Surprisingly, they are so old that your parents may have even forgotten they purchased one for you. Guess what? Many of those policies are still good. Many of them even grew a cash value. It would be to your advantage to ask your parents or reach out to the insurance company and find out if there are any old policies out there on you.
Most people tend to forget that an insurance policy is part of their net worth. Insurance policies can also be a huge asset when it comes to finding additional dollars when you need them. All provide a tax-free death benefit to beneficiaries of the policy. However, insurance policies can provide more than income replacement protection for families after death. First, let’s review the types of life insurance and then explore the often-forgotten aspects of life insurance and the benefits it can provide.
There are several different types of life insurance policies. They also provide different needs. There are term policies that provide a death benefit for a period of time. You pay the premium for a set number of years and then the policy terminates if it does not end in death. Generally, you will have the option to convert the policy within a defined period of time to a permanent policy without the need for additional medical tests or reviews. Term policies are the least expensive policies as you are paying for a pure death benefit. Other types of policies are permanent policies. They are meant to be in place for life no matter your age as long as you pay the premiums.
This group of policies has four different types:
Provides coverage for 99 years. Your premiums remain fixed for the entire term of the policy. They also come with a built-in cash value. You can choose to limit your payments by upfronting the premium to cover the later years. There are additional riders automatically included or that you may have chosen at origination (with an additional fee) for the following options:
A more affordable life insurance that remain in effect for life as long as you are paying the premiums.
Permanent policy which offers a lot of flexibility but also has inherent risk:
Another permanent policy that allows you to control premiums and coverage.
There are other benefits to a life insurance policy that can really be a lifesaver when you have an expensive illness like myeloma. The next article in this series will explore two very important benefits that can provide additional funds to pay for needed medical care, or to pay other expenses. Many people forget or aren’t aware of these options that can provide you with a financial safety net.
As a Financial Coach with the Myeloma Coach program, I provide financial resources and education to help individuals pay for myeloma treatment.
about the author
Diahanna is the Financial Program Manager for the HealthTree Foundation. She specializes in providing financial help, resources and education for multiple myeloma patients. As a professional financial consultant and former caregiver of her husband who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, Diahanna perfectly understands the financial issues facing myeloma patients.