Today more than 15 million Americans are cancer survivors. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the number of survivors is growing steadily.
Over the past 50 years, major milestones have been reached in the care and treatment of people with cancer. Through a combination of screening, chemotherapy drugs, targeted therapy, surgery, radiation therapy, and supportive care for side effects, cancer patients are living longer and enjoying a better quality of life than ever before.
Clinical trials have been instrumental in discoveries of new treatments that improve and extend the lives of people with cancer. But the downside of clinical trials and experimental treatment is the cost.
According to U. S. News and World Report and ASCO, newly approved cancer drugs cost an average of $10,000 per month, with some drugs costing more than $30,000 per month. On average, out of pocket costs for patients would cost $24,000 to $36,000 in addition to their monthly health insurance premiums.
Finding sources of funds to pay for cancer treatment can be overwhelming. Some cancer patients and their families have even begun using crowd funding websites such as You Caring and GoFundMe.
What many cancer patients may not realize is that their life insurance policy could provide a source of cash for expensive treatment through what is known as a life settlement.
The following life settlement case study illustrates how the proceeds from selling a life insurance policy will help pay for experimental treatment for this cancer patient.
Asset Life Settlements recently brokered the life insurance policy for a 70 year old cancer patient suffering from multiple melanoma. The policy owner needed a source of cash in order to receive experimental treatment in Europe which would substantially extend his life expectancy.
The case was first brought to our attention when the client met with his insurance advisor to discuss his $600,000 life insurance policy. The premium payments were becoming a burden and he felt he no longer needed the coverage for income protection for his family.
The insurance advisor informed his client that the best solution would be to sell his unwanted policy in the secondary market. The client agreed and the agent referred the case to Asset Life Settlements. After completing the underwriting process, Asset Life shipped the case to 10 providers who were licensed for life settlement transactions in the state in which the insured resided. Throughout the bidding process, offers were received from five providers that ranged on the low end at $70,000 to the highest bid coming in at $150,000.
The client was deeply grateful to his insurance advisor for recommending a solution that would enable him to optimize the value of his policy in order to pay for the experimental treatment and travel costs to Europe.
Fortunately, the client’s insurance advisor understood the value of using a life settlement broker to shop the case to multiple providers for the highest cash offer for his client’s policy, versus going directly to one provider and receiving just one bid.
The life settlement broker has a pulse on the funders operating in the secondary market, understands the types of policies they prefer to purchase, and has built professional relationships with each funder. Experienced settlement brokers possess sharp negotiation skills and understand how to create secondary market competition for the policies they shop.
In short, the broker’s primary goal is to represent the agent/client in receiving the highest possible offer by creating a bidding war among the providers/funders.
The more experienced life settlement brokerage firms, such as Asset Life Settlements, provide valuable back office services designed to minimize the agent’s time and involvement, while maximizing the outcome of the client’s case by delivering the highest possible offer. At Asset Life Settlements, our goal is to provide the agent and his client with as positive an experience as possible in the pursuit of the policy’s highest market value. We do this by streamlining the entire process -- from the case intake phase through the contract management and review phase.
This process includes:
As the life settlement industry continues on a growth curve, more needs to be done to educate consumers and agents regarding the product itself, as well as the marketplace dynamics that help to determine highest market value. Of all the players involved in the secondary market for life insurance, the originating agent/producer plays a pivotal role in deciding the best approach to pursuing the highest possible offer for their client’s policy.
The intent of this article is twofold: (1) to help advisors and their clients understand that life insurance policies can be a valuable source of cash to pay for medical care and cancer treatment; (2) and to explain how brokers such as Asset Life Settlements help policy sellers receive the highest possible market value for their policies.
If you have questions about whether you or your client qualifies for a life settlement, we encourage you to complete our per-pricing analysis for a no-obligation quote.