People Are Paying For Cancer Treatments by
Selling Their Life Insurance Policy

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People Are Paying For Cancer Treatments by Selling Their Life Insurance Policy

Cancer survival rates have increased in recent years.  This is due to both improvements in treatments as well as improved diagnostics. Especially with more people diagnosed earlier, the survival rates are going up. 

This leaves plenty of reason to be hopeful with a cancer diagnosis. 

Still, paying for cancer treatments is costly. How do people pay for cancer treatments especially for things insurance doesn’t cover? In our experience, about 20% of our clients are seeking additional funds to help cover their cancer treatments. 

Even with increased survival rates, the rising cost to fight cancer is often overwhelming for families. Health insurance won’t cover everything. In particular, most insurance companies won’t cover things like non-conventional treatments, cancer diets, or needed supplements.  With funds to pay for the treatment you prefer, you can be sure you’re fighting a strong battle against cancer and minimizing the cost to you and your family.

The majority of Americans have life insurance. That life insurance policy should be considered a valuable asset during times like these.  Qualified policies can be sold for much more than the ‘surrender value’.  If this is news to you, you’re not alone.

The process of selling your life insurance policy is called a life settlement, an often-overlooked financial opportunity.  It’s reported that only about 4 out of 10 financial advisors are familiar with the life settlement market.

Paying For The Unexpected Cancer Bills with Life Settlement Funds 

You may have a good understanding of what your health insurance covers. Still, 24% of cancer patients and survivors have reported receiving at least one surprise medical bill.  This mostly happens when a patient is unknowingly treated by an out-of-network provider.

According to a 2019 survey, 63% of cancer patients reported financial struggles following a cancer diagnosis. Generally, the cost of cancer treatments is significantly higher than the average person’s monthly income.  Monthly expenses can include: 

  • Chemotherapy: $1,000 – 12,000/mo
  • Radiation: $9,000/mo
  • Immunotherapy: $10,000-12,500/mo

There are additional expenses to consider such as:

  • monthly premiums
  • deductibles
  • co-pays 
  • co-insurance
  • out-of-pocket maximum
  • out-of-network care

By selling a life insurance policy for cash, a cancer patient can be ready for the unexpected medical bills that are surely to come.

Choosing A Preferred Treatment Plan Without Considering the Cost

Many times, a cancer patient will decide on a treatment plan based on what their health insurance will cover.  This happens even when the patient would prefer another treatment plan or a supplemental plan.

Options to consider include both conventional and nonconventional treatments. However, health insurance usually doesn’t cover nonconventional cancer treatments. This leaves many patients in a tough financial situation.

Life settlements can help fund conventional and non-conventional treatments. As a result, patients can get the treatment that they believe is best. 

Some insurance companies will pay for alternative treatment options. At least, they may partially fund them so you’re paying a discounted rate.  Still, even the best insurance doesn’t cover everything, especially some of these unconventional methods.  


Immunotherapy is when you stimulate or boost the patient’s immune system. This works better for some types of cancers than others. It’s often used with other forms of treatment simultaneously.  This immunotherapy method can cost around $100,000.00.


Homeopathic treatments for cancer patients is a topic of much debate and even controversy. It’s reported that many patients would likely use some kind of complementary or alternative treatment if it were covered by their insurance company. While many insurance companies cover a few services under certain circumstances, most homeopathic treatments are not covered. Even with more clinical studies showing improved health from “CAM” treatments, patients are still often forced to pay for it out of their own pocket. 

Gerson Therapy 

Gerson Therapy was developed with the idea that the body can heal itself when in the right conditions. Patients use an organic plant-based diet, raw juices, coffee enemas, and natural supplements to achieve the optimal conditions for fighting cancer naturally.  Even though many cancer patients that were given a terminal diagnosis have beaten cancer using this method, health insurance companies do not cover this form of therapy. 

Gerson Therapy at the Gerson Institute can cost $15,000 dollars just to start. It also requires the patient to follow a strict nutritional regimen for two years that can be costly.  The patient will have a significantly more expensive lifestyle. 

Regardless of which path you choose, selling a life insurance policy for cash can make all of these options obtainable.  In our experience, being able to place funds from a life settlement in a cancer patient’s hands is extremely rewarding.

The Process of Selling Your Life Insurance Policy 

So, how do you get started? 

  1. Start by using a life settlement calculator to determine your eligibility.
  2. If qualified, contact a licensed life settlement broker.  There are also companies that will buy your policy directly. However, a broker will likely get you a significantly higher offer by accepting bids from their buy-ready network.
  3. Your experienced broker will guide you through the process of gathering the documents required to send a policy to their buy-ready network.
  4. They will send it out to the market and take bids on your policy in an auction-style process, driving your offer higher over some time. 
  5. Once the highest bid is secured, you will then accept or reject the offer at no obligation or cost to you. 

A life insurance broker does all the heavy lifting. They do all the work for you and are only paid on commission. They even cover the fees required to gather certain reports to the tune of $2,500-4000 per case.  As a result, they are quite literally invested in getting you the best payout for your policy.  Where as a life settlement company’s goal is to offer you the least amount possible to get you funds quickly, a broker’s goal, naturally, is to secure the highest offer possible.

Who Qualifies For Life Settlements?

Qualified policyholders tend to have at least two of the following characteristics:

  • Age 70+
  • Significant health impairments
  • Policy’s face amount is greater than $100K
  • Policy in force at least 2 years, some states require 5 years

The cash received from a life settlement can also vary depending on these factors:

  • Amount paid in premiums. 
  • Type of policy
  • Taxes


A Life Settlement Market Overview

There are some understandable misconceptions about life settlements. Consequently, some people are not fond of the idea of selling their life insurance policy to a third party.  This article explains a lot of those misconceptions. Increased awareness has made many people open to new possibilities. Ultimately using life settlements to pay for cancer treatments. 

Changes to tax laws have increased traffic in the life settlement market. The Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017 decreased the taxes policyholders pay with life settlements. Basically, you get more money from selling your life insurance policy. Many people don’t know about this change. Rather they think of life settlements as having a large tax attached to them.  In many cases, life settlements can be tax-free.

Recently, the life settlement market has experienced a lot of growth. Consequently, life settlements have become the solution to financial woes for many people.   

The Difference Between A Life Settlement And A Viatical Settlement

A viatical settlement is when the policyholder is considered terminally or chronically ill. 

To qualify for a viatical settlement, you need certification from your doctor. Terminally ill is a life expectancy of 24 months or less. Chronically ill patients aren’t able to complete at least two activities of daily living for at least 90 days. These are activities like bathing, eating, getting dressed, etc. Whereas life settlements are for people selling their policy with a longer life expectancy. 

In most cases, there’s one big difference between the two. This has to do with the life expectancy of the insured and the taxes due.  Most of the time, proceeds from a viatical settlement are tax-free.

Reach Out to Learn More

You don’t need to be sure you want to sell your policy before reaching out to an insurance broker. Additionally, life settlement brokers can provide you with a free quote. This gives you an idea of what you can get from your life insurance policy. 

Paying for cancer treatments makes a difficult situation even harder. The more you know, the better decisions you can make for yourself and your family. 

Life Settlement Calculator

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Life Settlement Calculator

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