There are many types of life insurance, all with benefits that you may not be aware of. This article will go through the types of insurance, as well as the benefits that may be available to you to help pay for your myeloma care or other expenses as you see fit.
Term Life Insurance is considered the purest type of life insurance. This policy offers you a death benefit that does not increase or decrease, does not earn interest and at the end of the term it will terminate unless you convert it to a permanent policy within the insurers guidelines. You may find that your insurance needs have changed in which you can convert a portion of the death benefit or all of it to a permanent policy. Generally no underwriting will be required, especially if you keep the policy with the same insurance company.
Most insurance policies offer a rider, known as the Accelerated Death Benefit Rider, that is usually included at no extra cost to you that could allow you to take part of the death benefit to pay for health care. The percentage of the death benefit you can take is based on the insurer as well as other criteria such as when it can be taken.
Policies you have through your employer are considered group life term policies that terminate when your employment terminates. Employers may offer other types of insurance such as supplemental life (that you pay more of the premium on) that is portable after your employment ends. Become knowledgeable about your employer insurance, its type and benefits. You may be able to convert some or all of it to a permanent policy with cash values, which could be beneficial to you.
Permanent policies such as whole life and Universal policies offer cash values and other benefits. The cost and growth of these policies vary.
*Be aware of reducing or not paying premiums as this may cause your policy to lapse.
You can increase or decrease the death benefit. Increasing the death benefit increases your premiums, while decreasing the death benefit decreases the premium.
4. Fixed Index Universal Policies - Builds cash value based on the stock market index that it’s attached to. The policy owner has the ability to choose multiple indexes and choose how much they want in the fixed account. This policy will have caps on the maximum earnings of the index returns. Your earnings are retained even if the market takes losses. You may not even earn any interest if the market is below.
5. Variable Universal Policy - This policy gives you a lot of flexibility. You can invest in stocks, bonds, money market and mutual funds. This is the most risky og policies because you are at the mercy of the market. If it goes up you benefit, if it goes down you lose. There is no cap on your potential earnings.
Review your insurance portfolio yearly to:
Don’t just review your own policy, also review your spouse's policy as well. Make sure they have the necessary insurance for them and the policy that can give them the most benefits for their current and possible future needs.
about the author
Diahanna is the Financial Program Manager for the HealthTree Foundation, specializing in financial help for multiple myeloma and AML 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.