Financial Coaching: Top 10 Questions Answered

You’re about to start cancer treatment, which, unfortunately, involves bracing yourself for the steep medical bills that will follow. But did you know that you might not have to pay all those bills at once? Payment plans can help you budget and ensure you still have money to pay for other essentials, such as medications, groceries, and utility bills. This is just the beginning of your options for managing your finances during treatment.

We know money is probably the last thing you want to think about right now. That’s why we developed our free financial coaching service. One of our volunteer financial coaches can guide you through ways to reduce your financial worries so you can focus on healing rather than a stack of bills. 

Questions? We answered some of the most common ones below.

1. What is Financial Coaching?

Financial coaching is a service that Family Reach developed as part of our comprehensive services to help families overcome financial challenges during treatment. It works by connecting you with a pro-bono Certified Financial Planner™ professional (CFP®) who can help you manage your finances and answer any questions you have.

We partnered with the Foundation for Financial Planning (FFP) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA) to develop the financial coaching service, which allows us to pair families with top experts in the industry.

2. Why do you need a financial coach?

If you feel overwhelmed by the financial side of your diagnosis, a financial coach can help you organize your finances during treatment. Even if you already have a handle on your finances, working with a financial coach who’s trained on the specifics of finances related to cancer treatment can make sure you don’t miss out on potential savings.

3. What can a financial coach do for you?

Your financial coach can help you recover from the financial side effects of your treatment. Think of them like an oncologist for your financial health. Their free financial advice will help you tackle losses in income during treatment and other money concerns so they won’t be an overwhelming burden during your cancer journey.

Here are some of the topics they can help you with:

  • Best ways to reduce or negotiate debts (student loans, credit card, medical, and more)
  • How to organize and prioritize bills with a personalized payment plan
  • Cost-saving options that are specific to your situation

4. Are you a good fit for free financial coaching?

It’s very likely! Cancer takes a toll on finances for most patients, and we believe any patient or caregiver can benefit from adding a financial expert to their care team.

5. What if you don’t have a lot of income?

Financial coaching can still help! Your financial coach will work with you to improve your financial situation no matter what it looks like.

6. How do you know if you’re eligible for financial coaching?

There are two important requirements:

  • You’re actively in treatment or within one year of it.
  • You’re represented by a healthcare professional.

7. How does the matching process work?

Once you submit your application, we’ll send you a Letter of Engagement to sign. After that, we’ll assign a financial coach to you within two business days.

Your financial coach will reach out to you first. During the first call, you’ll get to know your financial coach and they’ll ask questions about your income, savings, monthly bills, treatment plan, and money goals — including how any of these may have changed since your diagnosis.

After you hang up, they’ll start working on your financial game plan and call you back when it’s ready. From there, your financial coach is available to answer follow-up questions and adjust your financial plan as needed.

8. Will you meet in person with your financial coach?

We work with financial coaches in 30 states, but most of the contact between coaches and families happens via phone, email, or video chat. This is generally easier when accommodating busy treatment schedules. You can tell your financial coach which times and contact methods are best for you.

9. Can your caregiver work with the financial coach on your behalf?

Absolutely. Sometimes the conversations are a bit too much for patients to handle, and that’s okay. Your trusted caregiver, a family member, or another loved one can meet with your financial coach instead.

10. When is the best time to enroll?

The closer to the point of diagnosis, the better. This is because the bills will quickly start to pile up, and you may lose income if you or your loved ones stop working due to treatment demands. With a financial game plan in place from the beginning, you can avoid critical financial breaking points.

If you’re interested in our financial coaching services, you can apply online here, ask your social worker to apply on your behalf, or call our team at 973.394.1411.

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Stevie Snow
Senior Creative and Brand Manager • Family Reach Team

Always walking the fine line between her right and left brain, Stevie brings her creative and strategic thinking to her role as Senior Creative and Brand Manager. Her work amplifies Family Reach’s voice and brings attention to the financial impacts of a cancer diagnosis.

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