Financial toxicity’s devastating effect on people with late stage illnesses – there are solutions.
Adam Balinsky, Founder and President of Fifth Season Financial, a financial services firm which offers solutions and products to help relieve the financial pressures faced by many patients struggling with advanced illnesses, including cancer joins eHealth Radio and the Health News Channel. Its FLAG (Funds for Living and Giving) program is designed to bridge the gap between the traditional financial assistance programs available to mitigate the direct medical and treatment costs, and the much broader financial needs of patients.
Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels & guest Adam Balinsky discuss the following:
What is financial toxicity and how does it impact your clients?
What’s the difference between your FLAG program and viatical settlements?
Why aren’t nonprofits and hospitals talking about this option when it comes to people who are dealing with late stage illnesses?
Is there a personal story behind FSF that you can share?
What’s the thing your most proud of when it comes to your business?
Adam Balinsky is the Founder and President of Fifth Season Financial. He passionately believes in the mission of the company—to help relieve the financial pressures faced by many patients struggling with advanced illnesses including cancer.
Adam recognizes that people facing advanced-stage diseases have incremental financial pressures affecting everyday life that are not being addressed. That’s why Fifth Season’s financial assistance program, FLAG (Funds for Living and Giving), is designed to bridge the gap between the traditional financial assistance programs available to mitigate the direct medical and treatment costs, and the much broader financial needs of patients. The FLAG Program provides patients with money from a non-traditional asset – their existing life insurance policy.
Adam hopes that those who use our financial assistance program are able to use the funds to maintain or better their quality of life. The funds can be used as the patient sees fit. Common uses include paying rent or mortgage bills, utility bills, medication costs, treatment costs. Others use the funds to take a dream trip—creating lasting memories with family members, to pay for in-home care, or to pay to bring family together. To date, Fifth Season has assisted nearly 400 patients and their families and provided more than $75 million in financial help to patients with advanced illnesses.
The Story Behind Adam’s Passion for Fifth Season’s Services
A year after Adam and his family moved to the United States from Canada, his wife, Tracey, was diagnosed with breast cancer. While dealing with the sobering realities of their new situation, Adam began to learn about the many ways organizations in the U.S. support patients medically and emotionally. However, he was disappointed to see the very limited structured support for the broad range of financial strains patients often face. Adam was motivated and inspired to proactively do something about it. After serving as director of Fifth Season Financial from 2007 through 2009, Adam acquired Fifth Season Financial in October 2012. He then structured and developed the FLAG program to specifically address financial needs of people facing advanced-stage illnesses. Beyond Fifth Season, Adam and Tracey (who is now five years post treatment and doing very well!) are very active in supporting cancer causes, including Gilda’s Club Westchester, where Tracey is a member of the Board of Directors.
Adam is a lawyer by training, having practiced law for 11 years at Baker & McKenzie LLP, where he became a partner in 2005. Adam holds a joint MBA/JD from the University of Toronto and a Bachelors of Commerce from McGill University. He is admitted to practice law in the Province of Ontario, Canada, and is in good standing with the American Bar Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Life Insurance Settlement Association (LISA) from May 2011 to May 2013.