Financing My Son’s Cochlear Implant

In February 2007 we were blessed with our fourth child. We didn’t know it at the time, but Thomas came to us with some challenges. After failing multiple newborn hearing screenings, we began to realize he may have some hearing challenges. At 1 ½ months old, it was confirmed that he was born completely deaf. After that new reality set in, we began consuming all the information we could about how to communicate with our son. My wife and I, along with our three other children all learned ASL (American Sign Language). We also had the opportunity, when he was 14 months old, to get him a cochlear implant which allows him to hear. He just turned 11 years old and, as a family, we still use both speech and sign language to communicate with Tom. He is about to graduate the 5th grade.

So, what does this have to do with a financial blog? Well, the initial cost (surgery & the unit) of his cochlear implant was around $60,000 dollars. Luckily, our health insurance covered most of the up-front cost. However, there are ongoing replacement costs (cables, batteries, etc.) and upgrades in technology that health insurance does not cover. Last year, although his external cochlear processor was 10 year old technology, health insurance did not deem it “necessary” for him to have an upgrade. An external replacement unit with the new technology is around $10,000 dollars and that doesn’t count the equipment he uses at school in order to hear his teacher and classmates.

We feel it is very important as parents, to provide him with the best possible chances for success. We were able to purchase the equipment ourselves, using the policy loan feature in our whole life insurance policy. We can repay that loan as quickly or slowly as we wanted to. Talk about financial freedom! How about the ability to borrow for anything we choose, any time we feel, regardless of income or debt ratios?

Everybody will tell you the easiest & cheapest way to get a loan is to not “need” one. I guarantee no bank will give you a $10,000 loan for a piece of equipment that sits on a 10 year old’s ear like a hearing aid. Trust me, I tried. Taking money out of a 401k wouldn’t have been an option because it was not considered a “hardship.” Besides, our life insurance policy is the only financial vehicle that is guaranteed to grow uninterrupted, even while being leveraged.  It’s truly an amazing tool!

Personally, I prefer to borrow against our policies for investment opportunities that bring cash flow. That way the cash flow from the investment can be used to repay the policy loan without any reduction to my personal cash flow. However, also having the ability to access my policy cash value for things like family vacations, automobile purchases, braces (yep, we did this too) or a new cochlear device for our son, really puts us in control of our finances. Rather than being at the mercies of the bank or the qualified plan administrator for investments or consumer expenses, we are in a position of power allowing us the ability to find and use the best possible source of money. We have personally been able to negotiate massive discounts on medical bills and braces because we had the ability to access funds. I’ve also heard of massive discounts on car and furniture purchases using the same techniques. Here is a key: When offered 0% financing, ask what the cash price is. There is usually a different price and that difference is their finance charge built in.

Feel free to reach out to us here at Paradigm Life to learn more about how you can own this amazing financial tool yourself!

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