Plan ahead for health and life insurance needs
If you are one of today’s 75 million baby boomers, you likely lead a hectic life. Many boomers are part of what’s called the “sandwich” generation: preparing kids to leave the nest, caring for elderly parents and planning for your own retirement. These roles can present complex financial decisions with health and life insurance implications. Get educated and plan ahead for the road to come.
Caring for Aging Parents
The number of adults providing physical or financial assistance to a parent has tripled in the past 15 years. Nearly 10 million boomers aged 50+ are caring for an aging parent. Be informed about their health and life insurance choices to avoid financial surprises:
- Make sure your parents enroll in Medicare before they turn 65 and review their coverage to determine if there are gaps. Medicare Supplement Insurance may be able to cover those gaps.
- If your parents need nursing home care, determine if their monthly income meets your state's eligibility level for Medicaid.
- If your parents don't qualify for Medicaid, find out if they have a long-term care insurance policy or a life insurance policy with a rider or accelerated benefits provision.
- Check to see if your parents have a life insurance policy. If so, store it in a safe place. If not, a Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance policy may be an option to cover end-of-life expenses.
Singer-songwriter Amy Grant is one of many boomers currently facing this challenge. She is partnering with the NAIC to educate her peers about the importance of planning ahead. Learn more about Amy's story and get ideas on the types of tough questions to ask your aging parents.
You may be researching colleges for your children and trying to figure out how to cover the costs. Know your options:
- Confirm your child can remain covered by a current health insurance policy until at least age 26; college students may have additional health coverage options through the school or a nearby insurer.
- If your child has completed college or is no longer financially dependent, review your life insurance policy to see if you can decrease your life insurance coverage.
Planning for Retirement
Securing affordable health insurance can be an obstacle to retiring before age 65. There are several choices to consider:
- If you are covered by an employer-sponsored group health insurance policy, inquire whether your employer sponsors a retiree group plan, or if you can convert the coverage to an individual policy.
- If you are in good health and can afford high out-of-pocket expenses (minimum of $1,200 for an individual or $2,400 for a family), you may consider a high-deductible plan.
- If you have a pre-existing condition, you may qualify for state Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans if you have been uninsured for at least six months.
- Depending on your age and future income, purchasing an annuity may make sense, as annuities typically pay an income that is guaranteed to last as long you live.
Find more insurance tips for Established Families and Seniors.