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Understanding Insurance as we Age

Last month we posted a blog about insurance issues that occur when our children graduate from college and leave home.

This month we wanted to talk about the other end of the age spectrum, insurance issues that arise when our parents age.

  • Medicare
    • Many of our parents are on Medicare. They will need a Medicare supplement and drug supplement plan.  The Medicare supplements are all standardized, but the drug plans are very different.
    • Call us if you need help navigating the system. Your parents can only “re-up” once a year.
  • Jewelry
    • Unfortunately as our parents age, they may not be as diligent in keeping track of their jewelry and may have it become lost or even stolen. If our parents are not actively wearing their fine jewelry, we recommend that you try and get them to give the jewelry away, now, or at least put it in a bank safe deposit box (and keep a list of what you put there!)
  • Renters coverage in an assisted living facility
    • If our parents move to some kind of assisted living facility, they still will require some type of renter’s coverage for their personal property. (Clothes, furniture, hearing aids, and wheelchairs) they can and do get stolen.  The cost is relatively inexpensive.
  • Auto
    • This is the hardest issue our clients seem to face. When to take the car away from an aging parent.  Unfortunately, the Secretary of State’s office tends to be very forgiving about renewing licenses, and seniors want to hang on to this very important piece of independence.  You know when it is no longer safe for your parents to drive and YOU must make the tough decision.  Sometimes, asking your parents primary care physician to sit with you can be helpful.  Also, showing them how to use services such as UBER can be very freeing for them.
    • If there is a caregiver driving their car, he/she IS covered, but the insurance company should be alerted so they are aware that another person is driving the vehicle and the caregiver’s driving record should be checked.
  • Umbrella
    • If your parents still have resources, it would be prudent for them to keep an umbrella policy in case of a bad auto accident or a trip and fall.
  • Workers Compensation
    • If your parents are paying a caregiver who is not from an agency, they are not paying cash (i.e. W2, 1099 etc.), and the person works more than 20 hours per week, they should purchase workers compensation insurance
  • Paying bills
    • Do you have a third party that is paying your parents bills and/or handling investments? Are they bonded?  Do you have separation of duties?

If you need any assistance or have any questions, please feel free to call us at 847.427.3433.