BOSTON (CBS) – Reviewing the insurance policies will take some time but will be well worth it.
Gather up all of the insurance policies. Review them and be sure you have the current policy and that the premiums are paid.
- Homeowners Insurance: If mom owns her home make sure she has a homeowner’s policy. No one requires you to have insurance coverage if you no longer have a mortgage. When you and mom did her net worth statement, is there anything of value that may need special coverage such as jewelry or antiques. If she is renting be sure she has a renter’s policy.
- Auto Insurance: There is a discount for drivers over 65 and another for low mileage. There are also discounts for membership in AAA and AARP. One of the hardest things you will ever need to discuss with mom is whether she should be still driving.
- Health Insurance: Medicare does not cover everything. Mom will need Medicare Supplement Insurance referred to as a Medigap policy, which covers things Medicare does not like co-pays and deductibles.
There are two standard Medigap policies offered in Massachusetts. She also needs Medicare part D for drug coverage. Check to see if she has any retiree health insurance benefits from a previous employer, her’s or your dad’s.
- Life Insurance: As we age life insurance becomes very expensive and our need for life insurance decreases. Life insurance is used to cover the loss of our income stream to our dependents.
Some individuals own life insurance to pay for their funeral or to leave an inheritance to the children. If mom has paid up policies check the cash value and beneficiaries. You want these policies stored in a safe accessible place.
- Long Term Care Insurance: I don’t know if she needs it. This is a personal life style call. If she can’t afford the premium then she probably doesn’t need it for she will be eligible for Medicaid.
If there is a family home you want to protect then you and your siblings can purchase the long-term care insurance for her. Long-term care insurance premiums are considered a medical deduction for tax purposes.
The SHINE Program (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) is a state health insurance assistance program that provides free health insurance information, counseling and assistance to Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers. The SHINE Program is administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in partnership with elder service agencies, social service and community based agencies and Councils on Aging.
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