Family caregivers urged to explore insurance options and resources
News: 2016 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The world's population is living longer and by 2030, the over-65 age group is expected to double. As a result, family caregivers are becoming more common, which is why Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is recommending family caregivers understand their insurance needs and consider available options.
"Making informed insurance decisions can help alleviate the financial pressures felt by family caregivers," said Commissioner Jones. "It is important to know your options and take steps to safeguard your assets to ensure your financial well-being. The Department of Insurance is here to help."
According to a recent study, 85 percent of caregivers provide care for a relative, with 49 percent of those caring for a parent or parent-in-law. Providing full-time care for a family member is a full-time job, even if it doesn't earn a traditional salary. Problems often arise when a caregiver is suddenly incapacitated and unable to provide care for a dependent senior, often creating significant expenses.
Caregivers may want to consider obtaining a life insurance policy to help provide support to others in case something happens to them. Another consideration is disability income insurance, which offers protection by replacing a percentage of one's previous income if they are unable to work due to a disability. If a caregiver plans to leave a job to be a full-time caregiver, they need to ensure they will have access to healthcare.
When searching for a caregiver outside of the family, one may choose to work with an agency, but must do their homework to ensure the service is reputable. If one hires a private-duty caregiver (someone not affiliated with a caregiving agency) for in-home care, they will be responsible for tax obligations, legal issues and insurance coverage.
The California Department of Insurance's Senior Gateway is a one-stop website intended to assist those caring for seniors and help them find solutions to common and reoccurring problems of an aging population.
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- Government resources - Administration on Aging
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
- The MetLife Study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers: Double Jeopardy for Baby Boomers Caring for Their Parents
- Caregiving in the United States, 2015; National Alliance for Caregiving, AARP
- For information visit: http://www.naic.org/Releases/2016_docs/insurance_considerations_for_caregivers.htm
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.