Are you suddenly responsible for your mom and dad and don’t have any idea what type of health insurance(s) they have?


You aren’t alone, unless they have been sharing this with you over the years you would have no idea.  Your parents have been independent and making these decisions without you for a long time.  But recently you have been switching roles, you as a caretaker and them needing more care and support.


Here is an overview of the types of health insurance they may have if they are 65 or older.


  1. Medicare:  Original Medicare consists of:
    1.  Part A—hospital insurance
    2. Part B—outpatient insurance
    3. Part D—prescription drug insurance
    4. Medicare Part C :  also called Medicare Advantage , combines all of the above Parts A,B & D into one plan


  1. Medicare Supplement (also known as Medigap) :  a private insurance plan that pays for many of the co-insurance charges that Original Medicare does not


  1. Retirement health insurance: insurance from a former employer that provides medical coverage and often prescription coverage.  Some retirement health plans require that your parents also have Original Medicare, once they reach 65, to receive benefits from this type of insurance.



  1. Long-Term Care insurance:  A private insurance policy that may cover services needed by the insured on a daily basis over an extended period of time.  This type of insurance covers some or all of the following services.  Each policy is different so read it carefully for all requirements and exemptions.  There are often waiting periods (elimination period) during which you must pay out-of-pocket for eligible services before benefits are paid.


    1. Home health care-a certified Personal Care Assistant (PCA),Home Health Aide (HHA), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to help people continue to live in their home by helping with personal care such as bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, transferring from bed to chair to toilet to chair, walking and grooming.  They can also do light housekeeping, cooking and shopping.Every state has their own laws regulating home care and each policy has different qualifications.  Check with both state agencies and the policy for the rules needed to qualify for benefits.


    1. Adult Day Care:  These are supervised recreational and therapeutic programs where seniors with physical and/or cognitive impairments can spend their day in a save, supportive and social environment.


    1. Assisted Living-A monthly benefit to cover some portion of the monthly fee for living in an assisted living facility.  Every policy has a set monthly amount they will pay with a maximum limit.


    1. Skilled Nursing Facilities (Nursing Homes):  If you parent requires this level of care, most Long-term insurance policies will pay a monthly benefit to cover a portion of the fee for living in a skilled nursing facility.  This is not the same as having a short-term stay in a rehabilitation facility due to an illness, surgery, or injury.  Those fees are usually covered by their Medicare benefit.


  1. Veterans Aid and Assurance: If either of your parents is a U.S. veteran having served during a time of war, or the spouse of a veteran, they may be eligible for a monthly benefit to help defray the costs of home health aides, assisted living facilities, and/or nursing homes.  This program is asset based, but much more generous than Medicaid.  Contact your local Veterans organizations or an Eldercare Lawyer certified to see how to access the coverage or assist with the application process.  This VA benefit is normally applied for at the time home health services are needed.


  1. Federal Employee Retirement Health Benefit:  If your parent  is a retired federal employee, began receiving income from an immediate annuity no later than one month after their retirement date and had participated in a Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan continuously for at least five years prior to their retirement date, they may have Federal Employee Retirement Health Benefits.  Contact their past employer for information about their benefits


Going through all of their papers will help you understand what benefits they are entitled to.


The important thing to remember is, contact every entity you find any paperwork on, you may discover benefits they are entitled to that they have forgotten about.


Some policies may still be active regardless of whether they have continued to pay premiums or not.

Do your homework ,it may save you a lot of money!!!