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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Children's Health Insurance

Are you looking for a health insurance policy just for your child? Children's health insurance, or Child-Only policies, have almost completely disappeared.


Many parents will get insurance just on their kids. Sometimes the parents cannot afford to get insurance on themselves but want coverage on their kids. Sometimes the parents are uninsurable. Sometimes the parents are divorced; the kid lives with one parent but the other parent pays for the insurance. Sometimes the parent doesn't want insurance for whatever reason, but the kids needs it to play sports in school. Sometimes the mother is still on her parents' insurance  policy (which is now allowed to age 26, another consequence of the Act).


Child-Only policies are no longer available. This is a direct result of the HealthCare Reform Act, also known as the "Affordable Care Act" which did little to making care affordable. A part of the bill stated that insurance companies cannot decline to accept any child because of a pre-existing health condition. Sounds good on the surface - who can really oppose children getting treatment? What happened in real life, however, is the insurance companies just stopped accept all children unless there was a parent or guardian also included on the policy.

The insurance companies did this to help keep premiums from increasing even more than they have. To get a policy by yourself you now must be age 19 or older.


If you need Child-Only health insurance there is one plan in Arizona that will still write a child-only policy. They will write Child-Only policies on kids age 2 through 18. The policy is a short term medical policy, and you can get more information here.

The problem with a short term medical is it doesn't cover pre-existing conditions and the policy will expire after the term is over (usually 6 to 12 months). You can reapply for another term upon expiration but any health conditions that may have developed during the previous term will not be covered. As an example, a child breaks a leg and goes to the ER to get it set. The policy covered the broken leg (after deductible) but terminated two days later. The parent applies for a new policy. The new policy will not cover the follow up visits for the broken leg, so the parent is now responsible for paying to remove the cast.

When you go on my website there will be one company that has 3 options. Give me a call with questions. As of now this is your only option other than through the state Medicaid department.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I came across this poem on the website LinkedIn. It was attributed to a "care magazine" but no other information was given.

It should be taken as a message of hope and understanding so Alzheimer's Disease can be better understood.

When I wander.......................................

don't tell me to come and sit down ;

wander with me,

it may be because I am hungry, thirsty, need the toilet,

or, maybe I just need to stretch my legs..........

When I call for my mother.........(even though I'm ninety!)

don't tell me she has died;

reassure me, cuddle me, ask me about her.

It may be that I am looking for the security that my mother

once gave.................

When I shout out.................

please don't ask me to be quiet......or walk by

I am trying to tell you something,

but have difficulty in telling you what

be patient…………Try to find out,

I may be in pain……….

When I become agitated or appear angry…………….

Please don’t reach for the drugs first,

I am trying to tell you something,

It may be too hot….. too bright……too noisy,

Or maybe it’s because I am missing my loved ones.

Try to find out……first……

When I don’t eat my dinner or drink my tea……

It may be because I’ve forgotten how to;

Show me the what to do….remind me,

It may be that I just need to hold my knife and fork

I may know what to do then………

When I push you away when you trying to help me……,

A wash, perhaps, or getting dressed.

Maybe it’s because I have forgotten what you have said;

Keep telling me what you are doing…….,

Over and over and over…………

Maybe others will think you’re the one that needs the help!

With all my thoughts and maybes,

Perhaps it will be you…..who reaches my thoughts……

Understands my fears and will make me feel safe…..

Maybe it will be you…..that I need to thank

If only I knew how……………..

Please pass this on to any caregivers which you may be aware. It may also be of interest to family members of Alzheimer's and Dementia patients.

You can find more information on my Senior Resources page.

Now you can find my Newsletter on my Website!

This is going to be a short post, as I've been away from the office for several days and have a lot of catching up to do. I now have a link to my newsletter on my website, along with links to Medicare publications and other informative links. Please visit the page on my website and check out my newsletter. If you like the newsletter please email me and I'll send you the newsletter via email each month.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Alzheimer's Wandering ID Bracelet

Here is a product that would make a great gift for anyone who has Alzheimer's or Dementia and would even make a good ID bracelet for someone with Autism. It is a soft bracelet that is very difficult to remove.

60% of Alzheimer's patients wander away from their residence. I'm sure you've seen the news reports of an "elderly person that has been missing" and then they go on to describe that person.

click on this picture for more information

People with dementia typically wander on foot and are found within 5 miles of their home.  However, individuals have also been reported lost who have left in their own cars or on public transportation. These people are sometimes found not just in the next county over but maybe even the next state over.

People who become lost are often found in other people's yards, retail businesses, along streets and highways, and in public buildings like libraries and hospitals.  Occasionally they are found in remote areas such as woods or fields.

Most people with dementia who become lost in the community are safely returned to their caregivers. However, if not found within the first 24 hours the chance for a safe return is dismal.

The ID bracelet will have the wanderers name and the caretakers phone number so they can be returned quickly without upsetting the person even more.

If you click on the picture or logo above you'll be taken to the NeverLost Wristband's website where you can purchase these wristbands for a very reasonable cost. And in case the person gets lost inside the home there are also bathroom and bedroom signs available.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How much are you saving to care for your parents?


Last week I found out about a 2008 study that MetLife published concerning the cost of being a caregiver. It is an eye opening study.

According to the MetLife study, nearly 10 million adult children over the age of 50 care for their aging parents. These family caregivers are themselves aging as well as providing care at a time when they also need to be planning and saving for their own retirement. The percentage of people over 50 who are either part or full time has more than tripled in the last 15 years. 3% of men and 9% of women provided at least basic parental care in 1994. Partially because people are living longer by 2008 that figure had increase to 17% of men and 28% of women.

People who care for their parents are more likely to cut their working hours, or to give up working totally. The study found that the cost in lost wages, pensions, and social security benefits average $283,716 for men caregivers and $324,044 for women caregivers. Women are more likely to give up their jobs to be an at home caregiver while men are more likely to offer financial support but still work part time. People 50+ who give up their jobs to care for a parent are unlikely to find the same status employment after their caretaking "jobs" are over. In today's economy it can be hard to find a job, let alone a job that paid what you previous were making. Many people are taking jobs with fewer benefits and lower pay.

In addition to the monetary costs are the ancillary costs. This includes the fact that 31% of adult caregivers report stress, anxiety, or depression; 70% report making work accommodations due to caregiving; and 53% say that they lose time with friends and family. With the declining health of the caregiver will come increased costs in medical care and medications.

You can access the study through my website.

So what is the answer?

Over half of us will need some extra care in the future. If you don't want to place this burden on your son or daughter you may want to consider getting a Long Term Care Insurance policy. This study concerns adult children. However, spouses also have similar cost to their body and soul as well as to their retirement fund.

If you are so concerned you may contact me for more information on Long Term Care. One of the worse parts of my job is having someone call me wanting information on or ideas of how to care for their parent AFTER the parent needs the care and is therefore ineligible. A Long Term Care policy will not take the place of your loving care but it can make it much easier and definitely less stressful. Long Term Care is not just for nursing homes but also can be used for adult day care and in-home care.

Remember, Medicare does not generally pay for Long Term Care. Medicare will pay for UP TO 100 days in a skilled nursing facility and is based on a continued skilled need. In addition, neither Medicare nor Medicare Advantage plans will cover 100% of this care. Also, with Medicare and Medicare Supplements there is also the requirement that you've spent 3 days in the hospital. With some surgeries you are only in the hospital overnight before you are discharged.

What is a skilled need? 

One common skilled need is rehabilitation or therapy, including occupational, speech, and physical therapies, and is usually following a surgery or stroke. Other common skilled needs are needing a feeding tube or needing wound care.

One caveat to the "skilled need". If the doctor tells Medicare that you are not going to get better and will need this care continually Medicare will then consider your care to be long term instead of short term. They will discontinue paying for the facility even though you still have some of your 100 days left.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Introducing "Through the Maze"

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to my new blog.

As your guide through the Medicare Maze AND the Insurance Maze we're going to be discussing many different subjects. Since I specialize in Medicare, and a large percentage of my clients are on Medicare, subjects of interest to those over 65 will probably dominate this blog. We'll be talking about the many different insurance policies that help get our life back to normal, or at least help us pay for getting our life back to normal. We'll be talking about the HealthCare Reform Act and what it will change for both those over and under 65. We'll be talking about the unintended consequences of the HealthCare Reform Act because, as you know, the insurance world is a complicated maze.

In addition, we will also discuss other things in life that interest me and my clients. We'll talk about products that can make our life better or safer. We'll talk about books or web articles of interest. We will talk about social clubs or informational classes. I'll be answering any questions that you may have so feel free to leave a comment, email, or phone me with your questions. Your questions do not have to relate to any of my previous blogs or even to insurance.

Just to give you an idea of what's to come, my first few blogs will be on how much does a caretaker actually spend while tending a relative, how a new ID bracelet can help Alzheimer's patients get back home, a "new" sport that I'd never heard of before, and one of the biggest subjects these day - maternity coverage and the missing maternity rider.