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Commerce Department urges family caregivers to consider their insurance options

8/8/2016 11:18:17 AM

For Immediate Release:

SAINT PAUL – With Minnesotans living longer and the Baby Boom generation beginning to retire, the state’s population age 65 and over is projected to double between 2010 and 2030, with people age 85 and older representing the fastest growing demographic group in the state.

As Minnesota’s senior population continues to grow, the importance of family caregivers will also increase. Already, there are more than 600,000 family caregivers in Minnesota and they are the number one provider of long-term care.  

To help address the financial challenges of family caregiving, Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman is encouraging caregivers and their families to evaluate their insurance needs and consider available options.

“Understanding insurance needs and making smart decisions can ease the stress and financial pressures felt by caregivers and their families,” says Rothman, whose agency regulates the insurance industry. “These decisions are tough but important, and the Minnesota Commerce Department is here to help.”

Rothman suggests that caregivers and their families consider the following when making insurance and financial decisions: 

  • Life insurance for a caregiver. Caregivers may want to consider a life insurance policy to help provide continued support to their loved one in case something happens to them. Caring for a family member can be a full-time job, even if it doesn’t provide a traditional salary. This may lead to problems if something unexpectedly happens to the primary caregiver. 
  • Disability income insurance. Disability income insurance provides protection by replacing a percentage of your income if you are unable to work due to disability. Many employers offer such policies, so check your employee benefits to determine if you need additional coverage. 
  • Health care coverage for a caregiver. If you or a family member has to leave a full-time job to become a caregiver, check to see if you would still have health insurance coverage or would need to buy it on your own. 
  • Insurance considerations for private caregivers. If you are hiring a caregiver through an agency, do your homework and make sure the agency has a good reputation and the caregivers are bonded and insured. If you hire a “private-duty” caregiver who is not affiliated with an agency, you may be responsible for tax obligations, legal issues and insurance coverage. Consult with a tax adviser. 
  • Long-term care insurance.  Long-term care insurance is designed to help cover your costs in the event you need long-term care, but this type of policy is not suitable for everyone. Carefully consider the coverage provided by these policies, which has changed in recent years along with substantial premium increases. /commerce/consumers/your-insurance/long-term-care/index.jspThe Minnesota Commerce website includes information on long-term care insurance. Consult with a long-term care insurance specialist for what would be in your best interest. 

Commerce is here to help

If you have a question or concern about insurance, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at consumer.protection@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).

Media Contact:
Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
P: 651-539-1463 | C: 651-368-5050 | ross.corson@state.mn.us

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