Choosing the Right Insurance for Your Family
None of us are invincible. If you have a family to support, it is essential that you have insurance coverage that ensures their financial well-being in the event of illness or accidents.
Protect your family’s financial future with health insurance, workers’ compensation, life insurance and long-term care insurance.
Choose a family health insurance plan that covers routine health needs and provides coverage for emergencies. Most health insurance plans are required to cover preventative screenings and regular vaccinations at no cost to you.
Without adequate health insurance, your family is at risk for a medical bankruptcy. Even something as minor as a broken leg can cost up to $7,500 out of pocket, according to Healthcare.gov, the federal government's health care website.
Beginning in 2014, health insurance became mandatory for all Americans according to the Affordable Care Act (unless you cannot afford health care coverage, in which case, you might qualify for Medicaid).
As of 2019 — with tax returns filed in 2020 — there no longer will be a penalty for not having insurance, but that doesn’t mean you should go without. In addition to helping you pay for unexpected medical bills, studies show that health insurance makes you more likely to keep up with regular checkups and preventative tests, which will keep you healthier now and in the future.
Workers’compensation, also known as workman’s comp, provides payments for hospital, medical and rehab expenses due to on-the-job injuries and job-related illnesses, such as the effects of breathing in toxic fumes or carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive motions.
Workers’ compensation often includes disability payments if you are unable to work and death benefits to your spouse and dependents. Each state has its own workers’ compensation laws and programs.
In most cases, your employer provides workers’ compensation as part of your benefits package. You don’t have to buy a policy yourself. If something happens to you while you are performing your job duties, it is your right to make a claim. Talk to your manager or human resources department to find out the details of your employer’s plan.
Life insurance provides financial benefits to your family upon your death. With a "term" life insurance policy, you are providing money to your dependents payable upon your death. Employers sometimes offer this type of life insurance policy to their employees. "Whole" life insurance policies can accrue cash value over time, which means that, in addition to the death benefit, you also can use your insurance as a savings tool. Once you've built up enough equity in your policy, you can borrow and withdraw the cash value of a life insurance policy as you wish.
Long-term care insurance helps cover the expenses of daily living, including eating, bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom when you are sick, injured or aged for extended periods of time.
According to LongTermCare.gov, if you buy long-term care insurance before you experience a sudden event such as a stroke or develop diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or cancer that spreads beyond its original site, your policy will cover the care you need for living with these conditions.
Be warned that even the most comprehensive long-term care policies do not cover 100 percent of costs.
Regardless of your life circumstances, insurance helps protect your family from large expenses and provides financial support in the case of illness or accidents. To learn more, take SAM’s free Money Basics Insurance course.
[Any reference to a specific company, commercial product, process or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by the National Endowment for Financial Education.]