Changing Health Insurance Needs For Empty-Nesters

When a parent’s last child leaves home for college or career, it can trigger all sorts of conflicting feelings: pride, sadness, and excitement, just to name a few. Life isn’t constant, and the “norm” is to constantly be in a state of change. For new empty-nesters, their youngest child’s last step toward independence – moving out on their own – triggers a time for making changes, not only in their own lives, but in the types of auto, homeowner and life insurance they now need. Just as new parents must make changes to these policies upon the birth of a child, parents must also make changes to these policies upon the last child moving out.
One of the biggest things to consider when making changes to these policies is what your retirement will look like. Will you be traveling more from now on? Many empty-nesters begin traveling more, which means that it’s important to make sure that your health insurance is going to travel with you. If you were to get sick in another state or country, would your current policy cover your treatment? If not, then you need to make some changes to your policy, and maybe even switch to a new provider. The ideal time to do this, of course, is before you take that first post-child vacation.
Travel isn’t the only lifestyle change that might require a policy change. If your spouse is nearing retirement, and both of you are covered under his or her insurance, it’s important to know what the non-retiring spouse must do to maintain continuous coverage. Some options include carrying an individual health insurance policy, or staying on the old policy for a while, and then switching to a state-mandated plan.
A third thing to consider is whether or not your adult children are still on your policy, and if that is appropriate based on your lifestyle and theirs. If you choose to keep your adult children on your policy, then consider getting student health insurance offered by the University they attend, if they are college students. These plans can provide valuable supplemental coverage to your policy.
The time to consider what being an empty-nester will mean to your insurance needs is before your youngest child moves out on his or her own. By knowing what changes you will need to make to your health insurance, and taking care of them ahead of time, you will be better prepared to jump right into your post-children adventures.

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