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Caught in the Middle: Insurance Tips for the Sandwich Generation

By Sara Fossum on April 19, 2016 in Insurance


Middle-aged adults are finding themselves financially “sandwiched” between two generations: their children and aging parents.

This dual responsibility isn't new, but it's now more costly than ever.

On one end, parents are supporting their children past the age of 18. On the other, seniors are living longer but may not have the savings to match their longevity. This leaves the middle generation to cover both bills – including dental costs.

With so much responsibility, how is this generation expected to save on dental expenses?

These tips can help reduce dental costs:

1. Invest in your children.

Keep ahead of any future costs by focusing on preventive care with your children. Instill good oral health habits at a young age, schedule regular dental exams and use your full benefits to avoid any future restorative costs.

2. Encourage adult children to be independent.

As your children get older, teach them about proper dental care and determine who will be responsible for copays, dental bills and overall benefit costs.

Although your adult children are eligible to stay on your benefits until they turn 26, it may make sense, financially, for them to get on their own plan earlier than the cutoff age. Talk to them about their options and financial capabilities.

3. Consider all options for your parents.

Aging seniors often have a hard time accessing dental care. Some possibilities to get them covered:

• Supplement their Medicare plan. Medicare does not cover routine dental care, but certain supplement plans and resources can help lower costs. Learn what these resources are and if they financially make sense for your family.

• Seek out an affordable individual plan. Many providers have affordable coverage for seniors over 65. Learn about your options today.

• Claim them as a dependent. The IRS will allow you to claim an elderly parent if they meet certain criteria, but this is not always guaranteed for insurance purposes. Check with your provider to see if this is an option.

4. Don't forget about yourself.

By being a caregiver to both your children and your parents, it's easy to neglect your needs. Be sure to take care of yourself by maintaining your health, using your insurance plan and keeping up-to-date with your dental care.

Have questions about dental plans for every generation in your family? Contact us today!