Technology has made it possible for baby boomers, those born between 1946-1964, to live longer. Currently, their average life expectancy in the US is 78.9 years. (2) Yet, the age they require care is getting younger set at 66 years. As senior care progresses, the age of their caregivers is also proportionally decreasing. In 2018, survey results showed that the average age of a caregiver has dropped to 47 years. (2) Typically, the responsibility of care falls on the children of seniors, known today, as millennials, those born between 1980 to 2000. The relationship between these two generations, however, can substantially impact the care seniors receive from their children. With recent accounts of a dismissive phrase, “OK Boomer,” going viral on media outlets globally, the cultural gap between these two generations are straying. When it comes to caring for seniors, John Clifford, COO, Ensurem LLC, urges millennials to view their senior counterparts as more than just “Boomers,” but as parents whose lives will depend on the quality of care they receive from their children. Millennials, however, are encouraged to arrange for care if they are unable to fulfill the caregiver role by becoming educated on Medicare and Medicare Advantage systems. (3)
Why Baby Boomers Need More Care
Baby boomers are hitting the age of 65 at an average of 10,000 per day. Of those, according to a PWC survey, only one third have savings just shy of $50,000 or less. Factors that contributed to these low saving accounts, include baby boomers working for employers that did not offer a standard 401k or becoming bankrupt and losing one’s home during the financial crisis of 2008.(4) Along with not being financially equipped to care for themselves, one significant reason care for seniors needing care sooner is because of tech advancements including, earlier detection of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. (3)
How to Avoid Medicare Confusion
Whether millennials plan on taking on the caregiver role or not—they need to stay informed about what Medicare and Medicare supplemental plans can provide. For example, the millennials who cannot commit to becoming full-time caretakers, should investigate whether their loved one qualifies for at-home health services through Medicare since these types of benefits are only provided if the beneficiary meets certain conditions. Medicare Supplement insurance however, depending on the plan, may also cover a portion of the coinsurance for certain supplies required for at-home health care, including, but not limited to aids like walkers and wheelchairs. In addition, some Medicare Supplement plans may provide coinsurance for skilled nursing facility care.
Another important thing for caregivers to take into consideration is preexisting conditions. Insurance companies cannot deny your application for Medicare Supplement insurance due to preexisting conditions as long as the beneficiary enrolls during their initial enrollment period. While, with Medicare Advantage, ESRD is the only preexisting condition for which a Medicare Advantage carrier can decline your application.
“Medicare can be confusing and difficult to understand,” says Clifford. Ensurem however, has created a user-friendly technology that deletes this confusion. It provides a platform for consumers to compare and understand all working parts of the Medicare system, especially because two-thirds of people who file for bankruptcy cite medical issues as a key contributor to their financial downfall. (4)
Today, more baby boomers are divorced and live alone than did their parents, which puts even a greater caregiving pressure on millennials—pressure that baby boomers didn’t experience when their parents were seniors. Now, with a streamlined Medicare platform, neither boomers nor their millennial children, will have to suffer any financial losses due to medical or caregiving expenses in advance to head off any potential disasters. (1)
Ensurem, headquartered in Clearwater, FL, is a leading technology and product distribution company serving carriers and consumers within the massive U.S. senior market. The company provides end-to-end solutions for carriers, including product development, digital marketing, and consumer-centric front ends and back ends.
1. Ensurem. “Why Millennials Need to Know More About Medicare.” Why Millennials Need to Know More About Medicare, 2019, blog.ensurem.com/millennials-need-know-medicare-compare-medicare-supplement-plans.
2. “U.S. Life Expectancy 1950-2020.” MacroTrends, 2018, macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/life-expectancy.
3. Rohrich, Zoe. “Why More Millennials Are Becoming Caregivers.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 16 Jan. 2019, pbs.org/newshour/health/why-more-millennials-are-becoming-caregivers
4. Campbell, Todd. “Baby Boomers’ Average Savings for Retirement.” The Motley Fool, The Motley Fool, 17 Dec. 2016, fool.com/retirement/2016/12/17/baby-boomers-average-savings-for-retirement.aspx.