Insure your health,
life and belongings

 
Injuries, illness and forces beyond our control can trigger significant expenses, but insurance can help provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Keep a lid on medical costs

Medical costs often rise as we grow older, so make sure you have basic medical insurance coverage - take advantage of health benefits offered by your employer, then assess your needs and consider a supplemental plan if needed.
Even with health insurance, out-of-pocket expenses can add up. Look into health account options:

Health Savings Account (HSA): If you have a high-deductible health plan, you can use an HSA to save and pay for qualified out-of-pocket health care expenses. While employers can offer HSAs to their employees, the accounts are owned by the employees. Both employees and employers can contribute to an HSA.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA): FSAs can be used with any type of health plan and are offered through and owned by the employer. Allows you to set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses incurred during the year.

Take action:
What's the difference
between HSAs, FSAs
and
other health accounts?
Life insurance can help
your family cope with
expenses & liabilities if
you're no longer around

Insure your life if others depend on you

Whether you have a one- or two-income household, it's likely your family depends on you financially. And while you can't be replaced, life insurance can help your family cope with expenses and liabilities if you're no longer around.
Your employer may offer subsidized life insurance (most likely term life, which is the simplest form of life insurance). Other types, like whole life, universal life and variable life, can offer the opportunity for investment returns as well as protection. What's right for you will depend on many factors, so consider how much coverage you need and do your research.

Consider disability coverage

Accidents or illness can keep you from working and earning an income; disability insurance can ease the burden by replacing lost income. Premium costs vary widely, so do your research and know your options before you buy:
  • Many employers offer group disability insurance, so you may already have a plan in place. These group plans usually have waiting periods of 30 days before benefits kick in.
  • Individual long-term disability plans often have longer waiting periods, with payments starting 90 days or more after you stop working.
  • Anyone who works and pays into Social Security is eligible to apply for Social Security disability insurance, but the average benefit is low-between $800 and $1,400 a month-and you must have been unable to work for at least 12 months.
Over 1 in 4 of today's
20-year-olds will become
disabled before they retire1
Without property insurance,
losses could deplete your
emergency fund & set
you back financially

Protect your home and belongings

Sentimental value aside, your home and belongings represent a sizable financial investment that would be hard to replace if lost or damaged. Without property insurance, losses could quickly deplete your emergency fund and set you back financially.

Homeowners insurance
If you own a home, make sure you have a policy that covers your home and its contents, temporary housing and living expenses if the damage forces you out of your home, as well as liability for accidents in or around the home.

Renters insurance
Your landlord's insurance covers the structure of the apartment, but protecting your belongings is up to you. Look for a policy that covers your personal property, temporary housing and living expenses, and medical liability.

Auto insurance
If you own a car, most states require basic coverage for liability. Beyond that, what's right for you depends on your car's value and your ability to get along without it.

Explore long-term care insurance

At a time when the median cost of a private room tops $91,000 a year, nursing homes are one of the biggest threats to the financial security of retirees.3 It's easy to see why more and more people are considering long-term care (LTC) insurance.
This type of insurance can be a good option to keep long-term care costs from consuming your retirement savings since standard health insurance coverage doesn't include long-term care.
Read
Experts predict 1/3 of those
who reach age 65
will
enter a nursing home at
some point2
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Footnote 1 U.S. Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet, February 7, 2013

Footnote 2 Medicare.gov, Long-Term Care

Footnote 3 Source: Genworth 2015 Cost of Long-Term Care Survey, March 20, 2015.

This material should be regarded as educational information on healthcare considerations and is not intended to provide specific healthcare advice. If you have questions regarding your particular situation, please contact your legal or tax advisor.

Long-term care insurance coverage contains benefits, exclusions, limitations, eligibility requirements and specific terms and conditions under which the insurance coverage may be continued in force or discontinued. Not all insurance policies and types of coverage may be available in your state.

All guarantees and benefits of the insurance policy are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company. They are not backed by Merrill Lynch or its affiliates, nor do Merrill Lynch or its affiliates make any representations or guarantees regarding the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

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