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How Can I Get Health Insurance for My Parents?

You can find health insurance for your parents in many different places. Unfortunately, most of the policies from which you'll choose are liable to be ruinously expensive. Although health insurance premiums are rising across the board, older individuals are finding it especially difficult to find affordable coverage.

There are several reasons for this trend. Most importantly, the typical American's life expectancy continues to rise. Since people who live longer tend to require more medical care, it follows that their healthcare premiums must rise as a result. In addition, many older individuals remain active for decades after retiring. Although this is an encouraging development that promises to reduce the prevalence of cardiovascular and pulmonary problems, it can also lead to expensive stress-related injuries. In the United States alone, more than 200,000 hip replacements are performed each year. Knee replacements are particularly common as well.

In this environment, it can be difficult to procure reasonably-priced health insurance for senior citizens. If you want to get health insurance for your parents, you may need to try several different tactics before settling on the correct course of action.

For starters, you might be able to claim your parents as tax dependents. In order to do this, you'll need to prove that neither of your parents work. You'll also need to prove that their combined income is less than about $8,000. While the exact eligibility threshold may vary from year to year, it's usually at or below the federal poverty line. Finally, you'll have to prove that your parents live with you.

It's important to note that Social Security income is exempted from this requirement. In practice, this means that the $8,000 limit applies only to the financial support that you provide for your parents as well as any miscellaneous sources of income that they might accrue. Such sources of income might include pension payments, side-business receipts or lottery winnings.

Once you've satisfied these requirements, you can add your parents to your health insurance policy with relatively little trouble. While this might significantly increase your premiums, it will ensure that your parents won't have to pay for their own health insurance. If you can't afford to attach your parents to your own health insurance policy, you might be able to secure Medicaid coverage on their behalf. In order to do this, your parents must be prepared to prove that they have very few liquid assets.


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