Special-needs families routinely face many challenges, whether emotional, physical or financial, that can drain precious energy and resources. On a daily basis, they must often try to absorb complex information on medical issues and treatment, health insurance and educational or work accommodations; tackle issues with transportation and living spaces, and juggle an array of appointments. The breadth of these challenges is daunting but becomes more manageable with the help of a knowledgeable financial planner that can provide tools and resources for meeting the family’s financial challenges.
Many special-needs children have disabilities that require lifelong care. Financial planners can help families plan for medical care, therapy and caregiver costs as their children grow and ensure their child’s needs are met in adulthood, as well. Having a financial advisor who understands not only the importance of goals-based financial planning, but also how to secure resources, monitor relevant regulation changes and make referrals is paramount. By providing holistic financial planning services, financial planners can help shoulder the work and worry, enabling families to focus on caring for their loved ones.
The Health Insurance Maze
Professional insurance advice is incredibly important to special-needs families and caregivers.
The high cost of health care hits parents of special needs children especially hard because the expenses continue indefinitely. Thankfully, there are government-supported programs that may provide assistance, allowing special-needs children access to less costly care. In some states and municipalities, sliding-scale or no-cost treatment options help kids manage a wide variety of conditions.
Government bureaucracy often creates additional stresses on already overwhelmed parents. Financial advisors with expertise in special-needs financial planning help clients navigate the maze of programs and qualification standards, starting with an overview of the system. Some also have information on private organizations and charities that offer assistance.
Though these programs provide tremendous relief, families still get hit with large expenses, such as the cost of a caregiver while parents are at work. In addition, many families realize that their child’s health and quality of life can be improved by supplementing government programs with private therapy. Few families can afford ongoing private therapy without insurance. Financial advisors understand the details of what plans cover and what insurance options are available. Having the right insurance for a special-needs child is invaluable because private therapy, such as speech or music therapy, can yield life-changing results.
A financial advisor can also help clients manage out-of-pocket expenses without having to resort to credit cards or other high-interest loans. For example, an analysis of the child’s needs and insurance coverage may make it apparent that the family will always reach their out-of-pocket maximum. Knowing this, a financial planner can help budget for this expense and, when dealing with clients who have significant assets, provide an investment plan that helps offset the costs.