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Blending Families, Blending Insurance

Once upon a time, most American households were composed of traditional or nuclear families. These days, with roughly 50% of marriages ending in divorce, blended families now outnumber traditional families. Blended families are those that include children from a partner's prior relationship. A blended family can make having the right insurance more complicated, so prepare for any scenario with these considerations.

For health insurance, parents should consider whether to merge the blended family onto one plan or keep family members on their existing plans. Consider whether you’ll have to switch physicians if you switch plans, as well as whether pre-existing conditions of certain family members will affect the overall policy. If both parents are covered by their employers, it's a good idea to review each policy to see which plan offers the best coverage for all family members. If the children in your household are covered by two or more plans, one plan must be designated as the primary and the others as secondary. If there is no designation, claim payments from insurance can often be delayed. Check to see if any member of your new household has a pre-existing condition. If so, they may need a different health insurance policy to fit their needs. 

For life insurance, parents need to consider who gets the estate and assets following a divorce. How will natural and adopted children be affected? Make sure you are deliberate in providing for your children, as the bulk of your assets will otherwise go to your new spouse and your children may not be provided for as you would've wished. Be sure to update your beneficiary designation on all insurance policies to your new specifications. Chances are, your existing policies designate your former spouse as your beneficiary, and this doesn't automatically change upon the dissolution of your marriage. Finally, insurance conversations should occur as soon as possible. Don’t wait until after you remarry to begin the discussion. It's always a good idea to consult an estate planning attorney when setting up trusts to address complicated issues. 

Whether your family is like the "Brady Bunch" or like "Modern Family," AAA has a plan that's right for your unique situation. A professional insurance advisor can provide perspective and serve as a valuable resource as you evaluate insurance coverage for your blended family. We are here to help you sort through any questions and challenges in order to customize an insurance plan that meets your individual needs. Call us at 1-866-315-1252, or visit us online to find your local AAA Insurance Agent. 

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