How Do I Plan for the Future?
Getting Compassionate Care Every Step of the Way
Whether you or a family member are facing difficult decisions because of a serious illness, or you're just planning for the future, we have the resources to help you make the best choices for your family.
Making Decisions Together
Talking about the future and healthcare issues with your loved ones and doctors, especially in the face of a serious illness, is never easy.
90% of people say that talking with their loved ones about end-of-life care is important, but only 27% have. 80% say that if they get seriously ill, they'd want to talk to their doctors about their wishes for their medical treatment toward the end of their life, and only 7% have.
The Conversation Project was created to help you talk about your wishes for end-of-life care. Their guides can help you get started:
- Your Conversation Starter Kit - For talking to your family
- Pediatric Starter Kit - For talking to your seriously ill child
- How to Talk to Your Doctor
You can protect your family and give yourself peace of mind by planning ahead with your benefits, your paperwork, and advance directives.
Know Your Benefits
Now is the perfect time to review your benefits and make sure you're familiar with what's covered. You can also register and log in to Your Health Alliance to see all of your covered benefits and track your spending and claims.
If you get sick, it's also a good idea to let us know. You might qualify for our care coordination or disease management, which can give you personal help and resources for managing your illness, or our Medicare Medication Therapy Management program, which can give those on Medicare personal help managing medications.
Prepare ahead to help your loved ones keep track of key information you might need in an emergency, like health care and finance documents and details.
First, gather important documents with this checklist:
Then, fill out a guide with important info and contacts, plus the location of important documents. Make sure you keep your guide up-to-date, save a copy for your records, and give copies to your family, or a trusted friend, and your lawyer, if you have one.
One of the most important parts of preparing for future healthcare decisions is making a record of instructions for your care with advance directives.
Advance directives are written statements that go over how you want medical decisions made for you in the future if you can’t make them yourself. If you have a lawyer, they can help you set these documents up. Making advance directives now, like a power of attorney for health care, a living will, and a declaration for mental health treatment, can help you make sure your wishes are honored later.
- Power of Attorney for Health Care - Allow someone else to make healthcare decisions for you if you can't.
- Living Will - Explains your wishes and what kind of medical treatment you do or don't want.
- Declaration for Mental Health Treatment - Describes what you want to happen when you're getting mental health treatment.
Once you've made your advance directives, give copies to your doctor, family, and your lawyer if they didn't help you make them, and keep one on file. Advance directives don't expire, but you should also review these regularly.
Learn more about advance directives, reviewing them regularly, and getting started:
- Overview of Advance Directives
- Get Started with Advance Directives
- How to Choose a Health Care Proxy & How to Be a Health Care Proxy
More Advance Directives Resources
- MyDirectives - This free service helps you create a Universal Advance Digital Directive (uADD)™
- U.S. Living Will Registry - Advance directives are accepted throughout the U.S., but may not be recognized from state to state, so check for your specific state
- Five Wishes - A living will that also talks about your emotional and spiritual needs
Hospice is special care for people who are terminally ill, including medical and physical care and help with social, emotional, and spiritual needs. It also provides support for family and caregivers.
Learn more about hospice:
- Hospice Foundation of America
- Choosing a Quality Hospice
- Find a Hospice - National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Dealing with Grief
Grief is a normal reaction to loss. Whether you're facing the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a chronic condition that affects your quality of life, knowing how to handle grief can help: