If your loved one has a legal document called a power of attorney naming you as their agent or attorney in fact, you have the right to manage your loved one’s finances. Insurance, while affecting health, is considered a financial matter. If you have power of attorney, you should be able to receive and pay bills, view records, sort out coverage issues, and change policies on your loved one’s behalf. You will probably need to give the insurance company proof of your status (either by fax or mail).

If you are caring for a loved one, it is very important that you talk to them about creating a power of attorney document. You should also create one yourself.

If you do not have power of attorney, you may still be able to deal with the insurance company on your loved one’s behalf, but you may have to fill out some paperwork first. Many insurance companies will ask you to have your loved one fill out and sign an authorization form. You may be able to get this form online.

When you call your loved one’s insurance company, always have your loved one’s:

  • policy number
  • Social Security number
  • date of birth.

Make sure you keep good records of your conversations with insurance representatives.