"At night I slip between the covers, careful not to disturb the stranger lying there His eyes are closed, but I take no chances. I turn into him and begin to breathe in a slow, steady rhythm that mesmerizes him into a temporary slumber. I have learned to succeed where drugs have failed. However the reprieve will be short and the night long. Soon he will wake screaming and flailing his arms as if fighting off demons. The terror of his world is my world. I am his captive and victim to a once brilliant, but now demented mind. Each morning I reintroduce myself to my husband of 25 years. His eyes are blank, and mine fill with tears..."
Meryl Comer, journalist, sharing the experience of living with her surgeon husband as they suffer through his progressive Alzheimer's disease. Ms. Comer is a National advocate for the efforts to treat and cure Alzheimer's and related dementia diseases.
I was reading a trade publication when this story jumped out at me. Not because of the obvious issues Meryl Comer is experiencing, but the parts left unsaid. Her husband was respected as an accomplished surgeon. He had a business that did very well, amassing some wealth, but also a group of employees with families that relied on him and his skills for their welfare.
More people than just the good doctor are affected! The business overhead expenses go on. His staff needs to be there to help the patients, but there are no surgery fees coming in anymore.
The disability income insurance industry recognized this as a potentially huge problem for all types of employers. Over time a specialized type of coverage was designed, called appropriately the "Business Overhead Expense" or BOE policy. These plans are designed to provide cash to businesses when a key person is no longer bringing in the income due to a disability. Several companies offer these plans, and most industries are eligible. The BOE policies are relatively inexpensive compared to other policies, as they typically will only pay benefits for up to two years rather than much longer like a traditional disability income plan. The BOE policies are to be used as a tool to guarantee a cash-flow for the business, to keep the business functioning and the doors open until the key person returns or the business is sold as a "ongoing business" instead of a piecemeal auction of the assets.
If you are a business owner and the loss of a key employee would affect your business you should consider this coverage. Your business and employees may depend on it!
Every few months I will write a column on the aging of America, and the virtues of proper planning for Disability, Life Insurance, Retirement, Long-Term Care needs, estate conservation and distribution ideas.