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Summit High girls volleyball defeats Aspen; Boys soccer loses to Battle Mountain 5-0

BRECKENRIDGE — In front of a raucous home crowd at Summit High School, the Tigers varsity girls volleyball team swept Aspen in straight sets to improve their record to 2-1.

In their third game of the season, second-year head coach Kelly Schneweis’ team edged the Skiers in a closely contested first set by the score of 25-23. Spurred on by an energetic home court advantage and a large and loud student section, the Tigers then broke away from the Skiers with a 25-19 victory in the second set. Summit won the third set 25-16.

Schneweis credited the Tigers’ offense for the victory Tuesday night, as the coach said the team’s system really began to clock against Aspen. That included precise passing and ideal set location, as senior captain and starting libero Courtney Brown played a huge role in the Tigers offense finding and sustain confidence.

Brown also provided perhaps the most pivotal play of the game. It came with the Tigers already up two games to zero and ahead 7-5 in the third set, as Brown dove to her left out-of-bounds to save possession, ultimately leading to a Tigers point and further momentum.

“Our coach, Kelly, always tells us that the only thing we can’t do on defense is let the ball drop,” Brown said. “So we’ll push ourselves to the limit to get any ball. So any time I step on the court, no matter if I’m playing in the libero jersey, playing defense, that’s the No. 1 goal: to get the ball and keep it in play. So that’s all that was running through my head: to keep this in and to keep my team in the game.”

Summit returns to action at home Thursday evening, hosting Battle Mountain at 6:30 p.m.

Boys soccer

The Summit High varsity boys soccer team’s record dropped to 0-3 on Thursday with a 5-0 loss to Battle Mountain.

The Tigers played with the Huskies early, settling into some solid possession and build-up play during the middle portion of the first half, before Battle Mountain found the back of the net in the 21st minute.

Summit’s strongest scoring chance of the first half came two minutes later, when junior midfielder Alex Casillas got behind the Huskies defense in the box and nearly got his boot to a cross into the box off of a direct kick.

Then right before the half, at the 40th minute, Battle Mountain sophomore midfielder Bryant Ramirez perfectly one-timed a cross into the box with the inside of his left foot, finding the back of the net for a convincing 2-0 lead.

Despite the loss, Tigers goalkeeper Jesus Alvarado played a strong first half in place of senior Chris Orozco.

Alvarado made six first half saves, including a few of the diving variety and a couple where he made confident aggressive plays charging to the edge of his box.

The Tigers will return to action on Saturday to take on Palisade at Longs Park in Grand Junction. Summit’s next home game will be Thursday, Oct. 3, versus Glenwood Springs at Tiger Stadium at 6 p.m.

Immersive extreme sports exhibit opens at Denver Museum of Nature & Science

DENVER — A new immersive extreme sports exhibition is now open at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science for those looking to “go inside the minds and bodies of extreme athletes.”

The exhibition, dubbed “Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits,” attempts to educate museum goers of the psychological motivations and science needed to undertake such popular action sports as wingsuit flying, ice and rock climbing, parkour and free diving.

The exhibition — which opened Friday and is free with general admission to the museum — goes inside the minds and bodies of such accomplished Colorado extreme athletes like 2019 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and rock and ice climber Maureen Beck; Estes Park-native, rock climber and skier Tommy Caldwell; and do-it-all thrill seeker Andrew Fraser, among others.

The new exhibition — which will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 12 (except on Christmas Day) — seeks to delve into, as museum spokesperson Jamie Winter put it, “the common perception that extreme sports are only for ‘adrenaline junkies.’

“While these sports are thrilling to both participants and fans,” Winter said in a press release, “‘Extreme Sports’ dispels misperceptions and shows these activities typically involve high levels of intentional technical skill and decision-making, intense physical and mental exertion and proper use of specialized gear.”

Winter said guests will experience extreme sports through the exhibitions stories of international athletes, tales which illustrate amazing commitment and perseverance. Winter said there will also be immersive exhibits and hands-on activities that showcase science, creativity and innovation. The goal of the exhibit is to inspire guests to learn more about their own personal limits. 

The exhibition is also anchored around a special American Ninja Warrior-developed course created by the Colorado-based Ninja Nation obstacle course arena company. The obstacle course is one way guests can immerse themselves in the extreme sports profiled at the exhibit, along with the ability to virtually race backcountry slopes. Other elements include balancing along a high-line, discovering what it’s like to pilot a wingsuit, taking a virtual leap off of a cliff, racing in the footsteps of a parkour athlete and getting into an upside-down halfpipe photo opportunity. The exhibit’s Immersion Room also provides guests with the opportunity to ride a mountain bike and a whitewater kayak.

“Colorado is the perfect state for the U.S. debut of this exhibition,” Dr. Garth Spellman, the museum’s curator of ornithology and the exhibit’s curatorial advisor said in a statement. “Our mountains, snow, skies, and waterways provide the perfect playground for extreme activities that have born world-renowned athletes.”

Other extreme sports Colorado athletes profiled at the exhibit include American Ninja Warrior Brian Arnold of Brighton; American Ninja Warrior Geoff Britten of Castle Rock; skydiver, BASE jumper, wingsuit pilot, rock and ice climber, snowboarder, mountain biker and diver Dr. Omer Mei-Dan of the University of Colorado; adventure filmmaker, rock climber, skier and surfer Peter Mortimer of Boulder; skateboarder David Reyes of Denver; and the Colorado Springs extreme family of June and Eldon Cornish, Staci Suter and Jesse, Kristina, Alexis and Megan Mascarenas.

For more information, visit DMNS.org/ExtremeSports.

With focus on defense, Summit rugby holds opponents scoreless en route to Terror 7’s title

After a week of practice during which the Summit High girls rugby program stressed defense, the Tigers’ top team won the Terror 7’s tournament by a total combined score of 148-0 on Saturday.

Reflecting on Saturday’s meet at Garry Berry Stadium in Colorado Springs, Tigers head coach Karl Barth said Summit’s 24-0 championship game win over Monarch was exemplary of the defensive work the side put in at practice the days leading up to the game. The high point for the defense came at the start of the second half versus Monarch High School.

With the Tigers leading 12-0, Monarch advanced the ball to Summit’s goal line before the Tigers forced a turnover. Summit then turned the ball right back over to Monarch, requiring another tough goal line stand. Moments later, the Tigers regained possession off of another turnover before sophomore Olyvia Snyder jetted down to the opposite end of the field, juking Monarch’s final defender for a score and 19-0 lead (PK Vincze conversion).

The score effectively iced the game and the tournament championship for the Tigers, who are now 8-0 in individual games, with two tournament championships, on the season.

“For the most part we controlled the game,” Barth said of the title tilt. “For the most part won possession and played in their end, which we wanted to do.”

“We had a few defensive breakdowns last week,” Barth said of the Tigers’ performance the week prior at their home Summit 7’s tournament. “And, for the most part, our team has been stronger offensively than defensively the last few years. Given we don’t have a lot of size, speed can make up for it, once in a while. But organization is a big part of it, how we tackle and how we create turnover opportunities.”

Considering the Tigers’ top team defeated Monarch 26-7 the week prior at Tiger Stadium, Barth said Saturday’s scoreless win was proof positive the team made the week-over-week defensive strides he was hoping for. And the Tigers did so without arguably the state’s best player in Nicole Kimball, who senior was absent Saturday to take the ACT.

summit 7s

Posted by Summit High School Girls Rugby Team on Saturday, September 14, 2019

On the offensive end, Tiger senior leader PK Vincze got Summit on the board first in the final, as she scored after a Monarch turnover, which followed a Summit offensive run down the sideline. After taking an early 5-0 lead, the Tigers extended it to 12-0 at the half with a score from junior Brielle Quigley. Quigley scored via a penalty opportunity for the Tigers. Vincze took it up before going left to Quigley for the score.

The Tigers rounded out their championship game scoring late in the second half via a score for junior Bryton Ferrari. Stepping up this year to quarterback the Tiger offense in a role in recent years occupied by star CeCe Pennell, Ferrari played more minutes on Saturday than any other Tiger player. Barth lauded her consistent composure despite her lack of experience at the sport’s highest level.

Summit girls rugby
Aug. 29: Green vs. White Scrimmage, Tiger Stadium, 6 p.m.
Sept. 7: Summit 7’s, Tiger Stadium, 2-8 p.m.
Sept. 14: Terror 7’s, Garry Berry Stadium, Colorado Springs. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sept. 21: Valkyrie 7’s, Colorado Mountain College, Glenwood Springs, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sept. 28: Lumberjackie 7’s, Bergen Valley Elementary School, Evergreen, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Oct. 8: vs. Glenwood Springs (Homecoming), Summit High School, 6 p.m.
Oct. 11-12: Pink 7’s, Regional Athletic Complex, Salt Lake City, TBD
Oct. 19: TBD
Oct. 26: Colorado State 7’s Tournament, TBD
Nov. 2: Glendale 15’s, Glendale, TBD
Nov. 9: Palmer 15’s, Palmer, TBD
Nov. 16: Glendale 15’s, Glendale, TBD

“She was a beast this weekend,” Barth said. “Without Kimball for the weekend we talked a lot about stepping up in different roles, and Bryton was captaining a bunch when PK was not on the field. She set the pace and was real steady the whole day.”

Saturday also marked the return of Summit senior star Logan Simson, an experienced player who was unable to play the prior Saturday while in the final stages of rehabbing a shoulder injury. Barth said Kimball played about a half each game for the top team, settling in well and scoring in Summit’s penultimate victory, a 47-0 triumph over Denver East.

Summit also defeated Glenwood Springs 34-0 earlier in the day and Summit’s secondary squad 43-0 to open play on Saturday.

After Summit’s second team lost 43-0 to the top Tiger side, the secondary team lost their following two games by a combined score of 29-20. That included a matchup versus Glenwood Springs where Barth felt the Tigers outplayed the opposition despite the loss. For that second side, Barth said junior Elena Francis has been a standout thus far.

Summit’s two teams that played at the junior-varsity level on Saturday combined for a 1-4 record at the tournament, including a 22-5 win over Evergreen. Barth said Citlali Licea Rodriguez provided great defense leadership for the program’s freshman-only team on Saturday. Rodriguez’s fellow freshman Katie McKernan has also impressed thus far playing for both JV-level teams.

“They are both picking up the game fast,” Barth said.

Summit will return to action on Saturday at the Valkyrie 7’s, scheduled for Colorado Mountain College-Glenwood, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Silverthorne to host Maryland Creek Park grand opening

On Thursday, Sept. 19, Silverthorne will host the grand opening of their new Maryland Creek Park. The park will take the title of the largest park in Silverthorne. Town officials and local organizations will gather at Maryland Creek Park from 4:30–6:30 p.m. for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Community members are encouraged to attend as there will be family-friendly park activities to celebrate the opening. 

Maryland Creek Park is located off of Highway 9, north of the Town Center at the entrance to the Summit Sky Ranch neighborhood. The park features over 20 acres, two multiuse fields, a social loop trail, a nine-hole disc golf course, a dog park, a warming shelter with restrooms and a picnic area. The park will also feature a sledding hill in the winter.

Local organizations in attendance will include Friends of the Dillon Ranger District, Summit Historical Society, the League for Animals and People of the Summit, the Summit County Animal Shelter and the White River National Forest Dillon Ranger District. These organizations will be there to provide information about park amenities.

The celebration will include free cupcakes, craft projects in the warming hut, guided hikes along the social loop trail, a disc golf challenge and games in the dog park. Community members who attend and participate in games will have the opportunity to win prizes. 

At least two still hospitalized following Highway 9 crash on Sunday

At least two individuals involved in a crash on Highway 9 last weekend are still in the hospital, according to a representative from St. Anthony Summit Medical Center.

At around 1:45 p.m. on Sept. 15, deputies with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two-vehicle, head-on crash near Green Mountain Reservoir that sent at least eight individuals to the hospital. Seven were admitted to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco, and another was taken to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood via Flight For Life.

According to St. Anthony Summit’s communications manager Brent Boyer, one of the seven patients was released from the hospital following the crash on Sunday night, and five others have subsequently been released. Boyer noted that one person, a man, is still admitted to the hospital and in stable condition. Boyer said the woman who was taken to the Lakewood campus is also still admitted, and is currently in “fair” condition.

There were children involved in the crash, and because St. Anthony Summit typically doesn’t admit children, Boyer said there could be a chance that they were taken to another hospital.

Sgt. Blake White, a public information officer with the Colorado State Patrol, said the driver of the car who allegedly entered the wrong lane and caused the crash has been cited on charges of careless driving causing bodily injury, and two counts of failing to properly use a child restraint or seat belt for a child aged 8–15.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area now closed for summer operations

On Sept. 16, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area announced on its Twitter account that A-Basin is officially closed for summer operations. According to Katherine Fuller, communications manager for Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, summer operations typically close after A-Basin Oktoberfest in order to prepare for winter operations. 

Black Mountain Lodge, 6th Alley Bar & Grill and the Arapahoe Sports retail store will be closed until the winter opening. The scenic chairlift rides, live music series and yoga classes are also ending. The closure does not include the disc golf course, hiking trails and biking trails that will remain open until they interfere with winter mountain operations. 

Fuller explained that the mountain staff will be taking the time to do training with the seasonal winter staff, turning over the restaurants in preparation for the season and finishing up weddings that take place on the mountain. Fuller also said that snowmaking training starts Wednesday, adding to the excitement for the countdown to opening day.

Dillon Ranger District partners with state forest service to expand wildfire mitigation work

The Dillon Ranger District of the White River National Forest and the Colorado State Forest Service are partnering up to increase the scope and scale of wildfire risk reduction efforts in the area.

The partnership — which also includes Summit County and The Nature Conservancy — comes as a result of the newly passed Good Neighbor Authority Program, part of the 2018 Farm Bill, that allows the U.S. Forest Service to enter into agreements with state forest agencies in order to implement wildland fuels reduction and forest health projects across land ownership boundaries.

“We know the work we’re trying to accomplish in Summit County and in the White River National Forest,” said Bill Jackson, district ranger for the Dillon Ranger District. “And the state forest service does very similar work on private and county lands. So we’re embarking on this to work together through this authority. … This will allow us to get work done a little quicker by being able to leverage another agency to help us get the work done on the ground.”

Under the partnership, Jackson noted that the group already has a number of fuels reduction projects scheduled in 2019 and 2020, primarily targeted in the wildland-urban interface, which will allow the state forest service to work with nearby private landowners to increase the size of the mitigation efforts.

But for now, the three major projects outlined for the next year include a 43-acre site at Peak 7 near the Airport Road and Barton Road intersection in Breckenridge, a 42-acre site near Miners Creek south of Frisco and a 100-acre site near Prospect Hill in Breckenridge.

The projects will be funded with the help of Summit County’s 1A initiative passed by voters last year, which allocates $1 million a year for wildfire mitigation projects. Though Jackson noted that other partners, in addition to the county and forest service, have also stepped up to the plate to help fund the projects.

“Really since late winter and early spring we’ve been working with all these entities to get these agreements executed,” said Jackson. “So we’ve done that with Summit County, the state forest service, The Nature Conservancy and we have that multiyear deal with Denver Water. There’s a lot of different entities that are doing a lot of work in Summit County to minimize that fire risk, improve the health of the forest and ecosystem, protect properties and improve watershed conditions. So a lot of things came together in this last year, and the culmination has been the signing of these agreements.”

The U.S. Forest Service has been working with Denver Water for a number of years as part of the From Forest to Faucets program, a watershed management partnership to help mitigate wildfires.

Jackson says the increase in mitigation work could pay big dividends in combatting any future wildfires. Past efforts helped fighting the Buffalo Mountain Fire last year.

“No one can guarantee that fuel breaks will stop fires from ever happening,” said Jackson. “But they can certainly help modify fire behavior. We saw that with the Buffalo Fire, and other fires in the state just last year.

“When these wildfires hit an area that’s been cleared or thinned that behavior lessens. Not only that, but firefighters were able to engage that fire safely because of those fuel breaks, we were able to get hose lay in there, it gave first responders time to evacuate, and those breaks gave our pilots a visual cue for where to lay down retardant. So there are a lot of benefits.”

In addition to an increase in fuel reduction work, the bump in funding to the Dillon Ranger District will also increase the district’s internal capacity to plan and implement wildfire risk reduction activities. The district is planning on adding a new fuels planner position to coordinate wildland fuels reduction projects across the district, and funds have already been allocated to hire fire suppression and fuels crews from across the region to help with cutting and piling of trees targeted for removal.

Keystone Resort sets up new high-efficiency snow guns in hopes of an earlier start to the season

With the race to opening day going strong and (hopefully) coming up soon, Keystone Resort is ramping up the competition with new snowmaking technology. The resort just replaced 50 of their snow guns, which were previously manual or semi-automatic, with new high-efficiency and fully automatic snow guns. 

Chris Ingham, director of mountain operations at Keystone Resort, said the resort plans to start snowmaking by the end of the month as their snow guns are most efficient at 27 degrees Fahrenheit. The new snow guns will increase the rate of conversion from water to snow without upping water usage and some of the machines feature a “swinging arm” that evenly disperses the snow. 

“The motivation for putting in these new snow guns was to get us open as early as possible to get a better value for our early season Epic passholders,” said Ingham. 

One of the most impressive features of the new snow guns is the individual weather systems that are attached to each gun. According to Ingham, these systems determine when snowmaking can begin and automatically turn on the machine when conditions permit. This reduces the manpower needed to operate the machines and maximizes their use as the machines can immediately turn on in the middle of the night when there’s a dip in temperature. 

Loryn Roberson, communications manager for Keystone Resort, said Keystone typically opens around Nov. 7, but with the new technology, the resort hopes to open sooner. Roberson also pointed out that Keystone was one of the first ski areas in Summit that had snowmaking, allowing for a much earlier season. 

The new snow guns will contribute snow to the runs Schoolmarm and Last Chance on the front facing Dercum Mountain. The full snowmaking plan is still in the works.

While the new snowmaking equipment allows for more snow to be created, they are also expected to be more environmentally friendly than the old snow guns. Ingham explained that the snow guns use less compressed air, which saves a significant amount of electricity. He stressed that the resort won’t be using any more water than they did last year for snowmaking, but the more efficient process will allow for the snowmaking team to make better use of the water in a shorter amount of time. 

Keystone also worked with the U.S. Forest Service to address the disturbance that occurred during the replacement of the snow guns and is replanting the area with native grasses where machinery impacted the existing vegetation. 

During the process, the resort also took the opportunity to replace power lines. The purpose of this is to help separate the lights from the snowmaking machines so that lights don’t have to be on when the snowmaking machines are running. Before, this wasn’t possible and lights would be on at unnecessary times. While this will not yet be corrected entirely, there will be some lights that can be turned on and off separately. 

Over at neighboring Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, the snow guns are poised on the hill and ready for testing. The snowmaking team will be out working with the equipment for their training sessions starting Wednesday. The ski area is aiming for a mid-October opening. 

Loveland Ski Area announced in a tweet on Tuesday that testing for their snow guns has officially begun and they are 12 days away from their set snowmaking start date of Sept. 29.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area communications manager Katherine Fuller cautioned that while ski areas are doing everything they can to open as early as possible, when the ski areas open and proper conditions for snowmaking occur is still ultimately in the hands of Mother Nature.

Hydration is crucial at elevation

There’s a reason people keep telling you to drink more water. It’s beyond a platitude — hydration is critical to feeling your best, especially at elevation.

Summit County has some of the nation’s most rugged high terrain and boasts some of the most amazing sights, but to see everything takes work. At high elevations, especially above 8,000 feet, your body works harder to get the same amount of oxygen as it does at sea level. At high elevation, the body receives 30% to 50% less oxygen with each breath than it does at sea level.

The work is that much harder for those who don’t acclimatize to the high elevation before adventuring. The human body is an amazing machine, but it has its limits. It won’t magically get used to being at high elevation; it needs time for certain internal mechanisms to accommodate the pressure and oxygen changes.

The low pressure means less oxygen filling the lungs with each breath, requiring more breathing for the red blood cells to pick up the same amount of oxygen.

The increased respiration at elevation causes the lungs to dry out, as the low humidity and dry air forces the lungs to compensate by producing their own moisture to keep the tiny air passages functioning and able to absorb oxygen from incoming air.

That same physiological response also causes more moisture to be lost through the skin. The Gatorade Sports Science Institute — yes, it is a real place that does actual research — points out in a study it sponsored that sweating also increases at high altitude. The study, titled “Hydration and Aerobic Performance: Impact of Environment,” makes several such observations about performance at elevation.

“… Sweat rates can also be elevated while performing strenuous physical work in high-altitude, cold environments, due to high radiant heat loads and wearing heavy clothing or equipment,” the study said. “When body water loss exceeds 2% of body mass, aerobic exercise performance can be impaired.”

There’s another somewhat unpleasant reaction to exercise at high elevation — increased urination. The body tries to retain sodium and fluids in the body by storing them in the kidneys, which have limited capacity.

With more red blood cells needing to do extra work to carry oxygen, there are also more cells carrying waste products and filtering them through the kidneys. The total added work causes more urination, which slows you down and can be quite unpleasant if you insist on “keeping it in.”

Exacerbated by elevation, dehydration has a measurable impact on performance, even at sea level but especially at elevation.

“(Another study) found that aerobic exercise performance when (dehydrated) at sea level was impaired by 19% compared to that when (properly hydrated) at sea level,” the GSSI researchers said. “Furthermore, aerobic exercise performance declined by 11% when (properly hydrated) at high altitude and 34% when (dehydrated) at high altitude.”

It’s important to remember that these factors at elevation affect other mammals the same as humans — sometimes even more. If you notice your dog drinking more water and peeing more often after coming up to Summit County, that’s perfectly normal. Make sure they’re drinking often and getting frequent potty breaks; their bodies are working just as hard as yours to get used to ambient conditions.

Finally, along with maintaining your own health, Summit County urges visitors to maintain the area’s precious environmental health by avoiding the use of plastic water bottles and other single-use containers by bringing their own water bottle.

Free water filling stations are available around town — check out visitor/tourist information offices — or pop into a local restaurant or business and ask for a top-off. Aside from getting the reload on life-blood, you’ll also have a chance to meet and maybe get to know one of Summit’s many friendly locals.

As you go up in elevation, hydration becomes even more important.

Free water filling stations are available around town — look out for visitor/tourist information offices — or pop into a local restaurant or business and ask for a top-up.

Striving for longevity? You’ll need the right insurance coverage in place

Editor’s Notes: This sponsored content was brought to you by Debbie Aragon, State Farm Insurance

From health insurance to life insurance to assisted-living coverage, there are ways to ensure that living longer doesn’t become a burden to yourself or your loved ones.
Getty Images

Humans are unlocking the secrets to longevity, but as we strive to live longer, healthier lives, there are also logistical issues to consider.

Debbie Aragon is a State Farm insurance agent who does her best to make sure local residents are prepared for their longevity by having the right insurance coverage in place.

From health insurance to life insurance to assisted-living coverage, Aragon said there are ways to ensure that living longer doesn’t become a burden to yourself or your loved ones.

One piece of advice from Aragon: you don’t have to wait until your senior years to think about these insurance plans. In fact, the earlier you get coverage in place, the more you can get out of it later in life when you really need it.

Here are three types of insurance that Aragon can help simplify for anyone who’s interested in learning more.

1. Supplemental Medicare coverage

“I try to demystify the Medicare process — it’s more complicated than it needs to be,” Aragon said.

Aragon reaches out to anyone in her client database who is turning 65 in the next three months to help guide them through the Medicare enrollment process, as well as supplemental coverage plans.

“Medicare is good, but it’s not comprehensive. Without a Medicare supplement, you could be spending a lot of money out-of-pocket,” she said.

Aragon helps her clients understand which supplement plan makes the most sense for each person. She also helps simplify drug coverage — Medicare Part D coverage.

“I’m more than happy to discuss this or educate people about the Medicare process whether they’re clients or not,” she said.

One of the biggest misconceptions about Medicare supplement plans is that you can switch plans easily down the road. Medicare supplement plans are not part of the annual Affordable Care Act open enrollment period, making it harder to switch plans. The pre-existing condition stipulation also doesn’t apply, unless you’re in the initial open enrollment period.

Debbie Aragon, State Farm Insurance.

“If you want to switch (Medicare supplement) plans down the road, you have to pass underwriting. If you’ve developed some medical issues, you might not be able to switch because you might not pass the supplement insurance underwriting guidelines,” Aragon said. “So you want to be with a company that’s going to be there for you, pay your claims on time and not drastically increase your premium.”

2. Life insurance with a flexible care benefit rider

If you’re 50+ years old and you’re shopping for long-term care insurance to cover assisted living or nursing home costs, that can get extremely expensive, Aragon said. Many insurance companies, including State Farm, aren’t even offering that type of coverage anymore.

From the insured’s perspective, this type of policy is risky because you might end up paying a lot of money for the premium and never using the benefit.

“That money you’ve spent on the premium is lost and you don’t get anything back,” Aragon said.

This is where a universal life insurance policy with a flexible care benefit comes into play. If you end up needing assisted living or nursing home care, you can borrow against a portion of the death benefit on the life insurance coverage to pay for that care.

For example, if the death benefit on your life insurance policy pays out $500,000, but you borrow $150,000 of that money to cover nursing home care, the death benefit would now equal $350,000.

“You still have the life insurance, which is the one claim you’re guaranteed to have, so you know it’s going to pay out eventually,” she said. “And around here, we’re such an active community, there is an increased risk in becoming disabled from skiing or bicycle accidents. So, this isn’t just about growing old — it happens to young people, too, who may need long-term care.”

3. Final expense life insurance

This is a smaller type of policy that covers burial expenses. Aragon said this policy is inexpensive, but it can be a huge relief for family members, and it can also provide peace of mind for the policyholder.

“It can help your family pay for burial expenses so you’re not leaving that burden with your family,” Aragon said.