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The More You Know

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The More You Know

Insurance can be one of the most confusing items in your life – but it shouldn’t be. If you know what questions to ask and can find someone to give you the right answers, you will find all the clarity you need. Here are some things we think you should know or ask in regards to various types of insurance:

What type of insurance do I need?
Once I have guaranteed replacement coverage for my home, do I need anything else?
If I have a home office/business, do I need any special insurance?
Does homeowner’s insurance cover me if, say, someone slips on my front steps, breaks a leg and sues me?
How do I decide the amount of coverage I want or need?
How much or how little is covered?
Should I just let the bank pick my policy?
How do I know if an item needs additional coverage?
Are all accidents in my home covered?
What discounts do I get if I have added safety features?
Is coverage for legal assistance included?
Is car insurance an absolute must?
What about life insurance?
How can I figure out how much life insurance I need?
Can I control the cost of coverage?
Does health insurance help if I’m sick or injured and laid up for a while?

There are so many other questions and items to consider for all of the various insurance you may need. We can answer all of those questions for you and give you the knowledge and control to enable you to make the most informed decisions.

The More You Know
The More You Know

We All Need a Doctor At Some Point

What are the chances you will get sick soon?  We all need to see a doctor at some point, which means we all need health insurance.  When searching for health insurance coverage, make sure you know your options.  Underst anding the different types of policies is extremely important and can affect the amount you pay and the type of coverage you receive.  It now goes WAY beyond just in or out of network.  Purchasing the cheapest or even the most expensive policy isn’t always the best idea either.

If you aren’t currently employed or have very little money, there are still some affordable health insurance options available:

  • COBRA – Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • The Health Insurance Marketplace for Pre-Existing Conditions
  • Short Term Health Insurance Coverage
  • Group Insurance from Organization Memberships
  • Group Health Expenses Sharing Plan
  • Health Care Sharing Ministry
  • Health Insurance Discount Cards

 

If you are looking to lower your insurance costs, it is important to remember the following things:

There are alternatives to buying individual health insurance

Know what you need and can afford

  • Make sure you plan has these essentials: Outpatient care
  • Emergency room visits
  • Inpatient care in a hospital
  • Care before and after your baby is born
  • Mental health and substance abuse services
  • Prescription drugs
  • Lab tests
  • Preventive services

Compare ALL plans and costs

Shop around

Pick the plan that best meets your individual healthcare needs.

Susman Insurance has a group of health insurance professionals to help you find the perfect policy and the most affordable price.  Please contact us as soon as possible so we can get you covered.

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Too Unique

Last night I went to a concert at a new venue in Vegas . It was loud, smoky, and full of numerous interesting people. By interesting, I mean people that choose very eclectic and unique ways to present themselves to the public. I am ALL for people being unique and forging their own way, but I laughed to myself looking around at everyone who was trying to be so unique with different clothing and hairstyles and in the end, they all looked the same. I think that being unique is no longer unique. It feels at times that people try so hard to be different, but all they are doing is copying somebody else’s unique choices. There is nothing individual about that. Sure, it is okay to find things that other people like and follow suit. It is okay to be part of current trends. However, life for everyone would be so much more enriching and full of more fulfilling experiences if every once in a while people really did choose to be unique and follow the road less traveled. Having said all that, there are a few things in life that we ALL should do – pay taxes, contribute to society, get a life insurance policy. You can still be an individual and be unique, while you so love and provide protection for your family.
Avoiding getting any of the insurance that you need doesn’t make unique. It makes you irresponsible. Be unique by doing the right thing for your family and providing the protection they need.
be-unique

Refresh. Renew.

It is time to renew!

Within the next couple of months, I will be renewing my car insurance, health insurance, lease, driver’s license, and cable television. It is crazy that when I first sign-up for something, it seems like expirations and renewals are SO far off in the future that I don’t really need to worry about it. In actuality, with how fast time goes by and how bust my life is. I almost have to start saving and planning for the costs of renewals and the time it takes to makes sure everything processes correctly, the day after I either sign-up to begin with or do a renewal.

For something simple like my driver’s license, I know that it is just a quick picture, fee, and I am done. It is something I need and have to have. It doesn’t require review or changes on my part. However, I always take the time to review my car insurance and health insurance coverage every time I have to renew. Not only do the policies, rules, and regulations change, but sometimes so does the coverage for what I was originally paying. I don’t want to be stuck without proper coverage.

Last year I started using my health insurance renewal period as the time of year that I also review my life insurance policy. Just like everything else, I want to make sure it fits with my current needs and lifestyle.

Double-check your life insurance policy. Is it current for your life? Does in need updating?

Time to make changes and renew…
Renew-stamp

Add to the Budget

Do you live beyond your means? Do live paycheck to paycheck? Is it a struggle to pay your bills?

I am not asking if you make enough money, I am wondering if the money that you are making is being allotted to the appropriate items. Yes, I underst and that there are a ton of people out there that struggle so badly and don’t make enough money to just scrap by. However, there is also a ton of other people that make a decent amount of money, but fail to properly budget and don’t stay on track with their financial responsibilities. I remember walking down the hallway of a college once and hearing a girl scream at her parents over the phone, dem anding that they give her money and help her with her bills. Meanwhile, she had a venti espresso in her h and and top-of-the-line purse, shoes, and sunglasses. It was SO irritating. Clearly, she was living beyond her means and wasn’t budgeting!

It is important to be financially responsible. It is important to create a budget and live within your means. It is also very important to make sure that within that budget, you add the monthly payment for your insurance policies. Yes, as in multiple policies- car, home, health, auto, life, etc…It is extremely import those items are added to your budget and that you don’t miss payments. They are your life lines in more ways than one. Don’t stress – we can help you fit all policies into your budget and make sure you are properly covered.

Gotta Budget!
Gotta Budget!

Allergic Reaction

top of that I have celiac, which means no wheat or gluten for me. Sounds terrible, I know, but have no fear – I still manage to live a fulfilling and adventurous life while filling my belly with allergy-proof foods!

I bring up the allergy issue, because I have had some pretty close calls. The problem with having such major reactions is you usually don’t know there is an issue until the IS an issue. I have asphyxiated to the point of needed medical revival. I have swelled up to the point that I couldn’t see. I have had such bad hives and rashes that you could not see a clean piece of skin.

Unexpected death from major allergic reactions isn’t at all unheard of. It happens more often than you think. People tend to focus on the more frequent and obvious causes of death, without paying attention to something like allergies.

Take a personal inventory of the items you are allergic to. Are they simple reactions or something major? These are things to consider in regards to your life insurance. Make sure the coverage is appropriate and includes the risks associated with such allergies. Be proactive!

Allergic Reactions
Allergic Reactions

Get One Already

Why do you not have life insurance?

Health insurance in now required. That is your body you are protecting and making sure it is covered in case a medical emergency arises. You wouldn’t know what to do if there was a major medical expense due to your health and you didn’t have coverage. Therefore, you get health insurance to stay protected. Why? It is the right thing – the responsible thing to do.
Car insurance – required. In almost every state, it is required by law. This covers the physical property of your vehicle, as well as drivers and passengers. A car is a tangible item that gets you from point A to point B. For many of us, it is something that we cannot live without. Most of us need a car to ‘survive.’ What do you do? You insure it. Why? It is the right thing – the responsible thing to do.
So…you are going to protect yourself and have coverage for everything from a cold to major surgery? You are going to make sure your car has protection so you never have to go without personal transportation? Additionally, you choose to cover your house, your dog, your valuables, and more!

So I ask again…
Why do you not have life insurance?

Is treating a cold more important than protecting your family after you are gone?
Is making sure you can get a replacement vehicle a priority over making sure your loved ones aren’t stuck with your debt? How do you think that makes them feel that they are less important than your car? How would it make you feel if you weren’t a priority to you loved ones?
Perhaps it is time to reprioritize and decide what really needs to be protected – now and for the future. Time to get a life insurance policy.

Get One Already
Get One Already

Health Insurance-A Surprise Graduation Gift

Instead of a computer or a car, parents looking for a useful gift for a new college grad may want to consider health insurance.

New college graduates and their parents are often surprised to learn that many health insurance plans stop providing coverage to adult children through a parent’s plan even when they are living at home.

Typically, most adult children who are students will lose their coverage when they attain a certain age, graduate or are no longer attending school on a full-time basis. Since most of these new college graduates won’t have coverage until after they have found a job, many find themselves falling through a gap in coverage.

The number of young adults who fall into this category can be significant. According to a 2002 Census Bureau report, 18-to-24-year-olds are the least likely age group to have health insurance coverage.

Some find an effective way to address this need is with a type of product called temporary or short-term medical insurance. Such policies are designed to fill short gaps in health insurance coverage and usually cover periods ranging from one to six months. Exact length of coverage may vary by state and company.

For example, Assurant Health -a company that helped to pioneer the concept of short-term coverage-offers policies that typically cover periods of 30 to 185 days. Generally, this type of plan is more affordable than permanent insurance plans because the insurer is taking less risk.

Because temporary policies are usually designed to cover the unexpected, most do not include coverage for preventive care, physicals, immunizations, dental or eye care. Also, temporary policies generally do not cover pre-existing conditions.

While typical customers for short-term medical insurance are graduating students no longer covered by a family plan, but not yet covered by an employer’s group plan, the policy may also be of interest to others. People changing jobs or making a transition to a new career, or new employees facing a short waiting period before becoming eligible for an employer’s group insurance plan, may find that it fills a need.

Health Insurance Up 78 Percent Since 2000, Along With Policy Terminations!

Health insurance went up 7.7 percent this year, thats twice the rate of inflation. Premiums have increased by 78 percent since the year 2000 compare that to salary increases of just 20 percent and the real picture starts to have an impact.

Individuals are now averaging a little over $4000 a year in premiums with American families paying out almost $11,500 this year. Companies offering health care benefits now st ands at 61 percent this is down from 69 percent in 2000. It’s estimated that over 155 million Americans will get their health care benefits from their employers. To lower the over-all cost of the insurance plans many companies are now offering benefit packages with higher deductibles. It should be noted that this report comes out after a recent Census reported that 1.3 million Americans where added to the ranks of the uninsured during 2005. What becomes clear here is the long term trend towards the decline of coverage supplied by small businesses from their employees.

“To working people and business owners, a reduction in an already very high rate of increase just means you’re still paying more” said Dr Drew Altman, president and chief executive of the Kaiser Foundation.

Insurance companies have been under attack recently for dumping families that build up large medical bills. In an ongoing case in California the state is investigating a claim against Blue Cross who stopped coverage for a family when it’s medical bills reached $20,000. The family have been left with outst anding medical bills of over $60,000. The company have accused the family of failing to disclose in their coverage application an undiagnosed lump on one of the children’s chins. The family say they (or their physician) knew nothing of any tumor when they made the application.

These types of cancellations of coverage have now created a massive backlash towards the insurance companies and resulted in a number of ongoing lawsuits. The policyholders are saying their polices were illegally terminated which resulted in substantial financial hardship. State regulators are investigating and have said they are now preparing to take action against Blue Cross.

Something needs to be done to protect (us) the public against these (insurance) companies. The hardship caused when a family is faced with these medical bills at a time when they really need the most support is nothing short of criminal. Having taken our money every month for years on end they should not have the right to terminate our coverage. They should by law be forced to honor the agreement they wrote and we agreed too.

Health Insurance Rules

Many dual income couples, include their children on each group health insurance plan to maximize benfits. However, without some sort of system in place to help the health insurance companies coordinate benefits, it’s possible that either you or your doctor would be reimbursed for more than 100 percent of the actual cost of your claim.

To prevent this, health insurance companies typically designate one parent’s health insurance plan as the primary plan and the other as the secondary plan. (That’s why the patient questionnaire at your doctor’s office asks for information on primary and secondary coverage.) The primary plan is responsible for paying covered expenses up to the limits of the policy. If any unpaid costs are left over, the secondary coverage kicks in.

THE DATE OF BIRTH DETERMINES WHICH HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDES COVERAGE

The birthday rule is often used to determine which plan is primary and which is secondary. Under this rule, the plan of the parent whose birthday occurs first in the calendar year is designated as primary. The date of birth is the determining factor not the year so it doesn’t matter which spouse is older.

Like most rules, the birthday rule has exceptions:

– If both parents share the same birthday, the parent who has been covered by his or her plan longest provides the primary coverage for the children.

– If one spouse is currently employed and has health insurance through a current employer, and the other spouse has coverage through a former employer, the plan belonging to the curently employed spouse would be primary.

– In the event of divorce or seperation, the plan of the parent with custody generally provides primary coverage. If the custodial parent remarries, the new new spouse’s coverage becomes secondary. And finally, the non custodial parent’s health insurance plan would provide a third layer of insurance protection. This order of payment can be altered by a court issued divorce decree or by agreement, but the health insurance companies must be notified.

THESE ARE JUST HEALTH INSURANCE RULES NOT THE LAW

Keep in mind that these practices are common among health insurance companies, but they are not governed by law. Practices may vary from one insurer to another. Read your policy carefully to make sure you underst and how your insurance company h andles dual coverage. If the policy coverage is unclear, ask for help from your employers benefit specialist or your insurer’s customer service department.

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