So Little Time


So Little Time

Wake. Workout. Eat. Shower. Coffee. Makeup. Hair. Coffee. Clothes. Drive. Coffee. Work, Work, Work, Work. Eat. Work, Work, Work, Work. Drive. Eat. Makeup. Hair. Clothes. Drive. Socialize. Eat. Drive. Sleep. REPEAT.  (sometimes I forget about the whole eating and sleeping thing)

That is just a ‘normal’ day. That doesn’t include my to-do list.

Life is full of schedules, activities, appointments, routines – and then some.  If you are like me, then you know that slowing down is not an option.  I am working hard to build a career for myself and attempt to have something that resembles a social and love life.  I don’t have time to stop and a read bunch of paperwork or add additional appointments to my schedule.  I don’ want to be bogged down with information that is overly technical and that doesn’t give me exactly what I need in a few short bullet points or paragraphs.  When I need to get something done, I want to do it in the most effective and efficient manner possible.  Time is the most precious commodity.  MY most precious commodity.  I don’t want it wasted.

When it comes to purchasing an insurance policy, I need to know that whether it is for auto, home, earthquake insurance, flood insurance, jewelry, renters, condo, house, life, or health insurance the entire process with be efficient, knowledgeable, and straight to the point.  With our business, online, over the phone, or in person – purchasing the insurance YOU need insurance has never been easier.  There are numerous methods to find quotes and purchase inventory – online, over the phone, thru an app, and even in person (GASP!). With so many options, there really isn’t a time excuse.  You can choose what will best fit in to your schedule. I mean, I can choose what will best fit in to my schedule.

I know the importance of having the proper insurance coverage, which means I also know I need to make the time to get it!

I am busy.  You are busy.  Let Susman Insurance Agency do the work for you, so you can use your time for that crazy-busy schedule.

Nobody Has Time For That!
Nobody Has Time For That!

Plan and Prepare

There are numerous ways you can plan, prepare, and do to ensure a long and healthy life.

*Eat healthy – Veggies, fruit, whole grains, lean protein, low fat dairy *Find a physical activity – CrossFit, basketball, football, baseball, running, kickboxing, boot camp, muai thai, MMA or other martial arts, even walking with a friend on a consistent basis). Pick one. *Find your bliss or mix and match – he options are endless. *Put your head in a good place mentally – the power of positive thinking; what you believe you attract *Choose happiness – no matter what life throws at you, choose to find a piece of good in all things

New information is thrown at us daily in regards to ways we can learn about new tricks to staying healthy and living a long life.  However, sometimes, fate steps in and takes the reins for a moment or two, often mangling our plans in extreme ways. There’s nothing you can do to stop the inevitable, but you can plan appropriately. Again, the key word being PLAN.

We know that it is hard for some people to be comfortable with the idea of purchasing life insurance. Knowing the inevitable can still be a hard pill to swallow – but you have to.

You can do everything possible to live a healthy life, but you still have to take the extra steps to protect yourself and more importantly, protect your family.

Life insurance, disability insurance, critical illness insurance ( and more) are all polices you should make part of your entire plan. Knowing you are living a healthy life isn’t enough to plan and prepare for the future. Financial planning and protection must be part of your daily health plan as well.

Plan  and Prepare
Plan and Prepare

Be SMART About Setting Goals

Living a healthy lifestyle is something that I important to almost all of us.  So much that most of us insure ourselves and our loved ones to protect our health and lifestyle.  There is SO much that happens in our daily lives and we get so busy, that sometimes we forget about our own personal goals.  Setting and reaching your own goals contributes to your success, lifestyle, personal life, and health.  Setting clear goals, was well as creating a plan on how to achieve them can be difficult at times.  Here are some tips to help you with your goals on becoming a healthier and more successful YOU:

  1. Set clear goals
  2. Choose goals that have a defined purpose
  3. Set start and finish dates
  4. Schedule time to work on goals
  5. Track all of your progress
  6. Utilize S.M.A.R.T.

What is S.M.A.R.T?

SPECIFIC: specific, significant, stretching – Make your goal clear, not general

MEASURABLE: measurable, meaningful, motivational – set measurements

ACHIEVABLE: agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented – make goals attainable

REALISTIC: realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented – Make your goal must match-up with time commitments and ability

TIMELY: time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable – Put a date on goals for accountability


Long Live YOU

When was the last time you had a physical, a medical exam or blood work? Your body is the most precious personal gift you own and you want to last as long as possible, right? Well, why not get the insurance coverage you need, so you can stay healthy and live longer.

If you are planning to buy your first home, or have a baby, you need to plan ahead. Life may throw you a few curve balls, you may not see coming, but you will be prepared when they arrive. Nevertheless, your insurance company may offer you lower premiums, more medical benefits and better coverage. Not having the right insurance is just as stressful as not having any insurance. You need to have the right insurance and combine it with living a healthy lifestyle.

Get a regular checkup, keep all doctor and dental appointments, avoid eating foods that are high in sugar and fat content, and put down the remote control, get out of the E-Z boy and jog down the street a few times a week. \

Just like you planned your wedding, your engagement, your anniversary and your baby shower, put the same precise planning to use when you are looking for health and life insurance. You deserve to live life to the fullest without any worry.

Put aside the pride, go to the gym, and watch a health fanatic workout. It might inspire you to appreciate the finer things in life, that money cannot buy, good health, peace of mind, and longevity.

One-way Rollercoaster

Life can be like a rollercoaster- full of ups and downs, corkscrews, high speeds and maybe even some motion sickness. There are times when all of us feel like we don’t matter as much as we should or even that we are undeserving of certain things.

No matter how many sudden drops you are thrown over, no matter how many sharp turns at high speeds lie ahead, no matter how motion sick life events you may make you feel, you should never question yourself. You deserve an amazing life and you deserve to protect yourself and your loved ones.

By protection, we mean Life Insurance. People often think they don’t need to bother with life insurance, because of their lack of husb and/wife or lack of children. Others think they don’t need life insurance, because they are young, healthy, and think they are invincible. Some people don’t think they can get affordable life insurance, because they’re elderly or have a pre-existing/current medical issue. Some people think they don’t need life insurance because they think they are financially set for the future with a simple retirement plan.

If you fall into any of those categories, please underst and that we are being honest when we tell you that YOU ARE WRONG.
No matter what you do in life, no matter what your age or job title or health history, your life is valuable and is worth protecting. Life is only a one-way ticket on the rollercoaster ride. Make sure you have all areas of it covered and protected.

Health Insurance – Is Some Better Than None?

About 50 years ago, health insurance started to be an attractive incentive offered by employers to attract and keep good employees. Overall, group plans tended to be inexpensive for employers, with employees contributing a small amount of money or none at all to secure health insurance for themselves and their families.

It was more expensive for individuals to pay for non-group policies, but coverage was fairly affordable. Then medical costs started to rise, people started to live longer and the medical profession became adept at curing various diseases and saving and prolonging the lives of people with serious injuries and life-threatening illnesses. Health care and insurance prices started rising much more quickly than annual incomes and premiums began taxing both employers, who were paying the lion’s share of premiums, and for employees, to whom businesses often passed on costs through larger deductibles, greater out of pocket expenses and higher premiums.

According to a recent report by the MSNBC News Service, 41 percent of Americans whose income ranges from moderate to middle had no health insurance for at least part of 2005. In 2001, that number was much lower—28 percent. Additionally, more than 50 percent of uninsured Americans in 2005 found it difficult to pay their medical bills. Another alarming statistic—28 percent of Americans in 2005 had no health insurance, while 24 percent had none in 2001.

So, what should a person do if they don’t have any health insurance or if they have a choice between a cheap discount plan that does not cover core expenses and an affordable plan that may cost a bit more but also provides much better coverage? According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of people who are not covered for important screening tests, such as a mammogram, colon cancer screening or a PSA test, will not undergo those exams. Also, close to 60 percent of people without health insurance missed treatment or did not buy medicine needed for a chronic condition.

All of these figures point to one thing—people who lack health coverage for essential services are often unable to pay for those services, putting them at greater risk for developing new or exacerbating existent health conditions.

What should you look for in a health insurance plan, especially when cost is an issue? It’s important that you get the best coverage you can afford. Skimping on premiums can save you money upfront, but the result can prove to be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Sometimes people can’t afford coverage and sometimes they believe because they are healthy that they simply don’t need it. However, healthy people get ill or are involved in serious accidents all the time. You never know when you’ll need coverage.

Some people opt for “catastrophic” insurance, which usually covers only major medical and hospital expenses above a specific deductible. Under such a plan, the insured pays for routine doctor visits and prescription drugs. With this type of plan, you’ll pay a low monthly premium but will also have a high deductible and limited coverage. Deductibles start at $500 per year but can be considerably more. If you purchase an inexpensive policy with a $10,000 deductible and you undergo surgery that costs $8,000, you must pay that $8,000. If your surgery costs $12,000, you would owe $10,000.

One insurance company offers a plan that costs $29 per month for a 21 year-old, non-smoking female. There’s a yearly $250 deductible and $2,500 in out of pocket expenses that the insured must pay before the policy kicks in. Hospital, surgical and x-ray expenses are covered but other costs, such as doctor visits, prescription drugs, maternity care and mental healthcare are not included. There’s a lifetime maximum of $1 million.

It’s certainly a bargain, if you don’t plan on going to the doctor very often. To enroll in a plan that will cover doctor visits, prescriptions, maternity expenses and more could easily cost $400 per month—a jump of $371 every 30 days for a total cost of $4,800 per year!

Group health insurance plans, which you can usually enroll in through your employer, union or guild, are the best buy. Individual plans, especially those that offer comprehensive coverage, can be crippling to many people’s pocketbooks. When buying health insurance, it’s important to shop around. Your choice of what type of plan you purchase will be determined by what you can afford and what you need as far as insurance is concerned. There’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to health insurance but at the very least you should have catastrophic insurance.

There are basically three types of plans—Fee-For-Service, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO). Fee-For-Service plans offer the most choice regarding doctors and hospitals but they often involve quite a bit of paperwork and are the most expensive. If you’re willing to give up some or a lot of choice, do less paperwork and save some money on premiums then either a HMO or a PPO is for you.

A HMO offers the least amount of choice, involves co-pays, has the least amount of paperwork and is the cheapest of the three types of insurance. A PPO combines some elements of Fee-For-Service and a HMO. You’ll have more choice than you would with a HMO but less than you would with a Fee-For-Service plan. It tends to be more expensive than a HMO but less expensive than Fee-For-Service. All three types of insurance have some aspect of Managed Care—which determines how much health care you can use—attached to them, with Fee-For-Service having the fewest restrictions and a HMO being restricted the most.

When shopping for health insurance ask the following questions—

* How much is the premium?
* What services are covered?
* What are the total deductible and out of pocket expenses per year?
* How much are the co-pays?
* What is the maximum lifetime benefit?
* How much freedom will you have when choosing doctors and hospitals?
* What are the pre-approval procedures for seeing specialists, undergoing a procedure or being given a test?
* What prescription drugs are covered and to what degree?
* Is mental health covered and to what degree?
* Is dental covered and to what degree?

As you begin to narrow down your choices, you can look more closely at specific plans that seem to fit your needs and determine which offer you the best value for your dollar?

America has one of the finest healthcare systems in the world and one of the most complex health insurance systems across the globe. Often, they seem to be at odds with one another, unable to communicate and work together. That can be one of the most frustrating parts of anyone’s foray into the world of healthcare professionals, hospitals and health insurance companies. For this reason alone, it’s important that you carefully and thoughtfully choose your healthcare benefits provider.

Health And Retirement

In planning for your retirement, buying disability, health or long-term care insurance is important. The insurance company would usually want to know a lot about you. You will be classified based on your habits, medical records and family history.

You have to have an underst anding of your own health. The biggest factor in determining the insurance cost is your health.

Here is some advice from insiders to get the best health ranking possible at lowest possible rates:

1. Tell the truth

Hiding some facts on your health will not help you. First, the insuring company will eventually find out because they do have your records. They will presume that the problem is serious, since you did not mention it. Worse, withholding info the company regards as important could lead to the cancellation of your policy.

Give the insurance company your complete health history. But do it under your own terms. For example, don’t just say that you have high blood pressure. Inform them that you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure several years ago and have kept control of it.

Give them complete information and reduce the uncertainty, then eventually you would get a good deal.

Be careful on how you say things, a hesitant answer would seem that you are hiding something. Be as clear as possible with your replies.

Ask what the ranking is based on. There would generally be criteria in determining the health ranking and it varies from one company to another. Determine your ranking in a specific company and why. This helps you get a better picture and hopefully and decrease your premium. Canvass for the best rates possible but know that the rate is just one consideration.

2. Your doctor can help.

Inform your physician. Insurance companies would want to talk with your physician and look at your records. If not that, they would at least look at your records at the Medical Insurance Bureau.

Your best move is to inform your physician that you’re applying for insurance. A forewarning helps in ensuring that the insurance company gets noticed and gives you in return a favorable rating.

Ensure that the company gets a complete record, especially if you have moved from one doctor to another. The insurance company wants all of your health records to get a complete idea of your state of health.

Inquire discretely. Too much inquiry might raise a red flag on you. Try to get an agent to do the shopping for you. Choose your insurance broker carefully. Just like other professionals, they’re not created equal.

Family Health Insurance Plan – Saving Money Is Becoming Easier

Every once in awhile there will be front page news about the health care crisis. The escalating costs for hospital and physician services are making it more difficult for the insurance companies to stay competitive and at the same time take care of the needs of their policyholders. A family health insurance plan in today’s marketplace is evolving into something quite different from years past. The employer group health insurance insures the majority of Americans but there is a trend developing. There are more folks leaving their employer to start their own business. When you add that group of people to the folks that leave their employer because of lay-offs, illness, and terminations then you are creating a great dem and for family health insurance.

Insurance companies are working hard to develop new solutions. The federal government has great interest in health care insurance. The hospitals and physicians are deeply affected by the insurance industry.
There has been a major shift in thinking about health insurance. It has become increasingly clear that higher deductible health insurance plans are much more cost efficient in the long run compared to the low deductible plans of years past. The higher deductibles reduce the cost of health insurance dramatically. The lower deductibles are no longer in vogue. The high premiums for the low deductible no longer justify the premiums.

Today’s Trends

1. High Deductible Major Med – The insurance professionals are encouraging people to take the higher deductible major medical policies. You are well protected for a major illness or injury in exchange for self-insuring the smaller claims.

2. Health Savings Accounts – This is the federal government’s contribution to the health insurance dilemma. These savings accounts are established by the individual for medical expenses only. They are tax deductible similar to an IRA and are great vehicles to use for the out of pocket expense from the higher deductible.

Expensive Health Insurance? Ways To Cut The Cost.

You may have noticed an increase in your health insurance premium recently. Here we examine some of the possible reasons for this and look into ways of combating them.

According to the market-research group Datamonitor, medical inflation is the reason for yearly increases of 8% in health insurance premiums. The steady progress in the development of new drugs, therapies and equipment used to diagnose medical conditions and the resulting costs are an obvious reason for this. This is underst andable and everyone wants the latest in diagnostics and treatments. Equipment becomes obsolete with time and invariably the very words newer and improved mean a rise in cost.

Another reason may be that insurance risks and therefore costs increase with age. Many insurance companies still use age b ands, where costs increase at the end of a ten-year period. For example, someone aged between 40 and 49 would pay their normal agreed premium. Reach the dreaded 50 and the next bracket is between 50 and 59, and so on. The increase is greater with age and could be as much as 50% in the 60 to 69 category.

Many insurers have chosen to smooth out the increases on a yearly basis. BUPA, Pruhealth and Axa PPP are three of these. Axa PPP customers, for example, should expect a rise in the cost of premiums by about 2%, due to their age. Other insurers are said to be thinking of introducing this method.

The fast rising costs of medical insurance is worrying consumers and many are making the decision to terminate their policies when they’re coming up to their 60’s and this may be just when their need is greatest. Datamonitor has issued figures showing that there was a drop of 15.2% in the number of people with private medical insurance in the 7 years prior to 2004.

With this in mind, insurers have come up with some ways to cut the costs. You could opt for an excess on the policy, effectively working out a plan to suit your budget. For instance BUPA tell us that if you were willing to pay a £2000 excess, you would halve your premium. An excess of £100 could quite well reduce your bill by around 10%.

No-claims discounts are another possible way to reduce your premium and it’s possible to obtain up to a 50% saving. You should be able to transfer this if you decide to change providers.

There’s a big variation in the way in which companies treat no claims discounts. Axa PPP offers an immediate 27.5% no claims discount at the start of a policy, but make a claim and this is lost. Not all BUPA’s policies include the provision for no claims discounts, but some do and they guarantee that in the event of a claim, the resulting rise in premium will be a maximum of 10%.

Pruehealth encourage their policyholders to stay healthy in order to reduce their premiums. You can get between 25 and 100 per cent off next year’s premium, depending on the effort you put into it. Points are given for various activities and lifestyle changes.

With all these choices, it’s an excellent time to investigate the options. Don’t just keep paying out and certainly don’t lose that valuable cover by cancelling your health insurance, just get on line and find an insurance broker who will find the right cover for you at a price to suit your budget. Your pocket will benefit too, with the on-line discount.

Do You Need Health Or Travel Insurance?

Obtaining medical treatment and hospital care can be costly for travelers who are injured or who become seriously ill overseas. The Social Security Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide coverage for hospital or medical services outside the United States.

Before you leave the United States, you should be informed about which medical services your health insurance will cover abroad.

Senior citizens may wish to contact the American Association of Retired Persons for information about foreign medical care coverage with Medicare supplement plans.

If your health insurance policy does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs abroad, you are urged to purchase a temporary health policy that does provide this type of coverage. There are short-term health and emergency assistance policies designed for travelers.

You can find the names of companies that provide such policies from your travel agent, your health insurance company, or from advertisements in travel publications. In addition to health insurance, many policies include trip cancellation, baggage loss, and travel accident insurance in the same package. Some traveler’s check companies have protection policies available with the purchase of traveler’s checks.

Medical Evacuation

Although some health insurance companies may pay “customary and reasonable” hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for medical evacuation back to the United States. Medical evacuation can easily cost $10,000 or more, depending on your location and medical condition.

One of the main advantages of health and emergency assistance policies is that they often include coverage for medical evacuation to the United States. Even if your regular health insurance covers you for emergencies abroad, you should consider purchasing supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Whichever health insurance coverage you choose for travel overseas, remember to carry with you both your health insurance policy identity card and claim forms.

Do You Need Travel Insurance?

You may not need travel insurance, if you are already adequately covered by other insurance policies.

Depending on the travel insurance plan, travel insurance usually promises to cover you for cancellation or interruption of your trip, some form of emergency medical care while you are traveling, lost or stolen luggage, and various other troublesome occurrences.

Before you decide on a travel insurance plan, it is wise to investigate the plan carefully and read the fine print. You should closely check any agreements with your travel agent, tour operator, airline, or other companies involved with your travel plans. The agreements may include written guarantees.

If you have a fully refundable airline ticket, you may decide that you would not need trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

On the other h and, it may be worthwhile noting that certain insurance plans can protect you by covering the financial costs in case of the following situations:

A sudden, serious injury or illness to you, a family member, or a traveling companion.
Financial default of the airline, cruise line or tour operator.

Natural disasters or strikes that impede travel services.

A terrorist incident in a foreign city within 10 days of your scheduled arrival in that particular city.

The fact that you, a traveling member of your family, or a traveling companion were quarantined served with a court order or required to serve on a jury.

A circumstance in which you were directly involved in an accident enroute to departure for your trip.

It is a good idea to check your other insurance policies. For instance, your homeowners or tenants insurance may cover the loss or theft of your luggage.

Certain credit cards may also provide additional travel insurance, if you have used them to purchase the ticket for your trip.

Your health insurance may provide certain coverage, regardless of where you travel. But it is very important to note that some policies only partially cover medical expenses abroad. Moreover, as previously explained in the section on Health Insurance, Medicare/Medicaid will not cover hospital and medical services outside the United States.

Your travel agent should be able to advise you about the right plan for you. Before purchasing travel insurance, review the plan carefully, and be wary of buying coverage that you may already have.