Health insurance has become one of the hottest topics for families, businesses and insurance carriers in the US today. Our lawmakers are continuously at odds and debating the structure and legality of the health care laws since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Since the onset of the Affordable Care Act, the health insurance industry has scrambled to make sense of the new laws and regulations. If you are covered by an employer, you have most likely experienced the request for higher premiums and deductibles with less coverage. Individual business owners and persons or families not covered by an employer’s health plan have been forced to go the Insurance Marketplace. The Insurance Marketplace is a website run by the government. It consists of private health insurance plans offered by companies with respect to geographic area. Once on the Insurance Marketplace, they can find extremely high premiums and deductibles with limited options on policy offerings from carriers. No doubt it is an aggravating situation for all and if you are not careful, under current law you may be subject to fines or tax penalties if you do not have proper coverage.
At Chestnut Ridge Financial Services, our advisors can assist you in researching health care policies from numerous carriers based on your personal criteria such as location, income, family size and budget.
In a lot of cases we as individuals, if we are healthy, take our health for granted. It becomes apparent to us that we are as vulnerable to diseases and poor health as anyone when we experience a scare, or a friend or relative is affected by a critical ailment. To put our health into perspective and demonstrate how vulnerable we really are, let’s review some critical illness statistics.
These are only three of the many diseases affecting our population today so as you can see statistically speaking, we are all at risk of suffering from a critical ailment in our lifetime.
Disease Insurance or specified disease insurances are relatively new to the insurance coverages available today. They are exactly what the title implies, insurance to cover a specific disease or illness that is specified in the plan. Life insurance is the oldest and most common known specified plan and covers a specified event. Disease Insurance is available for an array of illnesses such as cancer, stroke, heart attack, Alzheimer’s and liver disease to mention some. These policies usually have a flat benefit per illness or diagnosis and should not be relied on as a sole source of coverage but as a great supplemental option. The plans are not affected by your traditional health care plan and you may use the benefit to cover costs you incur such as deductibles, copays and other expenses. You should consider a Specific Disease Insurance if you have a family history of a certain disease or if your current health insurance plan has limited coverage or high deductibles. You can use a Hospital Surgical Plan to help cover your expenses for hospital or surgical bills. These are a great way to help you with expenses that are not covered at 100% on your traditional plan.
Most people think their largest asset is their home. However, an individual’s largest asset is the ability to earn income. Whether you are a business mogul billionaire or a young person making minimum wage, you will not be able to live a normal life if you are unable to produce a value (earn income). With this fact in mind, what would happen to you or your family if you (or your spouse if married) were unable to work and earn an income for 30 days or more? In the current economic status of our country a very large number of families and individuals live paycheck to paycheck. When this scenario exists an interruption of work and thus an interruption of income would create the inability to pay bills in a very short time. Furthermore, economic recovery from unpaid time from work could take a very long time causing additional stress to the individual or family situation. At Chestnut Ridge Financial Services, we understand that sometimes accidents happen that create an inability to work for a long period of time, rendering you unable to provide for yourself and your family.
Disability insurance is a tool available for you to create a financial strategy to protect your income should you experience an accident.
There are two types of disability insurance: Short Term and Long Term.
Most short-term policies will cover up to a year of lost wages, while a long-term policy will protect you until the disability ends or until you hit a certain age or retire. You can usually attain this type of insurance at work, but the benefit from a workplace disability policy is limited and only covers a part of lost income. If you are under medical care your expense can rise and the workplace coverage might be insufficient for you to maintain your expenses without tapping your savings or other resources.
Considering this information doesn’t it make good financial sense to investigate and understand the amount and type of disability insurance that you have through your employer and then decide if you need additional coverage?
A Chestnut Ridge Financial Services specialists can help you determine which type of disability insurance is right for you.
In today’s business economy your employer may not offer group dental, vision, and hearing insurance plans. Families and individuals have the option of acquiring these plans on the private marketplace through various carriers with different coverage options, deductibles and premiums. Dental, vision, and hearing insurance plans will not only help you with any surgeries or major medical expenses, but you will also be covered for routine preventative care and examinations according to the plan you choose.
With the rising costs of dental care, periodontics, orthodontics, glasses, contacts and hearing aids it makes good financial sense to make sure your family is covered.
Long-term Care Insurance is an insurance policy designed to create an influx of funds into a household when they are most needed. The need is created when funds are taken from the household budget for the care of an individual who has a qualifying medical situation. By purchasing a Long-Term Care Insurance policy today, you are helping to safeguard your retirement funds for the future. However, purchasing a Long-Term Care Insurance policy takes research because of the many different nuances that these policies have. You should always speak to a Long-Term Care Insurance specialist before buying a policy.
The term Long-term care refers to help with daily activities needed by people with disabilities or chronic, longer-lasting illnesses, such as help with eating, bathing and/or dressing. In most cases policies are set in place to assist people who are older, usually over 65. However, depending on the policy they can be structured to help an individual at any age. The term Long-term care also includes help for those suffering from cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, heart attack, stroke or complications from other diseases as well.
Long Term Care Insurance is specifically structured to pay benefits that other types of insurance, such as health insurance and disability insurance, do not typically pay for. The care that Long Term Care Insurance will pay for can be provided in a variety of settings. You may receive the care in your home, a nursing home or an assisted living community. Polies will cover the cost of assistance in daily living and medical care including home health care assistants. The fact is, since we are projected to live longer the likeliness of you needing long term care increases and the risk of having to use retirement funds for medical care also rises. Long Term Care Insurance places you in a more secure position while safeguarding your financial structure and savings.
Long Term Care Insurance FAQs
Statistically 68% of individuals over 65 will become cognitively impaired and require long term care in their lifetime. Wouldn’t you agree that inquiring to find out if an LTC Insurance policy is right for you makes good financial sense?
IMPORTANT INFORMATION IF YOU ARE TURNING 65
INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE TURNING 65 HAVE 7 MONTHS TO MAKE IMPORTANT DECISIONS CONCERNING MEDICARE PART B. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE CREDIBLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE AND DO NOT ENROLL IN PART B WITHIN A 7 MONTH WINDOW SURROUNDING YOUR 65TH BIRTHDAY YOU COULD INCUR PENALTIES IF YOU CHOOSE TO ENROLL IN PART B AT A LATER DATE. THIS WINDOW IS THE 3 MONTHS PRIOR TO YOUR 65TH BIRTHDAY THE MONTH OF YOUR 65TH BIRTHDAY AND THE THREE MONTHS AFTER YOUR 65TH BIRTHDAY. CONTACT A CRFS MEDICARE SPECIALIST FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Learning about Medicare
Since you are reading this we will assume you are researching Medicare for yourself or a family member. To understand Medicare let’s look at what Medicare is and a brief history of Medicare.
What is Medicare
Medicare in the US is a national healthcare plan which was established under the Social Security Administration in 1966. Today Medicare is administered by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services which is an agency run by the U.S. federal government. Medicare in the US is funded by several resources which include a payroll tax, premiums and surtaxes from Medicare participants and general allocated revenue. Medicare is a health insurance program designed for Americans aged 65 and older, who have worked and paid into the system through a payroll tax. Medicare also provides healthcare insurance to those under 65 who are disabled or who have certain specific chronic diseases. The regulations, requirements and qualifications for all of Medicare are far too vast and complicated to review here. However, we can touch on some basics.
Basic Medicare in the US is based on a three-part system. It consists of part A hospitalization coverage, part B medical and procedural coverage and part D prescription drug coverage. Medicare part A has no premium if you qualify and part B has a premium which is based on your contribution through the Medicare employment tax during your working years. Part D’s premiums are based on the prescription coverage that you choose. The basic Medicare insurance program will cover about half of the healthcare charges for those enrolled. The enrollees must then cover their remaining costs either with supplemental insurance, separate insurance, or out of pocket payments. Out-of-pocket costs can vary for Medicare enrollees depending on the services needed and how much of it is covered by Medicare. There is no limit to the out of pocket expense an enrollee will pay under basic Medicare. The out-of-pocket costs may include deductibles and copays, the costs of uncovered services—such as long-term payments, dental, hearing, and vision care.
Medicare has one additional part which is provided by private insurance companies but is heavily regulated by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. Private insurance companies provide what is known as Medicare part C. Part C Medicare is privatized healthcare coverage provided to those who qualify for basic Medicare, yet it carries additional benefits which basic Medicare does not offer. These plans are commonly known as Medicare Advantage Plans. There are many private insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage Plans. By law, Medicare Advantage plans must offer at least the same coverage as basic Medicare. However, most all Medicare advantage plans offer additional benefits such as dental, vision, hearing, wellness programs and even fitness club memberships. Some Medicare advantage plans will also cover prescription drugs. These plans come from a wide range of companies and vary in type and structure. Some come at no additional cost to the enrollee and most have a yearly out of pocket maximum.
CRFS strongly suggests that if you are turning 65 years of age or if you are already a Medicare recipient you should talk to a professional Medicare specialist to ensure you have the Medicare plan that best fits your needs.