Understand How a Medigap Policy Supplements your Original Medicare

The health insurance which is taken in addition to the Medicare insurance is Medicare supplemental health insurance. This basically is the add-on nature of the insurance that supports the Medicare insurance by paying for costs that are not covered by Medicare. These include charges such as co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles. For the reason that it assists pay for gaps in the cost and compensations of the Medicare insurance, it is also known as Medigap insurance. Private health insurers offer the supplemental insurance plans; the prices for the plans differ from one insurer to another although the facilities offered by each plan remain same. The price of the Medigap policy depends on the type of plan one buys, the insurance company, the location, and the age of the policyholder.

Delos H Yancey , the president, chairman, and CEO of State Mutual Insurance states that common people has certain confusions regarding Medigap insurance which needs to be cleared before buying the policy. It is essential to remember that long-term care, hearing aids, vision or dental care, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing are not covered under Medigap insurance. Also one must keep in mind that Medigap policies that used to be sold in the past cover prescription drugs, but Medigap policies sold post January 1, 2006 are not permitted to comprise prescription drug coverage. If you want prescription drug coverage plan, then there are other policies that you can look for.

State Mutual Insurance has successfully assisted many policyholders for more than seventy five years by offering them various benefits and advantages. In order to avail the benefits, the policyholders need to pay the private insurance company a monthly premium for the Medigap policy as well as the monthly Part B premium that is paid to Medicare. Moreover, any standardized Medigap policy offers the facility of renewable even if the policyholder has health problems. This means the insurance company cannot cancel the Medigap policy as long as the premium is paid.

Medigap policy usually works in the following way:

The policyholder pays a premium on a monthly basis for the Medicare supplement plan. In response, the plan pays maximum of the out of pocket expenditures. Thus, when the individual visits the physician, for instance, one does not have to pay the coinsurance required by Medicare. In fact the Medigap plan pays it for the policyholder. With certain Medigap plans, one may have copay in place of the coinsurance. A Medicare supplement plan is considered as an excellent choice for those who through a military benefits or an employer already have prescription coverage.

Individuals who are interested in buying Medigap plan; the open enrollment period is six months from the first day of the month of the person’s 65th birthday.

Delos H Yancey is a Certified Insurance Examiner, a Certified Financial Examiner, and a fellow of the LIMRA Leadership Institute. Apart from serving as the CEO of State Mutual Insurance, he is a supporter of Habitat for Humanity which is a non-governmental, international, and nonprofit organization in the United States.

Things To Know Before Deciding To Unlock Pensions

Unlocking pension is a term which means taking the money out from your pension scheme before you have retired. Also known as pension release, it becomes a convenient option for many depending on their health and financial condition; however others should tread carefully if they want to unlock pensions as there are plenty of things worth considering before taking this significant step.

First and foremost thing to remember here is to keep you safe from pension scams which have become highly common these days. You can easily come across advertisements luring people into unlocking their pensions. One thing worth remembering here is that the legal age for unlocking pension is fixed at fifty five years. Trying to unlock pension before that age is not only illegal, but you might have to bear massive charges for it as well. You should adopt caution in case you are suddenly approached by someone in person or through phone to unlock your pension. Also, beware of pushy advisers and companies offering loans and investment plans, as these are most likely to be scams.

As mentioned above, fifty five years is the age limit fixed for unlocking pension. Besides this different workplaces might have different age limit set for their employees, depending upon the pension schemes they have to offer. In case your employer has set a higher age limit for withdrawing your pension money, then you can opt for changing your pension scheme. More information about the same can be obtained from your employer or you can get in touch with the representatives of your company to know more about possible options to access your pension money.

In case you consider it better to withdraw or unlock your pension before the retirement age, due to any reason, then it is suggested to consider a few important aspects before moving forward. The very first aspect to consider is the amount of money you will get now, as compared to how much you might have received in case you waited for your retirement age. You should also analyse the need to arrange extra cash immediately and whether you can wait. If it is an expense which can be postponed, then it will surely be in your favour to do so or you should look for other ways to arrange the funds instead of foregoing your pension.

Pension schemes, besides money, bring along various other benefits in the form of health and death benefits, which anyone who unlock pensions might have to let go. Also, the reduced income you will get by withdrawing your pension money earlier will be able to suffice your living expenses or not is the next thing to ponder upon.

Doing all these calculations will surely give you a clearer picture of whether unlocking pension is a good option in your case or not. In case you are unable to decide, then you should look for a financial adviser, who has experience in advising people who wish to unlock pensions. His job will be to evaluate your situation and give you an unbiased advice about your next step.

Top 4 Reasons Why Personal Accident Insurance is a Wise Idea

Most of us know about the importance of insurance policies that deal with life insurance or health insurance. These are the big ones that everyone is advised to look into in order to protect themselves against hospitalisation and medical expenses or buffer the risk of death and liabilities arising due to it. But there is one sort of coverage that is often overlooked – namely ‘personal accident insurance’.

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A usually inexpensive sort of coverage, personal accident insurance is offered by most leading insurance companies, Dubai insurance firms and the like.

Personal accident insurance and schemes in general are aimed to cover the policy holder from injuries, disability or death due to accidental reasons. Minor and major personal accidents are included in the coverage and it is a good policy to consider to complete you insurance portfolio. In many cases personal accident insurance premium is generally much cheaper than other forms like life insurance, so it is an affordable addition to keep yourself covered.

Let us take a look at some of the top reasons to consider personal accident insurance for yourself and / or your family members today –

1.Well firstly, accidents happen; major or minor, life is unpredictable enough and unforeseen accidents add to the mix! It could be injuries you sustain when you fall of your bike or injuring your foot during a vigorous kick boxing class. It could be more major like injuries sustained when playing a sport or indulging in a physical activity that leaves you bed-ridden or a tragic disability due to a mishap. Personal accident insurance helps you financially through a temporary or permanent disability and provides a little support in the days after an accident. This becomes so important when you are injured and bed ridden with your pay cheque slowly getting docked or if a disability prevents you from going back to the profession you are in currently. Some policies also offer options for temporary disabilities and cover against loss of your earnings.
2.Secondly, personal accident insurance is a good way to fill a hole when the accident in question is a little murky in the sense that you cannot ascertain who or if anyone was truly at fault for e.g. When you are walking through a building renovation site and some debris falls on you and injures you. You cannot always ascertain who was at fault here. Sometimes it is more clear cut like a car accident caused by rash driving on one driver’s part, but when it is not so clear cut your personal accident insurance cover will help tide you over financially.
3.Thirdly, as mentioned earlier most insurance companies offer very affordable personal accident schemes that are not a big additional drain on the pocket. The slight increase with the premium payment may be well worth the peace of mind and cover it affords you. You can also find family schemes for personal accident insurance or packages that bundle it with other covers, offering a more attractive rate and further discounts.
Policy holders like yourself opt for life insurance, home insurance and health insurance etc. to help protect themselves and their families, so why not look at something that will provide you with all more coverage and one that fills any possible gaps.

Talk to your insurance company about the personal accident insurance policies they offer. Most insurance companies look at factors like your occupation, lifestyle, working conditions and the like when ascertaining your premium rates

Insurance Guru: What to Know Before You Commit

Are you one of those people who despises looking around for a new insurance policy? If so, you’re not alone. It’s actually fairly common for people to settle on insurance they keep year after year, despite not being sure whether or not they’re getting the best deal.

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It doesn’t need to be this way. Regardless of whether you’re looking for car, home or life insurance, you can become an insurance guru with all of the knowledge necessary to make a wise choice. To help you better understand, we’ll focus on car insurance for the remainder of this post. Here are four things you need to know before committing to a car insurance policy:

  • state requirements
  • coverage amounts
  • annual deductibles
  • payment options

State Requirements

Insurance is something that’s regulated at the state level. This means car insurance requirements vary from one state to the next. You need to know what your state requires before you can determine whether or not minimum coverage is sufficient.
Liability insurance is the starting point in every state where car insurance is required by law. Liability insurance pays for the damage and personal injuries you cause to other drivers as a result of your actions. It does not cover to repair or replace your car. If you want coverage for your own vehicle, you can purchase it by way of collision and comprehensive insurance.
According to Taylor and Blair ICBC lawyers in Vancouver, some states also require personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. You need to know whether these are required in your state. If they aren’t, yet an insurance quote includes them, you’ll have the option of dropping them from your policy.

Coverage Amounts

The different components of your car insurance policy cover different scenarios at various levels. Again, liability insurance is a great example. A policy with liability coverage of 15/30/10 would cover you according to the following formula:

  • $15,000 per accident for personal injury or death of a single victim
  • $30,000 per accident for personal injuries or deaths of multiple victims
  • $10,000 per accident for property damage

Knowing your coverage amounts is critical to making sure you are covered sufficiently. This includes what you pay for PIP and UM coverage. Should you ever be involved in an accident caused by another driver, insufficient insurance coverage may require you to hire a personal injury attorney in order to recover enough money to pay your medical bills.

Annual Deductibles

The area of deductibles is one many drivers find confusing. Simply put, a deductible is an amount of money you agree to pay toward the costs of resolving an accident claim. A policy with a $5,000 collision deductible would require you to pay the first $5,000 toward the repair or replacement of your vehicle and your insurance company would pay the balance.
Agreeing to higher deductibles allows you to get away with a less costly annual premium. The opposite is also true. Lower deductibles result in higher premiums.

Payment Options

Lastly, the payment options offered by your insurance company will partly determine how much you pay in total for your car insurance. You’ll get the best price if you can pay in full at the time of purchase. If you choose monthly or quarterly installments, you will also be paying a finance charge along with various administrative fees.

Buying car insurance isn’t so confusing when you know how the system works. Keep in mind that the principles covered here also apply to other types of insurance as well. So do your homework and become an insurance guru before you commit to your next insurance policy. It is the best way to make sure you’re getting the most attractive deal without sacrificing coverage.

7 Reasons to Get Homeowner’s Insurance

If you are like most homeowners, you will want to make sure that you protect the investment that you have made into your home. The best way to do this is by getting homeowner’s insurance. If you have a mortgage, most lenders will require insurance but there are a number of other reasons you should purchase it, too. You can never be sure what will happen when you are a home owner and because of that, you need to be prepared. Here are seven good reasons to get homeowner’s insurance:

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1 – It Can Protect You From Lawsuits

You might not know this, but you could be held liable if someone is injured on your property. For instance, if you hire an uninsured plumber and they slip and break their arm in your home, you could be responsible for it. With homeowner’s insurance, you are protected.
2 – It Can Protect You From Natural Disasters

Fire, wind, snow and rain can wreck havoc on your home. Almost all homeowner’s insurance policies will cover the damage caused by these disasters. If your area is prone to floods, you will need to get a separate policy. If you home has experienced damage from natural disaster such as a siding damage or a roof cave-in, your insurance company may be able to work with companies like Century Roof Limited in helping you repair your damaged home.
3 – It Can Protect Your Belongings

Homeowner’s insurance will also serve to protect your belongings. If something in your home gets damaged, like a laptop or television, you can get it replaced through your policy. It can also protect your furniture like a couch or a bed. Some policies can also protect perishable items like food. For example, if your home loses electricity for long periods of time, your insurance policy may be able to cover any food that you may have been keeping in your refrigerator. In other words, you may be able to receive money for any food that may have gone bad during natural disasters or damage to your home.
4 – It Can Protect Your Equity

The equity in your home is the part that is over the mortgage value. Essentially, the part you own versus what the bank owns. With homeowner’s insurance, you are guaranteed you will not have to build up that equity again should something devastating happen.
5 – It Can Protect From Theft

No one wants to think that they will be a victim of theft, but it can certainly happen and is more common than you might think. Fortunately, homeowner’s insurance will help in this situation, too helping to compensate for any damage or missing items that may have been a result of a theft in your home.
6 – It Can Give You a Place to Live

Many homeowner’s insurance policies will cover interim housing. You might need to use this feature of your policy if you need to get out of your home for some reason. This could happen if you need service like mold remediation or if your home is destroyed and needs to be built again.
7 – It Can Give You Peace of Mind

A homeowner’s insurance policy will serve as peace of mind for you and this might be the best benefit of them all. If something happens to your home, and you are covered, there is no need to worry about financial ruin.

Money Saving Tips Using Your Health Insurance

The year is about to end and you may be worried about where you will source for funds to finance your costly health insurance coverage. You may be thinking of cutting down on costs, but you do not have precise ways that will help you achieve this without exposing you to potentially high-cost out-of-pocket expenses.

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Insurance expenses to cover medical and healthcare have become unbearable for most people because of increasing premiums, many people transiting to old age, ever rising cost of providing medication to the insured population, and inflationary economies. Below are five money-saving tips that will reduce your insurance costs and allow you access to high quality health coverage plans for you and your family.

Tip 1: Raising Out-of-pocket Expenses

When you increase your out-of-pocket expenses, you will be raising your deductibles to influence the monthly premiums that you will pay toward your coverage. Many insurance providers have designed various insurance plans that allow policy holders to navigate the ever-rising cost of coverage by choosing to lower their monthly premiums. If you are comfortable paying more from your pocket to cater for your medical costs, you will be able to find an affordable health insurance plan. While many countries and states have passed health protection Acts that allow their populations to access healthcare, it is still unclear how insurance costs will reduce since other factors continue to impact the overall cost of access to quality healthcare.

By increasing your annual deductibles, you are simply reducing the coverage that can be paid by your insurance carrier. Your out-of-pocket payments can cater for prescription medication. If you do not foresee a major spending toward prescription medications in the coming year, you should choose that has a larger deductible.

Tip 2: Take Advantage of Open Enrollment

Many insurance companies especially established ones provide their clients with open enrollment plans that allow them to transfer from one insurance plan to another without putting many conditions on the pre-qualifications that are usually in place during normal enrollment days. Most insurance companies require people with chronic conditions and other conditions limited access to a particular insurance coverage plans and such people can benefit from open periods organized by their insurance companies. Usually, open enrolment is a period that last for one month within which you can change your plan and enjoy the benefits of the new plan. Be keen to mark on your calendar your company’s open enrollment days to allow you access most suited plans for you or your family.

Tip 3: Switch to Tour Spouse’s Insurance Coverage

There are situations when both spouses are eligible for insurance benefits provided by their employers. You can check your company’s health insurance coverage options when your provider starts its open enrollment to determine the best option for both of you. If your employer deducts more money toward medical insurance contributions than your spouse’s employer, you can save a considerable amount by switching his or her coverage and terminating your own plan. This means that you can be able to save the extra money if you crunch the numbers the right way to know the less costly option.

Tip 4: Switching to Smaller Doctor/Medical Networks

Most, if not all insurance companies work with more than one network of doctors from which you are allowed to choose. By changing from one network to the next, you will not be changing the type of benefits, but you will be changing the provider of healthcare. If the insurance company has smaller networks than those you are dealing with, you should consider changing since you could lower your premiums by about 10% every month.

You Are Getting Older So What Kind of Life Insurance Do You Buy?

Life insurance is considered a necessity in our world today but the kind of life insurance you choose is up for debate today even more than it was in the days of our fathers and mothers. In those days they searched for just enough to “bury” them. In later years it became the “investment” approach to life insurance. Any good life insurance agent will tell you “life insurance” is not the best way to save for the future. It is a stop gap measure.

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Life insurance is designed to do two things. First, it must be enough to take care of your burial and funeral expenses after you are gone so your heirs don’t get stuck with the bill. This is the same line of thinking our forefathers used. However, it now has gone past that.

The other part of life insurance is the reason to have plenty of it if you are in the under 60 age bracket. You want to leave something for your spouse, or in some cases your children, to live on after you are gone. Noble idea to say the least. As one comedian put it he didn’t like life insurance because he didn’t want anyone to be happy when he died. Well as funny as that is, we always want to leave something for our loved ones.

The problem is we are living longer. Medical science and the drug makers have seen to it we now live well into our 90’s if we’ve lived any kind of clean life. Our 80’s are certainly doable for non-smokers and people without a family history of heart disease. So where does this leave us when it comes to life insurance.

First of all if you make it to your 90’s chances are you are not going to have insurance anymore. You’ve long passed the age of being eligible for some companies and the other companies aren’t about to let you off on the “the cheap.” It will cost you more than the average person can afford to keep it up. So that is a dead issue, no pun intended.

Whole Life isn’t efficient certainly and Term Insurance only covers you for a short time. You are hoping to live well past that short time and if you take a Term policy you have to either renew it or drop it at the end of the term. Renewing it will be very costly since the new rate will be much higher than the old one. Dropping it leaves you without insurance and means you’ve just waited your premiums for 10 or 15 years and you are still healthy.

Wow not too much choice there. The option may be to make sure you buy a policy which not only allows you conversion privileges (change from 10 to15 years and renew) or a policy you can sell.

There are companies which do buy insurance policies and they may pay you what you already spent in one lump sum, they may pay you less than you paid out in premiums or in some cases they may pay you more. This all depends on your health and your age.

For instance, if you are in really bad shape, and obviously you don’t have many years to live for whatever reason and your policy is worth $250,000 you will probably be able to get a nice lump sum back by selling it. If you’ve paid in, let’s say for grins, $50,000, you can probably easily get a $50,000 payment from a buyer, or even more. The reason? When you die and they convert it to a policy they can pay premiums on, they are going to get the $250,000!

If by chance you are in very good health and the Term policy is running out, they are not going to be nearly as interested in buying it because of the money they will have to pay out to keep it going until you do die. It is simple math.

Either way it is an option you should consider when you go shopping for insurance.