Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Role of the “Health Insurance Broker”

A health insurance broker is just like any other type of broker; this one just happens to specialize in the field of health insurance. A broker is somewhat like a matchmaker. His responsibility is to match up those seeking health insurance with health insurance companies that most closely match that person or group’s needs.

Quality is better than quantity. It is of no use writing numerous pages of nonsense for the reader. Instead, it is better to write a short, and informative article on specific subjects like health insurance. People tend to enjoy it more.

Health insurance brokers are sought by those individuals who, for various reasons, do not belong to a group insurance policy. These individuals are often the self-employed, or those with pre-existing conditions. However, a health insurance broker will also work with the coordinators of group insurance benefits in much the same way he works with an individual. The broker is given a list of desired benefits, either by an individual or a group coordinator, and the broker shops around to find the best match. The health insurance broker then presents what he feels is the best plan based on the list of needs, and if the person or group benefits coordinator agrees, the broker usually works to get a contract signed by both parties.

Who Does the Health Insurance Broker Work For?

It’s important to understand that a health insurance broker does not work for a health insurance company. Instead, a broker makes it his business to know all about the different health insurance companies in the area including their reputations, their frequency of rate increases, and even such things as the way they treat policy holders who submit a lot of medical claims. But even though the health insurance broker is different from a health insurance company, it often does happen that a broker is given an incentive (usually a financial incentive) to recommend one health insurance company over another.

There has been a gradual introduction to the world of health insurance projected in this article. We had done this so that the actual meaning of the article will sink within you.

Nothing abusive about health insurance have been intentionally added here. Whatever it is that we have added, is all informative and productive to you.

Will it Cost More to Use a Broker?

We have not actually resorted to roundabout means of getting our message on health insurance through to you. All the matter here is genuine and to the point.

Does the cost of health insurance differ if it is secured by a broker? That’s difficult to answer in general terms. A health insurance broker might be able to get an individual included in a group plan that is offered by the state or a trade union or organization and in such a case, an applicant might find the rates are lower and the coverage better than if he had attempted directly applying via a health insurance company. Most health insurance brokers work on commission and only make money when they’ve matched up insurer and insured. That means that one party or the other (and in some cases, both parties) typically is responsible for paying the broker’s fee.

Because the rates and the rules regarding health insurance are continually changing, health insurance brokers are few and far between. Most states do have licensing requirements that brokers must meet before they’re allowed to work as a health insurance broker. And because these requirements are issued at the state level, they differ from state to state. But if you find yourself lost in the tangled web of health insurance red tape, consider working with a health insurance broker. That person might just turn out to be your best ally.

Percent On Your Health Insurance Right Now

Do Not Read This Unless You are Making a lot of Money!:

If you would like to know how you can save up to 47% on your current Health Insurance Coverage read on… this is going to be one of the most informative messages you will ever read. After reading this message you will never going to have words; expensive and health insurance in the same sentence.

As you already know health insurance costs are at highest they have ever been and there is no sign of them slowing down. More and more Americans are forced to cancel their coverage simply just because they cannot afford it.
Who are the uninsured?

o Approximately 46 million Americans, or 15.7 percent of the population, were without health insurance in 2004 (the latest government data available).

o The number of uninsured rose 800,000 between 2003 and 2004 and has increased by 6 million since 2000.

o The increase in the number of uninsured in 2004 was focused among working age adults. The percentage of working adults (18 to 64) who had no health coverage climbed from 18.6 percent in 2003 to 19.0 percent in 2004. An increase of over 750,000 in 2004.

o Nearly 82 million people – about one-third of the population below the age of 65 spent a portion of either 2002 or 2003 without health coverage.

o The number of uninsured children in 2004 was 8.3 million – or 11.2 percent of all children in the U.S. (1).

You might say that I have great coverage that I am happy with… that’s totally fine.

For past sever years average rate increase for health insurance was 16.2% and what if it keeps on going? If you are right now paying $500 per month for your health insurance in three years from now you would expect to pay over $780 for the same plan. Wait… we all know that insurance companies consistently decrease their benefits and increase co-pays and deductible. Therefore you will pay more for less coverage. By the way if you keep same plan for over five years you will pay over $1000 a month just for your medical coverage. What if you use your Health Insurance?… Chances are if it is not for a regular doctor visits or a check ups it would be considered pre-existing condition. That means your chances of changing to a more affordable coverage in the future will be nearly impossible. That is one of the main reasons people cancel their health insurance because they were diagnosed with something or taking a prescription medication and the insurance company kept raising their rate until they could not qualify for any other coverage and could not afford the one they had.

Now you are saying I do not need coverage my spouse works for a company and I have group coverage… Great.

What would happen if your spouse left that job or the company stopped providing benefits? Probably the most obvious things that you can see how much that group coverage is really costing you. Next time check how much is deducted out of the paycheck for health coverage, especially for dependents. Group plans do cost more money because by law they are what are called “guaranteed issue”. That means you can have serious medical conditions and still get coverage. Insurance companies have to follow the law and they know they have to accept everyone who works for a large company, therefore they do charge more money for coverage. The biggest problem is not the cost of group health insurance it is what happens if some one, while on the group plan, is diagnosed with a condition or starts to take prescriptions medications. We get back to same issues as mentioned before, unable to qualify for health insurance in the future. There are people that want to leave their job but they cannot because they are going through treatment and cannot to pay for it on their own.

There is another solution… Some might save, so what is the point of even having health insurance. Once you diagnosed with something and insurance company is going to keep raising rates to the point where I am going to have to cancel it anyway. Especially if something does happen and I have to use my coverage I might not be working and I might not have income. Is my insurance company is still going to keep raising my rates? YES.

Before you think about canceling your coverage consider this. Here are some statistics

o A recent study by Harvard University researchers found that the average out-of-pocket medical debt for those who filed for bankruptcy was $12,000. In addition, the study found that 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly the result of medical expenses. Every 30 seconds in the United States someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem.

o Illness and medical bills caused half of the 1,458,000 personal bankruptcies in 2001, according to a study published by the journal Health Affairs.

o Average day in the hospital is $7500 per day.

How can you save up to 47% on your health insurance? Simple… You probably already heard of Health Saving Accounts. They are becoming more and more popular everyday. With the way health insurance prices are moving today Health Saving Accounts are the only way to keep your coverage, save hundreds per month on your health insurance and still have a peace of mind.

To this day I was not able to hear a good definition that everyone can understand. I will do everything I can to make it simple to understand. The easiest way to understand Health Saving Accounts is to think of them as Roth IRA or your Company’s 401k plan. Instead of giving your money away to insurance company you get to keep it more of it for yourself. The way HSA plans work is there health insurance combined with savings account which works in a similar way to your retirement account. There tremendous benefits to have HSA qualified health plan. First all the money that you put in to your HSA account is 100% tax deductible and it is your money that rolls over year after year. At the age of 65 and up if you have not used up all of your HSA money you can roll it over in to your retirement account. Second your health insurance costs are going to be cut almost in half. For example if you had Health Insurance plan with $2500 deductible now and it is costing you $300 per month the same plans with HSA qualified plan, now will cost you only about $160 per month. The reason you save so much money with HSA qualified health plan is because HSA qualified plans do not cover anything until the deductible is met. There are exceptions depending on the Health Insurance Company. Some insurance companies will pay for your once a year physical before you meet your deductible.

Let take an example of how HSA qualified plan could benefit you. Let take some actual numbers from actual health insurance company. In this example I am going to use HSA plans from company called Assurant Health. Assurant Health is leader in Health Saving Accounts and they one of the first companies to implement them. The main reason is that Assurant Health is part of the world’s largest financial company that sets up retirement accounts. In this example I am going to use a family of four, husband 46, wife 42, kids are 12 and 16. On a regular family plan with $2500 deductible, maximum out of pocket of $5500, co-insurance of 80% and doctor visits covered with $35 co-pay, they are going to pay $676.40. Something to keep in mind that all of the regular PPO plans that are available on the market today have family deductible which is double of individual deductible. That means that if you have a plan with $2500 deductible and $5500 maximum out of pocket that means that your family deductible is $5000 and your family maximum out of pocket is $11,000. When we are comparing HSA qualified health plans there is only one deductible, once you meet it you are covered at 100% on the most plans. There are some companies and plans that you still might be responsible for the percent age of the bill until you reach your maximum out of pocket. Most HSA plans do not have maximum out of pocket that meant once you met your deductible you are covered at 100%, it’s that simple. The same plan with $5700 deductible for the entire family with HSA qualified health plans will only be $491.64 per month. For the total monthly savings of 184.76 per month. Also your maximum out of pocket will decrease from $11,000 on a regular plan to $5700 with HSA health plan. That’s yearly savings of $2,217.12 and additional savings of $5300 on the maximum out of pocket. (that’s if you have had to use the plan for emergencies) The main reason for starting HSA health insurance is for Saving Account and being able to put money in to account, at your discretion, tax free. You can put money in to HSA qualified account up to your deductible and you do not have to put any money in to that account if you do not want to. Health Saving Accounts are as flexible as you would want them to be. TO get more information on HSA accounts and get quotes for HSA qualified health coverage see my bio.

What Types Of Florida Health Insurance

Packaged Long Term Care Policies

A majority of Long Term Care Insurance policies are sold as comprehensive and stand alone health plans. These plans have options of annual, semi-annual, quarterly or even monthly premiums. There are also other types of payments like an abbreviated payment plan. The comprehensive Long Term Care Insurance plan is similar to the group health plan or individual health plan. This type of plan covers most of the health care alternatives. There are four primary methods to package Long Term Care Insurance.

1. The Long Term Care Insurance may be packaged with life insurance with either or feature which is very beneficial and flexible. In case of policy holder dies, their beneficiary will get the death benefit. While in case of policy holder wants Long term care, prior to his/her death than instead of life insurance predetermined benefits are paid. You can buy this type of policy by either paying the one time premium of $ 50,000 or more or with quarterly, yearly premiums.

2. The Long Term Care Insurance is packaged as rider to life insurance policy’s cash value. This type of policy covers two different types and the premiums are also divided to pay for both.

3. The Long Term Care Insurance may be packaged with disability income policy. It can be used before the age of 65years. This type of packaged policy is mainly for disability income but there are possibilities of long term coverage if premiums are paid after the age of 65.

4. The Long Term Care Insurance may be packaged with deferred annuity that has single premium option. This type of packaged policy is for those people who has around $ 50.000 or more money that is free and don’t mind if it is tied up.
There is pending legislation which if passed will make Long Term Care Insurance premiums exempted form tax.

What is Long term care?

The Long term care may be defined as when some one can not perform their emotional or physical needs without the help of other for extended time period than it is termed as Long term care. The external help required for activities like pain management, bathing, comfort and assurance, walking, toilet usage, meals providing, feeding, money management, phone answering, visiting doctor, shopping, taking medication, transport providing, laundry, grooming, paying bill, letter writings, small home repairs, yard maintaining, snow removing etc. are covered under Long term care. Able people take this type of activities for granted.

There are many reasons that are responsible for Long term care like disability, terminal condition, injury, illness, old age etc. It is found out that around 60 percentage of population require extended help during their life span. For some, the Long term care lasts for few days or weeks or months. But there are some persons for whom the Long term care goes for years. Depending upon the person’s condition they require different periods of care. The care may be divided in to two broad categories.

Ongoing Long term care: This type of care requirement is for extended period, may be for months or years. Ongoing Long term care is required when

1. Disabilities of permanent nature

2. medical conditions which are chronic

3. Daily routine require help

4. chronic pain

Temporary Long term care: This type of care requirement is for short period, may be only weeks or months. Temporary Long term care is required when

1. recovering from illness

2. Recovering from surgery

3. Recovering from injury

4. Terminal medical condition

5. Hospital stay for rehabilitation

The Long term care services may be given in an adult day servicing home, in the house of the patient, even in the house of patient’s friends or any of the family member’s house, in a board and care house or in a nursing home or many other such places.

Understanding Long Term Care Insurance benefits

Out of all insurance products the Long term care insurance is the most complicated health benefit product. The Long term care insurance provides around 16 options of different benefits. Out of this 16 options each option also offer 2 to 5 selections. The story does not end here, daily benefits gives other selections which may be rounded up to 30 in number. So theoretically there are hundreds or thousands of different policies possible in the same plan. With the results there is thousands of premiums combination. For lay man to grasp all this different combination of policy is very difficult.

So to make this thing simple, best way is to limit the choices. For example many employer will pre select only 2 to 4 different combination of benefit, and offer their employees only this with extra riders like inflation protection, shortened pay or non forfeiture. This procedure will leave thousands of options in to only 10 to 20. Many see advantages of this procedure but there are also some disadvantages.

Selecting from very limited options prevents many employees from selecting other batter and richer benefit plans. Some time it is also observed that limited number of benefits which is often proved to be inadequate. The obvious danger of offering limited benefit policy is employees may be under the false impression that they are covered for particular thing when actually they are not covered. For example to increase the employees’ participation rate they are offered incomplete protections which reduce the rate of premiums and superficially look very attractive. Some time initial payment may be lower but it increases as time passes.

It is always better to select a Long term care insurance plan that offers the option of additional benefits. These additional options are mostly medically under written, but the coverage is very broad. Contrary to belief that underwriting has very strict rules and it is very difficult to be eligible, around 95 % of employees are qualifies for medically underwritten Long term care insurance plan.

Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

The Health Savings Accounts (HSA) is some what new in to the market of health insurance. Health Savings Accounts is based on entirely new concept and provide people with great option for health care insurance.

You should consider buying Health Savings Accounts insurance when you are seriously thinking health insurance as a form of investment. There are some restriction and regulations regarding Health Savings Accounts insurance plan. Different person find different benefits that is useful for them, for example if you are self employed than Health Savings Accounts insurance plan offer you the benefit like exemption from tax, up to the limit of $ 2,700 for individual plan and up to $ 5,450 for family plan.

For childless couple who does not own any health insurance, Health Savings Accounts insurance is good health plan, since purchasing Health Savings Accounts insurance and paying premiums regularly the amount of premiums will be accumulated in to tax free money. This money will be like lottery when after substantial time policy holder becomes old and their children becomes young. Large sum of money they will receive when they are old is really blessings.

The Right Health Insurance For Your Stage Of Business

Buy quality self employed health insurance coverage that’s right for your stage of business growth, with an eye to the future.

Right now, you’re the only employee of your company and you need the peace of mind provided by a quality insurance plan. Before you ask for a self employed health insurance quote, though, look at these three business growth scenarios. Then decide what kind of self employed health insurance coverage and benefits you need before you buy health insurance online.

1) I expect to remain the sole employee of my business. Solution: simply ask for a self employed health insurance online quote.

Shop around and ask for a health insurance online quote from reputable insurance agencies that provide quality customer service. Then buy health insurance online from the agency that meets your needs and your budget.

Also read up on and / or consult an accountant to discover how you can deduct the cost of your self employed health insurance coverage. You’ll want to take advantage of every deduction possible without make a costly error in what’s allowable.

2) I expect to hire employees within the next year. Solution: ask about temporary self employed health insurance coverage and also ask for a group health insurance quote.

Let’s say that you’ve gotten a self employed health insurance quote that pleases you. There’s just one more step to take before you buy health insurance online. Ask the insurance agent to discuss how you will transition from self employed health insurance coverage to group health insurance once you hire your employees.

If the insurance agent is too busy to talk about this, then look elsewhere for a health insurance online quote. Also, monitor the dates on your temporary health insurance policy carefully because you don’t want a lapse between the end of your temporary health insurance and the beginning of your group policy.

3) I am ready to hire anywhere from two to fifty people. Solution: ask which group health insurance plan provides you the benefits that you — and your employees — will need.

Congratulations! Your business must be thriving and growing. Discuss this anticipated growth with insurance agents. Compare and contrast the health insurance online quote that they give you for group insurance policies and choose the one that will treat your best assets — your new employees — right.

You can then use your group health insurance benefits as a recruiting tool to hire and retain top quality staff that will keep your business moving in the right direction. When you buy health insurance online you are in fact investing in your company and its assets.

Time for a self employed health insurance quote or for group health insurance? Either way, choose the insurance agent that provides quality coverage and service, no matter what stage of growth you’re in.

Take a good hard look at where your business is headed. Decide whether you need self employed health insurance coverage or group health insurance. Then get your self employed health insurance quote and buy health insurance online that will keep you — and your employees (current or future) — safe, secure and covered.

Florida Health Insurance

Florida Health Insurance Rate Hike

Florida Health insurance premiums have touched new heights! Every Floridian has the common knowledge that most annual health insurance contracts will endure a rate increase at the end of the year. This trend is not new and should be expected. Every time this issue pops up it seems as though the blame game starts. Floridians blame Health insurance companies; Health insurance companies blame Hospitals, Doctors and other medical care providers, Medical care providers blame inflation and politicians, well, we really don’t know what they do to help the issue… No one seems to be interested in finding the real cause of the health insurance premium rate increase. Most individuals, self employed, and small business owners have taken Florida Health Insurance Rate Hikes as the inevitable evil.

Hard Facts

What are various reports telling us? Why do Health insurance premium have annual rate increases?

Rate of inflation and heath insurance premium rate increase.

America’s health expenditure in the year 2004 has increased dramatically, it has increased more than three time the inflation rate. In this year the inflation rate was around 2.5% while the national health expenses were around 7.9%. The employer health insurance or group health insurance premium had increased approximately 7.8% in the year 2006, which is almost double the rate of inflation. In short, last year in 2006, the annual premiums of group health plan sponsored by an employer was around $4,250 for a single premium plan, while the average family premium was around $ 11,250 per year. This indicates that in the year 2006 the employer sponsored health insurance premium increased 7.7 percent. Taking the biggest hit were small businesses that had 0-24 employees. There health insurance premiums increased by nearly 10.4%

Employees are also not spared, in the year 2006 the employee also had to pay around $ 3,000 more in their contribution to employer’s sponsored health insurance plan in comparison to the previous year, 2005. Rate hikes have been in existence since the “Florida Health Insurance” plan started. In covering an entire family of four, a person will experience an increase in premium rate at every annual renewal. If they would have kept the record of their health insurance premium payments they will find that they are now paying around $ 1,100 more than they paid in the year 2000 for the same coverage and with the same company. The same item was found by the Health Research Educational Trust and the Kaiser Family Foundation in their survey report of the year 2000. They found out that the premiums of health insurance that is sponsored by the employer increases by around 4 times than the employee’s salary. This report also stated that since 2000 the contribution of employees in group health insurance sponsored by employer was increased by more than 143 percent.

One business man predicts that if nothing is done and the Health insurance premiums keep increasing that in the year 2008, the amount of health premium contribution to employer will surpass their profit. Professionals within and outside the field of Florida health insurance, think that the reason for increase in Florida health insurance premium rates are due to many factors, such as high administration expenditure, inflation, poor or bad management, increase in the cost of medical care, waste etc.

Florida health insurance rate hikes affect whom?

Rising rates of Florida health insurance generally affects most of the Floridians who live in our beautiful state. The highest affected individudals are the minimum wage and low wage workers. Recent drops in the renewal of health insurance are mostly from this low income group. They just can’t afford the high premiums of Florida health insurance. They are in the situation where they can not afford the medical care and they can not afford the medical insurance premiums that are assosiated with adequate coverage. Almost half of all Americans are of the opinion that they are more worried about the high health insurance rate and high cost of health care, over any other bill they have on a monthly basis. A survey also finds that around 42% of Americans can not afford the high cost of health care services. There is one very interesting study conducted by Harvard University researchers. They found out that 68% of people who filed bankruptcy covered themselves and their family by health insurance. Average out-of-pocket deductibles for people filed bankruptcy were around $ 12,000 per year. They also found some co-relation between medical expenditure and bankruptcy. A national survey also reports that main reason for people not to take health insurance is the high premium rate of health insurance.

How to reduce Florida’s high health insurance cost? Nobody knows for sure. There are different opinions and experts are not agreeing with each other. Health professionals believe that if we can raise the number of healthy people by improving the lifestyle and regular exercise, good diets etc. than naturally they will need less medical care services which decreases the demands of health care and hence the cost.( This year in Florida the smoking rate has increased by 21.7 percent) One Floridian sarcastically suggested that there are ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ in health care that are needed to reversed. That the state of Florida is to ‘high’ in cost of medical care compare to other States and ‘low’ in the quality of health care.

Florida Health insurance rate hike has attracted many frauds. These frauds float many bogus insurance companies and offer cheap health insurance rate which attract many people to them. These companies usually through assosiations that are based in other states.