Life & Health Insurance Advisor – February 2017

Insured and Broke: The Problem of Underinsurance

benefits gapUnfortunately, having health insurance doesn’t mean you’ll be able to afford the out-of-pocket expenses not covered by your insurer.
Read on for details.
 
 

How to Be Financially Fit

vision insuranceTwenty-eight percent of participants in a 2015 LIMRA Insurance Barometer Study have no confidence in their ability to make important financial decisions. If that sounds familiar, a financial wellness program can help.
Read on for details.
 

Long-Term Care Insurance Carriers Face Challenges

life insuranceMany Americans have bought long-term care insurance to pay for nursing home care in later years. Unfortunately, many insurers underestimated the cost of providing long-term care benefits. As a result, many have increased premiums dramatically, and many stopped offering coverage altogether.
Read on for details.

Saving Money on Prescriptions While on Medicare

Original Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors, does not cover prescription drugs. If you want coverage, you can buy a Medicare prescription drug (Medicare Part D) plan through a private insurer. Medicare Advantage policyholders typically have prescription drug benefits.

Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – January 2017

Donald Trump and Obamacare

association health plansBefore his surprise election, President-Elect Donald Trump said he would repeal the Affordable Care Act “on Day One.” However, the health care law championed by Barack Obama could prove more difficult to dismantle than Trump had imagined. Read on for details.

Disability Income Insurance Protects Your Most Valuable Asset

2Most people don’t plan for a debilitating accident or illness during their working years. But three in 10 workers entering the work force today will become disabled before retiring. And only five percent of disabilities are work-related—meaning 95 percent of people with disabilities will not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Read on for details.

Health Insurance Premiums Soar over Last Decade

3Over the last decade, average annual premiums workers have paid for family healthcare coverage have shot up 78 percent, while employer contributions rose 51 percent, a new report found. Read on for details.
 

IRS Extends Due Date for Health Coverage Forms

On November 18, 2016, the IRS extended the 2017 due date for providing 2016 health coverage information forms to individuals. Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have until March 2, 2017 to provide Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals. This is a 30-day extension from the original due date of January 31.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – December 2016

Life Insurance Companies’ Dilemma — To Insure or Not to Insure Marijuana Users

benefits gapTechnically, it is a federal crime to grow, distribute or possess marijuana, or “cannabis,” its botanical name. And that can have implications for your insurance.
Read on for details.
 
 

What You Need to Know Before Purchasing Critical Illness Insurance

vision insuranceAdvances in emergency treatments and medical care make it more likely you will survive a critical illness. The question is whether you can survive the cost of recuperation.
Read on for details.
 

Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions – When You Can’t Be Denied Health Insurance

life insuranceThe Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a provision that prohibits health insurers from denying anyone coverage based on a pre-existing condition. But that provision does not apply to all types of coverage.
Read on for details.
 

Life Insurance as a Gift? It’s Not as Crazy as You Think

During the holidays, it can be difficult to think of just the right gift for everyone on your list. Wouldn’t it be great if you could give a loved one a present that would provide financial security for years to come?
Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – November 2016

Is Your Health Plan Ready for 2017?

association health plansAffordable Care Act compliance, along with benefits cost management and employee wellness programs, are emerging as the top issues affecting small business health plans. Read on for details.
 
 

Wellness Programs Work…If Employees Participate

2Getting employees to participate is the key to making wellness programs effective. Here are some suggestions. Read on for details.
 
 
 

Consistency Creates Big 401(k) Nest Eggs

3A new study looked at 401(k) account balances of workers from 2010 to 2014. Participants who consistently contributed had balances almost twice the average account balance of other plan participants. Read on for details.
 
 

Voluntary Benefits Help Reduce Financial Stress

Employers are increasingly offering voluntary benefits as a way to improve financial well-being, new research found.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – October 2016

How to Cope with Health Insurance Cost Increases

benefits gapWhen you’re preparing your personal budget for 2017, you might want to factor in extra money for health insurance premiums.
Read on for details.

Personal Accident Policies Essential for Income Replacement

vision insuranceIf you have only health insurance and life insurance, you might have a serious coverage gap.
Read on for details.

Life Insurance Benefits Beyond the Obvious – Part II: How to Make Riders Work for You

life insuranceIn our last issue, we focused on how you can get a portion of your life insurance policy’s death benefits before you pass away. You can use these funds for serious illness, financial difficulties or charitable giving.
Read on for details.

Presidential Candidates’ Views on Healthcare

Healthcare is one of the key issues in the upcoming presidential race, according to a recent Pew Research Poll. Here’s how the candidates for the two major parties —Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump — stand on the issue. Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – September 2016

How Self-Funded Employers Can Manage the Top 10 Catastrophic Claims

association health plansA new report by Sun Life Financial U.S. offers insights for self-funded employers about critical factors affecting their medical costs. The Top Ten Catastrophic Claims Conditions report compiles the costliest medical conditions covered by Sun Life stop-loss insurance from 2012-15 and explores trends to help brokers and self-funded employers manage their risks.Read on for details.

Private Exchanges Offer Brokers Ways to Help Employers Navigate Changes

2At a time when changing healthcare legislation is creating uncertainty for businesses, private exchanges can help employers stay financially afloat in the choppy seas of benefit changes.Read on for details.
 
 

401ks Leave Most Americans Unprepared for Retirement

3The rise of 401(k) plans has left most Americans unprepared for retirement. The average family only has $5,000 saved in a retirement account, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute.Read on for details.
 

A New Trend: Runners Get Discounts on Life Insurance

Perhaps you’ve seen the ad on Facebook or elsewhere, noting runners have a “35 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality” and may be eligible for life insurance discounts.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – August 2016

Get Your Money’s Worth by Using Your Preventive Benefits

benefits gapDid you know your health plan covers a variety of preventive services at no out-of-pocket cost to you? You may be leaving money on the table if you’re not taking advantage!
Read on for details.
 

Annuities Protect Retirees from Volatile Markets

vision insuranceConcerned about the effect a volatile stock market could have on your retirement? Consider an annuity.
Read on for details.
 
 
 

Republicans’ Alternative to Obamacare

life insuranceSix years after the Democrat-supported Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law, Republicans submitted their recommendations for changing the law.
Read on for details.
 

Insuring Your College Student

The consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act also apply to student health plans, with several adjustments due to the unique nature of these plans:
Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – July 2016

How Your Health Insurance Premiums are Calculated — And How To Lower Them

association health plansThe more you understand what goes into setting your company’s health insurance premiums, the better prepared you’ll be to control insurance costs for you and your employees. Read on for details.
 
 

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Benefits Administration

2Affordable Care Act regulations and other government rules have many employers wondering whether it would be more cost effective and prudent to outsource employee benefits administration. Read on for details.
 
 

The Dental Benefits Payoff

3If you offer a medical benefit package to your employees, you might be wondering whether it’s worth the expense to add dental coverage. The evidence says yes! Read on for details.
 
 

The Growing Trend of Nonretirement

If you have employees who are nearing retirement age, don’t be surprised if they indicate an interest in working several more years. New studies and surveys are showing that the American dream of retirement is being delayed:
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – June 2016

Health Insurance by the Numbers

benefits gapUnderstanding the factors that affect your insurance costs can help you better manage them, and to make cuts, if needed, where they will have the minimum impact on the coverage you need.
Read on for details.
 

Financial Planning and Insurance for Millennials

vision insuranceTen years ago, the baby boomers were the largest segment of adults in the population. That’s not the case anymore. Recent census data show that the Millennial generation has stepped up to the mike. Read on for details.

Credit Insurance: Should You Buy It?

life insuranceYou call your credit card issuer, and the customer service representative tells you about a “special offer” for a “payment protection plan.” What do these plans cover, and do you need one?
Read on for details.

 

Bowie’s Last Gift and Prince’s Mistake

Two huge music stars have died in the last several months. David Bowie died in January, and Prince died in April. The difference between how these men’s deaths are being handled is staggering.
Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – May 2016

Why Prescription Drugs Cost So Much and What You Can Do About it

association health plansPrescription drug costs rose by 12.6 percent in 2014 and by 10 percent in 2015 — well beyond the U.S. inflation rate. And in some extreme cases, specialty drug costs increased more than 5,000 percent. What can employers do to control these soaring costs? Read on for details.

Implementation of Cadillac Tax Delayed for Two Years

2Implementation of the “Cadillac Tax,” a tax on expensive employer health plans, has been pushed back from 2018 until 2020. Many, though, would like to see the tax go away completely. Read on for details.
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The Pros and Cons of Paid Sick Leave

3Five states, 22 cities, and one county in the United States mandate paid sick leave benefits, making the United States the only country among 22 developed nations that doesn’t guarantee paid leave if someone falls ill or has to care for a sick family member. Read on for details.

AHIP Starts Pilot Program to Improve Provider Directory Information

If knowledge is power, most Americans lack power when it comes to choosing healthcare providers because the quality of resources and number available is poor.
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a national political advocacy and trade association, has commissioned a pilot program to improve the way information is gathered for provider directories.

Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – April 2016

Tax-Advantage Your Health Plan with an HSA

benefits gapIs your April 15 tax bill causing you nightmares? A high-deductible health plan linked to a health savings account (HSA) can give you tax advantages not available with other health plans.
Read on for details.
 

Avoiding Medical Identity Theft

vision insuranceLike financial identity theft, medical identity theft can leave you responsible for bills you did not incur. But unlike other types of identity theft, it can also affect your medical records, jeopardizing your health. It could even jeopardize your health insurance coverage.
Read on for details.

Old Life Insurance Policies Could Have Value

life insuranceYou found Great-Grandpa’s life insurance policy in an old trunk? Don’t throw it out!
Unlike many types of insurance, most life insurance policies don’t have claim-filing deadlines.

Read on for details.

The Affordable Care Act and Your Taxes

>Because of the Affordable Care Act, you might have received some new forms providing you with information about the health coverage you had or were offered in 2015. If you received individual coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace or through a health insurer, you should have received a Form 1095-A or Form 1095-B, which provide details about your coverage.

Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – March 2016

Health Benefit Update

association health plansRegulators, insurers and others continue to tweak health insurance benefits due to changes brought by the Affordable Care Act. Here are just a few recent changes and clarifications you should be aware of. Read on for details.
 
 

Commuting Benefits

2A few sentences Congress slipped into HR 2029, a consolidated appropriations act, will bring parity to tax-favored mass transit and parking benefits. Read on for details.
 
 
 

Retirement Plan = Retirement Confidence

3Whether or not Americans have a retirement savings plan is a key factor in their outlook about having an affordable retirement, say the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald & Associates. The authors of the annual Retirement Confidence Survey found confidence levels in 2015 were higher than during the recession, but still have a way to go. Read on for details.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Retirement Plan

Make investing a no-brainer for employees. Consumer studies suggest that too many decisions to make can make consumers less likely to buy; automatic 401(k)s apply this principal to investment savings.

Read on for details.

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