Single? Don’t Skimp on Disability Insurance

March 26, 2009



You are throwing away money when buying the cheapest policy on the
market. The odds of getting paid a monthly benefit under that
contract may be extremely lower than receiving benefits from a
quality contract. Individual disability insurance is designed to
replace anywhere from 45-60% of your gross income. This is designed
on a tax-free basis should a sickness or illness prevent you from
earning an income in your current occupation. Every disability
insurance plan has a different definition of total disability in
the policy. There are three basic types:

Own-Occupation Disability Insurance

If are deemed incapable to perform the duties of your regular
occupation, the company will pay the claim. You are even allowed to
get another job in a different field and still be paid. This is the
only plan that does not penalize somebody for going back to work in
a different occupation while on a claim.

Income Replacement Insurance

This is the most common definition of total disability in the last
few years. Most insurance carrier has moved to an income
replacement definition, if they stopped offering own-occupation
disability insurance. You will be penalized or lose the benefit if
you work while on a claim.

Gainful Occupation Coverage

This is a very common definition in an employer sponsored long-term
disability policy. This is also very popular with property and
casualty insurance companies who have decided to release a
disability insurance policy to offer more options to their clients
and put a foot in the market. This is the worst possible definition
and leaves whether you are disabled or not up to the insurance
company itself.

The first aspect of any disability insurance policy one needs to
understand is the renew ability feature. Non-Cancelable and
Guaranteed Renewable guarantees you that after you purchased the
policy there will be no changes to your premium schedule, monthly
benefits, or policy benefits to age 65 or whatever age you elected.
The insurance company legally cannot change anything concerning
your policy unless you want them to. A Guaranteed Renewable plan
states that an insurance company will probably not change anything
about the policy, but they can if they choose to at anytime. A
Conditionally Renewable plan is a policy that offers you virtually
no guarantees for your disability insurance policy. Stay away from
these policies; you will get burned. Next you will need to know
what you can expect if you get disabled.

There will be a period of time from the on set of your disability
till you receive a benefit check. This is called the elimination
period. The industry has made the most common offer a 90-day
elimination period for an individual disability insurance policy.
You can expect a high charge if you choose to go with a shorter
elimination period of 30, or 60 days. Most companies will also give
you a price break if you can go longer than 90 days. Now once the
checks star coming you have moved into your benefit period.
Choosing this is most important. You don’t want to be left with out
money to live on if you are disabled forever and picked a five-year
policy. This is time frame you will be getting a check, think
long-term, if you don’t need it than who cares, you might sometime
later. Once the elimination period has been satisfied, monthly
benefit checks will begin to come in at the end of each month. Your
benefits will stop when you return to work in your occupation, or
another occupation making the same income. The most popular choice
for a disability insurance policy is to age 65. Some people prefer
to go with lifetime with a higher premium.

A Cost of Living Adjustment is a rider that kicks in if you
actually go on a disability insurance claim, it will increase your
monthly benefit every year while you are on a claim along with the
CPI up to the maximum you elected. You have to be disabled for more
than a year to use it. A Future Increase Option is a rider locks in
your insurability for a certain period of time (normally to age
55). So, as you increase in age, and increase your income level,
you can increase your monthly benefit regardless of any health
changes. An Automatic Increase Rider increases your total monthly
benefit each year for about five years. Your premium will go up
with this rider each year because you are buying more disability
insurance coverage. Make sure you look at these carefully and pick
one that is best for you if you want the extra coverage.

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational and informational
purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for
professional advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed Insurance
Agent or Broker with any questions you may have regarding any
Insurance Matter.

Single? Don’t Skimp on Disability Insurance

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Pros and Cons of Supplemental Health Insurance

November 25, 2008



Supplemental insurance benefits, like cancer insurance or
heart/stroke insurance are paid directly to the insured, unless
otherwise required by Medicare supplemental insurance. Hospital and
major medical insurance benefits are paid directly to the provider,
which you would only have to pay small co-pay, if anything. But if
an emergency were to happen or you had a specific disease or
condition that was going to cost you out of pocket expenses,
investing in a supplemental plan is a good idea. As a policyholder,
you can use those benefits to help with your out-of-pocket expenses
or loss of income. Supplemental insurance products such as cancer
and accidental injury insurance are not a replacement for major
medical insurance. These types of policies help to cover expenses
that are not covered by major medical insurance and reduce the
money paid out by the insured. These policies can also paid for
lost income in the case of missing work.

Supplemental medical insurance only provides coverage after your
regular medical insurance has been exhausted. Supplemental medical
insurance is used to pick up where basic medical insurance leaves
off. You will have to hold a regular health plan to be able to use
the supplemental insurance. When this coverage is exhausted, your
supplemental medical coverage would begin paying. Supplemental
medical coverage is written in a separate policy, and does not
include coverage for basic doctor visits. Supplemental insurances
are definitely lifesavers for many people. The only downside is
that they can be expensive and useless if you never need them. You
have to pay for your regular medical coverage and now add an extra
policy or two and that can get pretty high. If you try to purchase
a policy after you have become ill or injured it won’t cover a
pre-existing condition, so you will pay out and not receive and
benefits for the condition you already have. The idea is that you
have to buy into a supplemental plan prior to the incident so they
can collect off of you being healthy. Here are some plans for
supplementing your health insurance that can be used at any age.

Cancer Insurance provides benefits to help cover costs for cancer
treatment and other related expenses associated with the disease.
Most policies provide direct-to-policyholder cash benefits for
daily hospitalization and intensive care unit confinement, as well
as for surgery, anesthesia, chemotherapy, radiation, and
preventative care. This is a good plan to have if you have a family
history of cancer, it could save your life and your wallet.

Critical Condition/Critical Illness Insurance is a policy designed
to provide you with a lump sum benefit to help pay out-of-pocket
expenses if you suffer a heart attack, stroke, have heart surgery,
cancer (except skin cancer) or several other conditions. It covers
illnesses and diseases that cause you to hospitalized for critical
condition and picks up where you regular benefits left off.

Disability Income Protection supplements lost income by paying a
monthly benefit to you if you become partially or totally disabled
due to a covered illness. This also provides a daily benefit for
in-patient hospitalization for a covered illness. This policy has a
reduction in benefits after age 65.

Hospital Emergency Recovery & Outpatient Insurance (Supplemental
Medical) provides benefits for treatment due to a covered illness
including daily benefits for in-patient hospitalization, intensive
care and recovery care following hospital confinement due to a
covered illness. It also provides a benefit for outpatient surgery
and emergency room treatment for each covered illness.

Some of the plans geared toward the elderly and retiring persons
are actually very smart to have. They can help pay for things that
Medicare won’t or can’t. They also offer assistance if you ever
need to be cared for at home, move to an assisted living home, or
need to go to a nursing home. These types of expenses can leave
other family members in debt after you are gone. Funeral and burial
are usually also covered. This gives many folks the ability to
leave their families something other than bills. Also with
assistance for medication there is more money to enjoy while you
are still around. Some age related supplemental insurances are:

Long Term Care Insurance can help cover the high cost of a variety
of long-term care options such as: assisted living facilities,
medical home care, custodial home care, adult day care, and if
necessary, nursing home care, up to specified policy limits.
Includes bed reservation benefit, respite and hospice care,
emergency response system, and caregiver training. For an
additional cost, you have the option of a valuable cost-of-living
adjustment option. Separate Nursing Home Care and Home Health Care
only policies also are available in most states. These will pay if
you or your spouse needs to go into a nursing care facility.

Medicare Supplement Insurance is for people 65 and over mostly.
These offer a wide range of standardized plans that supplement
expenses not covered by Medicare. This will help pay for doctors
visits and prescriptions that were only covered partially by
Medicare.

Find out more about Pros and Cons of Supplemental Health Insurance

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational and informational
purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for
professional advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed Insurance
Agent or Broker with any questions you may have regarding any
Insurance Matter.


Considering Long Term Care Insurance

October 27, 2008

 

Long-Term Care Insurance is still fairly new on the market and a
lot of people don’t know that it even exists or what it covers.
Even those who have heard the term don’t know always when benefits
are paid, how they are designed, and who qualifies or needs
coverage. Many people don’t think about this type of coverage until
it is too late to get a great rate and higher benefits. They wait
till they are past retirement age and closer to needing to cash in
the benefits instead of investing earlier and maximizing your
options. It is becoming more of a common practice for people to
start thinking about what will happen 30, 50, or more years ahead.
Many people invest in 401Ks, IRAs, stocks and bond, and other types
of investments to prepare for the future. Many people think this
will pay for living expenses and leisure activities once retired.
Things don’t always go according as planned.

What happens in the unfortunate incidence of an accident and you
need help with your daily living activities? Or, you get to a point
in your elder years that you require home care, as you grow older?
You may decide you would rather live in you home for a long as
possible and would need to have enough for personal home care. Some
seniors enjoy assisting living facilities that provide 24 hour
nursing care, but still let you be as independent as you can. There
are also those unfortunate instances where nursing home facilities
are need to tend to varying degrees of illness. Long-term care is
designed to provide you help with these services due to a long-term
illness or disability. The average cost of these types of care can
cost around $40-$100 thousand per year and sometimes more. It is a
very quick way to eat your saving and social security benefits. If
you think Medicaid or Medicare will help, think again. Even if and
when you qualify, your saving is now gone and they will only pay up
to 50% of the cost, someone has to come up with the rest. Long-Term
Care insurance can help with these costs in the unfortunate event
you require nursing care.

Who should consider Long Term Care Insurance? If you think you will
not qualify for Medicaid or full Medicare benefits due to a large
saving, assets, or high income, this is a program for you. You do
not want to end up having your children to pay for these expenses
while you have to have them and possibly well after your death. It
will keep you able to leave your loved ones a little something
instead of sucking all your assets dry. Also if you can afford to
pay the premiums you will likely not qualify for assistance so
would truly benefit. If you currently have chronic health issues or
have a family history of a long-term illness you would be off
purchasing now than waiting. It will be too late to get a policy
after you have already developed a long-term illness or disability.
If you think at any point you might fall into any of the categories
you might want to consider getting a plan earlier to be safe and
covered. You can purchase a policy from most large insurance
companies. As always, every state has different insurance
regulations, therefore it is best to check with your state on
specific determining factors and qualifications.

This coverage will help provide nursing-home care, home-health
care, personal or adult day care usually for individuals above the
age of 65 or with a chronic or disabling condition that needs
constant supervision. LTC insurance offers more flexibility and
options than many public assistance programs. Long-term care is
usually very expensive, which is why most people need insurance.
For example, on average, nursing facilities providing skilled care
charge $150 to $300 per day, or over $80,000 a year or more. Even
custodial home care at three visits per week, can cost over $9,000
a year. Most LTC insurance policies will cover only a specific
dollar amount for each day you spend in a nursing facility or for
each home-care visit. Thus, when considering an LTC insurance
policy, read the policies carefully and compare the benefits to
determine which policy will best meet your own needs.
Find out more about Considering Long Term Care Insurance

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational and informational
purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for
professional advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed Insurance
Agent or Broker with any questions you may have regarding any
Insurance Matter.


Disability Insurance – Why You Need It Now More than Ever

August 25, 2008

 

Disability insurance is very important for many people and even for
the people who don’t need it. One never knows what can happen, so
to have this available is extremely important. A non-cancelable
disability contract guarantees that your policy cannot be canceled
or have the rates change as long as you continue to pay on time.
Another type, a guaranteed renewable contract, ensures that the
terms of your policy stay the same, but the cost can change over
time. The last kind of disability contract is an optionally
renewable policy. This policy can be canceled by the company at
renewal time and require exams. These types of policies help those
with disabilities obtain and keep medical coverage. There can be a
grace or waiting period but usually you will be reimbursed for
anything accrued at that time.

The waiting period is the time from your first claim to the day you
get your first disability check. Your insurance premium will be
based on your benefit amount, the more you get each month the
higher your premium will be. The longer you collect disability the
higher your premium will be as time goes on. A doctor to determine
eligibility will obtain your current health status and medical
history. If you have any pre-existing conditions or injuries, it
doesn’t mean you are not going to get it. You need for it now
relies on what happened to make you disabled.

You are defined as disabled when the condition that is keeping you
from being able to work is defined and in your employee manual.
This definition will also tell you what you qualify for and how to
obtain it. It will also inform you of whether or not you are
entitled to a new job till you are better or have to be out of work
completely. Some companies offer easier jobs that pay the same
instead of losing an employee and having to pay. Everyone should
have some disability coverage. If you get hurt on the job and can’t
continue your current position you need to have protection that
will keep you from not being able to live. You want to make sure
you know what your business’s policy is in case you need it at some
point. Many companies have group policies that cover all employees
that are working there. One would need to find out if the policy
covers injury and illness or just injury. Also what the time frame
is and will you possibly require more. Most of these will only
cover you if you are injured at work and for a minimal time period.
Some companies don’t even have this type of insurance and you would
be out of luck if injured, while others have several types of
disability, including long and short term.

If you do get injured on the job the first step is to be seen by
your employer’s doctor. This is whom you will be seeing for as long
as you are disabled and collecting disability. You will be examined
and told what is wrong as will your employer. A determination will
be made as to what needs to happen and who is responsible. If you
are declared injured and cannot return to your normal job, another
position must be found for you or you will be paid while on leave,
if this is in the company’s guidelines. Not all employers will pay
so make sure you are working for a company that has extensive
disability insurance that covers both short and long-term issues.
Also see if they cover illness and injury that is not work related.
Many people lose their jobs because they cannot go back to work for
a long time after an injury and the injury didn’t happen at work.

Your coverage will begin after you have been examined and given a
diagnosis. Once all the necessary documents have been filed and
what you are required to do has been set, a new position or payment
will be assigned at that time. You must make sure that if you are
going to be out of work for a long term disability you must pay the
agreed premium to keep the benefits coming and make all
appointments and requirements set by your employer. To breech any
of this could terminate your claim. Make sure you know what is in
store at your job in case of illness and injury you may need it
someday.

DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational and informational
purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for
professional advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed Insurance
Agent or Broker with any questions you may have regarding any
Insurance Matter.