Breast Cancer Awareness Month – The Need to Prepare for Medical Costs

October 18, 2014

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Cancer is a very devastating disease which can change many people’s lives because of the astronomical costs in treating it. Unfortunately, many women do not have adequate health coverage to cover their expenses. As a result, many resort to fundraising to accumulate the funds necessary to undergo treatment.

The average costs for breast cancer treatment total $128,556 over approximately a one and one half year treatment period, which includes doctors’ visits, outpatient visits, hospital visits, and inpatient stays, for women who received chemotherapy as their primary source of treatment. For women who have health insurance, especially now with the high deductibles which employees must pay under the current Health Care Reform, many will have substantial out of pocket costs which are not covered under their health care plans. As a result, many will have to resort to fundraising, borrowing money from family, friends, and employers, or paying with credit cards. If the patient happens to be a business owner, their businesses may suffer, causing bankruptcies because of the high medical costs.

One alternative to seeking funding for the balances which are not covered, is to purchase voluntary or supplemental coverage through an employer. Cancer policies are available which would cover most, if not all of the out of pocket costs not covered under health insurance policies. The out-of-pocket costs would be deductibles and co-payments.

Additionally, a short term and/or a long term disability policy would replace a portion of income lost during treatment. In some cases, the cost of premiums for these policies would be waived during the period of disability enabling the patient to keep the policy in force.

In order to ensure that there is adequate funding in the event that an employee or family member develops cancer, the employee must plan to have the coverage before the diagnosis is made. The employees would not be able to secure coverage for cancer after receiving the diagnosis from the doctor. It is impossible for us to know whether or not we will develop cancer during our lifetimes. Purchasing the coverage and ensuring that we have adequate disability insurance in addition to a cancer indemnity policy while we are healthy, would greatly reduce the stress in determining how we will pay for the cost of medical care.

Once employees purchase a supplemental or voluntary benefits plan to cover out-of-pocket costs or a portion of income, it is important to keep the policies in force. Once they lapse, it may be impossible to reinstate coverage. Most policies have a waiting period during which coverage would not be affordable if the employee is diagnosed, receives medical care or advice before the policy’s effective date. Proper planning is necessary to keep the policies in force.

In conclusion, taking surefire steps to protect one’s income and business through disability policies and cancer policies will enable employees to receive and pay for proper medical care, as well as to continue supporting the family.

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Adding Value to Employee Benefits

August 6, 2014

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Employees who take advantage of the benefits package that their employees offer tend to be more devoted to their employers, display more job satisfaction, and are more conscientious about their work. The cost of health insurance may have increased for many workers due to the recent enactment of changes in health care through the Obama administration. Therefore, many employers are offering supplemental benefits to help offset the costs of out-of-pocket expenses for the employees.

One of the most popular supplemental benefit is the Accidental Death Indemnity policy or the Accidental Death and Dismemberment Benefit Rider. This benefit offers an additional amount equal to the face amount of the policy or the life insurance policy, if purchased as a rider. If death to the named insured ensues resulting from an accident on a common carrier, such as a train, bus, or airplane, the beneficiary on the policy would receive an additional amount as specified in the policy.

To derive the maximum benefit from the policy, anyone who travels quite frequently during the year on trips, whose work includes driving frequently to appointments, or who operates machinery or other vehicles during the course of their employment, should seriously consider purchasing this policy or adding a rider to their life insurance policy.

Another factor to consider in adding the rider or purchasing an accidental death indemnity policy, is the increase in accidents due to cell phone use. People who use cell phones while driving are four times more likely to have an accident. Teens and sales professionals have been using cell phones while driving in recent years, causing many fatal accidents. Because of the catastrophic losses sustained in legal battles with the victim’s families, some major corporations have undertaken a policy to prohibit their sales professionals from using cell phones while driving. Teens have been responsible for approximately twelve percent of all automobile accidents.

An employee could purchase the policy on himself/herself and add riders to cover a spouse and children. The additional amount of protection would be advantageous to the beneficiaries at the time of loss. As with all other life insurance policies, there are exclusions under the policy which would place limitations on whether the beneficiary could collect a benefit in certain types of accidents.

In conclusion, anyone who earns a living while driving a vehicle or who frequently travels by common carrier should consider purchasing an accidental death and dismemberment policy or adding the rider to their supplemental benefits policy or personal life insurance policy.

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What are Supplemental Benefits?

November 3, 2013

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Many questions have been raised about the new Health Care Reform and how the changes will affect each one of us. Some of the concerns are about prices for coverage and the amount of coverage that is going to be extended. Since thousands of people have never had health coverage, they will have to become knowledgeable about the health care services they will be receiving, and how they will be billed.

One of the issues consumer will face is the higher costs associated with the health care reform and how to adjust their budgets accordingly. In order to afford the health care premiums, most consumers will choose a plan with a high deductible. The deductible is the amount the consumer will have to pay, out of pocket, before the insurance company will pay for health services. Since Americans have not been able to save money over the years, very few will have an emergency account set aside to handle unexpected costs, such as deductibles. The average consumer has less than $4000.00 in their checking or savings account.

We have experienced an economic crisis and we still have not changed our spending and saving habits, five years later. That is the reason why many people will benefit from purchasing a low cost supplemental health insurance policy. This policy will pay the out of pocket costs that most health insurance policies will not cover.

For example, depending on the type of cancer, the average cost of cancer treatment can total over $500,000 and out of pocket cost could total $1000 per month, with co-payments for drugs as high as $20,000. Most people who have cancer may not be able to afford the out of pocket costs. Some have opted not to have the treatment, especially if death is inevitable. Some may seek natural or homeopathic remedies for cancer, if they are willing to do the research involved.

The solution to this is to purchase a health insurance supplemental program which would cover all or most of these out of pocket costs. A health insurance supplemental program would provide cash to cover losses as a result of catastrophic medical bills. The cash payments would allow the patient to continue pay for daily living expenses of food, clothing, utilities, and transportation, while they are receiving treatments.

This failure to plan for unexpected costs has led to financial ruin for many people, especially business owners, causing them to file for bankruptcy, and lose their homes and other assets. Business owners incur expenses for operating their businesses and must also earn money to run their households. When they are sick and need medical treatment for serious medical problems, it can strain the budget.

In conclusion, investing in health insurance supplemental insurance and a long term disability policy would be wise decisions which could help to lighten the burden of having to pay for out of pocket costs. This would include payments for other insurance which the patient is paying at the time of treatment, such as automobile insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance, which are necessary for the financial security of the families.

 


Financial Security for Single Mothers and Fathers

September 9, 2013

 

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Single mothers and single fathers need to plan for their financial security very carefully. Because there is only one parent, the parent has to give careful consideration as to how the children will consider their normal lifestyle, if something were to happen to the mother or father.

Because the single parent can only rely on one income, it is especially important to open an emergency fund to cover repairs on the automobile, emergency trips, and living expenses due to unforeseen events. This will help in time of need.

It is also important to designate a guardian in the event of the untimely death of the parent and to purchase life insurance to help cover the living expenses for the children. The addition of new family members could put an additional strain on the new family. A will would have to be created which would designate who the guardians will be. If guardians are not appointed, the state would designate someone who would be entrusted with custody of the children.

If the plan is for the children to go to college, the earlier the parent saves money toward this goal, the better. Since the children are relying on one income, parents can accumulate more money in interest if they start saving early. Additionally, there are state sponsored insurance plans available for the accumulation of college funding.

Some employers offer short-term and/or long term disability plans in the event of sickness or disease. However, the single parents should also consider a separate supplemental disability plan which would offer payments in addition to what the company offers. Often, the plan which is available at work is inadequate to continue paying for household expenses. One can secure a disability plan as a rider on some life insurance plans.

When purchasing health insurance at work, single parents should elect a plan with a low deductible and little or no copayments to protect the income. Since there is only one income, the single parent is more in need of a low deductible so that they can have the extra money for household expenses.

In conclusion, single parents need to be more responsible with their financial planning to ensure their families are protected in the event of emergencies and untimely death of the parent.


When to Consider Buying Life Insurance

February 8, 2013

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There are life events which should encourage families to consider buying life insurance. Unfortunately, life insurance is not a priority in the lives of many young families, as younger people tend to believe that they have many years ahead of them. However, the prudent thing to do would be to purchase life insurance to cover a loss of income in the event that something happens to one or both of the parents or if they become disabled.

They can purchase enough life insurance to cover college costs as well for the children. In the case of younger parents, life insurance is very inexpensive in the earlier years and parents would be able to afford to buy higher amounts of insurance coverage.

Newly weds should consider buying life insurance on themselves to protect their incomes in the event that something happens to them. If husband and wife are working, both can purchase life insurance on themselves. In this way, both can continue their normal lifestyles in the event of death or disability of the spouse.

When couples purchase a home, one thing that needs to be done is to purchase mortgage insurance to cover the mortgage in the event of death or disability of one of the partners. Many people suffered a loss of their properties during the economic crisis because they were not adequately insured. Some people may not be able to purchase enough to cover the entire mortgage, but any amount which they can afford would help their family.

When families experience financial hardship, the insurance is usually the first thing to go. Now, with the changes that insurance companies have enacted, families can continue their life insurance coverage in the event that the policyholder is disabled, unemployed, or when the family suffers a natural disaster.

In conclusion, families need to consider purchasing or increasing life insurance when they marry, purchase a home, or begin to have children, if they care about making sure they are protected in the event of death or disability. If you would like a review of your situation, feel free to contact me.