19. May 2018 12:54
by Harry
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Do All Parents Need Life Insurance?

19. May 2018 12:54 by Harry | 0 Comments




In May we celebrate and thank Mom for everything she does.  In June we celebrate and thank Dad for everything he does.  In July we celebrate and thank them both!  Did you know that the fourth Sunday in July is National Parents’ Day?  Parents deserve thanks every day, but three national holidays dedicated to them is a good start.

I imagine that being a parent is the most challenging, yet rewarding, experience you can ever go through.  When you have your first child, you realize the world is bigger than just you.  As you make decisions in life you think “How will this affect my kids?”  Buying life insurance is one of these important decisions.  “If I die and don’t have life insurance, what happens to my kids?”

Buying Life Insurance
Pros:
  • Children can stay in their childhood home
  • Surviving spouse can afford to take time off work to spend with children
  • Family’s standard of living won’t need to change
  • Spouse can afford to send children to college
  • It can be customized to fit in most budgets
Cons:
  • It’s not free

There are all kinds of parents:

  • Married spouses who co-parent
  • Divorced individuals who co-parent
  • Unmarried partners who co-parent
  • Single parents
  • Stay-at-home parents

No two parents are the same, but you know what they all have in common?  They all need life insurance to protect their loved ones should they die prematurely.  Term life insurance is affordable and provides many benefits.

Term Life Insurance for Married Parents

There is a gender gap in life insurance.  Fewer women than men have life insurance and, in addition, own less coverage on average.  If you have children and you both bring home a paycheck, you both need life insurance.  If you have children and only one of you brings home a paycheck, you both still need life insurance.

Is it written somewhere that dad is more likely to die unexpectedly than mom?  No.  You never know what life may bring – both parents need to own life insurance.

Married same sex couples need life insurance as well.  Same sex couples raising children need to think about what would happen if one or both of them should pass away.  With same sex marriage being legal across the U.S., same sex couples won’t have any issue purchasing life insurance on one another or naming each other beneficiary.

Term Life Insurance for Divorced Parents

In most cases, divorce doesn’t change the fact that you both love and care for your children.  Both parents need life insurance.  In fact, in some divorce cases the court may order the parents to buy life insurance policies to ensure the financial futures of the children.

In amicable divorces, some choose to leave their ex-spouse as their policy’s beneficiary still trusting that they will put their children’s needs first.  Others choose to change their beneficiary to their children.  However, if the children are still minors then an adult custodian would need to be named instead.

Term Life Insurance for Unmarried Parents

On average, today couples are postponing marriage, but not necessarily postponing having children.  You don’t have to be married to buy life insurance on each other, but it’s easier to prove insurable interest this way.  (Insurable interest exists when you would feel financial consequences upon the death of another person.)  However, having children together is proof of insurable interest.

You could also opt to own your own life insurance and name your partner as a beneficiary.  Be sure you name a contingent beneficiary whom you trust to use the policy benefit for your children in case both you and your partner die at the same time, such as in a car accident.  If you both pass away and you named no one else as a beneficiary, the policy benefits are then added to your estate and held up during the probate process as a court decides what to do with the money.

Term Life Insurance for Single Parents

Arguably, single parents have the greatest need for life insurance.  There is no other parent for your children to fall back on if you should pass away.  Making a plan to protect them financially if you are suddenly no longer around to provide is essential.  You’ll want enough life insurance coverage to replace your income, pay for child care, and cover your final expenses.  It’s also critical that you choose a responsible guardian who is willing and able to care for your children should you die.

Typically couples will name each other as beneficiaries since they hope one will survive to care for the children, single parents should consider creating a trust and naming it as the beneficiary of the policy.  Minor children cannot receive life insurance death benefits so a trust can be set up to ensure the death benefit is distributed and used according to your wishes.

Term Life Insurance for Stay-at-Home Parents

Term life insurance is always explained as “income replacement” so if you don’t provide an income, then you don’t need life insurance, right?  Wrong.  A stay-at-home parent may not generate an income, but this allows a family to save money by not hiring out for various responsibilities such as child care.  According to Care.com, child care is the largest annual household expense, averaging $18,000 for U.S. families.  If a stay-at-home parent were to suddenly pass away, would the surviving parent be able to find an extra $18,000 per year to hire someone to care of their children while they were at work?  What about someone to clean the house or transport children to and from school and extracurricular activities?

It’s a mistake to think that life insurance is only for breadwinning parents.  Unless the family is considerably wealthy, the mortgage is paid off, and there is a substantial amount in the savings account, a stay-at-home parent needs life insurance too.

How much does term life insurance cost for parents?

Term life insurance is quite affordable and the term length and coverage amount can be customized to fit in most budgets.  A term policy can ensure your family is able stay in their home, provide funds for college tuition, and pay for your final expenses should you die unexpectedly.  How much life insurance you need depends on your individual situation.  Consider the following questions.

  • Do you have debt you want life insurance to pay off? For example, a mortgage, student loans, credit cards, or car loans.
  • How much monthly income does your family need? The amount your paycheck provides is a good place to start.
  • How many years do you think your family needs that monthly income before they are financially stable?

Remember: term insurance is structured to only last a specific period of time – typically when your family is most financially vulnerable.  How long you want the term insurance to last depends on a few factors such as how young your children are, how much time you have left on your mortgage loan, how close you are to retirement, and what your budget is.  For example, if your children are teenagers and you only have 10 years left on your mortgage, you probably don’t need a 30-year term policy.  However, if you just had your first child and want to make sure your child will have the funds to go to college, and recently purchased your first home, then you’ll want to consider at least a 20-year term policy.

Let’s take a look at some numbers to get an idea on how much life insurance costs.

Example:

 

The debt you want paid off if you die:

  • Mortgage loan = $215,000
  • Credit card debt = $10,000

The monthly income you provide: $4000

How many years your family will need this income = 5 years

Using the Needs Analysis Calculator on our website, $465,000 in coverage is a good estimate.  (Or you can manually add up 215,000 + 10,000 + (4000 x 12×5).) We’ll round up to $500,000 in the table below.

Your children are two and five years old.  You decide you want your term policy to last until they both are at least 25 years old so you decide a 25-year term policy is best.

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9. May 2018 14:37
by Jamie
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Love and Mortgage: Should Newlyweds Buy or Rent a Home?

9. May 2018 14:37 by Jamie | 0 Comments

Somewhere in your mind, you might have an idealized image of a newly married couple triumphantly sweeping into a dream home with the wife in the husband’s arms. As corny as the tradition might seem, you can also see it as a powerful symbol — two people making their first entrance into the home they now share as owners.

Should you and your new spouse follow that example, or do you have reservations about adding a mortgage to the mix? Consider some of the pros and cons of renting vs. buying as newlyweds, and then take your time in deciding whether home ownership is another threshold you want to cross together.

Your Solution Depends On Your Situation

You’ve probably made dozens of decisions together on your way to the altar, making the call on everything from the registry to the diplomatically arranged seating chart at the reception. And now’s not the time to give in to judgment fatigue.

Take some time to evaluate the respective merits. You may find that personal finances, career aspirations and even the value you place on independence vs. convenience could influence your decision of whether to rent or buy.

The Case for Renting

Some of the reasons that could make renting a home preferable to buying include:

Lower Start-Up Costs — Moving into an apartment typically means paying some moderate expenses, such as first and last month’s rent, specified deposits and the like. Buying a home typically means spending several thousand dollars on a down payment, closing costs, agent’s commission, attorney’s fees and more. If you still haven’t figured out how to pay off the honeymoon, the initial investment could loom large in your decision-making.

More Mobility — The U.S. Census Bureau reports that after age 18, the typical American can expect to move nine times. If you happen to get a new job in a different state, you’ll have a much easier time (relatively speaking) breaking a lease than you would be selling a house.

Repairs Aren’t Your Responsibility — If the toilet springs a leak at 3 a.m., a renter can call the landlord to get it fixed. For homeowners, the burden of arranging and paying for repairs, and possibly filing an insurance claim, falls entirely on them. When it comes to upkeep, a conscientious landlord can be a real convenience.

The Case For Buying

Factors such as these could tip the scales in favor of homeownership:

It’s Usually More Economical — For couples who plan to stay in the same area for several years, buying a house is generally considered the more affordable choice. The expert consensus favors ownership as a much better source of value than renting in just about every U.S. housing market. Also, you can help protect your investment with a home insurance policy that may provide coverage for weather damage, break-ins, and other hazards.

Ownership Builds More Wealth — One aspect of the pro-buying argument revolves around the central idea of wealth accumulation: Homeowners nurture an investment in something that will one day belong to them, rather than simply renting space from month-to-month or year-to-year. Even if you move to a new house before you pay off the mortgage, you still have the equity you’ve built up in your current home.

A Sunnier Market Outlook — Although memories of the housing bubble bust still linger, many indicators point to a stabilized recovery. New regulations have helped curtail risky lending practices, home prices have reached realistic levels and the economy has rebounded. With mortgage rates at historic lows, 2016 could be an advantageous time to become homeowners.

Whichever Way You Go, Go Thoughtfully

The decision to buy or rent as newlyweds depend on immediate realities and long-term possibilities. Do you have plenty of money on hand? Do you have job security? When might you start a family?

You’ll need to consider all these factors, and more, as you figure out whether crossing the threshold right away is a realistic option or just a romantic notion.

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26. April 2018 19:03
by Jamie
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Medicare Enrollment: 5 Things to Know

26. April 2018 19:03 by Jamie | 0 Comments

 

If you’re covered by Medicare, now is the time to make changes to your health plan and prescription drug coverage. Medicare’s annual open-enrollment period is open until December 7th.

With so many plans to choose from, shopping for a new Medicare Advantage and/or Part D prescription drug plan can seem like a daunting task.

Here are five things to consider when shopping for your Medicare coverage options:

1. NOT shopping can cost you.
Each year, cost and benefit details of Medicare Advantage and stand-alone Part D drug plans change – even if just a little.

Those changes can be costly.

According to a recent survey of 49,000 people using eHealthMedicare.com to compare Medicare plans, people who switched to a new Part D drug plan saved nearly $ 700 in 2015. In addition, they were 20% less likely to hit the prescription drug coverage gap.

The bottom line: Even if you’re happy with your current coverage, shop your options during this open enrollment period to make sure you still have the plan that best meets your needs.

2. Look beyond premiums.
A plan with a low monthly premium may be more expensive in the long run if doctor visits or prescriptions come with high out-of-pocket costs throughout the year.

To get a true sense of what you’re healthcare costs are likely to be, look beyond your monthly premium to understand each plan’s deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance.

3. Make sure your drugs are covered.
Expect to pay more when you fill your prescription drugs next year. Across the board, Part D plan deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses are rising.

Confirm that the medications you need are covered by your plan. And, check on the details of cost-sharing tiers, which are very common in most plans. Generics on the lowest tiers cost the least, while brand-name and specialty drugs on the highest tiers come with the highest out-of-pocket costs.

Finally, don’t forget to check which pharmacies participate with your plan, and which tiers the plan has placed them on. Prescriptions cost less when you fill them at a pharmacy identified as one offering “preferred cost sharing.” And beware: Not everyone lives near a pharmacy with preferred prices.

4. Is your doctor in-network?
Making sure your doctors participate with your health plan is one of the most important parts of picking the right policy. Out-of-network care can be very expensive. In fact, a recent report by America’s Health Insurance Plans found that out-of-network providers charged patients on average 300% more than Medicare rates for certain procedures and treatments, such as MRIs and chemotherapy.

5. Check star ratings.
Medicare has a quality rating system in which plans are ranked from one to five stars, with five the highest. Try to choose one with no less than 3.5 or 4 stars. 

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17. April 2018 17:52
by Nicki
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Can You Obtain Life Insurance After A Diabetes Diagnosis?

17. April 2018 17:52 by Nicki | 0 Comments



Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? You’re not alone – figures from Diabetes Australia show this medical condition affects 1.7 million Australians.

It is a serious condition that can cause blindness, result in the amputation of limbs, and even increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes if not managed correctly.

In light of this, you might be wondering if you are still able to obtain Life insurance if you have been diagnosed. The answer is yes.

If you take the right steps to obtain Life insurance you and your family can be covered regardless of your diabetes diagnosis.

What is diabetes?

According to Diabetes Australia, having diabetes means you are unable to maintain healthy glucose levels in the blood because of difficulties with regulating the hormone insulin.

There are three types of diabetes:

  1. gestational diabetes,
  2. type 2 diabetes, which is commonly controlled with dietary changes, and
  3. type 1 diabetes, where sufferers need to inject themselves regularly with insulin.

Alarmingly, there new cases of diabetes developing at a rate of approximately one person every five minutes.

How you can protect your family if your are diagnosed?

Although a diabetes diagnosis may mean that you can’t necessarily purchase a life insurance policy at standard premium rates  your individual circumstances would need to be considered and terms tailored to your personal situation. This means your cover would be fully underwritten and the terms offered would apply to the full term of your cover.

What this means is that your medical history would be fully assessed regarding your diabetic status.

Underwriting means no surprises

Once you have disclosed your health condition, an underwriter will make a detailed assessment of your health and other risks you are facing. The underwriting process means that your Life insurance policy is tailor-made to suit your needs and circumstances.

If your insurer is fully aware of your medical status, in the event that you or your loved ones need to make a claim on the policy, there will be no difficulties in processing it because of what may be considered a ’surprise condition’.

Insurers who do not require you to provide an upfront medical assessment may exclude any claim down the track because of a pre-existing condition which they were not aware of.

Financial peace of mind with NobleOak

Being diagnosed with a serious condition such as diabetes can be devastating. However, it is important that you’re not discouraged from applying for Life insurance to protect your loved ones.

Contact NobleOak today to arrange a Life insurance policy which takes into account your pre-existing medical condition, and gives you and your family peace of mind.

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17. April 2018 17:39
by Nicki
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Understanding Your Health Insurance ID Card

17. April 2018 17:39 by Nicki | 0 Comments



Your health insurance ID card. It’s a tiny piece of plastic that sits in your wallet. It may go largely unnoticed (aside from during doctor appointments and other medical services), but that little card is packed full of some very valuable information about your health insurance plan – information that can help you navigate the world of health care and ensure that when you receive medical care, it’s covered and billed correctly. And that’s a large part of what CDPHP® is about: As part of our Health Care Decoded initiative, it’s our mission to empower you with the tools you need to understand your health insurance.

Let’s start with a closer look at your health insurance ID card and some of the key pieces of information that it contains. Please keep in mind these are general categories of information. Your card might vary, depending on your health insurance company and the type of health plan that you have.

The Basics

First and foremost, your health insurance card contains some straightforward identification information:

  • The name of your health insurance company and possibly contact information (website, phone numbers, etc.)
  • Your name
  • The name of the subscriber or policyholder, if it’s not you. This may appear if you get your health insurance through another family member’s employer (e.g., spouse, parent)
  • The names of other covered family members (e.g., spouse, children) may also appear here

Member ID

Each member of a health plan is assigned a unique ID number, which allows doctors and other health care providers to verify your health insurance coverage and eligibility. If you have a question for your health insurer, this information will allow their customer service department to bring up your account to view your claims and benefits, and to answer any questions you may have.

Group Number

A health insurer also assigns a unique ID number to each employer that purchases one of its plans. This is called the group number, and you’ll see it on your ID card if you receive your health insurance through an employer. It identifies the benefits of your specific plan and your doctor’s office will use it, along with your member ID, to submit claims.

Plan Type

There are many different types of health insurance. The most common plan types you’ll see listed on your ID card are HMO insurance plans (health maintenance organizations), PPO insurance plans (preferred provider organizations), EPO insurance plans (exclusive provider organizations), and HDHPs (high deductible health plans). Each plan type is defined by its specific requirements regarding referrals, in- and out-of-network providers, and how out-of-pocket costs are calculated.

Payment Information

Most health insurance cards will show how much you will be expected to pay (your out-of-pocket costs) for common services like visits with your primary care physician (PCP), specialist visits and urgent care and emergency room visits. This may be listed as a flat rate (a copay) or a percentage of the total cost of the service (coinsurance). If two numbers are listed, the first represents your cost at an in-network provider, and the second is your cost at an out-of-network provider.

Prescription Benefits

Formulary

A formulary is a list of prescription drugs that your insurance company will cover. Some insurers have several formularies. Each CDPHP member will have one of three formularies listed on his or her ID card – Formulary 1, Formulary 2 or the Medicaid Formulary. If your CDPHP member ID card does not have a formulary listed, you have Formulary 1.

Prescription Costs

Formularies are commonly divided into three tiers. Your card may list the price you’ll pay at each tier level when you use a participating pharmacy.

Pharmacy Network

Some insurers have different pharmacy networks for different plans. A CDPHP member has one of three pharmacy networks: Premier (for all CDPHP plans offered through an employer), Value (for CDPHP individual health plans) or Medicare.

Rx BIN (banking identification number)

Your pharmacist will use this number to process your prescription. It indicates which company will reimburse the pharmacy for the cost of the prescription and where to send the claim for reimbursement.

Medical Network

Your insurance company may provide out-of-area coverage through a different health care provider network. If so, this will be listed here.

The Back of the Card

The back of your health insurance ID card is where you’ll be likely to find additional information, like important telephone numbers and addresses for doctors and hospitals so that they can verify eligibility, file claims, get pre-authorizations, etc. It might also provide hotlines and other resources for a variety of specific situations (e.g., chemical dependency services number, fraud hotline).

And there you have it – a breakdown of the most common pieces of information that you’ll find on your health insurance ID card. Now you know why that little piece of plastic is so important. And if you’re a CDPHP member, you can access your ID card online through our secure member site, or have it with you everywhere your smartphone is with the My CDPHP Mobile app!

Does your ID card have something we didn’t explain? Check out more of our Health Care Decodedhealth insurance explanations, or let us know in the comments below! Or, call the customer service number listed on your card for further explanations on the details of your plan.

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7. April 2018 12:21
by Nicki
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Life Insurance Types Explained Which Type Best Fits Your Need?

7. April 2018 12:21 by Nicki | 0 Comments


Deciding which life insurance types to look at depends on each individual's specific need.
All life insurance does not fit everyone's situation.
Let us examine why a single person would buy life insurance.
What about a single parent, what kind of policy would fit this person?
Sometimes we tend to think only married people buy life coverage.
Why would we think this way? How about business people?
Why should these people consider life insurance policies?

You Choose Life Insurance Types

  • Married People

    Let us look at the needs of married people as this seems to be the main reason people buy life policies. Let us also examine the life insurance types they tend to be interested in.

    You meet your soul mate and you decide to get married. You also have plans to have one or two children. Your partner and yourself work at jobs that yield a good income.

    You both decide it would be wise to buy a home before you have children. As you proceed with that you become very aware that you need some life insurance in case one of you should die.

    You want the home to be left free and clear.

    The life insurance types that you look at are level term policies and decreasing term insurance. With the level term policy, the death benefit remains the same throughout the life of the policy.

    With decreasing term, the face amount of the policy decreases as the balance of the mortgage decreases. You settle on the decreasing term policy as the premiums are cheaper.

    You also become aware that as you plan on having children you will have a need for more coverage. You can buy it now as it costs less or you can buy more and more as the years go by, if you can qualify for it.

    You decide to buy a term insurance policy sufficient to maintain the family at least until the youngest child graduates college. You feel a 20-year term policy would solve that problem.

    You are also aware that your spouse may need to guarantee your income up until age 65, retirement age. One of the life insurance types you look at is probably a 30-year term policy or possibly term to age 65. In some cases, a universal life policy or a whole life policy would fit the bill.

  • Single Parent

    The needs of a single parent are similar in many ways to those of married people. These people have an even more urgent need as if this parent should die there will be no other parent to care for the children.

    After taking the time to make the necessary arrangements for their care a single parent now has to look at life insurance types that would best fit their particular situation.

    As this person has a need to be careful with money level term policies would more likely fit like a glove.

    If the children are young the 20 years, 25 years or 30-year policies, in the right amount, should be sufficient to carry them through from infancy to the end of their college years. If they are older you may want to use a 10 year or 15-year term policy.
  • Single Person

    Does a single person need life insurance? Why? The only real life coverage needs a single person has is one that will provide sufficient cash to pay off outstanding debt, if any, and to pay funeral costs. It would probably be a good idea to use a 10-year term to do these things.

    These people should keep in mind though that coverage is much cheaper to purchase at a young age.

    It would be wise to buy a fairly larger amount of the type of policy that would be useful when they get older, that is if this person plans on marrying and having children sometime in the not too distant future. The types of life coverage types to consider here would be 20 year term or 30 year term policies.

  • Business People

    Life insurance is an important consideration for any type of business. A corporation or partnership would need life insurance on the lives of each shareholder or partner which the survivors would use to buy out the shares of a deceased shareholder.

    Which life insurance types do these executives consider? Level term policies are usually used to fund this initially but they are usually converted to permanent policies later on that is if they intend to keep the business going for a long time.



    Key man or key employee life insurance is very popular with most any business. You buy a policy on that employee whose absence may hurt the company.

    You make certain that if this employee dies suddenly you have sufficient funds to tide you over until a suitable replacement is found. Long term level term insurance policies can be used for this.

    Permanent insurance is sometimes used. This could provide a lump sum or additional income for this employee at the time of his or her retirement

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