Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3150/all en-US 8 Myths About Health Savings Accounts — Debunked! http://www.wisebread.com/8-myths-about-health-savings-accounts-debunked <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-myths-about-health-savings-accounts-debunked" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/preparation_for_future_and_financial_concept.jpg" alt="Preparation for future and financial concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Health savings accounts (HSAs) provide a tax-advantaged way to save and pay for health care costs. If you have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), you can contribute pretax income into an HSA and use the money to pay for qualified medical expenses.</p> <p>The rules and requirements for participating in an HSA can be a little confusing. As a result, misinformation has given rise to several myths that deter people from taking advantage of HSAs. Let's take a look at some of the most common ones. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-an-hsa-is-actually-worth-having?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Reasons an HSA Is Actually Worth Having</a>)</p> <h2>1. HSA funds are lost if you don't spend the money by the end of the year</h2> <p>This is a point of confusion that tends to scare people away from participating in a health savings account. It's not true. Funds leftover in your HSA are not lost at the end of the year, they are yours until you spend the funds. The prevalence of this myth comes from a different health program, the flexible spending account (FSA). You <em>do</em> lose funds in an FSA if you do not use them by the end of the year.</p> <h2>2. You can only earn low interest on your HSA funds</h2> <p>Actually, you don't have to leave your HSA funds in a low-interest savings account. You can invest HSA funds in stocks and other investments for higher growth potential. This is especially beneficial if you don't plan to spend your HSA funds any time soon and can take advantage of tax-free growth for as long as possible. Investment options vary by HSA provider, and some require a minimum balance (such as $1,000) before you can put your HSA funds in investment options.</p> <h2>3. HSA funds can only be used for hospital bills and major medical expenses</h2> <p>Health savings accounts are not only for major medical costs. The IRS identifies a long list of health-related expenses that HSA funds can be used to cover, including smaller expenses that may surprise you. A few examples include:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Acupuncture</p> </li> <li> <p>Bandages</p> </li> <li> <p>Chiropractic treatment</p> </li> <li> <p>Contact lenses</p> </li> <li> <p>Dental care</p> </li> <li> <p>Eyeglasses</p> </li> <li> <p>Hearing aids</p> </li> <li> <p>Prescription drugs</p> </li> <li> <p>Physical exams</p> </li> <li> <p>X-rays</p> </li> </ul> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-surprising-things-your-hsa-will-cover?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Surprising Things Your HSA Will Cover</a>)</p> <h2>4. You can't get an HSA if you are self-employed</h2> <p>Many employers offer HSA programs as a benefit. Some even kick free money into HSA accounts for employees. However, you don't need to have an employer to open a health savings account. If you sign up for a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), you can fund an HSA through an HSA provider and get all of the same tax benefits.</p> <h2>5. If you never have health expenses, you'll never be able to use your HSA funds</h2> <p>Most people can expect to have significant medical expenses at some point in their lives, especially as they get older. But what would happen to your HSA funds if you stayed healthy and never had any health care expenses? Beginning at age 65, you can withdraw your HSA funds for <em>any </em>reason without penalty, only paying income tax on funds you draw. This feature means that your HSA effectively turns into a traditional IRA when you hit 65, with the added benefit that if you do have qualified health expenses, you can access your HSA funds tax-free for those costs.</p> <h2>6. High-deductible health plans only benefit healthy people with low health care costs</h2> <p>If you have a lot of medical costs, you may decide that it doesn't make sense to sign up for a high-deductible health plan when a low-deductible plan will step in earlier to pay for your care. This isn't looking at the whole picture. The advantages of using an HSA can turn out to be a smart choice for many individuals and families. The higher potential out-of-pocket health care costs with an HDHP can be offset by the lower premiums and tax benefits of a health savings account. You can use an <a href="https://www.aarp.org/health/medicare-insurance/hsa_calculator/" target="_blank">HSA vs. traditional health plan calculator</a> to help you decide which is best based on your anticipated health expenses.</p> <h2>7. HSAs are a hassle to use</h2> <p>This is one of the myths that stopped me from signing up for an HSA at first. I worried that it would be too difficult to get funds out of my HSA when I had medical expenses. However, I found that it is actually easy to access HSA funds. These are some of the features that make an HSA so easy to use:</p> <ul> <li> <p>You can get an HSA debit card to use when paying for health care expenses.</p> </li> <li> <p>You can write a check to pay for medical expenses, then transfer money from your HSA into your bank account to cover it.</p> </li> <li> <p>Health savings accounts typically have online tools you can access from your computer or phone to check your balance and see a record of your transactions.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>8. If you lose your job or change employers, you lose your HSA funds</h2> <p>Not true! HSA funds are portable from one employer to another, and you get to keep your HSA funds even if you stop working altogether. If you want, you can even change your HSA provider without changing employers.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-myths-about-health-savings-accounts-debunked">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-self-employed-can-cut-health-care-costs">How the Self Employed Can Cut Health Care Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-an-hsa-is-actually-worth-having">10 Reasons an HSA Is Actually Worth Having</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-age-to-buy-long-term-care-insurance">The Best Age to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-hsa-saves-you-money">How an HSA Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-moves-to-make-before-the-leaves-change">10 Money Moves to Make Before the Leaves Change</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Insurance health care health savings accounts high deductible health plan HSA medical expenses savings Wed, 21 Feb 2018 10:01:05 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2106614 at http://www.wisebread.com What Kind of Auto Insurance Do Uber Drivers Need? http://www.wisebread.com/what-kind-of-auto-insurance-do-uber-drivers-need <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-kind-of-auto-insurance-do-uber-drivers-need" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_man_using_car_pooling_service.jpg" alt="Young man using carpooled service" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're scheming up a way to make extra money this year, it's likely you've considered <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-extra-money-driving-for-uber-or-lyft?ref=internal" target="_blank">driving for Uber or Lyft</a>. There are few requirements to get in the door, after all, and you can work your own schedule. If you're over the age of 21, have a newer car, and have a clean driving record, you can apply to become a driver for Uber or Lyft and get started fairly quickly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-more-money-as-an-uber-driver?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get a High Rating and Make More Money as an Uber Driver</a>)</p> <p>But that doesn't mean this side hustle comes without risks. Unlike other avenues to earning extra money, like freelance writing or picking up a traditional part-time job, driving people around in your car comes with real-life financial implications if you get into a crash.</p> <p>So what type of insurance do you need to drive for Uber or Lyft? Generally speaking, your personal auto insurance policy won't cover you if you get into an accident while you're driving for Uber or Lyft. In fact, your auto insurer may be inclined to drop you from your policy if they find you haven't disclosed that you're driving for a ride-share service, notes NerdWallet.</p> <h2>Uber and Lyft offer drivers some coverage</h2> <p>Ride-share companies have initiated their own forms of insurance to cover drivers when their personal policies fail to provide coverage. That means it's secondary coverage &mdash; you'll first have to file a claim with your own insurance. And Uber's insurance comes with a $1,000 deductible, while Lyft's deductible is $2,500. But it's better than nothing.</p> <p>Coverage levels depend on where you are in the ride-sharing process. If you drive for Uber, for example, you have different levels of coverage when you're waiting for a call, when you're on your way to pick up a rider, and when you have a rider in your automobile.</p> <h2>While you're waiting for a request</h2> <p>When your app is turned on and you're waiting for a ride request, you are covered by Uber for your liability to a third party if you're in an accident and at fault. Coverage is at least $50,000 in injury liability per person with $100,000 in total liability per accident. You also get $25,000 in property damage liability per accident, notes Uber. This does not include comprehensive/collision coverage or coverage for damages caused by uninsured motorists, however.</p> <h3>When you're on your way to pick up a rider</h3> <p>At this point, notes Uber, you're covered for three things: your liability to a third party for damages or injuries up to $1 million, any injuries caused by an underinsured/uninsured motorist, and collision and comprehensive coverage if you also have this coverage on your personal auto insurance policy.</p> <p>Underinsured and uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage covers &quot;any occupant of your vehicle in case of an accident where another party is at fault but does not have insurance or is underinsured,&quot; notes Uber. Hit and run accidents are also covered, and the total amount of coverage for bodily injury is once again set at $1 million.</p> <p>The collision and comprehensive coverage offered during this period kicks in whether an accident is your fault or not and is limited to the cash value of your vehicle. A $1,000 deductible comes into play if you plan to use this coverage.</p> <h3>When a rider is in your car</h3> <p>You have the same type of coverage when carrying a passenger as you do when you're on your way to pick them up. In addition, however, the rider in your car is also covered.</p> <p>Of course, when you're not driving for Uber and you're using your car for personal use, none of this coverage comes into play. During these times, you'll rely on your personal auto insurance policy for coverage in the event of an accident or injury.</p> <p><a href="https://help.lyft.com/hc/en-us/articles/213584308-Insurance-Policy" target="_blank">Lyft liability coverage</a> works similarly in that it's offered in different tiers based on where you are in the ride-share process. Coverage limits vary slightly, however, as do the types of coverage offered. Make sure you understand what your ride-share company's insurance policy offers and applicable coverage limits before you rely on it to cover your ride-share driving business.</p> <h2>Ride-share or commercial insurance</h2> <p>There are times during the ride-sharing process when your company's insurance may not be enough. For instance, Uber's insurance does not include comprehensive/collision coverage or coverage for damages caused by uninsured motorists while you're waiting for a ride request. You may also decide you want higher coverage limits than your company offers.</p> <p>In those cases, consider buying separate insurance to fill in your coverage gaps. Insurance companies such as Allstate, Farmers, and Geico have begun offering individual ride-share policies that cover drivers for services such as Uber or Lyft while they're on the job, but these policies aren't available in all states. If you can't buy ride-share insurance in your state, another option is commercial auto insurance, but unfortunately, commercial policies are often prohibitively expensive ($3,000-$5,000, according to the Money magazine website) for Uber or Lyft drivers trying to turn a profit.</p> <p>If you live in a state where ride-share coverage is offered, buying this type of coverage &mdash; or adding it to your personal policy &mdash; is probably your best bet. Fortunately, auto insurance for ride-sharing isn't overly expensive (typically $6-$20 a month). <a href="https://www.geico.com/more/saving/insurance-101/introducing-geico-rideshare-insurance/" target="_blank">Geico Insurance</a>, for example, offers ride-share coverage in most states (AL, AZ, AR, CT, CO, DE, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and WY) and can cost as little as an extra $150 per year on top of your personal auto policy, according to NerdWallet.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-kind-of-auto-insurance-do-uber-drivers-need">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-more-money-as-an-uber-driver">How to Get a High Rating and Make More Money as an Uber Driver</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-earn-extra-money-with-your-car">7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money">Is Uber Saving or Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance auto insurance car insurance gig economy lyft ride-share side gigs Uber uber drivers Wed, 21 Feb 2018 09:31:09 +0000 Holly Johnson 2106613 at http://www.wisebread.com What Exactly Does Trip Cancellation Insurance Cover? http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-trip-cancellation-insurance-cover <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-exactly-does-trip-cancellation-insurance-cover" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_looking_at_laptop_seriously.jpg" alt="Young woman looking at laptop seriously" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Travel insurance is a broad term used to describe the different types of travel coverage you can get for a trip. You can get coverage for lost or delayed baggage, overseas medical coverage, or insurance to cover travel delays, for example. While each type of coverage is different, they all serve the same purpose: to protect you from out-of-pocket expenses if something goes wrong during your travels.</p> <p>Among the different types of travel insurance available, trip interruption and cancellation coverage is one of the most popular types out there. This coverage provides reimbursement if your trip is interrupted or canceled for a covered reason. If you need to cancel your trip before you leave because you break a leg on your way to the airport, for example, the cancellation component of your coverage kicks in.</p> <p>The trip interruption part of the policy comes into play when your trip is abruptly or accidentally interrupted for a covered reason &mdash; say, if you travel abroad and need to come home early because your child gets sick.</p> <p>Just like other types of travel insurance, coverage limits and specific details for trip cancellation/interruption coverage vary based on where you get your policy. We'll go over what trip interruption and cancellation insurance might cover, as well as the best place to score an affordable policy.</p> <h2>Using coverage provided by your credit card</h2> <p>First things first. If you're looking for a way to get trip cancellation/interruption coverage for free, you may be able to score this perk and other benefits with one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">top travel credit cards</a>. Believe it or not, many of these cards offer trip cancellation/interruption coverage for free as a cardholder perk. For the coverage to apply, however, you have to have used your card to pay for the trip associated with your claim. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Types of Travel Insurance Credit Cards Include That You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <p>Coverage limits and other details can be drastically different from card to card. One popular credit card trip cancellation/interruption insurance policy covers you when you use the card for prepaid tours, travel, and accommodations. However, coverage is considered secondary to that of any travel insurance you've purchased or reimbursement offered by the common carrier &mdash; in other words, the airline, bus, train, or cruise operator. That doesn't mean you have to buy your own insurance policy in order to use the credit card coverage, though.</p> <p>Let's say that you need to cancel a trip, including airfare and hotels that set you back $2,000. If you already have a trip cancellation policy that covers $1,000 in related bills, but used your credit card to pay for the trip, your credit card coverage would kick in to cover the other $1,000 you spent. If you don't, you could use your credit card coverage on its own up to its included limits.</p> <p>More good news with this particular policy, however, is that immediate family members of the cardholder are covered &mdash; even if the primary cardholder isn't traveling. This means that a spouse who is stranded in another country could gain access to your trip cancellation/interruption insurance benefit even if you're not there &mdash; provided you used your eligible credit card to pay for their trip.</p> <p>Even better, this coverage is worth up to $10,000 per covered trip with a maximum limit of $20,000 per occurrence and $40,000 over a 12-month period. And yes, this coverage works even if you paid for part of your trip with points.</p> <p>Other credit cards may limit your coverage to $5,000 per trip, or even less, but may not have an annual coverage limit. And some cover <em>any </em>travel companion whose travel was bought with the credit card.</p> <h3>Reasons covered by credit cards for trip cancellation or interruption</h3> <p>In order to use these types of coverage, you'll need to document a legitimate reason for the cancellation or interruption. Common reasons that are usually covered include:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Injury, illness, or death of the cardholder, a traveling companion, or an immediate family member.</p> </li> <li> <p>Severe weather or natural disaster that prevents the start or continuation of a covered trip.</p> </li> <li> <p>Terrorist action or hijacking.</p> </li> <li> <p>Jury duty or receipt of a subpoena that cannot be postponed or waived.</p> </li> <li> <p>Bankruptcy or financial default of the cardholder's travel company.</p> </li> </ul> <p>More generous credit card policies may even cover you if someone in your party is laid off from their job, if your pet is injured and needs emergency medical care, or if your permanent residence is burglarized or deemed unsafe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-travel-accident-insurance-cover-on-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Exactly Does Credit Card Travel Accident Insurance Cover?</a>)</p> <h3>Reasons <em>not</em> covered by credit cards for trip cancellation or interruption</h3> <p>Here's what's usually <em>not </em>covered. Canceling or interrupting your trip because of:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Injury or illness sustained after traveling against a doctor's orders.</p> </li> <li> <p>A work conflict.</p> </li> <li> <p>A pre-existing medical condition.</p> </li> <li> <p>War.</p> </li> <li> <p>Change in your plans or financial circumstances.</p> </li> </ul> <p>So if you thought you could afford a weeklong trip to Paris but realize as the time gets closer that it's really going to blow your budget, your coverage can't help you recoup any cancellation costs.</p> <p>Because credit card policies vary greatly in what they cover, you should be careful of which card you use you to pay for travel if you want to take advantage of trip cancellation/interruption coverage or other travel perks. While &quot;free&quot; coverage is better than nothing, it pays to know what is and isn't covered under your plan &mdash; and what limits to expect.</p> <h2>Buying your own trip cancellation/interruption coverage</h2> <p>If you don't have a credit card that offers trip cancellation/interruption coverage, you can purchase your own plan. Companies like <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-13055387" target="_blank">Travelex Insurance</a> and <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-13055140" target="_blank">Seven Corners</a> make it possible to buy nearly any type of travel insurance coverage, and to customize your plan so it meets your unique needs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-is-your-credit-cards-travel-insurance-good-enough?ref=seealso" target="_blank">When Is Your Credit Card's Travel Insurance Good Enough?</a>)</p> <p>That said, the vast majority of policies offer comprehensive coverage, which includes cancellation/interruption coverage, but also medical and emergency medical coverage. These policies usually cost 4 to 10 percent of the cost of your trip. But just like the coverage you get for free with a credit card, plan limits and exclusions vary depending on the policy you buy.</p> <p>Let's say you purchase trip cancellation/interruption coverage from Seven Corners as part of a broader travel insurance package. According to the travel insurance company, the &quot;interruption&quot; component of your coverage will kick in to cover the nonrefundable, unused portion of your prepaid trip costs and the additional cost to return home or rejoin your group due to a covered reason. Covered reasons listed by the company include instances of sickness or injury, jury duty, layoff, traffic accidents, and more.</p> <p>Trip cancellation coverage, on the other hand, can refund the prepaid, nonrefundable costs of your trip, such as airfare, cruise tickets, tour bookings, and hotel reservations in the event you need to cancel for any of the covered reasons.</p> <h3>Coverage ceilings</h3> <p>But how much coverage will you have? It depends on the plan you choose. Unlike credit card coverage that is offered with set limits as a free benefit, travel insurance you purchase yourself can be tailored to your needs.</p> <p>Some travel insurance companies offer trip cancellation/interruption coverage up to the entire cost of your insured trip. Based on personal experience, however, some trip cancellation/interruption insurance offered through other travel insurance providers comes with lower limits than what you get for free through a credit card. With Allianz Travel Insurance, for example, limits for cancellation and interruption can be as low as $1,000 per year. The same limit applies to the World Nomads standard plans.</p> <p>While having $1,000 in coverage might seem sufficient, it may not be close to what you need if you're traveling abroad or planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Imagine you booked two round-trip business flights to Spain for $1,500 each and a Mediterranean cruise for another $2,200. If you had to cancel because a family member became gravely ill before you left on your trip (or any other covered reason), either of these plans could leave you drastically underinsured.</p> <h3>Cancel-for-any-reason policies</h3> <p>It's important to note that you can also purchase &quot;cancel-for-any-reason&quot; travel insurance policies &mdash; or add on the coverage to your regular travel insurance. Unlike traditional interruption/cancellation policies, these plans let you cancel for any reason &mdash; even if you just feel like it &mdash; as long as you do so no later than 48 hours before your scheduled departure.</p> <p>Cancel-for-any-reason policies typically cost 8 to 12 percent of your trip's cost and will reimburse you for 75 percent of covered expenses.</p> <h2>When should you buy a policy?</h2> <p>Because coverage limits for trip cancellation/interruption insurance offered through certain travel credit cards is so robust, it almost always makes sense to use this coverage if you have a card that offers it. However, you should read the fine print to make sure you know exactly what's covered, what's not covered, and what you need to do to keep your policy intact.</p> <p>If you don't have a free trip cancellation/interruption policy already, you can always sign up for a travel credit card that offers this coverage or buy a travel insurance policy on your own. As with any coverage you buy, however, you should make sure limits are high enough that your insurance will be adequate if you need it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-trip-cancellation-insurance-cover">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-is-your-credit-cards-travel-insurance-good-enough">When Is Your Credit Card&#039;s Travel Insurance Good Enough?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-cheap-spring-break-trip">How to Take a Cheap Spring Break Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-romantic-getaways-any-couple-can-afford">7 Romantic Getaways Any Couple Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers">25 Secrets From the World&#039;s Most Frugal Frequent Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-understanding-airline-flight-routes-can-score-you-better-rewards">How Understanding Airline Flight Routes Can Score You Better Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Travel travel insurance travel tips trip cancellation insurance trip insurance trip interruption insurance Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Holly Johnson 2105361 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Sense of the Different Parts of Medicare http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sense-of-the-different-parts-of-medicare <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-sense-of-the-different-parts-of-medicare" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/approved_medicare_application_form.jpg" alt="Approved Medicare application form" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're nearing retirement age, you probably know the gist of what Medicare does. The federal social program provides health insurance coverage to those age 65 or older, as well as younger people with certain disabilities. But do you know the specifics of each part of Medicare?</p> <p>According to the 2017 EBRI Retirement Confidence Survey, only 8 percent of retirees are very confident about the future of Medicare benefits. This may be due to a lack of information about the various parts of the program and what each one of them offers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-common-medicare-myths-debunked?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Common Medicare Myths, Debunked</a>)</p> <p>Let's break down each of the Medicare parts.</p> <h2>Medicare Part A (hospital insurance)</h2> <p>Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay), hospice care, and some home health care. It covers hospital services, including semiprivate rooms, meals, general nursing, drugs as part of your inpatient treatment, and other hospital services and supplies.</p> <p>Once you reach age 65, you usually don't pay a monthly premium for Part A coverage as long as you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years. This is known as &quot;premium-free Part A.&quot; Those under age 65 may also qualify for premium-free Part A if they have a disability or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).</p> <p>For workers who paid fewer than 30 quarters of Medicare taxes, the standard Part A premium for 2018 is $422 per month. For those who paid 30 to 39 quarters of Medicare taxes, the standard Part A premium is $232 per month.</p> <p>It's important to understand that Part A coverage is the bare minimum in terms of health coverage and that you should plan to supplement this coverage with the additional parts of Medicare. Generally, you're only responsible for one deductible (about $1,340) for each benefit period and no coinsurance for hospital stays under 60 days per benefit period.</p> <h2>Medicare Part B (medical insurance)</h2> <p>This is medical insurance that covers doctors' appointments and many other medical services and supplies not covered by Part A. In most cases, you'll automatically get Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn 65. You'll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail three months before your 65th birthday (or your 25th month of getting disability benefits).</p> <p>Part B helps pay for necessary services and supplies to treat your medical condition, as well as preventive services to detect or prevent illness at an early stage. Most preventive services have no cost as long as you get them from a health care provider accepting the amount that Medicare approves for payment. Part B includes payments for clinical research, ambulance services, durable medical equipment, and a second opinion before surgery.</p> <p>For 2018, the standard premium for Part B is $134 (and may be higher depending on your income). If you collect Social Security benefits, your premium may be slightly reduced.</p> <p>Since Medicare Part B requires a monthly premium even if you don't use it, you should consider delaying Part B if you're still receiving coverage through an employer group health insurance plan. Talk with your health plan administrator to learn more about how to delay Part B (and even Part A) without paying a penalty when enrolling later.</p> <p>Medicare coverage depends on federal and state laws. Use this <a href="https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/your-medicare-coverage.html" target="_blank">Medicare Coverage tool</a> to find if Medicare Part A and Part B will cover your test, item, or service. Note that there are certain things that Part A and Part B (also known together as &quot;Original Medicare&quot;) will not cover. For example, Original Medicare doesn't cover hearing aids and exams, eye exams, and most dental care. Part C and Part D can help you cover those gaps.</p> <h2>Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage plans)</h2> <p>Americans enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B are also eligible to sign up for health coverage plans, known as Medicare Advantage plans, with private health carriers approved by Medicare. The primary benefit of Part C is that you get a wider choice of medical providers and a more comprehensive prescription drug coverage. When you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, you must continue paying your Part B premium.</p> <p>There are different types of Medicare Advantage plans:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans: You generally must get your care and services from providers within the plan's network. Some HMO plans may allow you to get a referral from your primary care doctor for an out-of-network provider.</p> </li> <li> <p>Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans: You pay less as long as you use the doctors, hospitals, and health care providers within the plan's network and pay more when using those outside the network. Unlike an HMO, you're not required to choose a primary care doctor and you don't need a referral to see a specialist.</p> </li> <li> <p>Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans: The main difference between a PFFS and other plans is that the insurance company, not Medicare, determines how much the provider receives and the beneficiary pays for a covered health service. PFFS plans offer flexibility but often at a higher cost.</p> </li> <li> <p>Special Needs Plans (SNPs) plans: An SNP is only available to individuals with specific diseases or characteristics, including cancer, dementia, diabetes mellitus, or end-stage liver diseases. Benefits are tailored to the specific needs of that condition.</p> </li> <li> <p>HMO Point of Service (HMOPOS) plans: An HMOPOS plan allows you to get some services out-of-network for a higher cost.</p> </li> <li> <p>Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans: Plans that combine a high deductible health plan with a bank account into which Medicare makes deposits to pay for health care services throughout the year.</p> </li> </ul> <p>To enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Use the <a href="https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx" target="_blank">Medicare Plan Finder</a> to search for plans in your ZIP code (for personalized search, use your Medicare number).</p> </li> <li> <p>Enroll in your selected plan by mailing an enrollment form, calling the plan administrator, or calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).</p> </li> </ul> <p>When joining a Part C plan, you'll need your Medicare number and start date of Part A and/or Part B coverage.</p> <h2>Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage)</h2> <p>To help Americans with the rising cost of prescription drugs, the Social Security Administration established Medicare Part D in 2003. Like Medicare Part C, Part D is provided by private health insurance companies approved by Medicare. To enroll in Part D, you must have signed up for Part A and/or Part B. Deductibles and covered medications vary per plan. You are first eligible to sign up for Part D coverage during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which typically takes place during the same seven-month window as your IEP for Original Medicare (Parts A and B).</p> <p>Medicare Part D is also available to those with Part C, though some Medicare Advantage plans may already provide prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage plans with drug coverage are sometimes referred to as &quot;MA-PDs.&quot; HMO and PPO plans often include some prescription drug coverage, while PFFS and MSA plans often require additional drug coverage through Medicare Part D.</p> <p>Make sure to check your eligibility for your drug coverage from other organizations, such as Department of Veterans Affairs, workplace union, or TRICARE before signing up for a Part C or Part D plan. You use the same process to enroll in a Part D plan as you would for Part C.</p> <h2>The bottom line: Keep informed</h2> <p>You have unique medical needs. That is why Medicare offers a wide range of options for medical coverage. As you get closer to retirement age, keep on top of the latest developments of Medicare and its different parts so you can minimize your medical expenses. To learn more, use this <a href="https://www.medicare.gov/contacts/#findsomeone" target="_blank">directory to find Medicare contacts</a> using your state and organization or topic of interest.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sense-of-the-different-parts-of-medicare">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/generic-drug-price-lists-for-six-major-pharmacies">Generic Drug Price Lists For Six Major Pharmacies - Updated</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-common-medicare-myths-debunked">5 Common Medicare Myths, Debunked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/health-care-reform-good-for-people-like-me">Health Care Reform: Good for People Like Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/health-insurance-two-other-numbers-to-look-at">Health insurance: Two other numbers to look at</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-the-cost-of-a-hospital-stay">How to Cut the Cost of a Hospital Stay</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Health and Beauty Insurance coverage drugs health insurance medicare medicare part a medicare part b medicare part c medicare part d plans prescription retirement Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Damian Davila 2104316 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Health Insurance If You Missed the Open Enrollment Deadline http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-health-insurance-if-you-missed-the-open-enrollment-deadline <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-health-insurance-if-you-missed-the-open-enrollment-deadline" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_health_insurance_654573746.jpg" alt="Applying for health insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This year, the Open Enrollment period to sign up for a policy through the Health Insurance Marketplace was much shorter than in the past. The deadline for enrollment on the Federal exchange was December 15. (Many state run exchanges were open longer.) Previously, you had well into January to choose a plan. It's likely that many people were unaware of the change and missed their chance to enroll in an insurance policy.</p> <p>Instead of taking the risk of going without insurance, there are a few alternatives to get some form of coverage after the Open Enrollment deadline.</p> <h2>1. Find out if you qualify for Special Enrollment</h2> <p>If you've experienced a major life event, you may be able to enroll in a plan outside of the Open Enrollment period. You can qualify for Special Enrollment in these situations:</p> <ul> <li>You got married.</li> <li>You had a baby or adopted a child.</li> <li>You divorced or separated from your spouse and lost your insurance coverage.</li> <li>You moved to a new home with a different ZIP code than your old residence.</li> <li>You lost your job, either by resigning or being let go, and lost your insurance policy.</li> </ul> <p>These life events must occur within the past 60 days for you to be eligible for Special Enrollment. If you do qualify, you can complete a questionnaire and choose a plan through a designated <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/screener/" target="_blank">Special Enrollment section</a> of healthcare.gov.</p> <h2>2. See if your parents' insurance will cover you</h2> <p>If you are under the age of 26, your parents may be able to add you to their own insurance policies. If their insurance is through an employer, they can add you during the plan's enrollment period. To do so, they just have to contact their insurance company. However, keep in mind that adding you to their plan will cause your parents' insurance premiums to increase, sometimes by hundreds of dollars a month. Make sure you and your parents are comfortable with the cost and discuss who is responsible for the additional fees.</p> <h2>3. Take on a part-time job</h2> <p>Another way to get health insurance &mdash; and boost your income &mdash; is to take on a part-time job. Some companies, including big names like Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Lowe's, offer comprehensive insurance benefits to part-time employees.</p> <p>Some of them require you to work for a certain amount of time before you're eligible for benefits, but others allow you to enroll in an insurance policy on your first day. As an added bonus, your earnings from your part-time job can cover your share of health care costs and help bulk up your savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-big-companies-that-offer-benefits-for-part-time-workers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Big Companies That Offer Benefits for Part-Time Workers</a>)</p> <h2>4. Research state or federal programs</h2> <p>All states offer Medicaid programs that provide coverage for millions, but the rules can vary from state to state. In general, Medicaid is designed for individuals who have a low-income, or are disabled, elderly, or pregnant. Children can also qualify for Medicaid coverage.</p> <p>If you have children and they are not eligible for Medicaid, you may be able to get them insurance through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Getting them coverage through CHIP, even if you go without insurance, can help you save money on their medical costs.</p> <h2>5. Get a short-term insurance plan</h2> <p>If you don't qualify for other forms of health insurance, one thing to consider is enrolling in a short-term plan. Short-term plans are offered by private insurance companies and provide coverage in emergency situations or catastrophic events. While not as ideal as having a regular health insurance policy, a short-term plan can be an important safeguard in a pinch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-time-short-term-health-insurance-makes-sense?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The One Time Short-Term Health Insurance Makes Sense</a>)</p> <p>If you don't know where to start, you can find short-term and catastrophic insurance plans by contacting an insurance broker. You can find brokers near you through the <a href="https://nahu.org/looking-for-an-agent/find-an-agent" target="_blank">National Association of Health Underwriters</a> database.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-get-health-insurance-if-you-missed-the-open-enrollment-deadline&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Get%2520Health%2520Insurance%2520If%2520You%2520Missed%2520the%2520Open%2520Enrollment%2520Deadline.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Get%20Health%20Insurance%20If%20You%20Missed%20the%20Open%20Enrollment%20Deadline"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Get%20Health%20Insurance%20If%20You%20Missed%20the%20Open%20Enrollment%20Deadline.jpg" alt="How to Get Health Insurance If You Missed the Open Enrollment Deadline" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-health-insurance-if-you-missed-the-open-enrollment-deadline">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-health-care-in-2018">How to Sign Up for Health Care in 2018</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-need-to-answer-to-choose-the-best-health-care-plan">The One Question You Need to Answer to Choose the Best Health Care Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new">Signing Up for Obamacare in 2015? Here&#039;s What&#039;s New</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/health-insurance-how-to-fight-back-against-4-common-claim-denials">Health Insurance: How to Fight Back Against 4 Common Claim Denials</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/still-without-health-insurance-here-s-how-much-the-penalties-will-cost-you">Still Without Health Insurance? Here’s How Much the Penalties Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Insurance affordable care act health care health insurance medicaid missed deadline obamacare open enrollment penalties premiums Wed, 03 Jan 2018 09:30:14 +0000 Kat Tretina 2082184 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best Age to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-age-to-buy-long-term-care-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-age-to-buy-long-term-care-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/you_are_by_far_the_most_caring_doctor.jpg" alt="You are by far the most caring doctor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You might not want to think about how you'd pay for an assisted living facility or nursing home stay when you're only in your 50s. After all, the days when you might need long-term care still seem far away.</p> <p>But your 50s are actually the ideal time to start thinking about how you'd pay for this type of medical care. Why? Because the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance says that long-term care policies are more affordable when you're in your mid-50s, an age when you're typically healthier than you might be in your 60s or early 70s. In addition to making long-term care insurance more affordable, this also increases the chance that you'll meet the health requirements that insurance companies enforce when you apply for coverage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>Assisted living means big costs</h2> <p>According to insurance company Genworth, the median monthly cost to stay in an assisted living facility in the United States is $3,750. That's a lot of money. This high cost can make assisted living &mdash; or other long-term care facilities &mdash; too expensive for many who need their services.</p> <p>Medicare can't help you with assisted living, either; Medicare only pays for up to 100 days of care in a nursing home or skilled-nursing facility, and you'll first have to spend three days in a traditional hospital before being referred to the nursing facility. And Medicare will never pay the costs of a continuing-care retirement community or an assisted living facility.</p> <p>Medicaid <em>might </em>pay for some of the costs of an assisted living facility or continuing-care retirement community, but the amount it pays will vary by state. And people must meet strict income and eligibility requirements to qualify for this financial assistance. Since Medicaid is a program designed to aid the impoverished, it will only kick in after the resident has spent nearly all of their own assets on a stay in a home or long-term care facility.</p> <h2>Long-term care insurance can help</h2> <p>This is where an insurance plan can help. Long-term care insurance reimburses policyholders a daily benefit to cover a variety of medical services. The cost of this insurance varies depending on your age when you take out the policy, how much your policy will pay out per day, and whether you choose any optional benefits such as inflation protection.</p> <p>The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance estimates that a single 55-year-old with a policy providing a daily benefit of $150 over a maximum of three years can expect to pay about $2,007 a year. A couple the same age who opt for the same amount of coverage can expect to pay an average combined cost of $2,466 a year.</p> <p>But premiums can increase. While an insurance company cannot raise the premium solely on an individual, it can raise premiums for a group of people with similar characteristics. Read your policy carefully and make a tentative plan for what you might do if your rates go up.</p> <h2>Why the mid-50s is the right time</h2> <p>The cost of long-term care insurance jumps significantly as you get older. The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance estimates that a couple, both age 60, can expect to see costs jump to an average $3,381 a year for the same amount of coverage. That's over $900 a year more than it would have cost when they were just five years younger.</p> <p>If you're younger, you're also more likely to qualify for good health discounts from insurers. The association said that in 2010, the most recent year for which stats are available, 46 percent of people age 50 to 59 who applied for long-term care insurance qualified for a good-health discount. Only 38 percent of applicants from the ages of 60 to 69 qualified for these discounts. Again, read your policy carefully to see whether your discount could be rescinded if your health should fade.</p> <p>As you get older, your odds of qualifying at all for long-term care insurance drop. That's because insurers won't provide this coverage to applicants who have serious health issues. The association reported that in 2010, insurers denied 14 percent of applicants from the ages of 50 to 59. They denied 23 percent of applicants from the ages of 60 to 69.</p> <p>Long-term care insurance isn't right for everyone. If you don't have much in retirement assets, you might be able to pay for long-term care through Medicaid, a government program that was designed to help seniors who don't have much money.</p> <p>If you don't think you'll meet the requirements to qualify for Medicaid, you might decide that long-term care insurance is the best choice for you. Make sure to talk with an elder-care attorney who can help you navigate your options. If you find that long-term care makes the most sense, taking out a policy when you're in your 50s is the best move.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-best-age-to-buy-long-term-care-insurance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Best%2520Age%2520to%2520Buy%2520Long-Term%2520Care%2520Insurance.jpg&amp;description=The%20Best%20Age%20to%20Buy%20Long-Term%20Care%20Insurance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Best%20Age%20to%20Buy%20Long-Term%20Care%20Insurance.jpg" alt="7 DIY Decor Ideas that Won't Get Your Hands Dirty&#9;&#9;" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-age-to-buy-long-term-care-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it">Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-long-term-care-more-affordable">5 Ways to Make Long-Term Care More Affordable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-myths-about-health-savings-accounts-debunked">8 Myths About Health Savings Accounts — Debunked!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-workaholism-is-costing-you-money">6 Ways Workaholism Is Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-money-is-harder-today">Why Saving Money Is Harder Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Insurance assisted living discounts elderly expenses health care long term care insurance Mon, 18 Dec 2017 09:30:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 2069136 at http://www.wisebread.com How Longevity Insurance Can Keep You From Outliving Your Money http://www.wisebread.com/how-longevity-insurance-can-keep-you-from-outliving-your-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-longevity-insurance-can-keep-you-from-outliving-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_senior_lady.jpg" alt="Happy senior lady" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You want a long and happy life. But what if that life goes on<em> too</em> long? Have you considered the possibility that you haven't stashed enough savings away to support yourself if you live to be 90, or even 100?</p> <p>Longevity insurance might help ease your worries. But this product, also known as an advanced life-deferred annuity, does come with risk: You can purchase it, but, if you don't live as long as you expect, you may never benefit from it.</p> <h2>We're living longer</h2> <p>A study by the World Health Organization and Imperial College London found that by 2030, the average life expectancy for women will be 83.3 years and 79.5 for men. Currently, according to the study, the average life expectancy is 81.2 years for women and 76.5 for men. As people continue to live longer, it's only logical that they'll need more money to support themselves during those years. If you retire at age 67 and live to be 87, you'll need enough money to live for 20 years in retirement. But what if you live to be 100? That's 33 years spent without a regular paycheck. And that's where longevity insurance comes in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>Longevity insurance basics</h2> <p>Longevity insurance is designed to help retirees cover their expenses if they happen to live for a very long time. The product provides policyholders guaranteed income for life once they reach a certain age, usually 80 or 85. It's designed to provide extra income to supplement retirement savings that might be dwindling.</p> <p>Of course, this protection doesn't come free. You'll have to pay a lump sum to open a policy, something you'll usually do right before you hit retirement age. How much the policy pays out once you hit the trigger age depends on how much you pay for your policy and how old you are at the time you purchase it.</p> <p>MetLife provides a good example of how this works. According to a brochure advertising the company's Longevity Income Guarantee annuity, a man who makes a lump-sum payment of $50,000 at age 55 would receive an annual payout of $17,334 beginning when he turns 80. That same man would receive an annual payout of $30,619 if he waited until 85 to begin receiving his monthly payments.</p> <p>A man who invests $50,000 at age 60 will receive $8,017 a year if he elects to start receiving payouts at age 75, and $21,741 a year if he instead waits until he turns 85.</p> <p>The payouts for women are a bit lower, since women have longer life expectancies. In the example above, a woman who invests $50,000 at age 60 will receive annual payouts of $20,515 if she decides to start taking payments at the age of 85.</p> <h2>The drawbacks</h2> <p>While longevity insurance can provide you with additional protection throughout your retirement, it does come with some drawbacks. First, there's the price. In the MetLife examples, for instance, consumers are investing $50,000 into the product. That's a lot of money. And depending on where that money comes from, it could make a serious dent in what you are saving for retirement.</p> <p>That's why the best candidate for longevity insurance is someone who not only expects to live a long life, but someone who can comfortably afford to part with that large lump-sum payment. You shouldn't spend more than 10 to 20 percent of your nest egg on a longevity insurance payment.</p> <p>There's also inflation. Coverage that you purchase today won't be worth the same amount in, say, 20 years. Some longevity insurance programs offer inflation protection, adding the expected costs of inflation to your future payouts. Investing in inflation protection can be a smart move, but it won't be free. You'll have to pay extra.</p> <p>Then there's an even bigger problem: How do you<em> really</em> predict how long you'll live? Say you elect to start receiving longevity insurance payments at age 85. What if you die at age 80? With basic policies, you'll lose that lump sum you invested 20 or 30 years ago. That's because basic longevity insurance products don't include a death benefit. The money you invested will be lost if you die before your payouts begin.</p> <p>Some insurers offer the option of a death benefit so that your heirs can collect at least a portion of your payout if you die too early. Again, though, you'll have to pay extra for this flexibility. And your annual payout might also be lower as a way for insurers to recoup some of the extra risk <em>they </em>take on by providing you with a death benefit.</p> <p>One last drawback is the lack of flexibility. If you plan to collect payments at age 85, but find you really need the money starting at age 82, you may be out of luck. Some insurers do offer an option allowing policyholders to access their money early, but these policies cost more and typically provide a lower annual payout.</p> <p>Should you invest in longevity insurance? It depends on how much financial peace of mind is worth to you. Because this type of insurance does come with unusual risks, you'll have to determine if the fear of outliving your income is worth the chance of investing in an insurance policy that might never pay out for you.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-longevity-insurance-can-keep-you-from-outliving-your-money&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Longevity%2520Insurance%2520Can%2520Keep%2520You%2520From%2520Outliving%2520Your%2520Money.jpg&amp;description=How%20Longevity%20Insurance%20Can%20Keep%20You%20From%20Outliving%20Your%20Money"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Longevity%20Insurance%20Can%20Keep%20You%20From%20Outliving%20Your%20Money.jpg" alt="How Longevity Insurance Can Keep You From Outliving Your Money" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-longevity-insurance-can-keep-you-from-outliving-your-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-for-a-forced-early-retirement">How to Plan for a Forced Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-playing-it-safe-with-your-money-is-actually-risky">Why Playing It Safe With Your Money Is Actually Risky</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-job-dont-make-these-7-mistakes-with-your-benefits">New Job? Don&#039;t Make These 7 Mistakes With Your Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-working-while-collecting-social-security">What You Need to Know About Working While Collecting Social Security</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-you-dont-run-out-of-money-in-retirement">How to Make Sure You Don&#039;t Run Out of Money in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Retirement aging benefits deferred annuity inflation living longer longevity insurance lump sum payments Thu, 14 Dec 2017 09:31:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 2069775 at http://www.wisebread.com When Is Your Credit Card's Travel Insurance Good Enough? http://www.wisebread.com/when-is-your-credit-cards-travel-insurance-good-enough <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-is-your-credit-cards-travel-insurance-good-enough" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel_planning_concept_on_table_0.jpg" alt="Travel planning concept on table" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>People know travel insurance exists because they get the option to buy or decline it when they purchase airfare or book a vacation package. At the very least, many are informed of their credit card's perks and benefits &mdash; including travel insurance &mdash; when they sign up for a new card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Types of Travel Insurance Credit Cards Include That You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <p>But, many people still don't know how travel insurance actually works. The complexities of travel insurance have made it so that few people understand whether they should buy it or when they actually need it.</p> <p>This tends to leave travelers with a lot of questions. For example, what does travel insurance cover? And, is the free insurance offered by your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel credit card</a> actually enough to protect you? To find out, we interviewed some travel experts who rely on travel insurance and advise others on how to do the same.</p> <h2>What kind of travel insurance is available?</h2> <p>Travel insurance is a broad term to describe several different <em>types</em> of coverage related to travel. To make sure you're covered in a way that's meaningful both personally and financially, you need to determine the type of coverage you have, what your policy or rewards card covers, and if it's enough. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything You Need to Know About Buying Travel Insurance</a>)</p> <p>Here are the common types of coverage you can secure with a travel insurance policy and/or a rewards credit card that includes it:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Trip cancellation coverage &mdash; Reimburses you when a trip is canceled for reasons beyond your control</p> </li> <li> <p>Trip interruption coverage &mdash; Reimburses you for the unused components of your trip when your trip is interrupted due to a covered reason</p> </li> <li> <p>Emergency medical and dental &mdash; This coverage kicks in if you need emergency medical or dental care away from home</p> </li> <li> <p>Emergency medical transportation &mdash; This coverage provides emergency medical transportation, including air travel</p> </li> <li> <p>Baggage protection &mdash; Receive reimbursement if your baggage is lost, damaged, or stolen during travel</p> </li> <li> <p>Baggage delay coverage &mdash; Receive reimbursement for clothing, toiletries, and essential items when delayed baggage necessitates the purchase of these items</p> </li> <li> <p>Travel delay coverage &mdash; Provides reimbursement for meals or lodging when your travel is delayed for a covered reason</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-travel-accident-insurance-cover-on-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">Travel accident coverage</a> &mdash; Provides financial reimbursement for death or dismemberment during travel</p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">Rental car coverage</a> &mdash; Provides coverage for damage due to a collision or theft involving a rental car you pay for with the card</p> </li> </ul> <p>While you can get most of this coverage through a travel insurance policy or certain rewards credit cards, it's important to note that limits and caps can vary dramatically, and may make the coverage insufficient.</p> <p>Also keep in mind that for your credit card coverage to work, you must have used your card to pay for a major component of your travel such as your airfare. Simply having a credit card in your possession that offers travel insurance coverage is not enough.</p> <h2>When should you rely on travel insurance offered through a credit card?</h2> <p>So, when is it okay to rely on your credit card's travel coverage? While it depends a lot on your specific card, its policies, and your trip details, there are some basic rules of thumb to follow.</p> <p>According to travel guru Ariana Arghandewal from PointChaser.com, some of the obvious instances when you may be able to rely solely on credit card insurance are for car rentals and checked luggage. That's because rental car insurance and lost luggage coverage are included for cardholders of certain travel credit cards.</p> <p>Once you confirm the coverage you have by reading your credit card's terms and conditions, you should also check limits to make sure coverage is sufficient. For example, you may find your credit card offers lost baggage insurance with a $500 cap, which may not even be enough to replace your suitcase, let alone your belongings.</p> <p>If the limits your credit card sets leave you feeling vulnerable, it may be worth looking into buying a travel insurance policy with beefier coverage.</p> <h2>When should you buy a dedicated travel insurance policy?</h2> <p>There are times when any traveler should consider buying a separate travel insurance policy, one of the most common being when they're traveling to a destination where their health insurance coverage is no longer valid.</p> <p>It's not just getting sick that you need to worry about. You also have to think about motor vehicle accidents, especially if you don't have a personal car insurance policy. If you get hit while driving abroad, not having medical coverage or overseas auto coverage could leave you in a bind.</p> <p>&quot;Be sure to check with your health insurance company to see if they cover overseas medical expenses before leaving,&quot; says Lyn Mettler, who blogs about travel and credit cards at GotoTravelGal.com. &quot;If not, getting a travel insurance policy that covers you in the event of medical issues or emergency is a good idea.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;While most credit card companies will help <em>arrange</em> medical care, they will not pay for it,&quot; she says. Some credit cards offer some medical benefits, but the coverage amount is usually so low that it is not a true safeguard.</p> <p>Adventure travelers in particular should not rely on their credit card coverage, says Arghandewal. If you're planning to scuba dive or sky-dive, you may need to buy travel insurance and then pay extra to cover dangerous activities.</p> <p><a href="https://www.bhtp.com/our-products/exactcare" target="_blank">Berkshire Hathaway's ExactCare</a> insurance covers up to $25,000 in emergency medical coverage. &quot;Even pre-existing conditions are covered if insurance is purchased within 15 days of initial trip deposit,&quot; she says.</p> <p>It's also worth noting that, if you are purchasing an expensive, once-in-a-lifetime trip, you may want trip cancellation or interruption insurance with higher limits than you could get with a credit card.</p> <p>While some credit cards offer trip cancellation and interruption insurance that would work in this case, coverage caps can limit reimbursement to $10,000 or less, depending on the card.</p> <h2>What type of travel insurance is best for families who travel together?</h2> <p>While it's important to figure out travel coverage if you're traversing the globe by yourself or with a friend, traveling with a family in tow could easily raise the stakes. If you're in another country and your child gets sick, for example, you'll need to make sure you have the right coverage to reimburse you for interrupted plans, proper medical care, and potentially getting everyone home early.</p> <p>Trip cancellation or interruption insurance can work well for families since it can provide reimbursement for travel plans interrupted for by sickness or unplanned disasters.</p> <p>Even trip cancellation or interruption insurance provided for free through a credit card can work well in this respect, but you should check your card's coverage information.</p> <p>When traveling with family, it might be best to purchase a travel insurance policy good for everyone in your party no matter what. That way, you're covered if someone gets sick during your journey, a natural disaster ruins your itinerary, or some other unforeseen event thwarts your plans.</p> <h2>What about primary and secondary auto rental coverage?</h2> <p>Mettler says rental car insurance is actually one of the most valuable types of coverage credit cards offer. But you'll need to check whether your card offers primary or secondary auto rental coverage, and when this coverage is applicable.</p> <p>Primary auto rental insurance is particularly valuable because it will cover you without getting your personal auto insurance company involved, which could cause your personal insurance rates to go up. Secondary coverage means your personal auto insurance will pay first, and the credit card auto insurance will cover anything that is left.</p> <p>If you're traveling outside the U.S., chances are your personal auto policy won't apply. In that case, even secondary rental insurance offered by your credit card becomes your primary insurance. For it to be valid, you'll need to pay for the car with your credit card and decline all optional coverage offered by the rental car company.</p> <p>But before you do that, check for exclusions in your credit card's coverage. For instance, many issuers refuse to cover rentals in Israel, Ireland, Jamaica, Northern Ireland, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand.</p> <p>Other exclusions are common, too. Arghandewal notes that even some premium cards won't cover luxury vehicles, rentals exceeding 15 days, or car rentals in certain international markets. &quot;So if you're taking a cross-country road trip or traveling to Israel, you might want to take the sales rep up on the offer to buy additional rental coverage. The odds are, your credit card will not include it,&quot; she says (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-things-you-should-know-about-rental-car-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Things You Should Know About Rental Car Insurance</a>)</p> <p>While the collision damage waiver offered by rental car companies can be expensive, it may be worth it to have peace of mind.</p> <h2>How to know if you're covered</h2> <p>Travel blogger Lee Huffman of BaldThoughts.com says the key to protecting yourself is educating yourself on the types of coverage you have already and the types you can buy. From there, you can make sure you're covered sufficiently for every trip you take.</p> <p>&quot;As with any insurance policy, there are exclusions to coverage, so be sure to read through the details to make sure you are covered like you think you are,&quot; says Huffman. &quot;Don't be afraid to call the credit card company or travel insurance agency to get your questions answered.&quot;</p> <p>If you're on the fence about buying separate travel insurance or relying on your card, travel expert Howie Rappaport from AwardWallet.com suggests three simple steps. First, contact your card issuer to see what your card does and doesn't cover. Second, figure out what your own insurance policies might cover in terms of auto liability and health care. Third, do the math and assess your risk tolerance.</p> <p>&quot;It is all about the numbers and peace of mind,&quot; says Rappaport. &quot;There is no right answer here, but hopefully, you've figured out what makes sense after talking with everyone.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhen-is-your-credit-cards-travel-insurance-good-enough&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhen%2520Is%2520Your%2520Credit%2520Card%2527s%2520Travel%2520Insurance%2520Good%2520Enough_.jpg&amp;description=When%20Is%20Your%20Credit%20Card's%20Travel%20Insurance%20Good%20Enough%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/When%20Is%20Your%20Credit%20Card%27s%20Travel%20Insurance%20Good%20Enough_.jpg" alt="When Is Your Credit Card's Travel Insurance Good Enough?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-is-your-credit-cards-travel-insurance-good-enough">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about">6 Types of Travel Insurance Credit Cards Include That You Didn&#039;t Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-trip-cancellation-insurance-cover">What Exactly Does Trip Cancellation Insurance Cover?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-surprising-insurance-policies-you-might-need">15 Surprising Insurance Policies You Might Need</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-protect-your-luggage-on-your-next-trip">9 Ways to Protect Your Luggage on Your Next Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-insurance">Everything You Need to Know About Buying Travel Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Travel lost luggage rental car insurance travel insurance travel medical insurance trip cancellation Fri, 08 Dec 2017 09:30:06 +0000 Holly Johnson 2068608 at http://www.wisebread.com When Dropping Your Life Insurance Is the Right Decision http://www.wisebread.com/when-dropping-your-life-insurance-is-the-right-decision <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-dropping-your-life-insurance-is-the-right-decision" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_property_life_and_health_insurance_concept.jpg" alt="Family property, life and health insurance concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life insurance is a crucial way to protect your family if you should suddenly pass away. The payout from a life insurance policy can help your loved ones continue to pay a mortgage and other large bills they may not otherwise be able to afford.</p> <p>Life insurance is so important that few people ever decide to terminate their policies. But are there times when canceling a life insurance policy actually makes sense?</p> <p>The surprising answer? Sure. It all depends on who continues to rely on your income and who doesn't.</p> <h2>Your children</h2> <p>When deciding whether to cancel a life insurance policy, don't focus solely on your age. Yes, the odds are higher that once you get older (past retirement age), you won't have as many people relying on the money you are making today. With fewer people depending on you financially, it might make sense to cancel your life insurance policy and save the money you are spending on premiums.</p> <p>Life insurance is most important when you are worried about providing your children with a financial safety net. When your children are young, they need the financial protection that a life insurance policy provides. After all, they won't be working or generating their own income.</p> <p>But when your children become adults, they might no longer need the payout that your life insurance would provide them if you should die. Canceling a policy designed to protect your kids is usually a sound financial move once these children become adults who are working and providing for themselves.</p> <h2>Your spouse</h2> <p>What if your life insurance policy is also a form of protection for your spouse or partner? That might change your decision to cancel, even as you get older.</p> <p>Say you die at the age of 65. Would a payout from a life insurance policy provide that extra bit of financial protection to your spouse or partner? Would it help ensure that this person won't struggle with finances after you die?</p> <p>If the answer is yes, canceling your life insurance policy may not be the right move. You may want to hold onto that policy, even as you inch closer to retirement age. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a>)</p> <h2>Getting a better plan</h2> <p>There are other reasons to cancel your life insurance. Say you are no longer happy with your current plan; maybe the monthly premiums seem too high.</p> <p>If you shop around and can find a plan that provides enough coverage at a lower price, canceling your existing policy is not only OK, it ranks as a smart financial move.</p> <p>Just be sure to compare your existing policy with your potential new one carefully. Yes, a new policy might be cheaper &mdash; but it might also not provide the same amount of coverage. Make sure to do your research before canceling any life insurance policy.</p> <h2>You've already paid for your biggest expenses</h2> <p>Life insurance is supposed to be a financial safety net for your loved ones in case you suddenly die. But what if you've already paid off your mortgage? Your spouse or partner won't need a payout from your life insurance policy to cover that bill. What if you've already paid for sending your children to college? Life insurance isn't necessary to help cover this big expense, either. So why not cancel your policy if those big expenses are already in your past?</p> <p>You can take the money you were spending on life insurance premiums and save it for retirement, add it to your emergency fund savings, or invest in the stock market.</p> <p>Of course, this type of plan only works if you actually will take the money you were spending and do something financially savvy with it. But canceling a life insurance policy when the big bills are paid can be an effective way of putting your dollars to better use.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhen-dropping-your-life-insurance-is-the-right-decision&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhen%2520Dropping%2520Your%2520Life%2520Insurance%2520Is%2520the%2520Right%2520Decision.jpg&amp;description=When%20Dropping%20Your%20Life%20Insurance%20Is%20the%20Right%20Decision"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/When%20Dropping%20Your%20Life%20Insurance%20Is%20the%20Right%20Decision.jpg" alt="When Dropping Your Life Insurance Is the Right Decision" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-dropping-your-life-insurance-is-the-right-decision">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-group-life-insurance-is-not-enough">Why Your Group Life Insurance Is Not Enough</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose">Term vs Whole Life Insurance: Here&#039;s How to Choose</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-you-need-to-update-your-will">6 Times You Need to Update Your Will</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fair-way-to-split-up-your-familys-estate">The Fair Way to Split Up Your Family&#039;s Estate</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance beneficiaries canceling children dependents estate planning expenses life insurance mortgages Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:31:05 +0000 Dan Rafter 2051050 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Surprising Insurance Policies You Might Need http://www.wisebread.com/15-surprising-insurance-policies-you-might-need <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-surprising-insurance-policies-you-might-need" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_doctor.jpg" alt="Family doctor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most people are familiar with the most common kinds of insurance &mdash; home, auto, life, and health insurance. But there are many additional insurance policies available for things that are probably not covered by your everyday basic policies. Depending on your risk exposure, additional insurance coverage could be worth the cost. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-weird-types-of-insurance-you-didnt-even-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Weird Types of Insurance You Didn't Even Know About</a>)</p> <p>Here are some less well known kinds of insurance you might want to consider.</p> <h2>1. Pet insurance</h2> <p>This is basically health insurance for pets. A pet insurance policy can limit your expenses if your pet gets injured or sick and requires a costly medical procedure. If you would spend almost anything to save your fur baby, this can be worth getting so you don't have to worry about devastating veterinary bills. The cost of pet insurance ranges from about $10 to $70 per month, depending on the type of pet and the level of coverage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>2. Earthquake insurance</h2> <p>Even though there is not much risk of a big quake here in Iowa, I once added earthquake coverage to my homeowners policy. At the time I lived in an old, two-story farmhouse that I thought would be susceptible to an earthquake, and the cost of coverage was only a few dollars per year. It was well worth it for the peace of mind.</p> <h2>3. Flood insurance</h2> <p>Damage to your home by flooding is not typically covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. If there has been a history of flooding on your property or nearby homes, you will want to take a look at getting flood insurance. The average cost of flood insurance is around $700 per year, but it can depend on the location and risk of flooding. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-flood-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>4. Disability insurance</h2> <p>Disability insurance protects your paycheck in case you become incapacitated or disabled and are unable to work. Short-term disability insurance typically replaces about 80 percent of your income for two to six months. Long-term disability coverage may last for years or even your entire life, and typically covers up to 60 percent of your income. Disability insurance is especially important if you have a single earner in your household, or if one earner makes most of the income. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-disability-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Things You Need to Know About Disability Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>5. Long-term care insurance</h2> <p>If you become unable to take care of yourself later in life, you may need assisted living services or to move into a nursing home; both of which can be astronomically expensive. Long-term care insurance helps cover these expenses and is offered as a traditional insurance policy or as a hybrid policy that combines life insurance and long-term care insurance. Note that these policies can be expensive, costing up to $2,000 per year &mdash; sometimes more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>6. Supplemental health insurance</h2> <p>In case of illness or injury, supplemental health insurance may cover deductibles and co-payments that are not covered by other forms of insurance. It may even provide a cash payment to cover expenses such as utility bills, housing payments, and groceries while you are not working. Plans typically cost up to $30 per month.</p> <h2>7. Identity theft insurance</h2> <p>If you are a victim of identity theft, this insurance policy will cover the expenses of restoring your identity, including application fees, postage, notary fees, and attorney fees. Some policies also provide fraud loss coverage in case funds are stolen from your account. Coverage costs between $25 and $50 per year.</p> <h2>8. Student loan insurance</h2> <p>Unlike most other types of debt, student loans cannot be discharged through bankruptcy if you become disabled and are unable to make the payments. Some disability insurance providers offer student loan protection that can be added onto a disability policy that will make your student loan payments. This type of coverage is especially popular for medical school graduates and others with large student loans.</p> <h2>9. Wedding insurance</h2> <p>A lot of the expensive things that can go wrong with a wedding are covered by wedding insurance. The wedding may need to be postponed due to illness or injury. The wedding dress, rings, and even the cake can be lost or damaged. Depending on coverage, wedding insurance typically costs a few hundred dollars and may be worth considering if you are planning an elaborate event for the big day. You can also get liability coverage to protect you in case an accident happens at the wedding.</p> <h2>10. Travel insurance</h2> <p>Travel insurance comes in two main varieties: trip cancellation insurance and medical travel insurance. Trip cancellation insurance typically runs about 5 to 7 percent of the trip cost and protects you from losses in case your trip is canceled due to sudden illness or natural disaster. Some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about" target="_blank">credit cards offer travel protection</a>, so check with your card provider before taking out a separate policy. Medical travel insurance covers medical expenses if you are sick or injured in a foreign country, where your standard health insurance policy may not help you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything You Need to Know About Buying Travel Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>11. Dorm insurance</h2> <p>Dorm insurance covers expensive items that you might take with you to college, such as a computer. It typically has a very low deductible (around $25), which makes it easier to get a payout if you suffer a loss. A $5,000 policy may have a premium of around $140 a year, according to Consumer Reports. But your homeowners insurance policy may already provide some coverage for students living in dormitories, so check before you sign up.</p> <h2>12. Renter's insurance</h2> <p>Even if you don't own a home, you may still want insurance coverage for possessions such as your clothes, furniture, and electronics in case of theft or damage. In fact, many landlords require you have this kind of insurance. Depending on the coverage, policies start at around $12 per month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters' Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>13. Antiques insurance</h2> <p>If you have a valuable collection of antiques, coins, stamps, fine wine, or anything else out of the ordinary, you might want to consider getting your collection appraised and getting insurance coverage to replace it in case of damage, theft, or destruction. Standard homeowners insurance policies have limited coverage for special items, so adding a rider or separate policy may make sense. Premiums can vary widely depending on the appraised value of your items.</p> <h2>14. Longevity insurance</h2> <p>One of the big variables in retirement planning is estimating your life span. Living for a long time increases the amount of funds you'll need in retirement. If you are worried about outliving your retirement savings, you can get longevity insurance, a type of deferred annuity, that starts paying out once you hit a certain age, such as 85. An important thing to note is longevity insurance is &quot;use it or lose it&quot; &mdash; if you die before collecting your benefit, the money is lost.</p> <h2>15. Mortgage protection insurance</h2> <p>Mortgage protection insurance pays off your mortgage in the event of your death, and covers your loan payments if you become disabled or lose your job. If you have life insurance and disability insurance, you may already be covered for this risk. Mortgage protection insurance can be a good option if you are in a high risk occupation and cannot easily get disability insurance. Premium costs vary but are typically several hundred dollars per year.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F15-surprising-insurance-policies-you-might-need&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F15%2520Surprising%2520Insurance%2520Policies%2520You%2520Might%2520Need.jpg&amp;description=15%20Surprising%20Insurance%20Policies%20You%20Might%20Need"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/15%20Surprising%20Insurance%20Policies%20You%20Might%20Need.jpg" alt="15 Surprising Insurance Policies You Might Need" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-surprising-insurance-policies-you-might-need">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-common-medicare-myths-debunked">5 Common Medicare Myths, Debunked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-myths-about-health-savings-accounts-debunked">8 Myths About Health Savings Accounts — Debunked!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sense-of-the-different-parts-of-medicare">How to Make Sense of the Different Parts of Medicare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-trip-cancellation-insurance-cover">What Exactly Does Trip Cancellation Insurance Cover?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-retirement-has-gotten-easier">7 Surprising Ways Retirement Has Gotten Easier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance coverage health care long term care pets protection renters insurance travel insurance valuables weddings weird insurance policies Tue, 31 Oct 2017 08:30:09 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2043246 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Sign Up for Health Care in 2018 http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-health-care-in-2018 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-sign-up-for-health-care-in-2018" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/open_enrollment_workplace_of_a_doctor.jpg" alt="Open Enrollment, Workplace of a doctor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you need to buy a health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act (also commonly referred to as the exchange, the ACA, or Obamacare), there are a number of important facts that you must know for 2018 open enrollment. As someone who has purchased health insurance through the ACA several times, I know how important it is to have this information. Here are the details you need for open enrollment this year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-need-to-answer-to-choose-the-best-health-care-plan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The One Question You Need to Answer to Choose the Best Health Care Plan</a>)</p> <h2>What is open enrollment?</h2> <p>Open enrollment is a time period at the end of the year when anyone can buy a new health insurance policy for the following year if they don't have health insurance through another source (such as an employer).</p> <h2>Is open enrollment the only time to get health insurance through the ACA?</h2> <p>To be eligible to enroll in a health insurance plan through the ACA outside of the open enrollment period, you must have what's known as a qualifying life event. <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/screener/" target="_blank">Healthcare.gov's screener</a> tool provides a questionnaire that tells you whether or not your life event qualifies you for a special enrollment. If it does, you will be directed to the appropriate website where you can purchase a new health insurance policy.</p> <h2>How do I get started in open enrollment?</h2> <p>Depending upon the state in which you claim your residency, you will either have a state-specific exchange or you will be a part of the federal exchange program. Healthcare.gov <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace-in-your-state/" target="_blank">directs you to the appropriate Marketplace for you</a> when you enter your ZIP code at the start of the process.</p> <h2>When is open enrollment this year?</h2> <p>Open enrollment begins on November 1 and ends on December 15. It's important to note that open enrollment is a full six weeks shorter than it has been in years past, so you have much less time to enroll than you would have had in previous years. Some states that run their own state exchanges have extended their open enrollment period beyond the federally set end date of December 15. For example, my home state of New York has decided to make January 31 the end date for its open enrollment.</p> <h2>How does open enrollemt benefit consumers?</h2> <p>It may seem trivial, but open enrollment does offer people several benefits.</p> <h3>Locks in rates and benefits</h3> <p>Having an open enrollment period locks in the monthly cost (premium) that you pay to have health insurance for an entire year. Locking in your premium means that insurance companies cannot change it during that year. Because the benefits of your plan are also locked in for the year, insurance companies can't deny you any of the coverage you purchased during open enrollment.</p> <h3>Covers pre-existing conditions</h3> <p>Thanks to the ACA, you cannot be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing health condition. Before the ACA, it was legal for a health insurance company to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.</p> <h3>Provides minimum essential coverage</h3> <p>All plans available through the ACA must provide what's known as minimum essential coverage. This includes:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Ambulatory patient services. This is any service that takes place outside of a hospital and includes visits to a doctor's office, health clinic, or urgent care center.</p> </li> <li> <p>Chronic condition treatment. Chronic conditions are illnesses that must be consistently treated to prevent or slow their progression. They may or may not ever be fully cured. These include asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.</p> </li> <li> <p>Emergency room services.</p> </li> <li> <p>Hospitalization.</p> </li> <li> <p>Laboratory services. These services include tests that help doctors diagnose your illness or condition. Blood work and screenings are examples of lab services.</p> </li> <li> <p>Maternity and newborn care.</p> </li> <li> <p>Mental health services and addiction treatment. This includes both inpatient and outpatient services. Inpatient services are those that require you to check in to a facility for multiple days of treatment. Outpatient services are those that occur in an office visit to a therapist.</p> </li> <li> <p>Pediatric services. This includes checkups, vaccinations, and immunizations, as well as dental and vision care.</p> </li> <li> <p>Prescription drugs.</p> </li> <li> <p>Preventive and wellness services. This includes physicals, immunizations, and screenings. For women, this also includes well visits to a gynecologist. Many times, these services are included in the insurance plan with no extra fee other than a copay if you go to a service provider who is in-network. In-network means that a service provider is preapproved by the insurance company. These in-network lists are available to you directly from the insurance company.</p> </li> <li> <p>Rehabilitative services and devices. This includes inpatient and outpatient services that help you to recover from an illness or injury.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>What if I can't afford the monthly premium for a plan on the ACA?</h2> <p>As of right now, the ACA offers subsidies to people who have incomes that are below certain thresholds. These subsidies are directly applied to your premium so your monthly bill is less than it would be without the subsidy. When you are on the ACA website, it will ask you if you'd like to see if you qualify for a subsidy. If you select yes, it will walk you through a short series of questions about your income to see if you qualify. If you do qualify, it will tell you how much of a subsidy you can receive, and you will be able to apply for it directly on the site. The subsidy will then be reflected on each of your monthly premium bills.</p> <h2>How can I find out if I qualify for Medicaid?</h2> <p>Some states have chosen to expand their Medicaid programs to cover more of their residents. To find out if you qualify for Medicaid, <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/lower-costs/" target="_blank">choose your state and household size</a> on Healthare.gov and the site will tell you if you qualify.</p> <h2>I'm still confused about what I need to do to get health insurance through the ACA. What should I do?</h2> <p>Healthcare.gov has worked hard to train its customer service agents to provide phone support for people who need additional help. A page on their website details <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/contact-us/" target="_blank">what you should know before you call</a> as well as the contact numbers for you to use. I have personally used New York's customer service line, and I received helpful, timely, and excellent service.</p> <p>If you need to buy insurance through the ACA, I highly recommend selecting your plan as early as possible in the open enrollment period. Having health insurance is one of the most responsible personal finance actions you can take to care for yourself and your family. If you need or want to purchase your own health insurance for 2018, please make sure to go to <a href="http://healthcare.gov" target="_blank">Healthcare.gov</a> between November 1 and December 15.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-sign-up-for-health-care-in-2018&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Sign%2520Up%2520for%2520Health%2520Care%2520in%25202018.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Sign%20Up%20for%20Health%20Care%20in%202018"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Sign%20Up%20for%20Health%20Care%20in%202018.jpg" alt="How to Sign Up for Health Care in 2018" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-health-care-in-2018">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-health-insurance-if-you-missed-the-open-enrollment-deadline">How to Get Health Insurance If You Missed the Open Enrollment Deadline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-need-to-answer-to-choose-the-best-health-care-plan">The One Question You Need to Answer to Choose the Best Health Care Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/signing-up-for-obamacare-in-2015-heres-whats-new">Signing Up for Obamacare in 2015? Here&#039;s What&#039;s New</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-without-health-insurance-in-2015-heres-what-itll-cost-you">Going Without Health Insurance in 2015? Here&#039;s What It&#039;ll Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-fall-for-these-common-obamacare-scams">Don&#039;t Fall for These Common Obamacare Scams</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Insurance ACA affordable care act health insurance obamacare open enrollment premiums qualifying life event subsidies the exchange Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:00:07 +0000 Christa Avampato 2040661 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Common Medicare Myths, Debunked http://www.wisebread.com/5-common-medicare-myths-debunked <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-common-medicare-myths-debunked" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/medicare_application_form_with_stethoscope.jpg" alt="Medicare application form with stethoscope" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is no larger health insurance program in the United States than Medicare. According to the Centers for Medicare &amp; Medicaid Services, more than 57 million people were receiving health benefits through the program as of March 2017.</p> <p>But just because millions are on Medicare doesn't mean that most people, especially those who have yet to hit 65, understand how this government program works. Most people instead believe several easily debunked myths about what Medicare does, how financially healthy it is, and what it doesn't do.</p> <h2>1. Medicare won&rsquo;t be around for me</h2> <p>You might worry that Medicare won't be around to cover your health care needs by the time you retire. Here's some good news: Medicare is not broke ... yet.</p> <p>The Medicare program had about $200 billion in reserves at the end of 2015. So the program does have money.</p> <p>There is some concern, though. Medicare is projected to run a surplus every year through 2020, when a growing number of Baby Boomers will start retiring. This means that Medicare will then run at an annual deficit beginning in 2021. If nothing is done to prevent this, the program will exhaust its reserves by the year 2028.</p> <p>That will be a big problem if it is allowed to happen. There are possible solutions, though, even though they will require some financial pain. The most obvious one would be to raise Medicare taxes. That won't make anyone happy, but it is the simplest way to ensure that Medicare does have enough dollars to cover all of its beneficiaries.</p> <h2>2. There's only one type of Medicare</h2> <p>Medicare is a complicated system. In fact, there are actually <em>four </em>types of Medicare coverage.</p> <p>Medicare Part A and Part B are part of what is known as original Medicare. Medicare Part A, known as hospital insurance, covers inpatient care received at hospitals and nursing facilities. Part B covers services and supplies that you need to treat health conditions. This part of Medicare covers outpatient care, preventive services, ambulance rides, and medical equipment.</p> <p>Medicare Part C is a bit more complicated: It's the part of the program that makes it possible for private health insurance companies to provide Medicare private health plans &mdash; in the form of HMOs and PPOs &mdash; known as Medicare Advantage Plans. You can elect to receive your medical benefits through a combination of Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B or from one of these private Advantage Plans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-getting-the-most-out-of-your-medicare-plan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Medicare Plan</a>)</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-compare-medicare-part-d-plans-a-beginner-s-guide" target="_blank">Medicare Part D</a> subsidizes the cost of your prescription drugs. This part of the program is often referred to as the Medicare prescription drug benefit.</p> <h2>3. You'll never have to pay for health insurance once you're on Medicare</h2> <p>Medicare will cover much of your health insurance needs. But there are some costs that you'll still need to cover on your own.</p> <p>For instance, Medicare does come with deductibles that you must pay before the insurance kicks in. These deductibles can change each year. For 2017, Medicare Part A comes with a $1,316 deductible per benefit period for your hospital stays. This means that if you do end up in the hospital, you'll have to pay this amount out of your own savings before Medicare will cover the rest of your expenses.</p> <p>Medicare Part B has a deductible of $183 for 2017. Again, you'll have to pay this amount before your Medicare coverage kicks in. And even after Part B coverage begins, you'll still have a copay. Medicare Part B generally covers 80 percent of your medical services. You'll have to cover the remaining 20 percent of these costs on your own.</p> <p>There are also coinsurance payments. If you must stay in a hospital for more than 60 days, you'll have to make a coinsurance payment for your Medicare Part A benefits.</p> <h2>4. Medicare covers all my medical needs</h2> <p>There are some medical services that Medicare does not provide any coverage for. Unfortunately, these services aren't exactly frivolous ones.</p> <p>Medicare does not provide dental coverage. It also doesn't pay for vision examinations for glasses. You can't rely on Medicare to cover the costs of dentures or hearing aids. And if you need long-term care, Medicare again won't provide coverage.</p> <p>You can purchase specialized insurance programs to cover these medical expenses. But you'll have to pay for the plans on your own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>5. I won't have to pay any premiums for Medicare</h2> <p>Most people won't pay any monthly premiums for their Medicare Part A coverage. That's the good news. The bad news? You will pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B.</p> <p>As of 2017, the Part B premium stood at $134 a month. Medicare, though, says that most people who get Social Security benefits pay less than that, for an average monthly premium of $109. This premium is usually deducted directly from your Social Security benefits. You won't be writing a check each month, but you'll still be paying for that Part B coverage.</p> <p>You'll also have to pay a premium each month if you elect to sign up for a Medicare Part C plan. These premiums will vary depending on your plan. Medicare Part D comes with a monthly premium, too, though this will vary according to your specific plan.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-common-medicare-myths-debunked&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Common%2520Medicare%2520Myths%252C%2520Debunked.jpg&amp;description=5%20Common%20Medicare%20Myths%2C%20Debunked"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Common%20Medicare%20Myths%2C%20Debunked.jpg" alt="5 Common Medicare Myths, Debunked" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-common-medicare-myths-debunked">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sense-of-the-different-parts-of-medicare">How to Make Sense of the Different Parts of Medicare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-health-insurance-if-you-missed-the-open-enrollment-deadline">How to Get Health Insurance If You Missed the Open Enrollment Deadline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-need-to-answer-to-choose-the-best-health-care-plan">The One Question You Need to Answer to Choose the Best Health Care Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/health-insurance-how-to-fight-back-against-4-common-claim-denials">Health Insurance: How to Fight Back Against 4 Common Claim Denials</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/women-pay-more-for-health-care-heres-how-to-pay-less">Women Pay More for Health Care — Here&#039;s How to Pay Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Insurance coverage deductibles health care medical medicare myths premiums retirement social security Thu, 05 Oct 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2030973 at http://www.wisebread.com How the Self Employed Can Cut Health Care Costs http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-self-employed-can-cut-health-care-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-the-self-employed-can-cut-health-care-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/medical_costs.jpg" alt="Medical Costs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you run your own business, times like the present &mdash; when there is a lot of uncertainty about health care policy &mdash; can be challenging. Many self-employed Americans are already struggling to pay for insurance and medical costs. And it's hard to predict whether your premiums or out-of-pocket costs will rise substantially in the near future.</p> <p>So how do you insulate yourself? There isn't an easy answer, as I found during the roughly 10-year period when my husband and I were both freelancers raising four children in New Jersey, a very high-cost state when it comes to health care. (Last fall, he went in-house with a client, so now we get our health care through his job.) This is what worked for us.</p> <h2>Opt for a high-deductible plan with a health savings account</h2> <p>When it comes to health insurance, many people prefer plans that cover most of their out-of-pocket costs &mdash; such as a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan. Unfortunately, the premiums for these tend to be extremely high. For us, enrolling in a PPO plan would have been like taking on a second mortgage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-need-to-answer-to-choose-the-best-plan-on-the-health-care-marketplace?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The One Question You Need to Answer to Choose the Right Health Care Plan</a>)</p> <p>If you don't use a lot of medical care, you may find yourself over-insured with a PPO plan. Generally, if you're self-employed, the most affordable option is a high-deductible health care plan (HDHP), which allows you to open and use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-hsa-saves-you-money?ref=internal" target="_blank">health savings account (HSA)</a>.</p> <p>The premiums for an HDHP tend to be lower than those for a PPO plan. Like most health care plans, an HDHP will completely cover preventive health services such as routine physicals and vaccinations &mdash; meaning you don't pay anything. However, there's a catch. Outside of preventive care, with a high-deductible plan you need to pay a certain dollar amount of medical costs &mdash; your deductible &mdash; before the plan starts covering your medical expenses. Often the deductible for an HDHP is thousands of dollars.</p> <p>A health savings plan can help you save for those medical costs in a tax-advantaged account, which is only available to people who have an HDHP. To use a health savings plan, your insurance plan's annual deductible in 2017 must be at least $1,300 if you're an individual, or $2,600 per year for a family plan (these numbers are adjusted every year).</p> <p>Putting that money into a health savings account on a pretax basis can reduce your taxable income. Because this helps cut your tax bill, there are, of course, limits to how much you can contribute ($3,400 for yourself only, or $6,750 for a family plan). You can use the money you put into the HSA to pay your medical expenses with a special debit card or checkbook you get when you open the account. The IRS publishes a <a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf" target="_blank">list of expenses you can use an HSA for</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-an-hsa-is-actually-worth-having?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Reasons an HSA Is Actually Worth Having</a>)</p> <p>To be sure, it is not easy to come up with the money to fund an HSA, especially if you are a freelancer with uneven income. We have funded ours by cutting down on extras. Sometimes making a small change, like switching to a better mobile phone plan, can make a difference. Even if you can only put in a quarter of the amount you're allowed and gradually increase the amount you contribute each year, you'll be further ahead than if you don't put anything into an HSA.</p> <h2>Get second opinions and shop around</h2> <p>There have been many cases over the years where the medical community has revised evidence-based recommendations as new information has become available for treating particular conditions. Given that reality, I've realized that there are many gray areas in medicine and have taken time to get second opinions any time a family member is advised to get a test or treatment that comes with risks or could be very costly. Sometimes, the doctor giving me a second opinion will suggest a way to tackle a problem using a simpler, less expensive solution that I haven't considered.</p> <p>I've found that functional medicine doctors can be fantastic allies in this respect. These MDs tend to be oriented toward finding the root cause of a problem so you can eliminate it, rather than simply treating the symptoms. Some don't take insurance, but there are a few who do, so it's worth asking health-oriented friends if they know one.</p> <p>Sometimes, it's even possible to shop around for medical procedures, despite the general lack of transparency in U.S. health care costs. I haven't personally used it, but the site <a href="https://www.mdsave.com/" target="_blank">MDsave</a>, which one entrepreneur highly recommended to me, allows you to compare prices and pay for medical procedures in advance at prearranged prices. There are also a number of other websites that let you compare medical costs.</p> <h2>Live a healthy lifestyle</h2> <p>None of us has total control over our health, but by doing what you can to eat well and stay fit, you can at least reduce your chances of developing health problems that have a lifestyle component or mitigate the harm they cause if you already have developed one.</p> <p>Many chronic conditions can be very costly, as a recent survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans pointed out. Employers who completed the survey said the number one condition impacting their medical costs was diabetes, cited by 41 percent of respondents. Obesity, heart disease, and hypertension/high blood pressure were also among the top 10 medical costs.</p> <p>Two simple things you can do to stack the odds in favor of staying healthy, without any added expense, are buying fresh, unprocessed foods and preparing your food at home as often as you can. When you eat a lot of prepared frozen foods or eat out all the time, it's hard to avoid unhealthy ingredients, unless you can afford the highest-end options. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-meal-prep-subscription-boxes-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are Meal Prep Subscription Boxes Worth It?</a>)</p> <p>The less-is-more approach can work with fitness, too. Instead of waiting for that perfect day when you can afford to sign up for a CrossFit or Barre class and do it regularly, find some type of enjoyable physical activity that is available to you now, whether that's taking a yoga class at your YMCA, going for a walk or jog around your neighborhood, or playing actively with your kids. And if you participate in an activity that gets you away from your computer, you'll probably meet some new friends, too, which is another good way to reduce stress. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-lifestyle-changes-that-will-always-pay-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Lifestyle Changes That Will Always Pay Off</a>)</p> <p>These steps do take some effort, but they can pay off in lower health care costs. That's a big benefit if you're paying for your premiums and medical bills on your own.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-the-self-employed-can-cut-health-care-costs&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520the%2520Self%2520Employed%2520Can%2520Cut%2520Health%2520Care%2520Costs.jpg&amp;description=How%20the%20Self%20Employed%20Can%20Cut%20Health%20Care%20Costs"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20the%20Self%20Employed%20Can%20Cut%20Health%20Care%20Costs.jpg" alt="How the Self Employed Can Cut Health Care Costs" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elaine-pofeldt">Elaine Pofeldt</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-self-employed-can-cut-health-care-costs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-myths-about-health-savings-accounts-debunked">8 Myths About Health Savings Accounts — Debunked!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-surprising-things-your-hsa-will-cover">11 Surprising Things Your HSA Will Cover</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-vital-things-to-remember-when-buying-health-insurance">5 Vital Things to Remember When Buying Health Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-health-insurance-if-you-missed-the-open-enrollment-deadline">How to Get Health Insurance If You Missed the Open Enrollment Deadline</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-need-to-answer-to-choose-the-best-health-care-plan">The One Question You Need to Answer to Choose the Best Health Care Plan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Health and Beauty Insurance freelancers hdhp health care health savings accounts healthy living high deductible plans HSA medical care PPO self employed small business owners Tue, 03 Oct 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Elaine Pofeldt 2028483 at http://www.wisebread.com What You Need to Know About Filing an Insurance Claim After a Natural Disaster http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-filing-an-insurance-claim-after-a-natural-disaster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-you-need-to-know-about-filing-an-insurance-claim-after-a-natural-disaster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/flooded_street.jpg" alt="Flooded street" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The worst has happened to your home: a tornado, hurricane, or other natural disaster has damaged or destroyed it. Now it's time to rebuild. But what steps do you need to take when filing an insurance claim after a natural disaster? How can you increase the odds that your insurer will pay out as much as possible to help you rebuild not only your home, but your life? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You Aren't Prepared for an Emergency</a>)</p> <h2>Call right away</h2> <p>The Insurance Information Institute recommends that you call your agent or insurance company immediately after a disaster. You need to determine whether the damage to your home is covered under your policy, how much time you have until you must file a claim, and how long it will take to process the claim.</p> <p>You might want to talk about your deductible, too. If your home is destroyed by a natural disaster, the costs of rebuilding will certainly exceed your deductible. But remember that you'll have to pay your deductible amount first. If you have a deductible of $1,000, you'll have to pay that amount before your insurer starts kicking in its payments to help you rebuild your home.</p> <h2>Re-educate yourself on what your policy covers</h2> <p>Hopefully you understood the amount of coverage your homeowners insurance policy provided when you signed it. But if you've since forgotten, make sure to ask your insurance agent how much coverage you can expect to rebuild.</p> <p>Some policies provide what is known as replacement-cost coverage. This means that your insurer will pay the current value of a damaged or destroyed item even if you've owned that item for several years. Say your home's furnace is destroyed, for example. A replacement-cost policy will cover the cost of that furnace today, even if you bought it 10 years ago.</p> <p>An actual-cost policy isn't quite as good. Under such a policy, your insurer will pay for only a portion of the replacement costs of a new furnace because your 10-year-old furnace isn't worth as much as a new one.</p> <h2>Prevent more damage, within reason</h2> <p>The Insurance Information Institute also recommends that homeowners, once they set the claims process in motion, take reasonable steps to prevent further damage to their property. You might, for instance, pump water out of your home's basement. Or maybe you can cover or board up broken windows.</p> <p>Just be careful not to make more extensive permanent repairs. The temporary work you do &mdash; such as boarding up windows or doors &mdash; will be covered by your insurance company, if you provide receipts of this work. But hiring a contractor to make more extensive repairs before getting the OK from your insurer is a mistake; the odds are this work won't be covered.</p> <h2>Always keep receipts</h2> <p>If you have to move your family into temporary shelter such as a hotel, be sure to keep receipts. Your homeowners insurance policy will cover the costs of these additional living expenses if your home is destroyed. But you need to keep a record of what you're spending if you want to receive full coverage.</p> <h2>Make an inventory of damaged or destroyed items</h2> <p>Your insurance company will send an adjuster to your home to determine the damage and the costs of rebuilding. Your insurer might also send you a proof-of-loss form to fill out, either before the adjuster shows up or after.</p> <p>You'll use this form to list all of the items that were damaged or destroyed by the natural disaster. You should also gather any receipts you have for the items that were destroyed. You'll give this sheet to your insurance company's adjuster.</p> <p>It's also smart to take photos of damaged or destroyed items. These images can provide more evidence to adjusters looking to determine how much money is needed to rebuild your life.</p> <p>Do not throw away damaged or destroyed items until after the adjuster's visit. It helps for them to see the damage in person.</p> <h2>Make a list of the damage to your home's physical structure</h2> <p>List individual damages such as cracked walls, lost roof tiles, damaged electrical systems, broken windows, and demolished chimneys. Again, the more information you can provide to an adjuster about the specific damage to your home, the more compensation you are likely to receive.</p> <h2>Answer questions promptly</h2> <p>If a natural disaster hits your area, be aware that it might take insurance companies longer to process claims and sign proof-of-loss statements with homeowners. To avoid further delays, make sure to answer any questions that your insurance company has as quickly as possible.</p> <p>If your insurance company needs a document, send it as quickly as possible. Any delay on your end will only lengthen your wait for payment.</p> <p>In these times, you might not feel up to dealing with insurance process, but the longer you delay, the longer it'll be before you can start rebuilding. It must be done, so try to find a way to get it done now.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-you-need-to-know-about-filing-an-insurance-claim-after-a-natural-disaster&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Know%2520About%2520Filing%2520an%2520Insurance%2520Claim%2520After%2520a%2520Natural%2520Disaster.jpg&amp;description=What%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Filing%20an%20Insurance%20Claim%20After%20a%20Natural%20Disaster"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Filing%20an%20Insurance%20Claim%20After%20a%20Natural%20Disaster.jpg" alt="What You Need to Know About Filing an Insurance Claim After a Natural Disaster" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-filing-an-insurance-claim-after-a-natural-disaster">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-you-should-buy-the-rental-car-insurance">6 Reasons You Should Buy the Rental Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-other-kinds-of-insurance-you-may-need-to-buy-for-your-home">7 Other Kinds of Insurance You May Need to Buy for Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-questions-to-ask-during-an-open-house">20+ Questions to Ask During an Open House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing claims damage deductibles hurricanes natural disasters rebuilding receipts storms tornadoes Wed, 13 Sep 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2019384 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful_couple_relaxing_at_home_and_loving_their_pet.jpg" alt="Beautiful couple relaxing at home and loving their pet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you took out your mortgage loan, your lender required you to sign up for a homeowners insurance policy. Chances are, you haven't thought much about this policy since.</p> <p>That might be a mistake. You should review your homeowners insurance policy whenever you make changes to both your home and your lifestyle. Doing so could save you money in the form of valuable discounts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Surprising Things Covered by Homeowner's Insurance</a>)</p> <p>And not reviewing your insurance policy when you make these changes might leave you with inadequate financial protection should a fire or other disaster damage your home or a thief steal your valuables.</p> <p>Here are the times when it's wise to review your homeowners insurance policy.</p> <h2>1. You've remodeled your home</h2> <p>If you've updated your 1970s-era kitchen, added a master-bedroom suite, or completed another large remodeling job, it's smart to call your homeowners insurance agent. That's because a major remodeling job could increase the value of your home. And this could make it more expensive to rebuild your home should disaster strike.</p> <p>You might need additional coverage after a remodel to make sure that your policy will pay for the entire rebuild of your now more-valuable residence.</p> <h2>2. You've purchased big-ticket items</h2> <p>Your homeowners insurance policy will cover the loss of valuables inside your home if a thief steals them. But if you've recently purchased big-ticket items such as pricey artwork, jewelry, furs, or electronics, it's time, again, to call your insurance agent.</p> <p>You'll want to make sure that you have enough insurance to cover the replacement value of these expensive items. If you don't update your insurance policy, you risk coming up short.</p> <h2>3. You've stopped smoking</h2> <p>Kicking the smoking habit is a smart move for your health. But it can also save you money in the form of lower homeowners insurance payments.</p> <p>Most insurers will reduce the premiums of your policy &mdash; at least by a bit &mdash; if you don't smoke. Smokers are riskier to ensure. The chance of a fire damaging or destroying your home is higher if you smoke. If you've stopped, contact your insurer to see if you're eligible for a reduced premium.</p> <h2>4. You've retired</h2> <p>Retirement might come with an insurance discount, too. The Insurance Information Institute says that some companies offer discounts of as much as 10 percent to retirees who are at least 55 years old.</p> <p>Why? Retired people usually spend more time at home. They're more likely, then, to spot the signs of a fire before it gets out of control. They're also less likely to be burglarized and have more time to spend on maintaining their homes. If you've left the working world, it's time to call your insurance agent.</p> <h2>5. You've added an alarm system</h2> <p>Adding an alarm system makes it less likely that a thief will break into your home. It can also bring you a lower homeowners insurance premium. After installing your system, call your homeowners insurance company. The Insurance Information Institute says that a new alarm system can usually save you about 5 percent in premiums each year.</p> <h2>6. You've added a swimming pool</h2> <p>Some changes can actually increase the cost of your homeowners insurance policy. One of these is adding a swimming pool. You'll be liable if someone is injured or drowns while using your swimming pool. This holds true even if the person using your pool didn't get your permission first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-things-your-homeowners-insurance-doesnt-cover?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Surprising Things Your Homeowners Insurance Doesn't Cover</a>)</p> <p>Insurance companies take on more risk when insuring homeowners with swimming pools, and will often increase their premiums.</p> <p>You might be tempted to keep your swimming pool a secret from your insurer. Don't. If someone is injured in your pool and sues you, your insurance company won't pay out if you added the pool without its knowledge.</p> <h2>7. You've bought a dog</h2> <p>Your homeowners insurance policy will most likely cover you if your dog bites someone on your property. But, again, you'll have to inform your insurer about your new pet to guarantee this protection. Again, your rates might rise, but keeping your new pooch a secret could cost you in the long run. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Beware: Your Insurance May Not Cover These 8 Losses</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Times%2520to%2520Update%2520Your%2520Homeowners%2520Insurance.jpg&amp;description=7%20Times%20to%20Update%20Your%20Homeowners%20Insurance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Times%20to%20Update%20Your%20Homeowners%20Insurance.jpg" alt="7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-other-kinds-of-insurance-you-may-need-to-buy-for-your-home">7 Other Kinds of Insurance You May Need to Buy for Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-buy-a-house-with-a-pool-until-you-can-answer-these-7-questions">Don&#039;t Buy a House With a Pool Until You Can Answer These 7 Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-your-bank-pick-your-homeowners-insurance">Don&#039;t Let Your Bank Pick Your Homeowner&#039;s Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-your-home-into-an-investment">6 Ways to Make Your Home Into an Investment</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing big purchases big ticket items homeowners insurance new dogs pools premiums remodeling retired security alarm Tue, 12 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 2019187 at http://www.wisebread.com