Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3150/all en-US 11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-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/611293320.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post brought to you by <a href="https://bob.dmpxs.com/bob_007.gif?s=post&amp;l=289%7C921%7C3488&amp;e=click&amp;p=disclaimer&amp;ids=null&amp;imp_hash=%7BIMP_SIGNATURE%7D&amp;bobredir=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Ftrackclk%2FN4492.127014FEDERATEDMEDIA%2FB10893953.145514384%3Bdc_trk_aid%3D317173286%3Bdc_trk_cid%3D78536406%3Bdc_lat%3D%3Bdc_rdid%3D%3Btag_for_child_directed_treatment%3D&amp;c=113322" rel="nofollow">Progressive</a>. See how much <a href="https://bob.dmpxs.com/bob_007.gif?s=post&amp;l=289%7C921%7C3488&amp;e=click&amp;p=disclaimer&amp;ids=null&amp;imp_hash=%7BIMP_SIGNATURE%7D&amp;bobredir=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Ftrackclk%2FN4492.127014FEDERATEDMEDIA%2FB10893953.145514384%3Bdc_trk_aid%3D317173286%3Bdc_trk_cid%3D78536406%3Bdc_lat%3D%3Bdc_rdid%3D%3Btag_for_child_directed_treatment%3D&amp;c=113322" rel="nofollow">Progressive </a>could save you when you bundle your policies.</em></p> <p>Homeowners insurance is absolutely essential if you want to protect your house and assets. If you take a look at a typical insurance policy (commonly known as an HO-3), you&rsquo;ll find it protects homeowners from a wide range of mishaps, from fires to vandalism, lightning strikes and tree falls. But do you know the full scope of what your homeowners policy covers?</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a look at some of the surprising things that you may find are covered by homeowners insurance.</p> <h2>1. Patios, Gazebos, and Sheds</h2> <p>You may think that you&rsquo;re only buying insurance for your home. But in reality, the homeowners policy usually covers your entire property, including all structures such as storage sheds, gazebos, and that luxury doghouse you just had built for Fido. Be sure to let the insurance company know ahead of time, however, that you have these structures on your property. This will ensure you have documentation for coverage.</p> <h2>2. Tombstones</h2> <p>Believe it or not, grave markers at a cemetery are considered &ldquo;personal property&rdquo; and are therefore covered under most homeowners policies. Thus, most people are covered up to $5,000 worth of damage. It&rsquo;s important to note, however, that some gravestone damage is caused by the cemetery&rsquo;s own landscaping equipment, and would therefore be covered by the cemetery&rsquo;s perpetual care fund. So be sure to check the source of damage before making an insurance claim.</p> <h2>3. Riots</h2> <p>A typical HO-3 will cover your home and personal property in the event that they are damaged during civil unrest. (Some policies refer to it as &ldquo;civil commotion.&rdquo;) Vandalism, fire, and explosions are usually covered. If a State of Emergency is declared in your area due to rioting that could help your case when filing a claim. If not, it&rsquo;s a good idea to get a police report to document the event and damage.</p> <h2>4. Volcanoes (But Not Earthquakes)</h2> <p>Most of us outside Hawaii don&rsquo;t have to worry about this, but if your home is in the path of an erupting volcano, rest assured you&rsquo;ll be covered. It&rsquo;s worth noting, however, that earthquake damage (sometimes referred to as &ldquo;ground movement&rdquo;) is not covered under most standard policies.</p> <h2>5. Flooding (In Some Specific Cases)</h2> <p>A typical homeowners policy does not cover flood damage. You&rsquo;ll need separate insurance to cover damage caused by persistent rainfall, an overflowing creek bed, or flooding of a similar nature. But, some policies will cover water damage caused by things like a faulty sump pump, busted water heater or broken pipe. And you may find that water problems may be covered if the water is the indirect result of other kinds of damage (for example, a roof blowing off during a storm). Be sure to check your policy carefully to see what&rsquo;s covered when it comes to water.</p> <h2>6. Your Kids&rsquo; Stuff at College</h2> <p>If you send your child off to school and he&rsquo;s living in a dorm, his items are usually covered under your homeowners policy. That&rsquo;s because most policies cover anyone in your household as well as students under the age of 24. Not all policies cover students living in off-campus housing, however. It&rsquo;s also worth noting that liability limits on students&rsquo; items may be lower, so if they have expensive items like a computer or bicycle, it may be a good idea to get some renters insurance as well.</p> <h2>7. Identity Theft</h2> <p>If some nefarious person gets ahold of your sensitive data, it can become difficult to straighten out. Fortunately, many homeowners policies now allow for reimbursement of the cost of fixing your credit reports and restoring your identity. This can include the cost of lost wages, phone bills and possibly even legal representation. If this coverage is not included in your basic policy, it may be available as a low-cost add-on or endorsement, so check with your insurance provider.</p> <h2>8. Anything You Travel With</h2> <p>Most homeowners policies cover your belongings wherever they go, under something called an &ldquo;off-premises&rdquo; provision. That means that if your laptop or luggage is stolen while you&rsquo;re on vacation in Europe, you&rsquo;re usually covered. For pricey items, like your engagement ring or your triathlon bike, it may be worth getting an additional rider to ensure you have enough coverage.</p> <h2>9. Spoiled Food</h2> <p>Let&rsquo;s say a big storm blows through your town and you&rsquo;re without power for six days. Say goodbye to whatever was left in your refrigerator. The good news is that most homeowners policies will cover the cost of replacing spoiled food. Just make sure you take pictures of the food. Also, take note of the deductible on your plan. Some policies have no deductible on food spoilage claims, others may have a high deductible, which would make filing a claim pointless.</p> <h2>10. Dog Bites</h2> <p>If your dog bites someone, your homeowners policy may cover the cost of medical care, usually up to as much as $300,000. Just be aware that some dogs can do serious damage when they bite, and may require additional insurance to cover the cost of any potential claims.</p> <h2>11. Home Upgrades Required by Law</h2> <p>If your local government passes an ordinance requiring your home to have a new roof, the cost of that improvement is often covered. This is nice to have if, for instance, your home is damaged in a storm and the repairs must be in line with new zoning laws. There are usually limits to this coverage &mdash; insurance may not pay for full demolition, for instance &mdash; but it&rsquo;s nice to have for homeowners who may live in older houses. Check your insurance policy to see if this coverage is included in your basic plan or available as a low-cost endorsement.</p> <script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="https://vc.cdn.fm/video_conversationalist/system/published/opportunity/113322921/289_3488.js"></script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-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/9-surprising-things-your-homeowners-insurance-doesnt-cover">9 Surprising Things Your Homeowners Insurance Doesn&#039;t Cover</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-you-should-have-renters-insurance">Why You Should Have Renters 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/10-surprising-facts-about-flooding-and-your-home">10 Surprising Facts About Flooding and 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/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance">5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters&#039; 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/dont-let-your-bank-pick-your-homeowners-insurance">Don&#039;t Let Your Bank Pick Your Homeowner&#039;s Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing coverage dogs flooding homeowners insurance progressive insurance state of emergency theft volcano Wed, 08 Feb 2017 14:15:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 1888619 at http://www.wisebread.com Yes, You Need Home Title Insurance — Here's Why http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-home-title-insurance-heres-why <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/yes-you-need-home-title-insurance-heres-why" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-470522924.jpg" alt="Man learning why he needs home title insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The closing costs on a typical mortgage loan can seem overwhelming. According to Zillow, the <a href="http://www.zillow.com/mortgage-learning/closing-costs/" target="_blank">closing costs</a> for a $150,000 home can range from $3,000 to $7,500, with an average falling around $3,700.</p> <p>So when you discover that you'll also have to pay for something called title insurance when closing your loan, you might wonder if this fee is necessary, or if title insurance is something you can skip.</p> <p>Here's the short answer to those questions: Yes, title insurance matters. And no, mortgage lenders won't let you skip it.</p> <h2>What Title Insurance Does</h2> <p>To sum up, title insurance protects you from clerical errors, mistakes in property records, or unpaid taxes involving the home you are purchasing.</p> <p>Maybe the past owner of the home hasn't paid property taxes in years. If you buy the home, the government agencies levying those taxes will come after <em>you</em> to pay them &mdash; unless you have title insurance.</p> <p>Or, maybe a past seller bought the home with a sister. Maybe these two siblings had a falling out, and the brother sold the home without telling his sister. That spurned relative could come after you for the profits she says she is owed from the sale &mdash; again, unless you have title insurance protecting you.</p> <p>Title insurance is like most other forms of insurance: You pay for it in the hopes that you'll never need to use it.</p> <h2>What Title Insurance Doesn't Do</h2> <p>Title insurance covers the window of time before your ownership of the home, protecting you from certain claims and legal fees that were beyond your control. Even though it extends backward through time indefinitely, coverage ceases on the date you take ownership. If you decide not to pay property taxes once you're the official homeowner? That's on you.</p> <h2>A Two-Part Transaction</h2> <p>Title insurance will be included as part of your third-party closing fees, charges levied by companies that work with your mortgage lender to originate your home loan.</p> <p>There are actually two parts to title insurance. First, the title company providing your insurance will search all the property records associated with the home you are buying to make sure there aren't any unpaid taxes, long-lost heirs, or charges of fraud associated with the property. This is known as the title search.</p> <p>Once the search is complete, and the title insurer is confident that the seller has legal ownership and the right to sell the home, it will create two title policies. The lender's title policy protects your lender from anyone claiming rights against your property. It also reimburses your lender if you lose your house to a title claim and are no longer making your mortgage payment. All lenders will require that you pay for a lender's title insurance policy.</p> <p>The second part of title insurance is the part that actually protects you: the owner's policy. This policy protects you from the above mentioned unreleased liens, people who might claim ownership of your home, or public record errors that were missed during the title search. Most lenders will also require that you purchase an owner's policy, too.</p> <h2>How Much Will It Cost?</h2> <p>Title insurance is not cheap. In fact, it ranks as one of the biggest fees buyers will pay when closing a mortgage loan.</p> <p>The cost of this insurance does vary quite a bit, usually depending on where you live. But you can generally expect to pay a one-time premium between $1,000 to $3,000 for title insurance.</p> <p>Most lenders will select a title insurance company for you. But you aren't required to work with that company. You can shop around for lower rates. This is usually a smart move: You can often shave hundreds off the cost of title insurance by shopping around.</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/yes-you-need-home-title-insurance-heres-why">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/2-things-you-must-know-about-the-new-mortgage-rules">2 Things You Must Know About the New Mortgage Rules</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/3-ways-to-finance-a-tiny-house">3 Ways to Finance a Tiny House</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/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</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/watch-out-for-these-5-last-minute-home-buying-costs">Watch Out for These 5 Last Minute Home Buying Costs</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-it-safe-to-re-finance-your-home-close-to-retirement">Is it Safe to Re-Finance Your Home Close to Retirement?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing closing costs fees homeownership mortgages property liens property taxes protection public records title insurance Fri, 03 Feb 2017 10:30:32 +0000 Dan Rafter 1885598 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Your Group Life Insurance Is Not Enough http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-group-life-insurance-is-not-enough <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-your-group-life-insurance-is-not-enough" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-516008468.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've done it &mdash; you've finally landed a job that offers amazing benefits such as free life insurance. While employer-offered life insurance (also called group life insurance) is worthwhile, it shouldn't be your only source of insurance.</p> <h2>How Do I Get Group Life Insurance?</h2> <p>Many employers will offer a free level of life insurance for employees. Depending on your place of work, this can cover anywhere from $25,000 to your base pay. Since this is a free option, all employees should sign up for the benefit. It's free money if something were to happen to you. However, don't let that be your only coverage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn't Just for Old People</a>)</p> <h2>Is Group Life Insurance Enough?</h2> <p>If you are single, a $25K &mdash;$50K check sounds like a nice chunk of change for your parents or other loved ones you leave behind. However, in most cases &mdash; yes, even for single people &mdash; it's simply not enough. Final expenses can be greater than you think. Funerals can range in price, but a recent survey by the National Funeral Directors Association found a median price of $7K.</p> <p>Furthermore, if your private student loans, mortgage, or car loans have a co-signer, then that co-signer will be stuck with your debt after you die. To avoid this, you can either remove co-signers from loans through refinancing, or purchase term life insurance that will cover the cost of your remaining debt.</p> <p>For healthy, young individuals that do not need much coverage, term life insurance rates are very affordable, with some policies costing less than $20 a month. But for individuals who are married and/or have children, you'll likely need more coverage, To calculate how much coverage you need, add up the following:</p> <ul> <li>Funeral cost;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cost of paying off any debt not forgiven upon death;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Time you want your loved ones to have income and not worry about work &mdash; for example, even if your spouse works full-time in a successful career, they might need several months to grieve your loss;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Future college costs or other child-rearing expenses.</li> </ul> <p>For many families, the total will be around seven to 10 times your annual paycheck.</p> <h2>Can I Get Supplemental Life Insurance Through an Employer?</h2> <p>Many employers will offer supplemental life insurance for purchase. Since you are purchasing the policy through your employer, it could be slightly cheaper than purchasing individual life insurance. However, your company technically owns the policy. Therefore, if you quit or are fired, your group life is gone, too. Some employers will give you the option to continue carrying the policy after you leave, but it will be at a higher price.</p> <h2>Individual Life Insurance Versus Group Life Insurance</h2> <p>While signing up for free group life insurance is a must, it is much better to sign up for supplemental term life insurance individually. The policy will stay with you even if you move jobs. Furthermore, you can lock in a low premium now when you are still young and healthy.</p> <p>Say you were to secure a low-cost policy with your employer's group life insurance at the young age of 25. Your rates should be quite low. Now fast forward eight years. You want to quit your job and have your own term life insurance policy. You will still get a great rate because you are under 40, but your monthly premium will be more at 33 than it was at 25.</p> <p>To sum it all up, cash in on your employer's free group life insurance perk, but also secure term life insurance when you are still young. This will allow you to lock in the best rate possible.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-group-life-insurance-is-not-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-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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-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/6-times-when-its-okay-to-drop-insurance">6 Times When It&#039;s Okay to Drop 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/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance beneficiaries benefits coverage dependents employers life insurance premiums Tue, 31 Jan 2017 11:00:10 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1877983 at http://www.wisebread.com Women Pay More for Health Care — Here's How to Pay Less http://www.wisebread.com/women-pay-more-for-health-care-heres-how-to-pay-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/women-pay-more-for-health-care-heres-how-to-pay-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_glases_hat_495205748.jpg" alt="Woman learning she plays more for health care than men" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's no secret that a variety of factors can affect your health care costs. For example, people who smoke usually pay more for health insurance, and an unhealthy lifestyle can increase the risk of chronic illnesses and lead to more trips to see the doctor. But among the many factors triggering higher health care costs, it's being a woman that's perhaps the most obnoxious.</p> <p>Before the Affordable Care Act, women buying health insurance on the individual market paid premiums as much as <a href="http://www.healthline.com/health-news/should-women-pay-more-healthcare-services" target="_blank">50% higher than men</a> due to gender rating, a practice where health insurance providers charged women more because they were considered a higher risk. Gender rating is now illegal, but this doesn't mean women are saving big bucks on health care costs.</p> <p>According to data provided by the health care company Vitals, women spend on average <a href="http://www.womenshealthmag.com/life/women-pay-more-healthcare" target="_blank">69% more out-of-pocket</a> than their male counterparts for health care. That's a huge difference &mdash; even from the now-abolished gender rating system. Considering how women statistically earn less than men in just about every occupation, many women feel the pinch. But the question remains, why do women pay more, and what can they do about it?</p> <h2>Women Use More health Care Services</h2> <p>Compared to men, women typically <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10718692" target="_blank">use more health care services</a>, which could explain higher health care costs. Go figure. They're more likely to ask questions about their health, get routine screenings, and schedule appointments when sick. Being proactive helps women maintain their health, but it comes at a cost.</p> <p>Additionally, some women experience higher health care costs because of certain procedures, including gynecologic surgeries. Women are also six times more likely to have knee replacement surgery &mdash; a cost that can soar up to $65,000 &mdash; and women are two times more likely to develop cataracts, which can cost up to $5,000 per eye to correct.</p> <p>And let's not forget the cost of labor and delivery for women. That's big business with the average national cost for a routine delivery at $8,775, and the average for a C-section at $11,525. (Worse, this number doesn't include prenatal care or post-delivery care.) And even if women have health insurance, high deductibles typically mean paying a large percentage of services out-of-pocket.</p> <h2>Women Live Longer Than Men</h2> <p>Women also pay more for health care because they live on average two years longer than men. That's an extra two years of paying health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs for health care services. Even if a woman is healthy during her younger years, she may develop at least one ailment later in life that requires regular doctor visits, especially as she moves closer to retirement age. Studies suggest that a 55-year-old healthy woman retiring today would spend about $79,000 more than a similar man on health care costs during her final years.</p> <h2>How Can Women Protect Themselves From Higher Costs?</h2> <p>When it comes to the cost of health care, it is what it is &mdash; but there are plenty of ways for women to prepare and possibly reduce their expense.</p> <h3>Don't Ignore Health Screenings</h3> <p>Preventive care reduces risk factors that trigger many chronic illnesses and can thus lower overall health care costs. Under the Affordable Care Act, you don't have to pay for many preventive care services delivered by a doctor or medical facility within your insurance company's network. These include immunizations, annual physical examinations, colonoscopies, mammograms, and other screenings.</p> <h3>Make Healthy Choices</h3> <p>A healthy lifestyle can also reduce your number of trips to the doctor. Eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, low-fat foods, and lean meats. Exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Apply sunscreen when outdoors to reduce your risk of skin cancer and stay physically fit during your retirement years.</p> <h3>Compare the Cost of Services</h3> <p>To lower your health care costs, compare the cost of services at different facilities. You'll find that some facilities within your insurer's network charge significantly different prices for the same services. For example, an in-network hospital may charge $1,500 for an overnight sleep study whereas an in-network sleep clinic may only charge $600 for the same study.</p> <h3>Don't Underestimate Health Care Costs</h3> <p>Prepare for health care costs now and in the future. This includes having adequate health care coverage to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses &mdash; as much coverage as you can afford based on your present health care needs. And while you're saving for retirement, don't forget to plan for future health care costs. Women who live longer than their spouses are left to manage health care costs on their own. Therefore, look into purchasing long-term care insurance. Don't wait until you are ready to retire to buy a policy; it's more expensive once you're at that stage of your life. If you lock in a price while you're young and relatively healthy, however, you'll pay lower premiums over the long-term.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/women-pay-more-for-health-care-heres-how-to-pay-less">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-4"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-must-know-about-health-care-open-enrollment">5 Things You Must Know About Health Care Open Enrollment</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/11-surprising-things-your-hsa-will-cover">11 Surprising Things Your HSA Will Cover</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/8-ways-to-spend-your-last-minute-health-care-fsa-funds">8 Ways to Spend Your Last-Minute Health Care FSA Funds</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-health-insurance-benefits-youre-probably-not-using">6 Health Insurance Benefits You&#039;re Probably Not Using</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Insurance doctors gender cap gender rating health care life span medical preventive care women Thu, 12 Jan 2017 10:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1871076 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It? http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_driving_car_540836094.jpg" alt="Woman learning if pay-as-you-drive auto insurance is worth it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't drive much throughout the year? Your wallet may be in luck, in more ways than one. Pay-as-you-drive car insurance plans (also known as usage-based car insurance plans) can provide a money-saving solution for drivers who don't drive often. Each month, your rate will vary based on how much you drive. The less you drive, the more you'll save.</p> <h2>How Does the Plan Work?</h2> <p>These unique auto insurance options work a bit like pay-per-minute cellphone plans, where you're only charged for what you use. In order to accurately determine how much you're driving, you will receive a small wireless device that plugs into your vehicle's OBD-II port. This will alert your insurance company to how many miles you drove, so they can determine your monthly bill.</p> <h2>Who Qualifies?</h2> <p>Pay-as-you-go insurer <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12479902-1459881208000" target="_blank">Metromile</a> estimates that if you drive less than 200 miles per week, you can save money with their pay-per-mile insurance plans. They also found that if you drive less than 5,000 miles a year, you could pay 40%&ndash;50% less than you would with a traditional insurance plan. In fact, they estimate that 65% of drivers are overpaying for their insurance. These types of plans are especially beneficial to drivers who don't drive very often and people who are paying high insurance rates due to their age or credit history.</p> <h2>How the Pricing Works</h2> <p>Once you enroll, you will pay a low monthly base rate, plus a charge per mile of driving. Through Metromile, if you drive more than 150 miles per day (or 250 per day in Washington), you won't be charged for the extra miles above the cap, which means you won't overpay on a long trip. Other factors can also affect your rate, including age, vehicle, and driver history.</p> <h2>How Much Can You Save?</h2> <p>Many drivers will limit their coverage in order to save money when they don't drive often. However, this can end up costing you more in the end if you <em>do</em> get in an accident. Instead, a pay-as-you-drive plan can provide the coverage you need and save you money every month.</p> <p>Some insurers claim that you will save anywhere from 20%&ndash;50% on your premium, and certain providers will even offer an immediate discount just for installing the tracking device to your vehicle's onboard diagnostics port. You can get an accurate idea of how much you can save by comparing your current auto insurance costs to what you would spend using a simple plan, like those that Metromile offers.</p> <p>As an example, we will use Metromile's estimate of $46 per month, which includes a $30 flat monthly rate and 500 miles driven x $0.032 per mile. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the national <a href="http://www.dmv.org/insurance/average-car-insurance-rates.php" target="_blank">car insurance average</a> rate is just over $900 per year for a single driver. Compared to the $552 per year that you would spend on pay-as-you-drive plans, you'll save about $350 per year if you drive 500 miles per month, on average.</p> <h2>Who Offers It?</h2> <p>Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Travelers, Esurance, Nationwide, The Hartford, Safeco, American Family, and GMAC are some of the bigger insurance companies that offer these types of plans, but many have additional stipulations. For instance, Progressive also monitors what type of driver you are by also collecting information about how hard you brake, how much you accelerate, and your driving patterns. Insurance companies like Metromile only monitor how many miles you are driving.</p> <h2>Is It Right for You?</h2> <p>Along with deciding whether to sign up for this type of plan, you will also need to find the right insurance provider. Sites like <a href="http://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/pay-as-you-drive-discounts.aspx" target="_blank">carinsurance.com</a> can help you determine what type of discount you can expect, what's measured, and what's available in your state.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">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-5"> <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/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</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/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</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/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on 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/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure</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/5-myths-about-car-insurance">5 Myths About Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance car insurance mileage pay as you drive premiums rates savings usage based car insurance Mon, 09 Jan 2017 10:30:23 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1869650 at http://www.wisebread.com Health Insurance: How to Fight Back Against 4 Common Claim Denials http://www.wisebread.com/health-insurance-how-to-fight-back-against-4-common-claim-denials <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/health-insurance-how-to-fight-back-against-4-common-claim-denials" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/xbxvbc.jpg" alt="repeal these common health insurance claim denials" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Denials of medical claims are all too frequent. Roughly 14% of all claims are <a href="https://billadvocates.com/8-common-claim-denials-appeal/" target="_blank">denied every year</a>, according to Department of Labor records. Not only that, but almost 10% of claims processed by insurance companies contain errors. Your claim could have been denied because it was coded as a different procedure than what you received from the doctor!</p> <p>There is a silver lining in the clouds of denial or error, however. You can always appeal a health care claim denial. Patients who appeal win about 50% of the time. Not only that, but the more familiar with health care claims you become, the more you will learn about what's covered &mdash; and what is not.</p> <p>The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased rights to appeal, whether you are covered under ACA or not. Think of it this way: You or your employer, or both, are already paying a hefty price for health care. Appealing your denial and knowing how to determine errors is part of getting what you and your company have already paid for.</p> <h2>Before You Appeal: Know the Codes and How to Appeal</h2> <p>Any appeal to a health insurance company has to contain some basic knowledge of the information they provide you, as well as your rights.</p> <p>After a visit to a physician's office or a procedure, you will receive a form called an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from the insurance company. An EOB arrives for all claims, approved or denied. It details what was charged, what the insurance company paid, and sometimes a remainder of what the patient is responsible for.</p> <p>If a claim was denied, it will receive a code. Most insurance companies provide a key to the code. (Check the back of the form.) If it does not, call and ask the insurance company what the code means.</p> <h2>The Four Most Commonly Denied Claims</h2> <p>At times, knowing the code will immediately help you appeal a denial. Sometimes the denial is the result of sheer error. Here are the four most commonly denied claims.</p> <h3>1. Your Plan Does Not Cover the Procedure</h3> <p>If the code indicates that the denial occurred because the plan did not cover the procedure, check your plan to see if it is, in fact, covered. If you received a vaccination, for example, double check what kinds of services your plan covers. Many plans cover preventive care (care received to prevent disease before it begins, rather than to treat a condition that exists). Vaccinations and flu shots are both examples of preventive care. This type of denial is surprisingly common.</p> <p>A similar situation can occur with vision claims. You may receive a denial stating that vision care is not covered. However, many policies cover eye care if it is needed medically. People with diabetes, for example, are covered for annual exams because the condition can affect vision, while regular eye exams are not. Plans can cover surgery for cataracts, but not eyeglasses.</p> <p>Errors of this kind can be appealed fairly easily. If you were denied because of lack of coverage and the procedure was in fact covered, call the health insurance company. Be sure to make note of the name of the person you spoke to, their title, and the date.</p> <h3>2. Errors in Coding</h3> <p>Knowing the code can also help you discover a coding error. You may find that the code for the service doesn't actually match what you visited the doctor for. The procedure or diagnosis code could have been entered incorrectly. You should also check every piece of information, including your name, date of service, place of service, and provider number. If any of these are erroneous, it can result in a denial.</p> <p>If you find a coding error, call the billing office of the doctor or hospital involved and ask them to resubmit the bill with the correct code. Again, it's vital to get the name of the person, their title, and the date.</p> <h3>3. Payment for a Procedure Was Included in the Allowance for a Related Procedure Performed the Same Day<strong> </strong></h3> <p>Patients are not responsible for a charge like this. Call your provider's office and ask for an adjustment to the bill.</p> <h3>4. You've Reached the Maximum Amount of Times a Service Is Covered</h3> <p>Again, the best action is to double check your policy. Is it true that it is only covered a maximum amount of times? If there is a dollar limit, check it against what you received. Contact your insurance company in the case of any errors.</p> <p>For a denial of this type, check what the provider's discount is as well. Many doctor's offices and suppliers contact an insurance company to set a price for goods and services that is less than the market rate. You could be charged the market rate unless you specifically follow up about the discount. Even if you are denied legitimately for the maximum number of times a service is covered, you are still eligible for the discount the provider offers.</p> <p>Given the frequency of denials and related errors, it's wise to be on your guard every time a denial is issued. Don't assume the denial is correct! Appeal and follow up on your appeals as needed.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anum-yoon">Anum Yoon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/health-insurance-how-to-fight-back-against-4-common-claim-denials">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-6"> <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/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> <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/8-ways-to-spend-your-last-minute-health-care-fsa-funds">8 Ways to Spend Your Last-Minute Health Care FSA Funds</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/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> <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-about-a-price-list-at-the-hospital-or-doctor-s-office">How About a Price List at the Hospital or Doctor’s Office?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Insurance affordable care act appeals denials doctors explanation of benefits health care health insurance insurance claims medical Tue, 20 Dec 2016 11:00:15 +0000 Anum Yoon 1858109 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Surprising Things Your HSA Will Cover http://www.wisebread.com/11-surprising-things-your-hsa-will-cover <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-surprising-things-your-hsa-will-cover" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_sunglasses_happy_91229393.jpg" alt="Woman finding surprising things her HSA covers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-hsa-saves-you-money">Health Savings Accounts</a> (HSAs) are medical bank accounts that are paired with low premium, high deductible health insurance policies. The high deductible/low premium insurance policy is counterbalanced by the ability for the individual to save income that is not subject to federal or state taxes. The money in the HSA can then be spent on IRS approved medical expenses.</p> <p>If you have an HSA and you have only used it to pay doctor's bills, you might be missing out on some real tax savings. Why spend taxed money on IRS approved medical expenses, when you can utilize pretax dollars? Check out 11 items you can purchase with your HSA.</p> <h2>1. Allergy Medication</h2> <p>If you have allergies (either food or environmental) that you need medication for, you can purchase prescription medication with your HSA. Over the counter medication cannot be purchased with your HSA, unless prescribed by a doctor.</p> <h2>2. Arch Supports</h2> <p>Purchasing arch supports are sometimes necessary for a pain-free life, and they can cost anywhere from $5 to $150. Custom or mass produced arch supports can be an HSA-approved medical expense if you receive a prescription from your doctor.</p> <h2>3. Bandages and Band-Aids</h2> <p>Over the counter bandages and Band-Aids can be purchased with your HSA.</p> <h2>4. Birth Control</h2> <p>Both over-the-counter and prescription birth control are HSA-approved medical expenses. Here are just a few of the items you can purchase with your health savings account: IUD, Norplant, condoms, spermicide, and pregnancy test kits.</p> <h2>5. Braille Books or Magazines</h2> <p>If you are vision-impaired, you can utilize your HSA to reimburse yourself part of the money from purchasing Braille books or magazines. In order to calculate how much you can reimburse yourself, you should utilize this formula: cost of Braille book less cost of the traditional book equals HSA approved reimbursement.</p> <h2>6. Contact Lens Solution</h2> <p>If you wear contact lenses, you can purchase the solution necessary to clean the lenses with your health savings account.</p> <h2>7. Guide Animals</h2> <p>The costs of purchasing, training, and caring for guide animals are an IRS-approved HSA expense. You will need to register your service animal in your state in order to utilize this HSA-approved expense. (If you try to say that a non-qualified animal you own is a service animal, the likelihood of being fined will be high.)</p> <h2>8. Lead Paint Removal</h2> <p>If you live in a home with lead paint, and your child has or has had lead paint poisoning, you can pay for the paint to be removed with your HSA.</p> <h2>9. Mouth Guards</h2> <p>Mouth guards that have been prescribed by a dentist due to teeth grinding can be paid for with your health savings account.</p> <h2>10. Prescription Sunglasses</h2> <p>Prescription sunglasses can be an expensive necessity for the vision-challenged. If you either cannot or will not switch to contact lenses, you're stuck with purchasing prescription sunglasses or going without. You can, if you want, pay for the prescription sunglasses with your HSA. If you want to save money on the second pair, you might consider asking for the prescription and shopping around at various chain eyeglass stores.</p> <h2>11. Prescription Goggles</h2> <p>If you spend a lot of time swimming or diving, you need to ditch your glasses for long periods of time. This can make your adventure (or job) harder and less enjoyable. Like sunglasses, goggles can be purchased with your HSA. (You might need to check online to determine if anyone in your areas sells prescription goggles).</p> <p>A Health Savings Account can be a great way for the relatively healthy individuals to save money on medical expenses. Just remember that as you make purchases with your HSA to file copies of your prescriptions and receipts with your tax returns. You'll need them if the IRS decides to audit you. If you can't prove the expenses were HSA approved expenses, you might end up paying a fine (even if you followed the rules).</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-surprising-things-your-hsa-will-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-7"> <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/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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-you-can-save-money-on-prescription-medications">7 Ways You Can Save Money On Prescription Medications</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/8-ways-to-spend-your-last-minute-health-care-fsa-funds">8 Ways to Spend Your Last-Minute Health Care FSA Funds</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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Insurance health care health insurance health savings account HSA IRS medicine prescriptions Thu, 10 Nov 2016 09:30:13 +0000 Samantha Stauf 1828889 at http://www.wisebread.com Term vs Whole Life Insurance: Here's How to Choose http://www.wisebread.com/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_father_hugging_88776971.jpg" alt="Family choosing between whole and term life insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know you need life insurance. It's a way to provide financial protection for your spouse, children, or other dependents should you unexpectedly die. But knowing that life insurance is a smart move and knowing which type of policy to take out are two different things.</p> <p>Studying up on life insurance isn't fun. Fortunately, most consumers choose between just two different types of life insurance policies &mdash; term and permanent. And if they choose permanent life insurance, they usually opt for what is known as whole life insurance.</p> <p>What's the difference between the two? And which type of insurance is best for you? Here's a crash course in the difference between term and whole life insurance.</p> <h2>Term Life Insurance &mdash; The Cheaper Choice</h2> <p>For most people, term life insurance is the smart financial choice. That's because this insurance provides solid financial protection for loved ones, while also costing far less than a whole life insurance policy.</p> <p>As the name suggests, term life insurance remains in effect for a certain period &mdash; or term &mdash; of time. You can choose the term, usually anywhere from one to 30 years. The Insurance Information Institute says that most people choose a 20-year term.</p> <p>When taking out a term life policy, you'll provide a list of beneficiaries, such as your children or spouse. Your term life insurance will pay out your death benefit to your listed beneficiaries if you die &mdash; and your death meets the requirements spelled out in your policy during this term (suicide cancels a payout, for example). After the term ends, the policy ends, too, unless you pay to extend it. Your annual premium will usually remain the same during the term.</p> <p>If you take out a term life insurance policy, you'll have to decide how long you want your policy to remain active. Most people choose a term that will last until their dependents no longer need their financial assistance. They might take out a term policy that lasts until their children will have left their home and started their own careers, for instance. Others might choose a policy that ends only after they know they will have paid off their home and built up a significant amount of savings.</p> <p>How much you pay for term life insurance depends on many factors, including your age, health, the amount of coverage you want, and the length of your policy. TrustedChoice.com, a website that helps consumers find independent insurance agents, says that a healthy 35-year-old male nonsmoker who takes out a 20-year term life insurance policy with a value of $500,000 will pay an average of about $35 a month for a policy. A 35-year-old healthy female nonsmoker would pay about $61 a month for $1 million worth of life insurance with a 20-year term.</p> <p>That comes out to $420 a year for the male and $732 for the female taking out the more valuable policy.</p> <h2>Whole Life Insurance</h2> <p>Whole life insurance is a more complicated product. That's because it is really two different financial products in one. It provides life insurance benefits like a term life policy, but also comes with an investment component known as a cash value.</p> <p>Part of every payment you make goes toward growing this cash value on a tax-deferred basis, meaning that you won't pay taxes on any of these cash gains while they are growing. You can borrow against your life insurance account or surrender it at any time to take the cash that has grown in it.</p> <p>You will, though, have to repay any loans you make against your whole life policy, with interest.</p> <p>Whole life also lasts, as its name suggests, for your entire life. No matter when you die, a whole life policy will pay out its death benefits to your listed beneficiaries, as long as the cause of your death is covered under the policy. Your premiums will remain the same until you either cancel the policy or you die.</p> <p>Because it comes with an investment component and lasts for your entire life, whole life insurance is considerably more expensive. TrustedChoice.com says that a healthy 35-year-old male who does not smoke would pay an average of $98.50 a month or $1,119 a year for a whole life insurance policy with death benefits valued at $250,000. A 35-year-old healthy female who doesn't smoke would pay an average of $82 a month or $960 a year for the same policy.</p> <h2>Which Is Right for You?</h2> <p>Which type of insurance is right for you? If you simply want to provide protection for your loved ones until they are financially independent, a term life insurance policy is usually the better choice thanks to their lower costs.</p> <p>If you want a life insurance policy that also generates cash value, then you might consider the whole life version. Whole life might make sense, too, if you need to provide financial protection for a loved one who will be dependent on you for your entire life, such as a child with special needs.</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/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose">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-8"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn&#039;t Just for Old People</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/did-your-parents-give-you-a-whole-life-insurance-policy-heres-what-to-do-with-it">Did Your Parents Give You a Whole Life Insurance Policy? Here&#039;s What to Do With It.</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/choosing-life-insurance-term-or-permanent">Choosing Life Insurance: Term or Permanent?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance beneficiaries cash value dependents family life insurance payouts term whole life Thu, 03 Nov 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 1825853 at http://www.wisebread.com New Job? Don't Make These 7 Mistakes With Your Benefits http://www.wisebread.com/new-job-dont-make-these-7-mistakes-with-your-benefits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-job-dont-make-these-7-mistakes-with-your-benefits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shaking_hands_77096849.jpg" alt="Woman making mistakes with new job benefits" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In September 2016, total nonfarm payroll employment in the U.S. <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">rose by 156,000</a>. If you were among those Americans who recently landed a new gig &mdash; or plan on landing one within the near future &mdash; congratulations! But as you get your benefits and retirement planning set up at your new workplace, don't make these seven mistakes.</p> <h2>1. Not Setting Up Your New Retirement Account Before December 31st</h2> <p>Make to sure to set up your new employer-sponsored retirement account before December 31st. Otherwise, you won't be able to reduce your 2016 taxable income by making contributions before Tax Day (April 17th, 2017) or the day you file your federal tax return, whichever is earlier. If you wait until the new year to set up your retirement account, any contributions made before Tax Day will reduce your 2017 taxable income &mdash; and you'll lose the opportunity to reduce your 2016 AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) by any contributed amount.</p> <h2>2. Not Completing a 401K or IRA Indirect Rollover</h2> <p>If you had a balance of less than $5,000 in your previous job's 401K or IRA plan, there is a good chance that you received an automatic cashout with a 20% withholding from your employer for applicable taxes. From the last day of your employment, you have 60 days to put the entire balance of the previous retirement account (including the mentioned 20% withholding!) into a new employer-sponsored retirement account that accepts rollovers. This process is known as an indirect rollover.</p> <p>You'll get that 20% withholding money back from the IRS in next year's tax return. In the event that your new employer's retirement account doesn't accept a rollover from your previous account, consider opening an IRA with a local financial institution before the 60-day deadline. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-rolling-over-all-of-your-401ks-and-iras?ref=seealso">A Simple Guide to Rolling Over All of Your 401Ks and IRAs</a>)</p> <h2>3. Leaving W-4 Forms Alone</h2> <p>Depending on a variety of factors, your old W-4 tax withholdings may not cut it at your new gig. To figure out whether you're withholding too much (or too little), grab all of your latest pay stubs, find a copy of last year's tax return, and visit the online <a href="https://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-withholding-calculator">IRS Withholding Calculator</a>.</p> <p>After punching in your data, this tool will provide recommendations on how to adjust your W-4 with your new employer to make sure that you meet your tax liability and minimize your refund. There's no sense in over-withholding and expecting a large refund, since the IRS doesn't pay interest while it sits on excess withholdings. That's money better kept in a savings or retirement account, where it can gain interest and compound over time.</p> <h2>4. Missing the Deadline to Make an Additional Estimated Tax Payment</h2> <p>If the IRS Withholding Calculator were to tell you that you're seriously behind your tax liability, you'll probably need to make amends <em>pronto, </em>lest you end up owing Uncle Sam at tax time. It's to your benefit to make an additional estimated tax payment to reduce or eliminate such a liability. For example, in the event that you know that there is an end-of-year bonus or commission check arriving before January 17, 2017, you have the option to use part of that check to make an estimated tax payment with <a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040es.pdf">Form 1040-ES</a>.</p> <p>Make sure to use the IRS Withholding Calculator to estimate the right amount to mail to the IRS with Form 1040-ES and keep a photocopy of both the form and check for your own records.</p> <h2>5. Not Enrolling in a New FSA Plan Within 30 Days</h2> <p>You have up to 30 days from your hire date to enroll in an employer's flexible spending account (FSA). If you miss that deadline, you'll have to wait until your company renews its FSA plan, your plan administrator announces an open enrollment period, or you have a qualifying life event, such as changing marital status or having a baby.</p> <h2>6. Forgetting About Balances in Previous FSA Accounts</h2> <p>You may be so busy training at your new job and completing paperwork that you forget about remaining benefits at your previous employer. Check the rules from your previous FSA account regarding the expiration date of available money once you separate from your old employer. Most FSA plans provide a grace period to use the money, but some of those deadlines may be as early as the end of the month in which you separate from your employer. Unless you use your FSA funds in full by the applicable deadline, you'll lose them all.</p> <h2>7. Going More Than Two Months Without Health Coverage</h2> <p>As you're transitioning from one job to the other, keep an eye on the start and end dates of previous and current health plans. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, you owe a fee for any period greater than two months in which you, your spouse, or your tax dependents don't have qualifying health coverage. In most cases, the penalty fee is 1/12 per month of <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/fees/fee-for-not-being-covered/">2.5% of your household income</a> or $695 per adult, whichever is higher.</p> <p>Being uncovered for only one to two months, qualifies you for a <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions-tool/#/results/2015/details/short-gap">short gap exemption</a> and you're not liable for the fee. Find out whether or not you're able to claim a health coverage exemption with <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions-tool/#/">HealthCare.gov's Exemption Screener</a>.</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/new-job-dont-make-these-7-mistakes-with-your-benefits">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-13"> <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/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> <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/6-health-insurance-benefits-youre-probably-not-using">6 Health Insurance Benefits You&#039;re Probably Not Using</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/left-a-job-do-a-rollover">Left a job? Do a rollover.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Insurance Retirement 401 k affordable care act benefits employers flexible spending health care IRA medical insurance new job obamacare rollovers taxes Mon, 31 Oct 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Damian Davila 1822947 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Health Insurance Benefits You're Probably Not Using http://www.wisebread.com/6-health-insurance-benefits-youre-probably-not-using <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-health-insurance-benefits-youre-probably-not-using" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_gym_towel_82822343.jpg" alt="Woman not using health insurance benefits" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, you're required to buy health insurance or face a penalty of 2.5% of your total household adjusted gross income, or <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/fees/fee-for-not-being-covered/">$695 per adult and $347.50 per child</a>, to a maximum of $2,085 for tax year 2016. So, take advantage of the full list of available benefits and services that come with your program, including health and wellness programs and other perks. Let's review six health insurance benefits you're probably not using &mdash; but should be.</p> <h2>1. Discounted Gym Memberships and Fitness Reimbursement Programs</h2> <p>As of June 2016, an estimated <a href="http://www.ihrsa.org/about-the-industry/">55.3 million Americans</a> paid for memberships to health clubs nationwide. With the average monthly gym fee around $50, gym goers are looking at a $600 expense per year before any other applicable fees, including initiation or locker rental.</p> <p>Many health insurance plans offer one of two ways to lower that hefty annual gym expense. First, some companies, including <a href="http://www.capitalhealth.com/Members/Live-Healthy/Health-Fitness/Health-Fitness-Reimbursement">Capital Health</a>, <a href="http://uhctogether.com/uhcwellness/16181.html">UnitedHealthcare</a>, and <a href="https://www.harvardpilgrim.org/portal/page?_pageid=213,217714&amp;_dad=portal&amp;_schema=PORTAL">Harvard Pilgrim</a>, offer fitness reimbursement programs ranging from $150 to $240 per calendar year (as long as you meet a predetermined minimum of consecutive months attending a gym). Some programs provide the reimbursement as a lump sum, and others do so on a monthly basis. Second, other companies, such as Kaiser Permanente, charge a flat annual fee to access a network of participating gyms. In the State of Hawaii, for example, the cost of this benefit is <a href="https://healthplans.kaiserpermanente.org/federalemployees/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/10/2016-Hawaii-Rates-and-Benefits.pdf">$100 per year</a>, which allows you to cut down that average annual gym expense by more than 83%!</p> <h2>2. Home Fitness Kits and Home Trainers</h2> <p>Due to caretaking responsibilities, physical disabilities, or other limitations, some holders of health plans may not be able to visit a fitness facility. That's why some health insurance carriers offer home fitness kits to those unable to visit a facility or preferring to work out at home. Companies offering home fitness program, such as <a href="https://www.healthpartners.com/hp/insurance/medicare/minnesota-freedom/silver-fit/">HealthPartners</a>, may offer specific options for older adults. The annual fee for home fitness programs ranges from $10 to $30, allowing you to choose two to three kits from a pool of options.</p> <p>Also, check with your provider on whether you can receive a discount for the services of an at-home trainer for your medical condition. For example, <a href="https://www.ghc.org/html/public/services/alternative">GroupHealth</a> can provide coverage or discounts for participating personal fitness and exercise trainers, including yoga, tai chi, and Pilates instructors, within its network.</p> <h2>3. Massage Therapy</h2> <p>When your physician determines that physical therapy is necessary, such in the case of chronic back pain or arthritis, your insurance can help you cover a portion or even a few of your massage sessions. However, check with your plan administrator about the features of your plan. Some plans may offer you one massage therapy session per month at a deeply discounted price in a participating facility within their network and others may offer a discount on massage therapy sessions on an ongoing basis (as long as you use service providers within their network).</p> <h2>4. Vaccines and Screening Tests</h2> <p>Thanks, Obama. Under the ACA, most health plans must cover a <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage/preventive-care-benefits/">list of preventive services</a>, including vaccinations and screening tests, at no charge to you. Some eligible preventive services for adults include HIV screening, colorectal cancer screening for adults over age 50, and aspirin use to prevent cardiovascular disease. Many immunization vaccines, including Hepatitis A, Herpes Zoster, and influenza, are also covered. This second benefit can be quite useful during times of outbreaks, such as the <a href="http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/">2016 Hepatitis A outbreak</a> on the Island of Oahu. Remember to stay within your network of providers to avoid any charges. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-places-to-get-vaccinated-for-cheap-or-free?ref=seealso">7 Places to Get Vaccinated for Cheap or Free</a>)</p> <h2>5. Breast Pump and Breast-feeding Counseling</h2> <p>With the average cost of raising a child under age two estimated at <a href="http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/expenditures_on_children_by_families/CRC2013InfoGraphic.pdf">$12,940 per year</a>, parents are always looking to save a buck. Your health insurance plan offers parents a way to save a couple hundred. All health insurance plans must <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage/breast-feeding-benefits/">cover breast-feeding equipment and counseling</a> for the duration of breast-feeding.</p> <p>Since the cost of an electric breast pump ranges between $100 and $350, we're talking about some serious savings. For example, my wife's plan fully covered a new <a href="http://amzn.to/2bOrxiX">Medela pump</a>, retailing for almost $300 at a store within her network. Check the rules of your plan for eligible retailers and breast pump models. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-when-you-find-out-youre-pregnant?ref=seealso">8 Money Moves to Make When You Find Out You're Pregnant</a>)</p> <h2>6. Weight Loss Benefit</h2> <p>Some health insurance carriers provide subsidies toward fees for eligible Weight Watchers, at-work, or hospital-based weight loss programs. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, offers <a href="http://www.bluecrossma.com/plan-education/programs-tools/value-added-programs.html">up to $150</a> per calendar year.</p> <p>If your main resolution this year was to lose some weight, then you can combine your potential weight loss and discounted gym membership benefits to re-energize your promise to get back in shape and improve your health.</p> <p><em>What are other health insurance benefits we're probably not using?</em></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/6-health-insurance-benefits-youre-probably-not-using">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-9"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-most-affordable-gym-memberships">5 Most Affordable Gym Memberships</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-good-eating-habits-that-are-keeping-us-fat">6 &quot;Good&quot; Eating Habits That Are Keeping Us Fat</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-things-you-can-do-to-reduce-your-risk-of-diabetes">10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Insurance affordable care act benefits breast pumps fitness gym memberships obamacare preventive care reimbursement programs vaccines weight loss Mon, 29 Aug 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Damian Davila 1780048 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Things You Need to Know About Disability Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-disability-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-disability-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/68605699.jpg" alt="Family learning about disability insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Insurance. There are probably no other financial terms more likely to induce feelings of sleepiness. Or dread. After all, who likes to spend money on something you hope you'll never have to use? And don't you have enough types of insurance already?</p> <p>Well, without wanting to sound like an insurance salesperson, how would you pay your bills if an accident or illness left you unable to work? That's the risk disability insurance is designed to cover. It would pay a portion of your salary in that situation.</p> <p>The good news is you may already have adequate protection. And even if you don't, the cost of coverage may not be as high as you feared. Here's what you need to know about disability insurance.</p> <h2>1. You Might Need It</h2> <p>When you're young and healthy, it's difficult to imagine life might ever be different.</p> <p>However, the insurance industry is quick to point out that your chances of becoming disabled are higher than your chances of dying prematurely. And the Social Security Administration has a scary-sounding statistic to back that up: Some 25% of 20-year-olds will become disabled before reaching retirement age.</p> <p>However, not all disabilities are the same. Some are severe and permanent. About 10% of all Americans are now severely disabled, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many other disabilities are neither severe nor long-lasting. To put the situation in context, the Council of Disability Awareness says the average length of a long-term disability claim is three years.</p> <p>So, when considering your need for disability insurance, it's important not to be scared into overpaying for protection.</p> <h2>2. You Might Already Have Some</h2> <p>Even without buying a disability insurance policy, you might already be at least partly covered.</p> <h3>Workers' Compensation</h3> <p>This program is administered on a state-by-state basis, and some states do not require companies with fewer than four employees to maintain the coverage. However, if you work for a company that <em>does </em>carry workers' &quot;comp&quot; and you're injured on the job or develop a work-related disabling illness, this insurance should cover about two-thirds of your pre-disability income.</p> <p>Still, the National Safety Council points out that only 27% of long-term disabilities are work-related. Most don't even come from accidents; they come from cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses.</p> <h3>Social Security</h3> <p>If you've been contributing to Social Security long enough, you may qualify for disability benefits. To find out, go to <a href="http://www.ssa.gov">ssa.gov</a> and click on &quot;sign in/up.&quot; However, even if you're <em>eligible</em> for Social Security disability benefits, that doesn't mean you'll <em>qualify. </em>Your disability has to be severe enough to keep you from working for at least a year (or be expected to), and it has to prevent you from doing the work you used to do or keep you from &quot;adjusting to other work.&quot; In other words, the program is designed to protect only the most severely disabled.</p> <h3>Self-Insurance</h3> <p>If you experience a short-term disability, you may be able to cover your expenses with personal savings. For example, an emergency fund savings account containing six months' worth of essential living expenses could be viewed as a short-term disability policy.</p> <p>You may be able to tap retirement funds, as well. For example, if you have a workplace plan, such as a 401K, you may be able to take out a low-interest loan. Or, if you have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-a-roth-ira-may-be-better-than-your-401k" target="_blank">Roth IRA</a>, you can withdraw your contributions at any time for any reason without penalty.</p> <h2>3. You Might Need More</h2> <p>After reviewing all of the above, if you decide to buy additional coverage, check whether it's offered through your employer. That will typically be the least expensive option.</p> <p>If it isn't offered, get some quotes from an online broker, such as <a href="https://www.policygenius.com/">PolicyGenius</a>, <a href="http://di-resource-center.com/">Disability Insurance Resource Center</a>, or <a href="https://www.disabilityquotes.com/disability-insurance/faq-moreabout.cfm">DisabilityQuotes.com</a>.</p> <h2>4. You Can Control the Cost</h2> <p>Key variables that will influence the price of a policy include:</p> <ul> <li>The waiting period. This is the amount of time between the onset of a disability and when the policy will begin paying. The longer the waiting period, the less the policy will cost.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The benefits period. This is how long the policy will pay benefits. You could opt for a policy that pays through age 67, but remember, the average long-term claim is three years, and choosing a shorter benefits period will lower the cost of the policy.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The benefit amount. You may qualify to cover 60% of your salary, but choosing a lesser amount will lower your cost.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The definition of &quot;disability.&quot; Ideally, you'll want a policy that protects you in case you are no longer able to perform the duties of your current occupation (an &quot;own occupation&quot; policy). You could buy a less expensive policy, though, if you're willing to accept one that pays only if you are not able to do other types of work.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Add-ons. You'll be offered numerous policy &quot;riders.&quot; Among those that may make the most sense is inflation protection, which would provide a cost-of-living increase in the benefit amount each year.</li> </ul> <p>Your ability to earn income is one of your most valuable assets. So, if you're not covered by a workplace disability insurance policy, take a few minutes to think about how you would pay your bills if you were suddenly unable to work. And keep in mind that you don't need to buy the most deluxe policy available. Protecting <em>some</em> of your income would be better than protecting <em>none</em> of it.</p> <p><em>Do you have disability insurance?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-disability-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-10"> <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-long-can-you-really-live-on-unemployment">How Long Can You Really Live on Unemployment?</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/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life 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/everything-you-need-to-know-about-flood-insurance">Everything You Need to Know About Flood 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/follow-these-5-steps-to-full-health-care-coverage-in-retirement">Follow These 5 Steps to Full Health Care Coverage in Retirement</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/4-times-its-okay-to-borrow-from-your-life-insurance-policy">4 Times It&#039;s Okay to Borrow From Your Life Insurance Policy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance disability emergency funds illness injury out of work policies social security workers comp Tue, 02 Aug 2016 10:30:12 +0000 Matt Bell 1762585 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It? http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/61715372.jpg" alt="Old woman learning if long term care insurance is worth it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Worried about how you'd pay for a long stay in a nursing home? These concerns aren't rare. The 2016 Insurance Barometer Study found that 58% of respondents worried they wouldn't have enough money to afford the costs of long-term care.</p> <p>Fortunately, there is an insurance product that can help ease these concerns: long-term care insurance. It pays for services to help people who need assistance with daily activities, or who require supervision because of a disease such as Alzheimer's. People often use this insurance to cover stays in nursing homes.</p> <p>The U.S. population is aging. The U.S. Census Bureau said that there were 46.2 million people 65 and older in 2014, or 14.5% of the country's population. These people are the prime target for long-term care insurance. But you may need it sooner if you have reason to believe you'll need such assistance earlier in life.</p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p>Should you invest in long-term care insurance? That depends on a host of factors. Do diseases such as Alzheimer's run in your family? Did your parents and their parents die young, or did they live to an old age? Did they require long stays in nursing homes?</p> <p>Unfortunately, there's no way to predict whether you will need long-term care in your life. You might be healthy today. You might eat well and exercise regularly. This doesn't mean that your health can't suddenly change.</p> <p>Then there are other financial alternatives to consider. By the time you need long-term care, you might be eligible for the government's Medicaid program, which will pay most of the cost of any stays in critical-care facilities or nursing homes. This program is only open to consumers with few assets. Many senior citizens on fixed-incomes, though, will qualify.</p> <p>Also, Medicare will often pay for the first 20 days that you spend in a nursing home. From the 21st to the 100th day, Medicare requires that you make a co-payment of $161 a day.</p> <p>If you do want to invest in long-term care, know that the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-health-care-terms-youve-heard-of-but-dont-know-what-they-mean" target="_blank">insurance can be costly</a>. The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance says that an insurance policy providing $164,000 in immediate coverage will cost a male age 55 in good health an average of $1,060 a year. A single female in good health would pay an average of $1,390 a year for the same coverage, according to the association.</p> <p>A couple, both age 60 with standard health for that age, would pay an average of $2,710 a year &mdash; the combined cost for both members of the couple &mdash; for a long-term care insurance policy with $164,000 in immediate coverage.</p> <p>Better policies will cost significantly more. The association says that a policy providing $164,000 in immediate coverage at age 60 and $365,000 at age 85 would cost a 55-year-old man in good health an average of $2,075 a year. It would cost a 55-year-old female also in good health an average of $2,411 a year.</p> <h2>Long-Term Care Costs Continue to Rise</h2> <p>According to the 2016 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the cost of long-term care is only getting more expensive. According to the survey, the national median cost of a month's stay in a semiprivate room in a nursing home is $6,844. That figure rises to $7,698 for a month's stay in a private room. The median cost for a stay in an assisted-living facility was $3,628 a month.</p> <p>Other costs associated with long-term care are staggering, too. The Genworth survey found that the median cost for a month's worth of homemaker services was $3,813 and the median cost of a home health aide was $3,861 a month. The median cost of adult day health care services was $1,473 a month.</p> <p>The odds are high that you, too, will need to some form of long-term care as you age. According to a 2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control, more than 8.35 million people receive support from the five main types of long-term care services: home health agencies, nursing homes, hospices, residential care communities, and adult day service providers.</p> <p>You can't predict today whether you will need such care or whether you'll ever need to use a long-term care insurance policy. But for some, the annual investment does provide peace of mind that if you are hit with a huge bill for a long stay in a nursing home, you won't have to bankrupt yourself to pay for it.</p> <p><em>Have you considered long-term care insurance?</em></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/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it">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-11"> <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/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One&#039;s Long-Term Care</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-financial-steps-to-take-after-graduating-from-college">5 Financial Steps to Take After Graduating From College</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/avoid-these-5-costly-health-insurance-mistakes">Avoid These 5 Costly Health Insurance Mistakes</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-pet-health-insurance-worth-it">Is Pet Health Insurance Worth It?</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/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance aging elderly expenses Health long term care insurance nursing homes senior citizens Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 1757849 at http://www.wisebread.com Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-flood-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-you-need-to-know-about-flood-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/flood_home_damage_42501358.jpg" alt="Learning everything you need to know about flood insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You'll have plenty of insurance bills to pay when you take out a mortgage loan to buy a home. Fees for everything from title insurance to homeowners and private mortgage insurance will drain your bank account.</p> <p>Adding the cost of flood insurance &mdash; the National Flood Insurance Program says that the average <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-things-your-homeowners-insurance-doesnt-cover" target="_blank">flood insurance policy</a> costs about $700 a year &mdash; isn't appealing. But here's the thing: That annual premium might seem like a small price to pay if your home is swamped by a serious flood. Water can cause thousands of dollars in damage in a short time.</p> <p>Should you pay extra for this insurance? There is no simple answer. You'll have to determine just how likely it is that a serious flood will drain your savings, and whether you're comfortable betting that your home will stay dry while you own it.</p> <h2>What Is Flood Insurance?</h2> <p>As its name suggests, flood insurance pays out when your home is flooded. You can generally purchase one of two policies, according to the National Flood Insurance Program. The first covers your home for up to $250,000 in damages. The second covers your personal property for up to $100,000. This second policy would, for example, help you replace your flat-screen TV, furniture, and computer if a heavy rainstorm caused your home to flood.</p> <p>You can only buy flood insurance from an insurance agent, not through the federal government. This coverage is not part of your standard homeowners insurance policy. Don't think that your standard home policy will provide you with any payout should a massive storm put your living room underwater. If you want flood protection, you'll need to pay extra for it.</p> <h2>What It Does and Doesn't Cover</h2> <p>It's important to understand, too, that flood insurance won't cover any isolated water damage that your home faces. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, flood insurance covers you for damage caused by a flood. It doesn't cover any losses from random water damage.</p> <p>What's the difference here? The program defines a flood as a &quot;temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow.&quot;</p> <p>That's different from general water damage caused by, say, a water heater that blows and floods your basement or backup from a sewer.</p> <p>Flood insurance also provides quite limited protection when it comes to basements. Flood insurance will only cover damage to mechanical systems such as your HVAC and electrical systems and to structural elements. This means that TVs, carpeting, or furniture in your basement won't be covered, even if you do purchase flood insurance.</p> <h2>You Might Not Have a Choice</h2> <p>You might not have a choice to make when it comes to purchasing flood insurance. Lenders require that you purchase a flood policy if you are buying a home in a federally designated flood zone. These are parts of the country in which the risk of flooding is especially high. Lenders won't provide you with a mortgage loan in these areas if you don't first purchase a flood insurance policy.</p> <p>If you don't buy in one of these areas? Then you do have a choice to make. Talk to your insurance agent about whether flood insurance is a smart move for your home. Ask, too, about what your agent's policy actually does and doesn't cover.</p> <p>You might buy a policy and never use it. But if that downpour comes, you might be glad that you invested in this extra form of protection.</p> <p><em>Do you carry flood insurance?</em></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/everything-you-need-to-know-about-flood-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-12"> <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/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners 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/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-disability-insurance">4 Things You Need to Know About Disability 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/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life 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-times-when-its-okay-to-drop-insurance">6 Times When It&#039;s Okay to Drop Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance coverage flood insurance flood zone nfip policies water damage Mon, 25 Jul 2016 09:30:29 +0000 Dan Rafter 1757112 at http://www.wisebread.com Everything You Need to Know About Buying Travel Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_climbing_mountain_82713741.jpg" alt="Man learning everything he needs to know about travel insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Choosing the right travel insurance can be a difficult task. With so many policies out there and all with differing service and ease of claims, your head might start to spin. Do you like to scuba dive, sky dive, or high dive? You better make sure you're covered for that. Are you carrying expensive electronics? They should be insured if they're lost or stolen.</p> <p>There's a lot more to choosing the right travel insurance than just finding out how high your hospital bills might be. Let's break down the basics so that you can make an informed decision about which travel insurance is right for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirt-on-travel-insurance?ref=seealso">The Dirt on Travel Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>Travel Insurance Isn't Just Medical Coverage</h2> <p>Before I get started with the five things you should consider before buying travel insurance, I should clarify that travel insurance can cover you for a lot more than just medical emergencies. Most people who are thinking of buying travel insurance are doing so because they're worried about a hospital visit.</p> <p>But you can make claims for stolen goods, broken cameras, canceled flights, family emergencies, lost luggage, and so much more. A good travel insurance policy is basically a universal protection plan to ensure that you're covered for whatever the road throws at you.</p> <h2>What Is the Coverage Limit?</h2> <p>When looking at a travel insurance policy, one of the first things you should look for is the maximum coverage limit on the plan. If you're only covered for $5,000, there's not much point. Medical emergencies can cost tens of thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of thousands depending where you are and what happens to you.</p> <p>A solid plan will cover you for at least $100,000. This limit can go all the way up to $1 million. A high coverage limit is extremely important when choosing travel insurance because if you are injured, fall ill, or need serious medical attention while on the road, you want to make sure that no matter how high the hospital bills are, you won't end up paying out of pocket.</p> <p>The worst thing that can happen to you in a medical emergency is being stuck in a hospital because of a serious injury or illness and then coming out of it and realizing that you owe thousands of dollars. Make sure your plan has coverage of $100,000 or more.</p> <h2>What Activities Are Covered?</h2> <p>What kind of traveler are you? Will you be doing adventure activities like rock climbing, desert safaris, scuba diving, horseback riding, and mountaineering? You should always check your policy to ensure that you're covered for any activities you plan on partaking in.</p> <p>You may expect that travel insurance will always cover you for whatever endeavors you get up to while on vacation, but that simply isn't true. Different plans cover different things and the more adventurous you are, the higher your insurance rates will likely be.</p> <p><a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/world-nomads-best-travel-insurance-backpackers/">World Nomads</a> has some of the best travel insurance for backpackers and long-term travelers. They allow you to start your policy while you're already on the road, they make it easy to make claims, and you can keep your policy going year after year.</p> <p>The best part is that they cover you for a huge variety of wacky travel activities. Just look at their list of coverage:</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-06-24%20at%205.02.47%20PM.png" width="605" height="581" alt="" /></p> <h2>What Gear Is Covered?</h2> <p>One of the best parts of a good travel insurance policy is peace of mind, knowing that your electronics and travel gear are covered if lost or stolen. A good travel insurance policy will reimburse you if anything happens to your valuables.</p> <p>The issue with extra coverage on electronics is that most companies have a pretty tight limit on what they will reimburse you for. Generally $500 is the maximum payout for any lost or stolen electronics. Given that the average laptop costs $1,000 these days, and a camera can be even more than that, $500 doesn't go very far.</p> <p>If you're traveling with a lot of gear, you may want to consider buying extra insurance through a specified electronics insurance plan. Clements Insurance offers special coverage for your electronics. They'll allow you to make claims on unscheduled receipts up to $10,000, meaning that you don't have to pre-submit your receipts and the cost of your laptop and camera will probably be covered.</p> <h2>Does the Policy Include Emergency Evacuation?</h2> <p>Emergency evacuation and care is an extremely important part of any travel insurance policy. You want to make 100% sure that if you're in a life-threatening situation, you will be covered for medevac, ambulance, and emergency air lift.</p> <p>The cheapest emergency air ambulance is probably going to cost you $10,000 or more, with <a href="http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/travel/travel-advice/travel-health/the-40000-bali-trip-you-dont-want-to-take/news-story/6f7543e9182911b8a45aa53bf852fd39">international medevacs costing upward of $40,000</a>. That's a purchase you don't want to add to your travel budget.</p> <p>If you're canyoneering in Utah and you fall and break your leg, your policy should cover your evacuation to the hospital. If you're in Thailand when a tsunami hits and you need to be evacuated to a safe place, your plan should cover that as well. Any good plan should cover a medical evacuation expense of up to $300,000 USD.</p> <p>There are also times when an evacuation means that you need to be flown from a hospital to your home country. Standard emergency evacuation usually includes this provision, but you should always check with your insurance provider to make sure. Believe me, you don't want to pay for a medevac from Indonesia to the U.S.</p> <h2>How Easy Is It to Make a Claim?</h2> <p>Just because you have travel insurance, doesn't mean that you can easily call them up at a moment's notice, tell them what happened, and they'll send you a check.</p> <p>The quality of service varies greatly from provider to provider and some make it very difficult and frustrating to make claims. The best companies will allow you to make a claim online and they may have a list of hospitals and clinics that they work with directly so they can pay the bills without you having to pay out of pocket.</p> <p>Keep in mind that travel insurance companies are just that &mdash; companies. They're in the game to make money, so they're not waiting next to the phone, ready to hand out checks to every person who calls in. Even the best travel insurance companies can take a long time to reimburse you.</p> <p>To try to speed up the inevitably slow process, make sure you have all your receipts, necessary forms, and proper documentation when making the claim, and keep it organized until you have been fully reimbursed.</p> <h2>A Few Other Things to Consider</h2> <ul> <li><strong>Multiple Countries</strong>: Some policies only cover you for pre-specified destinations, while others won't cover you at all for countries with government travel advisories.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>24-Hour Emergency Service</strong>: If you're having a medical emergency, you want to make sure that your insurance provider will be there to help you, no matter what time of day or night you call in.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Family Emergencies</strong>: If you're on a long trip and something happens to a loved one back home, your travel insurance policy should cover your flight home to be with that person.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Flight Cancellation Costs</strong>: If you have to pay for a hotel, another flight or some other kind of transportation booking because your airline canceled your flight last minute, your travel insurance should cover the costs.</li> </ul> <h2>Do You Need Travel Insurance?</h2> <p>Ask anyone who has been in a medical emergency overseas without coverage. They'll say <em>yes</em>. Ask any traveler who had medical insurance and thanked their lucky stars that they were covered. They'll say <em>yes</em>. A good travel insurance policy will likely only cost you a few dollars a day, but it could potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars if something does end up happening to you or your possessions.</p> <p>Insurance is the one thing that every traveler should buy before going on a trip, but it's something that you hope you never have to use. Do your research. Find a travel insurance provider that is right for you and make sure your policy covers everything you need.</p> <p><em>Have you ever purchased travel insurance? Did you need it?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Feverything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-insurance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FEverything%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Buying%20Travel%20Insurance.jpg&amp;description=Click%20To%20Learn%20Everything%20You%20Need%20To%20Know%20About%20Shopping%20for%20Travel%20Insurance!" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Everything%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Buying%20Travel%20Insurance.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></h2> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-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-13"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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> <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-things-you-must-know-about-health-care-open-enrollment">5 Things You Must Know About Health Care Open Enrollment</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-about-a-price-list-at-the-hospital-or-doctor-s-office">How About a Price List at the Hospital or Doctor’s Office?</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/follow-these-5-steps-to-full-health-care-coverage-in-retirement">Follow These 5 Steps to Full Health Care Coverage in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Travel disaster emergencies lost possessions medevac medical reimbursement traveler's insurance Thu, 14 Jul 2016 09:00:12 +0000 Nick Wharton 1738704 at http://www.wisebread.com Still Without Health Insurance? Here’s How Much the Penalties Will Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/still-without-health-insurance-here-s-how-much-the-penalties-will-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/still-without-health-insurance-here-s-how-much-the-penalties-will-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy_bank_medical_74187691.jpg" alt="Here&#039;s what it will cost you to live without health insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Health insurance is something we all need. While it may seem like an unnecessary expense at times, not being prepared for a medical disaster can completely devastate your finances. In fact, being plagued by enormous medical bills is the number one cause of bankruptcy filings. There are financial, medical, and psychological costs associated with having no health insurance. Here are just a few:</p> <h2>Steep Penalties</h2> <p>If you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-when-you-should-switch-to-your-partners-health-insurance" target="_blank">don't have health insurance</a>, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) dictates that you pay a fee or penalty called the &quot;individual shared responsibility payment.&quot; Any Americans who fail to have <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/fees/plans-that-count-as-coverage/">minimum essential coverage</a> will be charged this penalty.</p> <p>The penalty is <a href="http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-individual-mandate/">calculated in two ways</a>, and you will pay whichever of the figures is higher: It amounts to either 2.5% of your total household adjusted gross income, or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, to a maximum of $2,085. This fee has steadily risen since 2014, so it only makes sense to remain covered. For 2017 and beyond, the percentage will remain at 2.5%, but the flat fee will be adjusted for inflation. If you have health coverage for part of the year, you will only need to pay 1/12 of the annual fee for each month you weren't insured.</p> <p>The penalty is equivalent to the national average cost for a bronze-level health plan, so you would be paying the same amount whether you have health insurance or not. Therefore, it likely won't save you any money to avoid getting health insurance.</p> <h2>What If You Don't Pay the Penalty?</h2> <p>If you don't pay the penalty during tax time, you will not be subject to jail time or any additional fines. However, the IRS can withhold money from your tax refund at the end of the year.</p> <h2>Possible Exemptions</h2> <p>There are <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions-tool/#/">certain health coverage exemptions</a> to the individual mandate charged when you file your federal tax return. For instance, certain life events or financial status may qualify you for an exemption.</p> <p>With the <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions-tool/#/results/2015/details/short-gap">short gap exemption</a>, if you have health insurance throughout the year, but neglected to have coverage for only one or two months, you may be exempt from the fee. However, even if you only missed one day of coverage in a month, the government will deem that you did not have coverage for that whole month. For instance, if you are insured all year, but didn't have coverage June 30 through July 1, the government declares that you missed two months of coverage.</p> <h2>The Statistics</h2> <p>According to the NY Times, a person between the ages of 25 and 34 has a 5% chance of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/20/your-money/weighing-the-risks-of-going-without-health-insurance.html?_r=2">incurring medical bills</a> of at least $27,000 and a 10% chance of incurring medical bills that exceed $13,000. For Americans under the age of 65, there is approximately a 10% chance of incurring more than $30,000 in medical bills in only one year. A very unfortunate 1% of the population incurs more than $115,000 in medical bills in a single year.</p> <p>This is a significant risk and can spell financial ruin and a potential bankruptcy filing. According to the Harvard Medical School, &quot;Unless you're a Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, you're one illness away from financial ruin in this country.&quot; Having health insurance will not necessarily prevent these startling statistics, but they can help protect you from certain catastrophic medical events.</p> <h2>The Psychological Aspect</h2> <p>There is a very defined psychological benefit of having health insurance. Dan Bailey, a consulting health care actuary and a fellow of the Society of Actuaries, found that people who have health insurance are more likely to pursue necessary services than those who don't have health insurance.</p> <p>You are also more likely to take advantage of preventative medical services if you have health insurance. After all, if you're already paying for it, why not take advantage of the free annual physical? In fact, most people don't have health insurance because they can't afford it, not because they think they're invincible.</p> <h2>Cost vs. Value</h2> <p>The <a href="http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/">Kaiser Family Foundation</a> found that a young man between the ages of 28 and 32 can buy a typical silver plan for about $2,800 in annual premiums. While this may end up costing you more than the penalty would, it's not by much. When you consider how much you may end up spending out-of-pocket for something as simple as a back injury, you can clearly see how imperative health insurance really is.</p> <p><em>Do you know of any other monetary or psychological costs of not having health insurance? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/still-without-health-insurance-here-s-how-much-the-penalties-will-cost-you">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-14"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-spend-your-last-minute-health-care-fsa-funds">8 Ways to Spend Your Last-Minute Health Care FSA Funds</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/5-vital-things-to-remember-when-buying-health-insurance">5 Vital Things to Remember When Buying Health Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance affordable care act bankruptcy fees health care health insurance medical bills obamacare Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:30:35 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1746124 at http://www.wisebread.com