Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3150/all en-US Best Money Tips: Insurance That Saves You Big in the Long Run http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-insurance-that-saves-you-big-in-the-long-run <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-insurance-that-saves-you-big-in-the-long-run" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hospital-151908388.jpg" alt="hospital" title="hospital" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on insurance that will save you big, people who can save you time, money and stress, and getting started with investing.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneywisdom.com/looking-ahead-five-types-insurance-save-big-long-run/">Looking Ahead: Five Types of Insurance That Save You Big in the Long Run</a> &mdash; Life insurance and health insurance can save you money in the long run. [Free Money Wisdom]</p> <p><a href="http://sweatingthebigstuff.com/5-people-who-can-save-you-time-money-and-stress/">5 People Who Can Save You Time, Money, and Stress</a> &mdash; A mechanic is the number one person who can save you time, money, and stress. [Sweating the Big Stuff]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2014/03/18/how-to-get-started-investing/">How to get started with investing</a> &mdash; To get started with investing, put investing in the foreground of your mind. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2014/03/six-reasons-for-financial-accountability/">Six Reasons For Financial Accountability</a> &mdash; Leaving a legacy should motivate you to be financially accountable. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="http://www.narrowbridge.net/pay-for-things-want-paying-off-debt/">How to Pay for the Things You Want While Paying Off Debt</a> &mdash; Pay for the things you want while paying off debt by planning your purchases. [NarrowBridge Finance]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.themoneyprinciple.co.uk/three-kitchen-appliances-that-will-help-you-slash-your-food-budget/">Three kitchen appliances that will help you slash your food bill</a> &mdash; Hand blenders are a great kitchen tool that can help you slash your food budget. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Facts-Make-You-Smile-32288928">15 Facts That Will Instantly Make You Happier</a> &mdash; Did you know blind people will smile even if they haven't seen a smile before? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2014/03/19/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-impending-obamacare-deadline/">What you need to know about the impending Obamacare deadline</a> &mdash; The Obamacare deadline is March 31st! Make sure you are aware of the exemptions. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="http://reachfinancialindependence.com/business-mission-statement/">Six Steps to Take Before You Start Writing Your Business Mission Statement</a> &mdash; Before you write your business mission statement, research other effective statements. [Reaching Financial Independence]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/celebrate-national-nutrition-month-every-day">Celebrate National Nutrition Month Every Day</a> &mdash; Being active and avoiding liquid calories can help you celebrate National Nutrition Month every day. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-insurance-that-saves-you-big-in-the-long-run" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Insurance That Saves You Big in the Long Run" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Insurance best money tips insurance Fri, 21 Mar 2014 10:00:27 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1132133 at http://www.wisebread.com What Do I Need to Know Before I Hire a CFP? http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-i-need-to-know-before-i-hire-a-cfp <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-do-i-need-to-know-before-i-hire-a-cfp" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-99545082.jpg" alt="business people" title="business people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/R0jKJuvJXpA" width="605"></iframe></p> <p>Before you go out and hire what could be the most important person you ever hire in your entire life &mdash; your financial planner &mdash; here&#39;s a few things you need to know.</p> <p>Hey, this is Jeff Rose, Certified Financial Planner, and I&#39;m here to answer the question: &quot;What do you need to know before you hire a CFP?&quot;</p> <p>You&#39;re officially an adult. It&#39;s time to make some really important decisions, so you know you need to hire a financial advisor. You&#39;ve heard of this thing called a CFP. What does it mean? What do you need to know before you hire a CFP? Well, if you missed the introduction, I am a CFP. I&#39;m a Certified Financial Planner.</p> <p>What does that really mean? So for me, to get my CFP designation, I had to take these courses. I had to study a lot of material. And this covered everything from retirement planning to investing, taxes, estate planning, insurance &mdash; a little bit of everything. Anything that encompasses the financial planning process. And after I studied my butt off, I then had to take a really hard exam. And I want to tell you, it&#39;s the hardest exam I&#39;ve ever had to take.</p> <p>After I passed the exam, I was able to call myself a CFP. Now, the only way I could call myself that is because I had three years of work experience already. If somebody took the exam and passed the test, they couldn&#39;t call themselves a CFP just yet. So before you hire a CFP, you should know that they went through a very tough course curriculum. They passed the exam and they&#39;ve had three years of work experience.</p> <p>So what&#39;s the difference between a CFP and a Financial Advisor? It can get pretty confusing. For a Financial Advisor, they don&#39;t have to take the CFP Exam. I chose to take the CFP Exam because I wanted more knowledge. I wanted more experience. I wanted that know-how of helping people through the entire financial planning process</p> <p>In our industry, it&#39;s not required to become a CFP. Most people who work to get the designation do it because they want the knowledge. They wanted greater growth in their career. I often explain to people, choosing between a CFP and a regular Financial Advisor is kind of like hiring an accountant. You can hire an accountant to do your tax return, or you can hire a CPA who&rsquo;s versed in all the different tax codes and can help you do some legitimate tax planning. The CFP is no different. They are versed in all aspects of financial planning and they can help you get from A to Z; they&#39;ve got the know-how and the research to do so.</p> <p>I might be a bit biased in saying you need to hire a CFP if you&#39;re going to hire a Financial Advisor. But you know what? It&#39;s true. They&#39;ve put in the hard work. They&#39;ve taken the test. They&#39;ve got the credentials. And if you&#39;re trying to find a Financial Advisor, head on over to <a href="http://cfp.net/">CFP.net</a>. There&#39;s a database full of all the different Financial Advisors that have the CFP designation across the country. If you have any more questions regarding hiring a Financial Advisor, this is Jeff Rose, CFP. I&#39;d be glad to help you out. Take care.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-i-need-to-know-before-i-hire-a-cfp" class="sharethis-link" title="What Do I Need to Know Before I Hire a CFP?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Insurance Ask the CFP life insurance Fri, 15 Nov 2013 21:40:35 +0000 Jeff Rose 1098583 at http://www.wisebread.com Meet Wise Bread's Financial Planning Expert, Jeff Rose, CFP! http://www.wisebread.com/meet-wise-breads-financial-planning-expert-jeff-rose-cfp <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/meet-wise-breads-financial-planning-expert-jeff-rose-cfp" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/handshake-177331872.jpg" alt="handshake" title="handshake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/lxcxBky6ltY" width="605"></iframe></p> <p>What&#39;s going on, Wise Bread community? This is Jeff Rose, Certified Financial Planner and founder of <a href="http://www.goodfinancialcents.com">GoodFinancialCents.com</a>. The people at Wise Bread wanted me to do a quick introduction video because I am the new financial planning expert here to answer your questions. That&#39;s right. Wise Bread has its own resident CFP to help answer any financial planning questions that you have.</p> <p>But before we get into that, let me give you a quick introduction of who I am.</p> <p>I am a Certified Financial Planner. I have been in the financial service industry for over 10 years. That&#39;s right &mdash; a decade. (That&#39;s why I have a lot of gray hairs. I&#39;ve got three kids, too, so that kind of helps out.)</p> <p>I started my career with A.G. Edwards &amp; Sons, which is no longer around. They were bought out by a big bank. I spun off from them and founded my own wealth management firm, Alliance Wealth Management, LLC, which is where I&#39;m at today.</p> <p>In case I look familiar, no, I&#39;m not The Rock. My eyebrow does not go up. I do not do the people&#39;s elbow, whatever that is, although The Rock&#39;s kind of cool. No, I&#39;m the founder of GoodFinancialCents.com personal financial blog. I&#39;ve done a few movements: the Roth IRA Movement, the Debt Movement,&nbsp;the Life Insurance Movement&nbsp;where I bust out some dance skills.</p> <p>My mission has been to give people information they need to make smart decisions about their money. When I was growing up, I knew nothing about investing. I knew nothing about savings. And I literally stumbled into a profession of being a financial adviser. And thank goodness, because the learning experiences I&#39;ve gotten meeting with real people and their real life struggles have really opened my eyes to what I need to do and to show other people how to make smart decisions with their money.</p> <p>This September, I&#39;m proud to announce I had my first book coming out called&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0814433286/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0814433286&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="_blank"><em>Soldier of Finance</em></a>. This book shows people how to invest their money and take charge of their future. I see so many people who are making bad choices or just don&#39;t know what to do, and I want this book to inspire them. You have to want more and want your life to be different. So if you have the motivation and the willpower, I want to show you how to get there.</p> <p>Some of my previous work has been featured on MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Market Watch, and even more importantly, Wise Bread. So I&#39;m hoping to give it back to the Wise Bread community by answering any questions you have regarding financial planning.</p> <p>Now, obviously, financial planning is a broad category, but I am here to answer anything related to that. This can include retirement, investing, college savings plans, life insurance &mdash; anything that has to do with money and your life, I&#39;m here to answer it. And if I can&#39;t answer the question, I have a network of trusted experts that will be happy to answer the question for you. Basically, I&#39;ve got your back.</p> <p>So if you have any questions, just hit me up on the Wise Bread blog. We&#39;ll be happy to get that question answered in a future video and some potential Google hangouts. But if you need a quicker response, you can always hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, social media. I&#39;m there, that&#39;s where I hang out.</p> <p>I look forward to getting to know you all much better in the near future. Until next time, this is Jeff Rose, Certified Financial Planner. Take care.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meet-wise-breads-financial-planning-expert-jeff-rose-cfp" class="sharethis-link" title="Meet Wise Bread&#039;s Financial Planning Expert, Jeff Rose, CFP!" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Insurance Ask the CFP life insurance Fri, 15 Nov 2013 21:26:19 +0000 Jeff Rose 1098582 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Surprising Things Covered by Homeowner's Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-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="/8-surprising-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/house-5181226-small.jpg" alt="woman holding house" title="woman holding house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Insurance companies often get grief for what&#39;s <em>not</em> covered in a typical policy. But a standard homeowner&#39;s policy &mdash; often known as an HO-3 &mdash; does have clauses that cover you in ways you may not expect. And even if you aren&#39;t covered under a standard policy, you may learn that there are endorsements tied to your policy that offer extra coverage you didn&#39;t realize you had. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-your-bank-pick-your-homeowners-insurance">Don&#39;t Let Your Bank Pick Your Homeowners Insurance</a>)</p> <p>It&#39;s important to review your homeowner&#39;s insurance policy carefully to see what applies to you. but you may be surprised to know that these seven things are covered under many standard policies or as part of <a href="https://www.travelers.com/personal-insurance/home-insurance/types-of-coverage/optional-coverages.aspx">low-cost endorsements that are often routinely included</a>.</p> <h2>1. Spoiled Food</h2> <p>A typical policy will cover the loss of up to $500 in food if your freezer or refrigerator stops working due to a power outage.</p> <h2>2. Tombstones</h2> <p>If a grave marker of a loved one is damaged, the insurance company will pay for repairs, usually up to $5,000. It&#39;s important to note that grave markers must be established as your &quot;personal property&quot; for them to be covered. (In essence, you&#39;re covered if you are the one who bought the plot.) So that&#39;s something to keep in mind when burying a loved one.</p> <h2>3. Dog Bites</h2> <p>If your dog bites someone and causes injury, most policies will cover that person&#39;s medical expenses, even if the bite didn&#39;t happen on your property. Most policies also cover medical expenses for other injuries in which an insured person is at fault, and will pay for legal expenses if you are sued. (Check your policy to be sure of limits to this liability coverage.)</p> <h2>4. Kids and Their Stuff at College</h2> <p>Under most policies, the &quot;insured&quot; includes anyone in your household as well as anyone under 24 who is attending college full time. However, policies aren&#39;t crystal clear on whether this applies only to students living in dorm, so it may also be wise to get low-cost renters insurance if they are living off campus. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-have-renters-insurance">Why You Should Get Renters Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>5. Volcanic Eruptions</h2> <p>This may not be relevant to you unless you live in Hawaii, but it&#39;s nice to know that if lava is flowing toward your house, you&#39;re covered. Keep in mind, however, that most standard policies will not cover loss due to earthquakes or tremors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preparing-financially-for-a-natural-disaster">How to Financially Prepare for a Natural Disaster</a>)</p> <h2>6. Identity Theft</h2> <p>It can be distressing to learn that someone has stolen your personal information, and cases of identify theft can cost victims thousands of dollars, not to mention the time and stress of dealing with law enforcement, attorneys, and financial institutions to get your case resolved. Thankfully, many homeowner&#39;s policies will reimburse you for expenses you incur when working to resolve an identity theft case. This could include attorney&#39;s fees, travel costs, and even lost wages if you have to miss work. Some policies will even cover things like babysitting and elder care if you need them while you resolve the identity theft case. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-taking-jack-how-to-deal-with-identity-theft">How to Deal With Identity Theft</a>)</p> <p>Note: In many cases, identity theft coverage is not part of the standard HO-3, but a special endorsement. But such endorsements are often routinely included without homeowners even knowing it. Check your policy.</p> <h2>7. Some Flood Damage</h2> <p>Typically, if your house floods, you&#39;re out of luck, unless you purchase flood insurance. However, many policies do have endorsements that cover flood damage in some instances. I recently saved thousands of dollars in repairs when I learned that my policy actually did cover repairs resulting from a failed sump pump. Check your policy to see if it includes such a provision.</p> <h2>8. Your Bike, Even 3,000 Miles From Home</h2> <p>Most policies include &quot;<a href="http://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/homeowners-insurance-can-leave-home-with-you-1.aspx">off premises</a>&quot; coverage for your personal property. (It&#39;s the same clause that covers your child&#39;s property when she&#39;s away at college.)&nbsp;One Wise Bread IT staffer discovered the value of this when his very pricey touring bicycle was stolen midway through his cross-country bike tour &mdash;&nbsp;all the way on the other side of the continent. He called his agent, and soon he had the funds to replace the bike and continue pedaling.</p> <p>In addition to protecting your property from theft or loss, off premises coverage offers liability protection, too. That means if you shank a drive through the picture window of the house edging the fairway, your insurer picks up the tab. Amounts vary based on your total coverage amounts, so check your policy for the details.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Anything surprising in your homeowner&#39;s insurance?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Surprising Things Covered by Homeowner&#039;s Insurance" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Insurance homeowner's insurance insurance Thu, 17 Oct 2013 10:36:04 +0000 Tim Lemke 994621 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Lower Car Insurance Rates http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-lower-car-insurance-rates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-lower-car-insurance-rates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-4025979-small.jpg" alt="woman driving" title="woman driving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="179" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on ways to lower car insurance rates, the best mobile apps for personal finance, and traits common of most millionaires.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://thirtysixmonths.com/proactive-ways-to-lower-car-insurance-rates/">Proactive Ways to Lower Car Insurance Rates</a> — Installing an anti-theft device or taking a safety course can help you lower your car insurance rates. [Thirty Six Months]</p> <p><a href="http://bobbyfinance.com/2013/10/01/the-5-best-mobile-apps-for-personal-finance/">The 5 Best Mobile Apps for Personal Finance</a> — Have you downloaded the Venmo or MoneyKeeperPRO apps onto your phone yet? [BobbyFinance]</p> <p><a href="http://moremoneythanmonth.com/blog/7-traits-common-millionaires/">7 Traits common of most millionaires</a> — Did you know that most millionaires believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status? [More Money Than Month]</p> <p><a href="http://thehappyhousewife.com/frugal-living/5-ways-to-save-on-kids-costumes/">5 Ways to Save on Kids Costumes</a> — Organizing a costume swap can help you save money on your kids' costumes this Halloween. [The Happy Housewife]</p> <p><a href="http://theprudentpatron.com/100-birthday-freebies/">100+ Birthday Freebies</a> — If your birthday is coming up, check out this amazing list of freebies you can get on your special day! [The Prudent Patron]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://bargainbabe.com/how-to-save-money-on-car-tires/">How to Save Money on Car Tires</a> — To save money on car tires, extend the life of your tires by rotating them. [Bargain Babe]</p> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/free-online-checking-accounts/">Free Online Checking Accounts - Why Pay More Fees Than You Have To</a> — If you have a free online checking account, beware of minimum balance fees or transaction fees. [Free From Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/09/money-101-how-to-create-a-budget.html">Money 101: How to Create a Budget</a> — To create a budget, start by tracking your spending for 30 days. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Remove-Wrinkles-Without-Iron-31999801">Never Iron Again! 6 Ways to Have Wrinkle-Free Clothes Without Ironing</a> — Shower steam or wrinkle-removing sprays are good ways to get the wrinkles out of your clothes when you don't have an iron handy. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/6-opportunities-for-quantity-time-with-your-teenager">6 Opportunities for Quantity Time With Your Teenager</a> — Take advantage of the opportunity to talk to your teen when you are in the car with him or her. [Parenting Squad]</p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-lower-car-insurance-rates" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Lower Car Insurance Rates" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Cars and Transportation Insurance best money tips car insurance insurance rates Wed, 02 Oct 2013 10:00:03 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 994523 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Fall for These Common Obamacare Scams http://www.wisebread.com/dont-fall-for-these-common-obamacare-scams <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-fall-for-these-common-obamacare-scams" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy-bank-5305450-small.jpg" alt="piggy bank" title="piggy bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, begins to roll out, health insurance scams linked to the law have been proliferating. Consumer advocates fear the scams may become even more common as health insurance exchanges come online. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/understanding-the-affordable-care-acts-health-insurance-exchange">Understanding the ACA's Health Insurance Exchange</a>)</p> <p>The Obamacare scams are many and varied. Con artists are setting up fake websites, posing as government workers or insurance agents, and contacting consumers by phone, email, text messages, and even in person.</p> <p>They are selling fake insurance plans, requesting personal financial information, and seeking personal information to commit identity theft.</p> <p>Government officials and consumer advocates are warning Americans about these most common Obamacare scams.</p> <h2>Fees for Help</h2> <p>Fraudsters contact potential victims by phone, email, or text message and offer to help them access the new health insurance exchanges &mdash; for a fee. Beware: They're out to collect bogus fees. They also collect bank account numbers or other sensitive financial information. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/obamacare-fraud-alert-con-artists-prey-on-worried-health-insurance-consumers">Obamacare Fraud Alert</a>)</p> <p>Official helpers, called navigators, assisters, or counselors, can help you with the health insurance marketplace. But they don't charge fees or push particular plans. To find people who can help you understand your health coverage options and enroll in a plan, visit <a href="https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/">the government's local help site</a>.</p> <h2>Government Imposters</h2> <p>Some scammers claim they're from the government. It's a lie. No one from the government is calling people about their insurance. Government agencies may send you letters but will never ask for money or credit card numbers.</p> <p>Con artists may use high-pressure tactics, saying &quot;It's the law.&quot; They're known to threaten potential victims with penalties or even jail time if they don't sign up or buy a special insurance card.</p> <p>Such penalties are not possible since the law's individual mandate, which levies a financial penalty on those who don't obtain insurance, does not take effect until 2014 and entails no jail penalty.</p> <h2>Bogus Medicare Cards</h2> <p>In this scam, criminals say you need a new Medicare card because you'll lose coverage if you don't buy a new card. They may ask for your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers, too.</p> <p>Actually, no one needs a new Medicare card or any other insurance card, and no one will lose insurance coverage.</p> <h2>Discount Plans</h2> <p>Scammers try to sell medical discount plans, calling them insurance policies. They are not. Most discount plans entail club memberships claiming to offer reduced prices from doctors and other medical costs. Many don't deliver any cost savings. Others are just cons designed to collect personal information and commit identity theft. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/identity-theft/prevent-identity-theft">How to Prevent Identity Theft</a>)</p> <h2>Insurance Agent Scams</h2> <p>Scammers may pose as insurance agents. They typically use high-pressure techniques, such as saying you must &quot;act now&quot; to get a discount or that you'll lose access to your current doctors under Medicare if you don't sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan. That's not true.</p> <p>If you have Medicare, you don't have to do anything different because of Obamacare. Some insurance agents can help you with the Health Insurance Marketplace, but don't provide personal information or pay any money to someone who contacts you.</p> <h2>Fake Websites</h2> <p>Scammers set up fake websites to collect sensitive financial information and spread malware. To trick visitors, the sites are designed to look like an official health care exchange, complete with official seal. For instance, as <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/using-obamacare-as-bait-scam-artists-target-consumers-and-business-owners/2013/09/10/27a4ca36-1a1b-11e3-82ef-a059e54c49d0_story.html">The Washington Post reported</a>, the sites washingtonhealthexchange.com and mdhealthexchange.com were reported and taken down.</p> <h2>Steps to Take to Avoid Getting Taken</h2> <p>Consumer confusion about the new law creates opportunities for criminals. A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that as recently as April 2013, <a href="http://kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-april-2013/">4 in 10 Americans did not know that Obamacare was the law</a>. Many thought it had been repealed by Congress or struck down by the Supreme Court.</p> <p><strong>Learn About the Law</strong></p> <p>Read Wise Bread's ongoing coverage of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/aca">ACA</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/health-insurance">health insurance</a> in general to stay informed, or visit <a href="http://healthcare.gov">HealthCare.gov</a>. In addition to learning about the law, you can shop for insurance through that website.</p> <p><strong>Keep Detailed Notes</strong></p> <p>Write down the name of anyone who assists you, who they work for, their telephone number, address, email, and website address.</p> <p><strong>Ignore Solicitors</strong></p> <p>Don't respond to unsolicited requests for personal information or someone claiming to be from the government. Better yet, report them by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or visiting <a href="http://ftc.gov/complaint">ftc.gov/complaint</a>.</p> <p><em>Have you been contacted by a health insurance scam artist?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-fall-for-these-common-obamacare-scams" class="sharethis-link" title="Don&#039;t Fall for These Common Obamacare Scams" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/michael-kling">Michael Kling</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Consumer Affairs Insurance ACA fraud health care health insurance insurance obamacare scams Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:26 +0000 Michael Kling 991234 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Take Advantage of Obamacare for Less Financial Risk and More Freedom http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-obamacare-for-less-financial-risk-and-more-freedom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-take-advantage-of-obamacare-for-less-financial-risk-and-more-freedom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/healthcare-5195264-small.jpg" alt="doctor holding heart" title="doctor holding heart" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the US, buying health insurance has been a gamble: If you got sick, you were locked into whatever policy you bought when you were healthy. Once Obamacare goes into effect, that will no longer be true. This reduces your risk and increases your freedom. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freedom-from-the-day-job">Freedom From the Day Job</a>)</p> <p>This post isn't on the specifics of the reforms. (See Wise Bread's post on how the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/understanding-the-affordable-care-acts-health-insurance-exchange">Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Exchanges</a> work for that.)</p> <p>This post is on tactics and strategies for taking advantage of the new circumstances: Using them to reduce your risk and increase your freedom.</p> <h2>Less Risk</h2> <p>In the United States, choosing a life-path that didn't include employment with a large firm has been a huge gamble, and the biggest piece of the gamble was health insurance.</p> <p>In particular, choosing a life-path where you needed to buy an individual policy put your whole family's finances &mdash; and your life &mdash; in danger. If you became seriously ill, your policy would cover your expenses this year, but then you'd never be able to get a new policy, because insurers only wrote health insurance policies for people without preexisting conditions. Your premiums for your current plan would go up each year to cover the costs of your care (and others on the plan who had also gotten sick that year), and healthy people would drop the plan for new, cheaper, policies. Your insurance costs would spiral out of control, until they became unaffordable for anyone who wasn't wealthy.</p> <p>Basically, buying an individual policy before 2014 was a gamble that you'd only ever get seriously ill <em>once</em>.</p> <p>Starting next year, that's no longer true. Your rates won't go up. Thanks to <a href="http://www.inc.com/adam-bluestein/obamacare-community-rating.html">community rating</a>, you'll pay the same rate as everyone else in your age group, even if you get sick: Less risk.</p> <p>A related issue for the non-wealthy was that health insurance &mdash; good health insurance, that actually protected your finances from serious illness or injury &mdash; was expensive. That prompted people to go with minimalist policies that didn't actually provide much coverage. Worse, it prompted insurance companies to create crappy &quot;insurance&quot; policies that might look like they provided pretty good coverage (if you didn't know how to read an insurance policy), but actually covered even less than a legit minimalist policy.</p> <p>Under the new law you <em>can</em> get stripped-down coverage &mdash; <a href="http://www.webmd.com/health-insurance/insurance-marketplace/marketplace-insurance-choices">a Bronze policy</a> &mdash; that has lower premiums (and higher copays and deductibles). But even a Bronze plan has to cover all the same care that the better policies have to cover. You have real insurance: Less risk.</p> <p>One other aspect to this is that you're guaranteed to be able to change your policy every year, if you want to.</p> <p>That was true before &mdash; but only if you weren't sick. If you got sick, you were stuck with whatever policy you had. If you were worried that you might get sick, you had a strong incentive to pay up for pretty good insurance, so the policy that you were stuck with would be a pretty good policy.</p> <p>The new situation enables an option that wasn't safe before. While you're young and healthy you can choose a Bronze-level policy. If you get sick, you'll have to pay the higher deductibles and copays <em>this year</em>, but you won't be stuck with the policy for the rest of your life. You can choose to stick with a cheap policy as long as you're healthy, without losing the chance to upgrade if you start needing more expensive care: Less risk.</p> <h2>Strategies and Tactics</h2> <p>With all that in mind, here's a few tactics and strategies for using your new individual health insurance options to help you live large on a small budget.</p> <p><strong>1. Get Insurance</strong></p> <p>There's no good reason not to. If you're living near poverty, you can get substantial subsidies to help with the cost. (If you're very poor, you can get Medicaid for free in most states. Some states are turning down free money from the federal government to support the expanded Medicaid. If you live in one of those states, you might want to move.) (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/leave-town-fast-essentials-for-making-a-last-minute-move">How to Leave Town Fast</a>)</p> <p><strong>2. Get Your Preventative Care</strong></p> <p>It'll be free &mdash; and if you're young and healthy it won't cost you much in time or discomfort either. But if it catches some serious problem early, it could save your life. (You can't live large if you're dead.)</p> <p><strong>3. Figure Out If You Can Get a Subsidy</strong></p> <p>Everybody is pointing at the <a href="http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/">Kaiser Family Foundation's calculator</a>. It'll take your income and your family size and figure out what subsidy you'll get, if any.</p> <p>The subsidy is sized to make a Silver-level plan affordable, but you don't have to spend it on a Silver plan if you don't want to. It can make a Bronze-level plan quite cheap, or bring a Gold-level plan more within reach.</p> <p>If you qualify for a subsidy, be sure to buy your policy on the public exchange &mdash; it's the only way to get the subsidy.</p> <p><strong>4. Choose a Metal Level</strong></p> <p>If you're young and healthy, consider getting a Bronze plan. If you get sick or injured, you'll have to pay a big chunk of the cost of your care, but you'll still be protected by the out-of-pocket maximum, which caps your health care expense at $6,350 for the year.</p> <p>In addition to people who are young and healthy, this may be appealing to people who are middle-aged and healthy. In fact, it's particularly attractive for someone who has accumulated a chunk of capital. For example, someone who's saving hard with an eye toward early retirement might well be able to take a risk that they'd get hit with $6,350 in medical expenses, if the payoff was hundreds of dollars a year that they could add to their savings.</p> <p>On the other hand, if you're in the bottom half of the low-income group getting a subsidy, consider getting a Silver plan. People with incomes between 133% and 250% of the poverty level who have a Silver plan get a further subsidy in the form of reduced deductibles and copays.</p> <p>On yet another hand, if you have some chronic medical condition with a high level of ongoing expenses for health care, consider a Gold or Platinum plan. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-youre-hit-with-a-huge-medical-bill">What to Do If You Have a Huge Medical Bill</a>)</p> <p><strong>5. Reevaluate Annually</strong></p> <p>Many people will be able to stick with roughly the same plan year after year. But as circumstances change, it may make sense to make some changes.</p> <p>As your income changes, your subsidy will change. (Even if your income doesn't change, the thresholds for the subsidy will change as the poverty line changes.)</p> <p>As your health status changes, it may make sense to change your metal level.</p> <p>You're locked in for a year at a time &mdash; but that's nothing compared to being locked in for a lifetime, the way people who get sick have been.</p> <h2>More Freedom</h2> <p>As I said when the Affordable Care Act passed, Obamacare is going to be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/health-care-reform-good-for-people-like-me">good for people like me</a>. It's likely to save me money &mdash; although I'm very healthy, I'm getting older, and the cost of my individual policy has started to climb, simply because of age. That will stop. But that's not the big win.</p> <p>The big win is that I'm no longer risking my family's finances on the gamble that I'll only ever get sick <em>once</em> in my whole life. And that doesn't apply only to me.</p> <p>A lot of people are drawn to some lifestyle where an individual policy is the way to go. Maybe, like me, they want to be writers &mdash; or pursue some other creative career, like musician, composer, actor, dancer, painter, sculptor, or a dozen others. Maybe they want to be entrepreneurs and start small businesses. Maybe they want to be subsistence farmers on a small plot of land. There are a lot of people like that, who are willing &mdash; even eager &mdash; to accept the lower standard of living and the risk of failure that comes with taking the leap away from working for a big company, but who have hesitated to take the additional gamble that injury or illness will bankrupt them.</p> <p>This less risky version of the health insurance market is going to enable them to choose to take those other risks &mdash; the risk that their book won't sell, that their play is a flop, that they never make more than $50 a week as a musician, that their business will go bust, that their crops will fail &mdash; without adding on the risk that illness will bankrupt them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-dream-career-a-reality-for-less-than-100">Make Your Dream Career a Reality for Under $100</a>)</p> <p>This is going to enable a whole lot of freedom &mdash; and unleash a whole lot of productivity and creativity that has been sitting idle in cubicles, on factory floors, in back offices, and behind service counters.</p> <p>All that because individual health insurance policies are going to be less risky.</p> <p><em>Are you ready for the opening of the ACA medical insurance exchanges? Will you be purchasing insurance via the exchange?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-obamacare-for-less-financial-risk-and-more-freedom" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Take Advantage of Obamacare for Less Financial Risk and More Freedom" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Insurance ACA healthcare insurance obamacare Wed, 25 Sep 2013 11:24:09 +0000 Philip Brewer 990470 at http://www.wisebread.com Obamacare Fraud Alert: Con Artists Prey on Worried Health Insurance Consumers http://www.wisebread.com/obamacare-fraud-alert-con-artists-prey-on-worried-health-insurance-consumers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/obamacare-fraud-alert-con-artists-prey-on-worried-health-insurance-consumers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/healthcare-5175819-small.jpg" alt="doctor in monitor" title="doctor in monitor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="176" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Obamacare health insurance exchanges will open for business soon (October 1, 2013), with big changes for health insurance providers and consumers alike. Many Americans have questions about the law's mandates and available plans and who has to buy what from whom. Add to that recent news stories about <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/16/trader-joes-cut-health-benefits-last-week-heres-its-side-of-the-story/">employers such as Trader Joes</a> and <a href="http://consumerist.com/2013/09/18/walgreens-moving-eligible-employees-to-health-insurance-exchange/">Walgreen's dropping employer provided coverage</a> (both will provide money to employees to purchase their own insurance, instead), and confusion reigns.</p> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/understanding-the-affordable-care-acts-health-insurance-exchange">Guide to the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Exchange</a>)</p> <p>Naturally, unscrupulous scamsters have stepped into the chaos to con people out of their money and their sensitive personal identity information, such as credit cards and Social Security numbers.</p> <p>As reported today in the New York Times, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/19/us/politics/us-warns-of-frauds-tied-to-health-care-law.html">the White House is warning consumers to be wary</a> of high pressure sales pitches promising to enroll consumers in a health insurance plan offered on the exchange:</p> <blockquote><p>White House officials said that consumers should be suspicious if anyone asked them for money to enroll in a health plan offered through an insurance exchange. Legitimate insurance counselors and &quot;enrollment assisters&quot; will not ask for money, they said.</p> <p>In addition, White House officials said that Medicare beneficiaries did not need to sign up through an insurance exchange. Advocates for older Americans said that many were confused and wrongly believed that they needed to apply for coverage through the exchanges, scheduled to open Oct. 1.</p> </blockquote> <p>Today's White House announcement is part of a larger effort by the federal government to warn consumers of potential fraud. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-fraud-and-how-to-avoid-it">How to Avoid Credit Card Fraud</a>)</p> <h2>How to Protect Yourself</h2> <p>The government is encouraging Americans to take several steps to protect themselves from fraud.</p> <ul> <li>DO NOT give out personally identifying information such as credit card numbers and Social Security numbers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>DO NOT agree to pay for help enrolling in an exchange-offered plan.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Current Medicare enrollees DO NOT need to purchase additional coverage via an exchange.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>DO become informed of your rights, responsibilities, and protections under Obamacare at <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/">Healthcare.gov</a> and the Kaiser Family Foundation's <a href="http://kff.org/health-reform/">extensive coverage of health reform</a>.</li> </ul> <p><em>Have you been contacted by a con artist offering to help you sign up for insurance on an exchange? Is the new law confusing?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/obamacare-fraud-alert-con-artists-prey-on-worried-health-insurance-consumers" class="sharethis-link" title="Obamacare Fraud Alert: Con Artists Prey on Worried Health Insurance Consumers" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Consumer Affairs Insurance con artists fraud identity thieves obamacare scams Thu, 19 Sep 2013 18:48:52 +0000 Lars Peterson 988401 at http://www.wisebread.com Understanding the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Exchange http://www.wisebread.com/understanding-the-affordable-care-acts-health-insurance-exchange <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/understanding-the-affordable-care-acts-health-insurance-exchange" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/healthcare-4884969-small.jpg" alt="couple with doctor" title="couple with doctor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are currently without health insurance, the Affordable Care Act (ACA, often referred to as Obamacare) offers both good news and bad news. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/health-care-reform-good-for-people-like-me">Health Care Reform: Good for People Like Me</a>)</p> <p>First, the good news: as of October 1, 2013, you will be able to purchase affordable health insurance through the ACA's Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) &mdash; and you will be covered as of January 1, 2014.</p> <p>Unfortunately, as with any government program of this size, the various rules, regulations, policies, and requirements are both complex and potentially confusing.</p> <p>It's important to know just what to expect from the ACA's Health Insurance Exchange, because even those who currently have insurance may someday find themselves needing individual coverage. Here is what you need to know about navigating the maze of HIX, before you need to use it:</p> <h2>Basic Coverage</h2> <p>One of the intentions of the Affordable Care Act is to put the kibosh to some of the shadier practices of the health insurance industry. The practices that the law will deal with include refusal of coverage based on pre-existing conditions; rescission, or the practice of refusing to cover treatment for a current insurance beneficiary based upon supposed pre-existing conditions; yearly and lifetime spending limits; and insurance that lacks a bare minimum of coverage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-price-lists-a-short-but-useful-guide">Health Care Price Lists: A Short Guide</a>)</p> <p>While not all of these issues will necessarily be addressed in the insurance industry as a whole, all insurance plans offered through the ACA's Insurance Exchange must meet these standards. So anyone purchasing insurance through HIX will be guaranteed coverage; even if they have a pre-existing condition their claims cannot be denied; and they cannot reach an arbitrary spending cap after which point they are on the hook for additional medical costs.</p> <p>Finally, all insurance offered through the exchange must provide the following services, according to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/what-does-marketplace-health-insurance-cover/">the ACA's website</a> (which is chock full of info and details):</p> <ul> <li>Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Emergency services<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hospitalization (such as surgery)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Maternity and newborn care (care before and after your baby is born)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Prescription drugs<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Laboratory services<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Pediatric services</li> </ul> <p>Insurance without this base level of coverage will not be considered a &quot;qualifying&quot; policy and cannot be sold through the exchange.</p> <h2>How Much Will It Cost?</h2> <p>Leaving aside the political arguments about the global cost of this program, the intention of the ACA in general (and the exchanges in particular) is to make insurance premiums affordable for all Americans.</p> <p>One of the pricing rules put in place to ensure this is a limitation on price variations (also known as ratings) on insurance. Price variations can make the exact same policy a great deal more expensive for older beneficiaries, sick beneficiaries, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/health/policy/women-still-pay-more-for-health-insurance-data-shows.html?_r=0">women</a> (especially those of childbearing age), smokers, etc.</p> <p><strong>No More Price &quot;Ratings&quot;</strong></p> <p>As of 2014, insurers may no longer use most of the criteria the industry uses to vary prices among beneficiaries. The only criteria that may still be used &mdash; for older beneficiaries and smokers &mdash; are limited to a specific price ratio. Insurers may charge older beneficiaries no more than three times what they charge young beneficiaries &mdash; so a 64-year old can expect to pay no more than three times what his 21-year-old grandson is paying for insurance.</p> <p>As for smokers, the ratio is 1.5:1. At worst, an older beneficiary who smokes will pay 4.5 more than a young non-smoker. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-inexpensive-lifestyle-habits-that-can-add-years-to-your-life">7 Inexpensive Lifestyle Changes That Can Add Years to Your Life</a>)</p> <p>This limitation on price variations should theoretically help all insurance beneficiaries, even if they are still receiving their insurance through more traditional means. In addition, there will also be subsidies in place to help those who will be buying insurance through HIX.</p> <h2>The Subsidy Program</h2> <p>The health care law has determined that no lower- to middle-income individual or family should have to pay more than 9.5% of their income toward a base-level of individual health insurance premiums. And the 9.5% is the upper limit &mdash; most people earning modest livings should expect to pay between 3% and 9.5% of their income toward insurance. Those whose income falls below a certain point (133% of the federal poverty level &mdash; more on that below) should be eligible for Medicaid, and therefore will not be expected to pay <em>anything</em> for their insurance premiums.</p> <p>In order to ensure that families and individuals do not have to spend more than the specific, mandated percentage of their income, the government is offering subsidies to any individual or family making between 133% and 400% of the federal poverty level. (That corresponds to incomes between $31,322 and $94,200 for a family of four.) The Kaiser Family Foundation offers a <a href="http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/">subsidy calculator</a> that can help you determine if you'll qualify for a subsidy and how much you can expect from such a subsidy.</p> <p>In order to receive the subsidy, eligible individuals will have to apply for them when enrolling in insurance through the exchange, using their recent tax returns as proof of income.</p> <p>The subsidy will be paid directly to the insurer, so you will not have to worry about having to pay in full and then waiting for reimbursement.</p> <p>In addition to the subsidies for premiums, any HIX shopper who earns less than 250% of the federal poverty level ($58,875 for a family of four) will also be eligible for cost-sharing assistance. In order to explain how the cost-sharing program will work, let's first look at the different levels of insurance that will be available through HIX.</p> <h2>Four Tiers of Coverage</h2> <p>In order to make it easier to comparison shop among different health insurance plans, every plan must fit into one of four available tiers: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.</p> <p>Each of those tiers offers a different actuarial value. This term refers to the percentage of costs that the insurance company will pick up, and the lower the actuarial value, the cheaper the premiums.</p> <p>The lowest tier, bronze, offers a 60% actuarial value, meaning beneficiaries have to pay for 40% of their care.</p> <p>From there, silver offers a 70% actuarial value, gold offers 80%, and platinum offers 90%. You will pay more for premiums for a higher tier, but your out-of-pocket costs will be lower.</p> <p>For all subsidies and cost sharing options, the ACA uses the silver tier as the base level of insurance. Your subsidy does not change if you decide to buy insurance from a different tier. So your subsidy can go farther if you opt for bronze-level insurance, but not as far if you get gold or platinum coverage.</p> <h2>Cost-Sharing Assistance</h2> <p>For those who make less than 250% of the federal poverty level, there is further help in making the out-of-pocket costs for HIX insurance plans more affordable. Basically, if your income is at or below the 250% level, the actuarial value of your silver plan will be increased so that it will be like you are enrolled in a plan with a higher actuarial value.</p> <p>Here is what you can expect to pay for out-of-pocket expenses through the <a href="http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&amp;id=3190">cost-sharing assistance</a>:</p> <p><img width="564" height="269" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/ACAchart.png" alt="" /></p> <h2>Using the Health Insurance Exchange</h2> <p>Whether you are for or against the new health care law, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the logistics of the health insurance exchange. You never know when you may need to purchase individual health insurance because of a gap in employment or other circumstance. Knowing the rules and regulations of the ACA will help you to get the best insurance for your money.</p> <p><em>Are you ready for the introduction of the ACA-mandated health insurance exchanges?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/understanding-the-affordable-care-acts-health-insurance-exchange" class="sharethis-link" title="Understanding the Affordable Care Act&#039;s Health Insurance Exchange" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Insurance ACA health insurance health insurance exchange obamacare Tue, 10 Sep 2013 14:06:36 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 981836 at http://www.wisebread.com What Does It Take to Become a CFP? http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-it-take-to-become-a-cfp <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-does-it-take-to-become-a-cfp" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-4370899-small.jpg" alt="meeting" title="meeting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><iframe width="605" height="454" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Y24aL_yOK7o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Do you ever get confused when you hear the terms: Financial Adviser, Financial Planner, Financial Consultant, Investment Adviser, Certified Financial Planner? If you do, don't worry, you're not alone.</p> <p>Hey. This is Jeff Rose, Certified Financial Planner and personal finance expert, here at Wise Bread. Let's look at what the difference is between financial planner and CFP.</p> <h2>What Is a Financial Adviser?</h2> <p>If you've ever done any research on hiring a financial adviser or looking at the differences between the titles, you know it gets really confusing. Here's the thing. If you want to be a financial adviser, all you have to do is get a job with an investment firm or an insurance company, and you could pretty much hold yourself out to be a financial adviser. Pretty scary. To become a certified financial planner, you need to take on a whole new set of requirements and education. Let me explain.</p> <h2>What Is a Certified Financial Planner?</h2> <p>When I first got in the business, I was fresh out of college as a finance major; I passed my Series 7 exam, and became a financial consultant. That was the title that was on my business card, but you could have called me a financial adviser or a financial planner &mdash; any of those would've worked. As I advanced in my career, I really wanted something that made me stand out. Upon further research, I learned that CFP, certified financial planner, was the designation to have. The CFP designation embodies financial planning. With that, you cover the principals of general financial planning, investments, retirement, insurance, estate planning, income tax planning. Basically anything that has to do with money and your life is covered in the certified financial planner program. When you figure that everybody is at a different point in their life and has different goals, different objectives, to me, it made sense to get the designation so I could better help my clients. Now that you better understand what the CFP designation means, let's take a look at what it takes to get the designation.</p> <h2>How to Become a CFP</h2> <p>First things first, you must have a bachelor's degree to even start the program. This was a rule that was adopted about 5 years ago, so there are some CFPs that don't have a bachelor's degree. If you want a CFP nowadays, you must have your bachelor's degree. You must also enroll in a course or a program that is sponsored by the College of Financial Planning. There are several ways to do this. You can go to a real-life class setting, you can do an online setting, or you can do self-study. For me, I did the classroom setting in a crash course-like style. Let me explain.</p> <p>Each month, I would go up to my home office up in Saint Louis, and I would spend 3&frac12; days going through everything financial planning. It was seriously force-fed. I was drinking so much Diet Coke and so much coffee just trying to absorb all the information. I did that for 11 months. Afterwards, you must pass the CFP exam.</p> <p>The CFP exam is a 2-day comprehensive exam consisting of multiple choice and case studies. They give you pages and pages of sample client data, and you have to determine what is the best option for them. Let me tell you, the CFP exam was by far the hardest exam I've ever taken in my life. I've never studied for anything more than I did that exam, and I'm so thankful I passed.</p> <p>When you pass the exam, you get to call yourself a CFP, right? Not quite. The final part to becoming a CFP and actually using the designation on your business card, or to even call yourself a certified financial planner, is meeting the experience requirement. The experience requirement is 3 years or 6,000 hours of working in the financial planning industry. You have to be working with clients, analyzing data, presenting client data. Basically, you have to be doing financial planning in order to be able to use that experience requirement. For me, I actually didn't take the exam until I had been in the business for over 4 years, so I more than satisfied that 3-year requirement.</p> <p>On top of the education and experience requirement, you're also held to a higher ethical standard. If you go onto CFP.net and you want to find info on a potential CFP that you're might be hiring, you can see if anything has been filed against them. For example, have they filed bankruptcy? Has anyone filed a complaint against them? Is there anything that shouldn't be on their record for being a certified financial planner? If that's the case, you'll find that on CFP.net.</p> <p>Everything I've explained to you just shows what being a CFP is different than a normal financial adviser that doesn't have to go through the scrutiny and the education and experience requirements. If you're looking to hire a financial adviser, I would strongly encourage you to find a CFP. As I mentioned, head on over to CFP.net to find a good financial adviser for you.</p> <p>If you have any more questions like this, feel free to hit me up. This is Jeff Rose, your resident personal finance expert here at Wise Bread. We'll see you next time. Take care.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-it-take-to-become-a-cfp" class="sharethis-link" title="What Does It Take to Become a CFP?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Insurance certified financial planner CFP financial adviser life insurance Fri, 30 Aug 2013 18:01:02 +0000 Jeff Rose 981649 at http://www.wisebread.com Beginning the Free Life Insurance Quote Process http://www.wisebread.com/beginning-the-free-life-insurance-quote-process <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beginning-the-free-life-insurance-quote-process" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/phone-4530479-small.jpg" alt="man on phone" title="man on phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><iframe width="605" height="454" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FtcTtL8fj38" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Thank you for beginning the process to get your free life insurance quote. Before you proceed, a few quick reminders:</p> <ol> <li>If you have a high-risk condition, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or any type of cancer, please give us a call. What most people don't realize when buying life insurance is that insurance carriers will rate you depending on what type of condition you have. We know which ones to approach depending on what your condition is.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you're looking for a quote on a no-medical exam or no-physical type of life insurance, please give us a call as well. Our quoter is just for term life insurance, but we'll be happy to assist you in getting some no-exam life insurance.</li> </ol> <p>As always, feel free to call our office if you have any questions. We look forward to helping you. Take care.</p> <p><em>Call us! 855-326-7598</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beginning-the-free-life-insurance-quote-process" class="sharethis-link" title="Beginning the Free Life Insurance Quote Process" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Insurance life insurance Fri, 30 Aug 2013 17:26:53 +0000 Jeff Rose 981648 at http://www.wisebread.com What Is the Life Insurance Application Process? http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-the-life-insurance-application-process <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-is-the-life-insurance-application-process" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/concepts-maze-5043639-small.jpg" alt="maze" title="maze" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/I4vNAv6K6xY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>There's nothing more reassuring than entering all your personal information to a life insurance quoter and just waiting to see what happens. Does your information get sold? Are you going to get phone calls from ten different people all at once?</p> <h2>The Internet Makes It Easy&nbsp;</h2> <p>Gone are the days of the life insurance agent coming to your kitchen table after dinner trying to sell you the benefits of life insurance and which company to choose. Nowadays, you can head online and literally have a quote in less than a minute, with the application process beginning maybe 10 or 15 minutes after that. At Wise Bread, you'll see that we have a life insurance quoter that will give you an instant quote from over 60 different carriers in literally less than a minute. All you have to do is enter your age, your weight, your date of birth, the state that you reside &mdash; and after that you'll have a quote. As long as you don't have any pre-existing health conditions, that should be rate that you'll get. You then can finish the application process by entering your address, phone number, your best email address, and how we're going to contact you.</p> <h2>One Call Instead of Ten</h2> <p>After you hit the submit button, let me reassure you that we do not sell your information. You're not going to get calls from ten different life insurance agents in your area all trying to sell you the same thing. Trust me, I've been through that process before and it's not fun. They just keep calling you and calling you and calling you. It's very, very annoying and that is not what happens with us.</p> <p>Once you hit submit you'll get a call from one of our life insurance experts just making sure that you have the right quote. We've had several people that apply for life insurance and who didn't realize that their previous medical history may impact how much the cost is going to be. We just want to make sure that you have a realistic expectation of how much life insurance is going to cost. So, after you hit the submit button. you're going to get a phone call from one of our life insurance specialists.</p> <h2>Matching Your Needs to the Right Carrier</h2> <p>This specialist will be able to assess your situation, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions. We work with some of the top carriers, so we know that if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or any other medical condition, we know which carriers will be able to work with that condition and get you the best rate. After they match you with the best carrier with the best rate, they'll then verify the personal information that you submitted. We're going to get your Social Security Number, your driver's license, your home address, your beneficiary information, and other data just like that.</p> <h2>Verification and a Nurse Visit</h2> <p>After that we'll to transfer you to our back office to verify some of the medical information and the personal information that you give to us. They're basically just there to double check us to make sure we've asked you all the right questions. At the end of that phone interview, they're going to schedule a traveling nurse to come to your home or to your place of employment (whatever is most convenient for you) to do the blood and urine test. That can be done within a week or so of conducting the phone interview &mdash; it's that quick. After you've finished the medical exam, that's turned over to the life insurance underwriters, and they'll assess the medical exam based on the phone interview and then give you an offer based on their findings.</p> <p>All in, this process takes 20 to 30 minutes; that way, you don't have someone coming to your house interfering with your nightly TV shows. This can all be done with the convenience of a laptop and a cell phone, and you can have the process of purchasing life insurance begin. It's that simple.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-insurance-quote">Click here to get a free, no-obligation life insurance quote from Wise Bread.</a></p> <p><em>Jeff Rose is a Certified Financial Planner and author of </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Soldier-Finance-Charge-Invest-Future/dp/0814433286/?tag=wisbre-20">Soldier of Finance</a><em>. His blog is <a href="http://goodfinancialcents.com" target="_blank">Good Financial Cents</a>.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-the-life-insurance-application-process" class="sharethis-link" title="What Is the Life Insurance Application Process?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Insurance life insurance Wed, 14 Aug 2013 09:16:53 +0000 Jeff Rose 981219 at http://www.wisebread.com When Do I Need to Buy Life Insurance? http://www.wisebread.com/when-do-i-need-to-buy-life-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-do-i-need-to-buy-life-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-5076751-small.jpg" alt="father and son" title="father and son" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As you get older, you start taking on more responsibilities: new career, family, all that fun stuff. You might be asking yourself, when do I need to buy life insurance? When is the right time?</p> <p>Hey, this is Jeff Rose from Wise Bread. We're going to answer the question of when you need to buy life insurance.</p> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/YWvsP5V84DE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>To me, answering the question of when you should buy life insurance is really easy. Just ask yourself this. Is there anyone you love and care about who would be in financial bind if something happened to you? When I think of this, I think of my wife. I think of my three kids. If you're not married and if you don't have kids yet, it could be parents that have loaned you a lot of money to get through college and to get your life started. So if they could be in a financial bind if something happens to you because you owe them money, or they've given you a lot of money, or they're dependent on your income &mdash; that's when you need to buy life insurance.</p> <p>Another common question I get, especially with parents, is should you buy life insurance on your children? And I'll be first to tell you that I'm not a big fan of buying life insurance on your children. I think that you can invest the difference and you'll have a lot more money for them later on. With that said, if you buy a life insurance policy for your children it's not really that expensive. I've seen policies be anywhere from $5 to $25 a month. But don't invest a lot of money to life insurance when you're putting in $50 to $100 a month for a life insurance policy. I've seen a lot of parents become insurance poor because they're spending too much on life insurance for their kids and not saving enough for their own retirement.</p> <p>Another thing that parents might not realize is that, with a traditional term policy, you can actually get a child rider on that policy. For example, I can buy a million dollar term policy and then add a child rider. A rider basically is an added feature that you're going to pay a little bit more for. Think of it like buying a new car and how you can have a sunroof or leather seats that costs extra. That's kind of what a rider is.</p> <p>When you buy this rider, if something happens to one of my kids, then I would get a sum to help pay for that funeral. It varies with each life insurance company, but that sum could be anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000. The cost for a rider really isn't that much, and the cool thing about that rider is that it covers any kid. So you can buy one rider for your policy and if you have five kids, and something happens to one of those five, you'll be covered.</p> <p>If you're single, completely independent, you don't anyone any money, if you self-funded your way through college, then buying life insurance is really not important right now. But when you start a family, when you have a husband or wife and you have children, that's when buying life insurance becomes important.</p> <p>And let me just throw this in real quick.</p> <p>Buying life insurance is cheap. Don't think that it's expensive. It's amazing how people think that life insurance is too much. Use the free quote on our site just to see how cheap life insurance really is.</p> <p>If you have any more questions about buying life insurance this is Jeff Rose, your resident life insurance expert here at Wise Bread. I'll be glad to answer any questions you have. Until next time, take care.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-do-i-need-to-buy-life-insurance" class="sharethis-link" title="When Do I Need to Buy Life Insurance?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Insurance life insurance Mon, 12 Aug 2013 23:38:34 +0000 Jeff Rose 981224 at http://www.wisebread.com How Much Life Insurance Do I Need? http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-life-insurance-do-i-need <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-life-insurance-do-i-need" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/finances-1196769-small.jpg" alt="calculator" title="calculator" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever been on a camping trip or a long road trip where you had to buy supplies? You had to buy food, you had to buy snacks, water, all that good stuff, but you're just not sure how much to buy if you've never done it before. When it comes to buying life insurance, it can be equally confusing. How much life insurance do you need to buy and how long do you need to buy it for? Hey, this is Jeff Rose, Certified Financial Planner and life insurance expert. Let's see if we can answer that question in this video.</p> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/cuzDf4-VFfk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>You finally decide that you need to buy life insurance. Now you're trying to figure out how much you buy and how long you buy it for. First, let's answer the easier question.</p> <h2>How Long Do You Buy It For?</h2> <p>If you're in your 20s, 30s, or maybe even early 40s, then chances are a 30-year term is going to be your best bet. Why? Face it, we're all living longer. If you can lock in a low rate for 30 years, why not, as long as you can afford it? If you can't afford it, then consider going down to a 25- or 20-year term.</p> <p>Now, the more difficult question:</p> <h2>How Much Life Insurance Do You Buy?</h2> <p>There are many rules of thumb that you can follow. One common rule is to take your income multiplied by 10, and that's how much life insurance you should buy. For example, if you make $50,000 a year and multiply that by 10, you need to buy $500,000 worth of life insurance.</p> <p>Now, the one thing I'd have you consider is this &mdash; if you're young and you're making $30, $40, $50,000, chances are you're going to be getting raises through the years, and maybe your family is going to be growing. As your family grows and your income grows, you're probably going to buy more life insurance. I know for me, personally, I first started with a $250,000, 30-year term policy. That's when I was just newly married. I now have three children, so my level of responsibility has grown, and so has my life insurance. Now, I have over $2.5 million of life insurance. That might sound like a lot for many of you, but keep in mind: my wife does not work, we've got three kids, we've got the mortgage; I just want to make sure they're all taken care of. Don't feel that you need to buy that amount, but using that 10 times rule of thumb is a good place to start.</p> <p>Here's one thing I'd have you consider. Knowing that you're going to have a growing family and you're going to have income increases over the years, instead of using 10 times your annual income, you might want to make it 15 or 20 times. That way, you don't have to worry about getting life insurance coverage later on. Obviously, this all has to factor into your budget. I don't want to see you spending too much money on life insurance where you can't fund your 401K or fund your Roth IRA. You definitely want to be saving for your future, but you want to have some life insurance coverage. Trying to find that balance for you and your budget makes total sense.</p> <p>To help you better understand how much life insurance is going to cost, you can use the free quote engine on Wise Bread. You can run quotes all day long and you can change the amounts and the terms to see makes the most sense for you. If you need further assistance, feel free to talk to one of our life insurance specialists. We can sit down and run the numbers for you and better assess how much you really need and how much you can afford, and we'll help you get the most affordable policy for you.</p> <p>If you have any more life insurance related questions, this is Jeff Rose, your resident life insurance expert here on Wise Bread, always happy to help you out. Until next time, take care.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-life-insurance-do-i-need" class="sharethis-link" title="How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Insurance life insurance Mon, 12 Aug 2013 23:02:59 +0000 Jeff Rose 981221 at http://www.wisebread.com How Do I Find the Best Deal on Life Insurance? http://www.wisebread.com/how-do-i-find-the-best-deal-on-life-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-do-i-find-the-best-deal-on-life-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/thumbs-up-4234864-small.jpg" alt="thumbs up" title="thumbs up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever experienced this at a department store? You're getting ready to check out. You've picked out an article of clothing that you just have to have, and when they scan it, you realize that the article of clothing is actually on sale even more &mdash; so now you're going to save an additional 30% off. Getting a deal like this is one of the best feelings ever.</p> <p>When it comes to buying life insurance, how do you know if you're getting a good deal? How do you know that you're not paying too much, or that you've chosen the best carrier? Let's see if we can answer those questions.</p> <p><iframe width="604" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/t-q3pmkcObo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>When it comes to buying life insurance now in the modern age, it's easy to do some price shopping online. There are tons of quoters online, including the one at Wise Bread, that will give you quotes for over 60 different carriers. If you are healthy, you can rest assured that that you're going to get the best rate from the online quoter. Life insurance is so competitive nowadays that, for people that are in good health, it's easier for them to get cheap, affordable life insurance. But if you have some pre-existing conditions, trying to get the best deal can be rather difficult.</p> <p>What I mean by that is that every single life insurance company treats every single person, every single health condition differently. I've seen places where somebody with slightly high blood pressure would pay 20% more with one life insurance company versus another. That's why it's important to have an independent life insurance agent that knows what they're doing and can also work with plenty of different carriers. I've seen situations where the &quot;independent&quot; life insurance agent can only work with five or six different carriers, so how is that really giving you the best deal? Wouldn't you want to have someone that can shop around and to over 50 or 60 different carriers? That way, you know that you're getting the best deal.</p> <p>The easiest way to know that if you're getting the best deal in life insurance is to first make sure that you find a truly independent agent. Ask them how many different life insurance companies they can work with. Then, ask them how long they've been in the business, how many cases they've helped underwrite, and how many applications they've processed. The more cases they've worked with, the more conditions they're familiar with &mdash; so they know which companies to approach. And third, let them show you how the different companies are going to rate you, and how much it's going to cost you. If they could show you that the first carrier is going to charge you a $100 a month, and the second one is going to be $120 a month, so on and so forth, then you can truly see if you're getting the best deal.</p> <p>One final piece of advice &mdash; be leery of the independent agent that only offers you one company. If they can only offer you one company, the chances of you getting the best deal are slim to none. If you have any more questions regarding buying life insurance, this is Jeff Rose, your life insurance expert here at Wise Bread. Just let us know; we'd be glad to answer any questions you have. Until next time, take care.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-do-i-find-the-best-deal-on-life-insurance" class="sharethis-link" title="How Do I Find the Best Deal on Life Insurance?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-rose">Jeff Rose</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Insurance life insurance Mon, 12 Aug 2013 21:49:09 +0000 Jeff Rose 981220 at http://www.wisebread.com