Tag Archives: Life Insurance Plan

September is Life Insurance Month

How can your health or lifestyle affect your insurance rates?

When you apply for individual life or health insurance, you provide answers to detailed questions regarding your health. Your answers provide insurance companies with an idea of your overall health. Based on your answers, insurance companies may ask for additional medical information or tests prior to considering your application for coverage.

The cost of an individual health or life insurance policy takes into account your age, height, weight, medical history, occupation, driving record, your family health history and other personal habits like smoking.

Maintaining a healthy weight, practicing good health habits and seeking regular medical care can be important in lowering your insurance costs. Health and lifestyle information gathered by the insurance company is used to determine whether you get coverage, as well as the premium you are charged.

What are some of the habits that can increase premiums?

Smoking. Smokers pay higher premiums than non-smokers. Even if you only smoke a few cigarettes a day, an insurance company could charge you the same premium as a heavy smoker.

If you are a smoker or if you use smokeless tobacco, it may be possible for you to lower your insurance premium by quitting. After you have remained “smoke-free” for a time period specified by your insurance company, you may qualify for the lower, non-smoker premium.

High-risk activities. You will be asked about your hobbies and activities on your application. Insurance companies typically charge higher premiums if you participate in high-risk activities. Some hobbies considered to be high-risk activities include: mountain climbing; horseback or motorcycle riding; flying an airplane or other aviation-related activities (e.g. ultra light flying, hang gliding, or sky diving).

You might be able to lower your insurance premiums by cutting back on your participation in such high-risk activities. Talk with the insurance company or broker about your options.

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Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary

ERISA Explains It All

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for retirement and health benefit plans in private industry. ERISA does not require any employer to establish a plan. It only requires that those who establish plans meet certain minimum standards.

ERISA covers retirement, health and other welfare benefit plans (e.g., life, disability and apprenticeship plans). Among other things, ERISA provides that those individuals who manage plans (and other fiduciaries) must meet certain standards of conduct. The law also contains detailed provisions for reporting to the government and disclosure to participants. There also are rules aimed at assuring that plan funds are protected and that participants who qualify receive their benefits.

ISA has also been expanded to include health laws. For example, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) amended ERISA to provide for the continuation of health care coverage for employees and their beneficiaries (for a limited period of time) if certain events would otherwise result in a reduction in benefits. In addition, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) amended ERISA to make health care coverage more portable and secure for employees.
Health Plans as Welfare Benefit Plans Under ERISA

According to ERISA, an employee welfare benefit plan is any plan, fund, or program which is established or maintained by an employer or by an employee organization, or by both, to the extent that such plan, fund, or program was established or is maintained for the purpose of providing:

  • Medical, surgical, or hospital care or benefits;
  • Benefits in the event of sickness, accident, disability, death or unemployment;
  • Vacation benefits;
  • Apprenticeship or other training programs;
  • Day care centers;
  • Scholarship funds;
  • Prepaid legal services, or
  • Certain other benefits described in the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947

Jeffrey R. Ungvary

 

Jeffrey R. Ungvary

President

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month

September has arrived and we’re well underway. As time passes us and we wave hello and goodbye to each day, it’s important to have a set plan for our future. With September being Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM), now is the perfect time to reevaluate your Life Insurance plan.

Organized by the LIFE Foundation, LIAM, an industry-wide educational campaign, is designed to create an understanding of the large number of Americans who lack sufficient life insurance protection and encourage/educate them to reevaluate their life insurance needs. If you’re looking for an opportunity to talk to your advisor about life insurance, now is the perfect time.

Call us today and we can help you with any questions and any of your insurance needs.