Did you know that on May 2, in the late 1760s, life insurance first started being sold in the United States?
We turn the spotlight on the benefits of life insurance and why everyone should have a policy set in place.
What is life insurance?
Life insurance protects what matters most – Your family.
A life insurance policy protects your loved ones against the financial burden caused by your premature death.
What are the different types of life insurance?
Term Life Insurance
Term Life is temporary life insurance. If you want the best possible coverage you can buy, term life insurance might be for you.
The biggest advantage is that it has very low premiums in comparison to a permanent life insurance policy. You can purchase term life insurance for a term as short as one year or for as long as 30 years.
Term life insurance is very simple: If you die during the term of the policy, the benefit is paid. If you don’t die during the term, you may be able to continue the policy, but the rates will increase substantially. Rates change all the time, so you may be eligible for better terms than you currently have.
Return of Premium
Return of Premium is the best of long-term protection and low premiums. Many people struggle to choose a life insurance policy. If you buy a term life policy, you may get a great rate, but your policy will eventually expire. Whole life offers permanent protection, but it can be very expensive.
Return of Premium Term Life Insurance is an innovative product that combines the best of both worlds. Like a typical term plan, if you died during the policy term, your beneficiary would receive the full death benefit. However, if you kept your policy and did not die during the term, you would receive a refund of the entire amount of premiums you had paid for the policy. It’s protection if you need it, and money back if you don’t.
Whole Life Insurance
Whole Life is perfect if you want a policy that will cover your family no matter what.
Whole life insurance is a life policy that is designed to cover you for your entire lifetime. The rates for whole life insurance are often significantly higher than for term life insurance, but it can be a great value for a person who wants to make sure that, no matter what, the policy will never expire, and the premium will never increase.
Whole life can also be used as an investment. Since the policy is for a lifetime, it will often build a cash value. This cash value can be used on a tax deferred basis for purposes, such as, a down payment on a dream home, college tuition for the children, or income for you during retirement.
Universal Life Insurance
If you need a life insurance policy with a lot of flexibility and with a guaranteed rate of return on your investment, a universal life plan may be perfect for you.
Universal life is really a form of whole life, except that it has even more flexibility. Universal life allows you to pay premiums at any time, in virtually any amount, and you can lower or raise the death benefit fairly easily. Typically, a universal life policy will have a guaranteed rate of return on your cash value. These guarantees will rest solely on the claims paying ability of the insurance company, so it is critical to select a universal life policy carefully.
Things to consider about life insurance
Life insurance rates are based on your age, health, occupational work, medical history and gender. That’s why it’s important to buy a life insurance policy when you are young because you will get the best rates.
A group of people, known as underwriters, determine the appropriate level of premium based on how much of a “risk” you are at the time of application. They play the most important role in the life insurance application process (besides the actual applicant) because they have the power to accept or deny someone for a life insurance policy.
How we can help you
We offer competitive rates on every type of life insurance and can help you protect your loved ones no matter what.
Life is very uncertain, but your life shouldn’t be.
Give us a call at (864) 467-8738, and we can answer any questions that you may have, and we can do a free life insurance application for you.
The last few months have been fairly monumental when it comes to changes in the healthcare industry. As an independent health insurance agency based in the Upstate of South Carolina, there are lot of things to share, but today we want to focus on a key change that affects almost 60,000 people in the state.
Under the new regulations in the Affordable Care Act, as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, there are expanded premium tax credits available to people purchasing health coverage on the marketplace. Generally, these are only for people/families with incomes that fall between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.
What is that in real dollars? Let us tell you. For example, a couple making a combined yearly income of $100,000 can cut their insurance premiums in half under the new rules.
These subsidies work by capping what an enrollee must spend on a silver benchmark plan’s premium at no more than a certain percentage of the enrollee’s household income. The premium tax credit amount equals the difference between the actual benchmark plan premium for that individual and the required contribution. The tax credit can be applied to any level plan.
Additionally, there could be as many as 15 million uninsured people in the country that could be getting subsidized coverage on the health insurance marketplace but have not taken advantage of this financial help. In many cases, it may be that the financial help available to them is not sufficient to make the premium or the deductible affordable.
In South Carolina, about 499,600 residents, or 12% of the non-elderly population, do not have health insurance, according to the 2019 American Community Survey. About 59,700 uninsured South Carolinians are believed to be eligible because of the changes.
Individuals have until Aug. 15, a new, extended deadline, to enroll in a health insurance plan and to see if they can save money.
Call us today at (864) 467-8738, and let’s see if the changes affect you.
The new American Rescue Plan Act that was just signed has some MAJOR changes that apply to health insurance. As your health insurance broker, we want to keep you aware of these changes and how they will affect you.
The subsidies are going to be recalculated starting April 1, 2021. This means that your health insurance costs could drop. You can choose to update your application after April 1, 2021 and receive the lower prices or you can take the increased subsidies as a tax credit when you file your taxes next year. This will result in a larger than normal refund.
Here is a quick summary of the new law as it pertains to health insurance:
More enhanced subsidies
Retroactive to the start of 2021 and in effect for until the end of 2022, enhanced federal subsidies mean people with income between 100-150% of federal poverty level will have a benchmark plan available for FREE;
Subsidies are now available for the first time for those with higher incomes above 400% of the Federal Poverty Level—instead, capping their contribution to a maximum of 8.5% of income for a “benchmark” silver plan (For example, for a family of 2 the maximum income to qualify for a subsidy to reduce the health insurance costs was $68,960. Now the same couple who makes 100,000 will have their costs for a “benchmark” silver plan capped at 8.5% of income in this case $8500 per year. That means that the monthly cost for that benchmark silver plan in this example would be $708);
Unemployment compensation received in 2020 will not be considered taxable income for that year; and
Anyone who is on unemployment at any point in 2021 will be eligible for the maximum subsidies for health insurance—without regard to their income.
Income tax: People who underestimated their income for the 2020 tax year will not have to pay their excess subsidies back. This is a one-time thing.
We understand that this is a lot of information. We are currently setting up 30-minute appointments to help you make the most appropriate choice for you. You can set up an appointment by giving us a call at 864-467-8738 (INSURE-U).
Thank you for your business, and we look forward to talking with you.
Did you know that if you are at least 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part A and B, you can cut down on the majority, if not all, of out-of-pocket costs?
Signing up for Medicare
You are advised to sign up for original Medicare (Part A and B) within a seven-month window, which takes place three months before the month you turn 65 and three months following your birth month. It is important to enroll in Medicare during this time to avoid any penalties or increases in your Part B monthly premium.
Medicare Supplement Insurance
Medicare supplement plans, also known as “Medigap,” fill in gaps that Medicare does not cover.
Let’s say you go to the doctor. They send Medicare a bill for the services, and Medicare pays 80% of approved costs. After that, your Medicare supplement plan pays the remaining amount, or a part, depending on the plan.
A Medicare Supplement works alongside Medicare Part A and B.
Choose your provider and hospital (if they accept Medicare)
Does not come with a prescription drug plan (Part D). You will need to sign up for Part D if you want prescription drug coverage.
Referrals not required for specialist visits
No network limitations
Pay monthly premium + Part B premium + Part D (if applicable)
If you qualify for a Medicare supplement plan, you may enroll in a Medigap plan at any time. However, a six-month window that begins the month you turn 65 and on your Part B effective date is set in place to help you. Beyond this enrollment period, pre-existing conditions are considered, and you may be charged extra or even turned down. As long as you are enrolled in Medicare Part B, you may sign up for a supplement plan.
I know this is A LOT of information.
Medicare can be overwhelming and intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be.
We’re here to help!
Call us at (864) 467-8738, and we can help you understand all of your Medicare choices and determine which path is best for you.
We are here for you, and we look forward to helping you.
Call us today for your in-person (masks available) or phone appointment.
The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance marketplace has reopened until May 15, 2021.
So…. What does this mean?
Typically, the government only allows individuals to enroll between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15.
However, to help those uninsured during the pandemic, President Biden has introduced a special enrollment period (SEP).
Q: Do I have to re-enroll in health insurance if I am satisfied with my current plan?
A: No. You will be allowed to make a change but will not have to.
Q: Will I have to prove a major life change to justify enrollment/reenrollment?
A: No. Anyone can sign-up, regardless of your current situation.
Q: I already have health insurance for this year, but I want to make changes to my current plan. Can I do this?
A: Yes. You can make changes to your current plan, which is typically not allowed. You will even be able to switch between plans or change insurance companies during the SEP.
Q: Which tax year will this apply to?
A: The coverage will be for the tax year 2021.
Q: If I enroll in a health insurance plan during the SEP, when does it take affect?
A: The effective date will be on the first of the following month, and the insurance coverage will last until Dec. 31, 2021. If you enroll in a plan on Feb. 27, the effective date will be March 1. If you enroll on April 14, your plan will begin on May 1.
Q: I’m not sure how to do this. What is the first step that I should take?
A: Don’t worry. The Insurance Source will make the process easier for you. Visiting our website, www.insure-u.com, is an important first step because you can compare plans side-by-side, view your options and get a free quote before even calling us.
Q: Will I have to pay for this appointment?
A: No. There is no charge for this appointment.
We offer virtual appointments, and in-person office visits where masks are available.
Our goal is simple and straightforward – “We make health insurance easier.” ®
The novel coronavirus is continuing to leave its trail.
Life insurance underwriting is the crucial step of the life insurance process. A group of people, known as underwriters, examine life insurance applications and determine how much of a “risk” they are. Age, health, occupational work, medical history and the applicant’s gender are specific factors underwriters evaluate.
Underwriters play the most important role in the life insurance application process (besides the actual applicant) because they have the power to accept or deny someone for a life insurance policy. Another purpose that underwriters have is to determine the appropriate level of premium based on the risk of the particular applicant.
So, how does COVID-19 impact future life insurance underwriting?
The underwriting process is stricter.
This is because insurers bear an increased risk of the policy holder dying that typical mortality tables would normally predict.
We do not know complete future implications of COVID-19.
If the applicant is older and has preexisting conditions, they are more at risk for contracting the coronavirus, which could pose a risk to life insurance policies. In addition, when an applicant contracts the virus, it is impossible to know what the future may hold and whether it could affect their risk of dying. Ultimately, it is difficult for underwriters to predict the future health of someone who has contracted the virus. This identifies many challenges you may face when applying for a life insurance policy.
When an underwriter cannot accurately predict mortality, they tend to get a little more conservative in their underwriting decision, i.e., They are not as willing to take as many risks.
What changes have we seen so far with underwriting?
Susan Rupe’s article, Underwriting Among Early Effects Of COVID-19 on Life Insurance, says, “COVID-19 has had the biggest short-term effect on life insurance in two ways: Insurers extending grace periods for paying premiums and placing a greater emphasis on accelerated underwriting.”
Accelerated underwriting means that the insurance company does not require someone like a paramedic to visit the applicant’s home to take blood, urine and vital signs. Due to the pandemic, underwriters are limiting exposure to applicants.
It’s important to remember that when applying for a life insurance policy during a pandemic, you must disclose whether you have traveled or if you will travel to affected areas. If an applicant plans to travel out of the country, or if they recently returned from abroad within the last month, life insurance companies may delay approval. Some companies even have travel restrictions in place that could prevent application approval. If you are not truthful, underwriters can choose not to write you a policy.
The main takeaway of this article is that life insurance underwriting is becoming stricter as no one knows future implications that the virus may pose. If you have contracted the virus, or you are at a higher risk, underwriters might take this into account and deny you for a life insurance policy, especially if you have other conditions.
We highly recommend that you apply for a policy now in case new restrictions arise or conditions worsen. If you plan now and buy life insurance today, your family will be protected, and your beneficiary will receive the death benefit even if you later get COVID-19 and pass away.
How can we help you?
We offer Term Life, Return of Premium, Whole Life and Universal Life Insurance.
We know that understanding life insurance can be difficult and having it now is more important than ever. Give us a call at (864) 467-8738, and we can answer any questions that you may have, and we can do a free life insurance application for you.