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Reviewing Your Health Insurance Options? Here Are 6 of the Most Important Things to Consider

Health insurance has changed a lot just in the past decade. Whether you are looking for brand new coverage or reviewing your policy for possible changes, there is a lot to consider before you make a decision.

Of course, the cost of your premiums plays an important factor in your choice, but many other important aspects should be analyzed, too. Here are 6 important things to consider when you are reviewing your health insurance options.

Reviewing Your Health Insurance Options? Here Are 6 of the Most Important Things to Consider - health insurance image

6 Things to Think About When Deciding on Your Insurance Policy

1. Is there anything you must have covered? Maybe you have a primary care physician or a specialist that you already see regularly and you don’t want to lose. Or you are on a medication that is important and you want to be sure it is covered. Some people even have certain health care services, such as maternity or vision, that they want to have. Be sure to determine your absolute musts and verify those are covered in your policy options.

2. What are your costs? Your costs are not just your monthly premium. If you go to the doctor regularly, you may have a copay each time. You might also have a deductible that you have to deal with every year. Some plans have a specific out-of-pocket that you must reach before they kick in. These hidden fees are important in your overall decision and you should find a trustworthy agent, like those at Green Shield BC, who will sit with you and go over all of these costs.

3. Does the policy cover pre-existing conditions? Many insurances will refuse to cover you or exclude pre-existing conditions. You may have to sign a waiver in which you acknowledge that the insurance company does not have to pay for treatment for that condition, or you may have to add on a rider and pay extra for the coverage. Check for these clauses with your policy.

4. Is pre-authorization required for your services? If you have regular visits to your doctor and don’t want to have to deal with having your visits pre-authorized each time, consider that when you choose your coverage. It is common for insurances to require pre-authorization for more expensive services, but basic doctor’s visits and preventative screenings should not be a hassle.

5. How are your services paid for? Some insurance companies require you to pay your visits at the time of service and then submit a claim for reimbursement. This process can be cumbersome and stressful, especially if the insurance then denies coverage. If you don’t want to deal with this, look for an insurance policy in which the company pays the healthcare provider directly.

6. What are the coverage limits? Watch the coverage limits carefully. You may not need certain services now, like physical therapy, but accidents happen. Will you be covered in the event of an emergency or an accident?

Choose Your Health Insurance Wisely

Your health is the most important thing that you have. Taking the step to get it covered through health insurance is a smart financial and personal move. However, be sure you choose that coverage wisely or you may be paying monthly for something that won’t cover you when you are ready to use it.

Protecting Your Future: Everything You Need to Look for in Your Next Personal Health Insurance Policy

Health insurance can be important – so it’s also important that you make the right decision in choosing the best plan for you. It’s not one you should take lightly, as it could have an impact on your care and major implications to your finances could you need it. In some areas, not having health insurance is a huge risk, especially if you aren’t covered for everything. Depending on your situation, health insurance might be a necessity – so choosing the right policy is something you need to take seriously.

In this article, we’re going to look at a few issues associated with finding the right health insurance policy – so that you know exactly what to look for and what some of the implications might be. So let’s have a look at the tips…

Protecting Your Future: Everything You Need to Look for in Your Next Personal Health Insurance Policy - health insurance image

Do a lot of research

Before you commit to any long-term financial outlay, you need to make sure you’ve done the research. Some people simply sign up to the first policy they see, but this is a big mistake – and it’s not one you should be making. There are a few different ways to make sure you’ve done all the right research, but what are they?

Check online reviews

As with so many other things these days, there are plenty of online reviews that should be able to help you. Do a search and find people rating lots of different policies and insurance firms.

Be careful not to simply just go off of the rating, and check the individual reviews themselves and the reasons people rate something high or low. In some cases, the reasons for a terrible or great review might be completely irrelevant to you, so you can discount them. Also, look out for reviews that actually have too many anonymous top ratings as these can sometimes (but not always) be scammy.

Ask people you know

While online reviews are useful, nothing beats the personal recommendation from someone you know – so ask around. You could get some insider info or other relevant recommendations, especially for insurers in your specific area or with your specific needs at mind. Try asking someone who’s had to use their health insurance recently to see if there are any issues or if they’d either recommend or discourage you from using the same insurer as them. Some of the people you know might recommend specific insurers, like Manulife personal health insurance.

Ask for specific quotes

While most insurers will have headline rates, these aren’t always what you end up getting. Before you sign up to anyone, make sure you’ve checked all their rates for your specific cover. Also – if you don’t ask, you don’t get – so, check to see if there are any discounts or special rates available. You might be able to get an introductory offer or reduced rate for the first few months of the policy. But remember, the cost isn’t everything when looking at health insurance. You want to make sure you’re fully covered and that the level of care is top notch. Don’t just go for the cheapest unless that’s all you can afford.

Shop around

Again, don’t just sign up to the first good offer – shop around. This could even help you get a better offer from certain insurers who don’t want to lose you to a competitor.

Stick to reputable companies

While there are lots of new insurance firms you might not have heard of – sometimes these leave the market as fast as they arrive. Be careful with them, you might want to put your money with someone reputable who you’ve been aware of for years. This needs to be weighed up with the cost of the policy and the level of care.

Check specialist insurers

If you’ve got specialist medical needs, you might want to check insurers that have specific expertise looking after them. Some of the bigger insurance companies have different policies for different types of people, but you could find a specialist small insurer that only looks after people with your condition.

Check all the small print

This is hugely important when getting a health insurance policy, but you’d be surprised how many people ignore it. You need to check all additional fees, expectations, and any other information that could have an impact on the cost of your care.

Make sure you’re covered for everything

Not all insurance plans cover every condition, so make sure you’ve got the full coverage you need before signing up.

Does it cover family members?

Some plans will just be for you, while others can cover the whole family. While these plans will be more expensive, they might offer the full package and extra peace of mind at a price you’re willing to pay.

What level of care is provided?

If you need to use your insurance, where will you be permitted to be treated? This is an important question. Some policies will let you choose, whereas others have specific requirements, so this is something you might need to check.

Can your employer help

Some employers are willing to help pay some (or even all) of their worker’s health insurance costs as a benefit to the job. Even if you don’t think you’re entitled to it – ask. They might be able to get you a reduced rate or a specialist policy. However, if the policy that your employer is offering for free isn’t one that you think is going to offer you the best coverage, you still might want to avoid it. See if you can come to some sort of arrangement to share the costs of a better insurance plan.

Check if there’s an excess

Some insurance policies include excess fees which means you pay for lower-cost procedures and outgoings and they cover the expensive ones. Make sure this excess is something you’re happy with and can afford.

Hopefully, you’ve now got enough info to make sure you know what you’re getting into when looking for a new health insurance policy.

Why Health Insurance Plan Is a Must in India?

The medical cost is rising every year by around 15 to 20% in India, and the medical expenses are even rising because of lifestyle changes that are the cause of more diseases.

Why Health Insurance Plan Is a Must in India? - Doctor imageHealth insurance is thus important because it covers you in this event of unpredictability and it gives you the financial stability to meet the health expenses for yourself and for your family. However, the sad truth is that even though the importance of having a best health insurance plan in India is well known, still very few people have accepted it. The penetration of this plan is not a lot in India. But if you consider the benefits that this plan offers, it can be said without doubt that health insurance is a must for each individual.

What Is Health Insurance?

This is a plan that is offered to you by the insurance providers, and this plan is designed in such a way that it protects you and your family from any health-related issues. The issues that are caused and that which affect your health are unavoidable and with the change in lifestyle more and more people are having health issues today. On the other side, the medical costs have escalated a lot, and this keeps you in a very difficult situation if you are not prepared to meet the medical expenses.

Health insurance is very important because of this reason. This is indeed a very smart investment and gives you peace of mind. However, you need to spend some time to research the product to know the best health insurance in India review and if the top 10 health insurance companies in India are good and offer you the required coverage. Also, make sure to check if the plan is affordable and has a good pay-out.

Why Should You Take A Health Insurance Plan?

There are many reasons that make it clear why one should definitely invest in a best health insurance company in India. This is in fact not a luxury but a necessity. The benefits of these plans are huge, and they stand way ahead of the cost of the premium that you pay and the exclusions that are excluded in the list.

The life expectancy is very high these days, and this has, in turn, increased the medical expenses. But many are in a fix when they have to spend their long-term assets like a house and family property to fund for theirs or their family’s medical expenses. This also results in huge loans and mortgages which put the individual in even more trouble. This is when you take a health insurance plan, and you can stay safe and not have to get into debts or sell off your only home.

The health insurance plan like SBI health insurance plans covers the hospitalization cost as well as the cost of treatments and surgeries. It also covers the medicine cost. Make a comparison of health insurance plans in India. There are many other reasons why you should take a health insurance plan:

  • The health issues can arrive any time without any warning
  • The chances of having life-threatening disease is very high in today’s world
  • Until you have loads of money to spend, you will never be prepared to pay for your treatment
  • The cost of medical treatment has risen exponentially
  • The health insurance plan covers the expenses and all the treatments and other financial costs and thus lightens your burden to a great extent
  • The health insurance plan will offer you cashless facility, and thus you will not have to pay out of your pocket. The patient can relax because he knows that all his finances are well taken care of.
  • The medical expenses do not fall upon a family member completely
  • The insurance company will provide other benefits like ambulance cover, emergency assistance, and hospital cash

The Major Kind of Health Insurance In India

The common types of health insurance plans sold in India are:

·         Individual Mediclaim – This is simple health insurance plan, and this plan covers any expenses of hospitalization for a single person till the sum assured amount. The sum assured is a factor of the premium paid. In case there are other members of the family then all three of them can buy individual policies, and all the policies will be independent of each other.

·         Family Floater Plan –This is a higher version of the individual health insurance plan, and here the sum assured gets floated among the family members. It is a single plan that covers the entire family up to the total value of the sum assured. The premium that is payable for family floater plan is at most times less than that paid for individual policies. Check the best family floater health insurance plans in India.It is the health insurance plans for a family.

·         Unit Linked Health Plan – The Unit Linked Health Plan combines investment and health insurance, and you get the amount in return once the insurance plan ends. The return that you get is based on what the market condition is. These plans are still in the nascent stages. Since the unit-linked plans are linked to the market, so it is best to stay away from such plans.

Conclusion – At PolicyX, you can compare health insurance plans from various companies in India and buy best plan according to your needs.

6 Simple Ways to Cut Costs and Save During Retirement

A safe and comfortable retirement is a goal for most retirees, but living on a fixed income can make it seem impossible. Since there is no safety of a steady paycheck, many are left feeling overwhelmed, looking for options to accommodate their growing needs. So how do you make sure that you spend your retirement doing everything you love, without draining your retirement funds?

How to cut cost and save during retirement - happy retirement couple image

Well, there are subtle things you can do that will help you boost your savings and stretch your nest egg for years to come.  You don’t have to downgrade your lifestyle to live a fulfilling retired life. Though, you do have to focus on some key areas that are known to be the biggest financial worries among retirees and tackle those first. With some pre- planned financial groundwork and strategic planning, you can enjoy a smooth transition to the retired life.

Here are 6 smart ways to save money so you can enjoy your “dream” retirement:

1. Find the Best Health Coverage

One of the primary expenses retirees worry about is health insurance coverage, especially if you plan on retiring before the age of 65, in which case you won’t qualify for Medicare.

If you aren’t eligible for Medicare, you can still get insured through the Health Insurance Marketplace. While comparing individual plans, make sure to consider factors such as premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. Start your search by signing up at Healthcare.gov; if your income after retirement falls below a specific cap, you might qualify for subsidized coverage.

But while comparing premiums, look beyond the dollar amount to see if the package is right for you. If you visit the doctor a lot, look for a plan with lower out-of-pocket costs, but if you don’t visit the doctor often then a plan with a higher co-pay may be good, since it will give you a lower premium. Also, check to see if your current doctor is in-network since you might be more comfortable sticking with your current doctor than change to another. Your current prescription medications are another thing you should see if your plan covers. Before you decide on a plan, examine your drug coverage and see how much you will be responsible for paying out of pocket.

In many families, one person retires while their spouse still works. If that’s you, then continuing your coverage through your spouse’s insurance can help you save a lot.  A pre-Medicare retiree with a working spouse can continue coverage through their employer’s health insurance, provided they request enrollment within 60 days of losing their health insurance.

Or, consider establishing a health savings account. You can contribute $6,750 max if you have family HDHP coverage and the money used for qualified medical expenses is tax-free.

Another option would be to apply for COBRA, which is a federal law that lets you continue your insurance through your employer for at least 18 months. However, this might be an expensive option, since you will be paying the full premium, including the amount that your employer paid while you were employed. Some insurers add on an extra 2% as an administrative fee

2. Take Advantage of Discounts

One of the major perks of being a senior are discounts! There are thousands of deals available exclusively for older adults. From retail, restaurants, travel to activities, there are many incredible savings that you can take advantage of.  One way to get access to these senior discounts is by becoming a member of AARP.  For just $16 a year, you can get exclusive access to a myriad of discounts through AARP. These include discounts on car rentals, cruise trips, vacation packages, hotel discounts and more.

Two alternatives to AARP that are a popular discount destination for retirees are Association of Mature American Citizen (AMAC) and American Seniors Association (ASA). For memberships costing $16 and $15 per year, respectively, you will have access to many great discounts, helping you recoup that membership amount and then some. But if you are mobile savvy, there is a whole world of discounts that you can discover using the power of apps.

Forget Googling for deals. Apps like Senior Discounts can help you discover amazing savings for eating, traveling and shopping through your iPhone or iPad.  Flipp is another great app that helps you discover best deals from popular retailers like Target, Kroger, Walgreens, Walmart and more. It offers discount savings between 20-70% on items.

3. Review Your Expenses and Your Savings

Prioritizing expenses and keeping account of where the money goes is a major step to avoid depleting retirement funds. Downsizing doesn’t always have to mean downgrading. There are many ways to cut expenses to save money such as avoiding impulse purchases, buying in bulk, finding cost-efficient ways for your daily commute, replacing that expensive cable bill with a much cheaper Netflix subscription; are all money saving habits you can embrace.

If you live in a place with a high cost of living, and since you are no longer tied to a job, relocation to a much more affordable city can be an option worth considering. You can then use the saved dollars to pay other huge expenses like health insurance.

4. Save on Auto-Insurance

With middle age, auto insurance rates typically drop because of your years of driving experience. But, senior drivers, even with a clean driving record, and the same driving habits might be faced with a higher insurance rate, because, as a group, they are considered to be more prone to accidents.  Many states require insurance companies to give drivers, 55 and over, discounts for keeping a clean driving record and for taking certain driving courses, like defensive driving. You can access these classes through AARP and AAA for a much lower price.

Not all auto insurance companies increase the premium for older drivers at the same age. Some might increase it at your 60’s, and some might wait till you are 70. You should shop around and see what company is offering the lowest rates. If you are not planning to drive as much, you might be qualified to receive a low-mileage or usage-based discounts that offer breaks in premiums for drivers whose annual mileage falls under a certain mileage cap, which is usually between 7,500 and 15,000 miles per year.

With a usage-based, or pay-as-you-go program, you can get a personalized auto insurance quote based on your driving habits, and other patterns like the average speed you drive, braking habits, average number of miles, and time you drive. All these factors are monitored by a small telematic device that you would be asked to install in your car. Based on the results, you will be able to get a customized premium rate that might be lower than what you are currently paying. Sometimes you can get a discount just for installing that device

5. Take a Part-Time Job During Your Retirement

By having a steady flow of income, you won’t have to exhaust your retirement savings to fund your hobbies. A part-time job will also keep you physically and mentally active. It isn’t just about the paycheck, staying in the workforce, albeit part time, can give you a sense of purpose especially if you don’t know how to spend your retirement. A fatter nest egg is a nice little side effect.

There are several routes you can take after retirement. Starting your own business is a good option for those wanting to work at their hours and pace. If you have a hobby or passion, you can look for ways to start a business around it. For example, for retired teachers, starting a tutoring business can be a good source of income, or if you were a salesperson, you could look into affiliate marketing, where you make affiliate commissions selling things you love. Amazon has a popular affiliate program you can join for no starting fee.

One advantage of being retired after so many years in the workforce is the wealth of knowledge you acquire. You can put that to good use by becoming a consultant. Becoming a tour guide, working part time at your favorite golf course, teaching English abroad, working as a librarian assistant or a bookkeeper are all professional options that let you keep that income coming while allowing you to have ample time for your friends.

6. Consider a Reverse Mortgage Loan

A reverse mortgage loan can enable you to put off accessing Social Security payments till later in life, bringing about a bigger monthly payment through social security if you wait. By drawing on your reverse mortgage loan to cover your expenses, you also get to let your investment assets grow. If your investment portfolio assets are not doing well, a reverse mortgage loan can cover you till the market conditions improve again.

It’s a way to make ends meet, but it’s definitely not free money. It’s a loan that will eventually need to be paid back, with interest, when you move out, upon your death, or if you fail to comply with any terms of the loan. Also, you only get a percentage of your home value, not the full amount. What you may qualify for depends upon several factors including age, home value and interest rates, and the amount received will be affected by any amounts owed on an existing mortgage. A reverse mortgage loan allows you to convert a portion of your equity to cash without having to sell your house. You must continue to pay taxes, insurance, and maintain your home as well as comply with loan terms in order to avoid foreclosure. While processing the loan, your lender will usually charge an origination fee, appraisal fees, closing costs and other fees that are similar to what you paid while you bought your house.

Retirement can be everything you ever wanted it to be if you plan and lay a good financial foundation that keeps your future secure. Thoroughly researching and comparing health and auto insurance plans can help you save hundreds of dollars, while still giving you the satisfaction of staying covered for difficult times. Taking advantage of discounts while shopping for everyday items is a fantastic way to aggregate savings that can add up to a substantial amount over time. Budgeting and taking note of money coming in and going out can help you stay in control of your finances. But if you still need help to cover costs on a rainy day, you can always look into getting a reverse mortgage loan.

*If you qualify and your loan is approved, a HECM Reverse Mortgage must pay off your existing mortgage(s). With a HECM/Reverse Mortgage, no monthly mortgage payment is required. Borrowers must continue to pay taxes, insurance, and home maintenance as well as comply with loan terms in order to avoid foreclosure. **Consult your financial advisor. © 2017 Re-published with permission from original post at AmericanAdvisorsGroup.com

Dealing With Accidental Debt

Not all debt will turn out to be your fault – despite the fact that many people see those who are struggling to get by as victims of their own actions. Given that so few families are prepared for a financial disaster, it’s not much of a surprise that when the proverbial hits the fan, the consequences can be devastating.

In this brief guide, we’re going to go through a few of the situations where it is clear that debt is incurred by accident – and how to protect yourself from, or repair, the damage. Let’s get started with the basics of accidental debt.

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Debt by accident

There are many ways you can fall onto hard times, and it can happen in an instant. Maybe you suffer from a serious injury or get hit by some maniac in a car. Perhaps you get made redundant or are fired by a boss that has never taken a shine to you. Or, maybe you have been struggling to get by on a low wage, and inflation comes into play. What costs you $150 in food shopping one week might end up costing you over $200 the next – putting your finances in great jeopardy. The simple truth is that we are all at risk of losing a significant part of our income at a moment’s notice, and it’s important to have some protections in place.

Insurance

So, the first step to take is to make sure you have proper insurance cover. Of course, this can be tricky, because you never know what might happen, and you can’t possibly predict when a grave accident or financial emergency will occur. However, you can play the odds.

Your health insurance, for example, needs to give you enough cover in the case of a nasty accident – otherwise, you will be facing enormous medical fees. Maybe you could get some unemployment insurance, or self-employed insurance to make sure that you are covered in the event of an illness or periods where you can’t work. Think carefully and do your research of insurance plans to ensure you are getting the best deal – for the best cover.

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Attorneys

Apparently, if an accident that causes you harm isn’t your fault – from a car crash or a medical malpractice incident, for example – you deserve compensation. But, as Hastings Law Firm point out, it can be tough to actually get what you deserve without the help of an aggressive and experienced attorney. Finding one could be the difference between a negligible payment and a comfortable rest of your life.

Education

Of course, all these accidental debt issues could be significantly reduced with the right financial knowledge. Sadly, however, this kind of stuff is rarely taught in schools – which is why we started this blog. It’s no real surprise that so many people get caught out with accidental debt when you bear this in mind and lack the knowledge to build up emergency funds and take a right financial precautions.

As you can see, anyone can get in debt by sheer accident – the big question is, do you have the knowledge and resources to survive if it happens to you?