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Insurance advice from David Lindsey Agency

News

Changing California Healthcare Market Warrants Insurance Review Urges David Lindsey Agency

The Flip Side of Higher Healthcare Costs-Lower Life Insurance Premiums

Frequently Asked Questions About Insurance

Q- Is there any good news in regards to rising health insurance costs?

A- Yes, due to the fact people are living longer and often having life saving/extending procedures, the costs for very necessary Life Insurance have dropped for the last decade.  If you have not reviewed your policy since you bought it, we encourage you to seek market comparisons to see how you may be able to improve what your premium investments are doing for you!

 

Q-Can I save money on my Health Insurance premiums by going direct?

A- No. State laws mandate that you pay the same whether you go direct to a carrier, apply online through some mass quote site, or seek the advice and counsel of an insurance professional who really is looking out for you and your family or business. At DLA, we are looking to earn and service your business for life.

 

Q- Why should you do business with us versus another agent?

A-Ultimately, that is your decision. At DLA, we try to provide you with online tools, advice and education for making sound and proper decisions for you and your business. We return your calls promptly, and are always seeking ways to maximize your monthly investment into peace of mind and asset protection…which is what insurance really is. To us you are not another number, but a person whose best interests we take to heart and value as family.

 

Q- What do you mean “manage my premium investment”?

A- Well, simply put, a decision to have Health or Life Insurance is to give you peace of mind and protect your assets should something unforeseen happen. You invest premiums to do this. We want your business for a lifetime. So, it is our responsibility to work with you as the market changes and new plans are launched, as your life changes (spouse, family, business success, divorce, death), we should be working together to make sure your investment is in the best possible plan for the current situation for you. For example, a young couple in their late 20’s may like the limited out of pocket cost for an HMO for their two children, but by 30 or 35, the monthly premium versus benefits they are using will be burdensome. A switch to a lower cost PPO would save them money and set them up with greater flexibility and access to specialists should something happen to any family member.

 

Q- What kinds of changes are going on in the market right now?

A- Plans for all the major carriers in California are changing. Some companies are limiting your exposure to high co-insurance should something happen (a very good thing in our opinion). Some are adding “Health Incentive Programs”, rewarding good health and changes towards better health. Consumer driven health plans empowering the insured with more knowledge and responsibility for  their Health Care and cost are making way to the market. Health Savings Accounts are popular for reducing costs, but if not counseled properly by your agent, can be a recipe for problems come claims time. Bottom-line, carriers are trying to meet the demands that the consumer has been putting on them. We will see more transparency of cost of care coming.

About Health Savings Accounts

Q- What is a Health Savings Account (HSA)?

A- A HSA is very similar to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Both grow the money deposited Tax-Deferred until 65. The difference being the money deposited into your HSA can be used to pay your Medical Expenses as they are incurred that are not paid for by your Health Insurance.

 

Q-Who qualifies?

A- Anyone that is covered by a “qualified High Deductible Health Plan” (HDHP) can qualify to open and contribute to a HSA.

 

Q- What are the benefits of opening and contributing to a HSA?

A-Qualified medical expenses are generally defined as costs associated with the diagnosis, cure, treatment and/or prevention of an illness or injury. This would include doctor office visits, medication (both OTC and prescriptions), dental expenses (including Orthodontia) and vision expenses. You can even use the funds to pay Long Term Care Insurance premiums. Typically, funds cannot be used for cosmetic surgery, however they can be used to pay for laser eye surgery.

 

Q- What happens if I don’t use all of the money contributed to the HSA?

A- Any remaining balance rolls over and accumulates to be available for medical expenses from year to year. If funds still remain at age 65 they can be taken as penalty-free retirement income withdrawals.

 

Q- How do I open a HSA and start contributions?

A-   www.firsthorizonmsaver.com, www.gilmorebankhsa.com, www.wellsfargo.com , www.sterlinghsa.com

All of these offer online applications for HSAs. Email or call us for more information.

 

Q- What are the current contribution levels?

A- New regulations (new freedoms!!) have been enacted for 2010.Contribution limits for 2010 are $6150 for a family and $3150 for an individual. You may contribute a full year's amount in 2010 even though you have the plan for a part of the year. Of note: Annual contributions are not required; you are in control.

 

Q- How does this work with Health Insurance
A- A qualified HSA Health Plan is a High Deductible Health Plan that has some Wellness benefit immediately, then covers the big stuff, above your chosen deductible (or on some plans maximum out of pocket limit) at 100%. This varies plan to plan, so call to get the best advice. On one of these plans, you are responsible for the small stuff…i.e. Doctor Visits, X-Rays, Labs, ER visits (to the deductible) but you get to use Pre-tax dollars from your HSA Account to pay for these expenses. If you are the type that doesn’t go to the doctor, this kind of plan may be right for you. We do not recommend these for young families, but with proper understanding, these can be very powerful for the right person.

Q- Where can I get more information?
A- www.ustreas.gov/offices/public-affairs/hsa
A- www.hsabank.com/hsainfo

A- www.sterlinghsa.com