Monthly Archives: June 2017

Texas Health Insurance

Just a small delay in relaying medical information can cost the life of a patient. With nurses spending more time with patients than in the workstations, it is unavoidable that there would sometimes be a delay in getting information from the nurse to other health care providers. According to Myra Davis, the vice president of the information services at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH), they are having trouble establishing an effective communication system. Since TCH understood how important communication can be, they started using the popular Apple iPhone to help.

TCH placed a community charging station where nurses get an iPhone at the start of every shift. Nurses need to update their work status whether they are busy or available. To inform the physicians about the current condition of the patient, they only need to send a text message. The alarm management system installed in the iPhone automatically prioritizes and delivers critical care alerts. It will also send a message if someone tries to text a user who is offline.

According to Davis, rules were given to prevent nurses from being flooded with alerts because that could desensitize them resulting in reduced effectiveness. The alerts need to be based on the severity of the case and what type of health care is required. They will only receive alerts that are pertinent to them based on the degree of severity. Davis hopes that this new project will result in faster and more effective communication so that patients will receive better health care.

While some of the life-and-death choices like how to relay critical information may be out of your hands as a patient, the life and debt choices are yours to make. Just as miscommunication in health care can be a matter of life and death, not realizing the limits of your Texas health insurance coverage can result in major medical debt.

TX health insurance plans come with a complicated mix of co-insurance, co-payments, one or more deductibles and sometimes multiple exclusions and limits. Not taking the limits of your coverage into account or not recognizing what may be excluded under your TX health insurance plan can leave you with a mountain of unexpected debt. Take the deductible, for instance.

A deductible is the amount of money that you have to pay out-of-pocket before your health insurance coverage starts. Basically this is an annual amount that you need to be spend on health care in a given year before your coverage starts. This year, states that didn’t get a waiver allowing them to delay meeting federal health care reform standards, offer plans that pay for preventive health care without charging anything beyond the premium. That means it doesn’t matter what the plan’s deductible is. You can get free preventive care before the deductible is met as long as you use a provider within the plans’ provider network.

For services beyond preventive care, you still need to meet the plans’ deductible before coverage begins. And, that’s where you could really get into trouble if you don’t clarify how the deductible is being applied. One family, for example, believed their plan had a $5,000 deductible, but they could have ended up spending four times that amount to meet the plan’s deductible. It was actually per person rather than per year. A couple with two children could, in a very bad year, need to spend $5,000 per family member before coverage was available for services beyond preventive health care.

Even after the deductibe has been met, you could still have out-of-pocket costs. Co-insurance is the amount of a medical claim that you need to pay if your coverage is less than 100 percent. For instance, it is common for Texas health insurance policies to have an 80/20 split, but other splits exist, like 70/30. Depending on your TX health insurance policy, you may have to pay for a percentage of charges after you’ve spent enough to cover the deductible.

Not all policies are created equal, at least until the Texas health insurance exchange is available in 2014. At that time, plans will be more standardized to help the public figure out what they’re buying. Right now, you still need to watch out for exclusions and limits on benefits. For example, a policy with a $500 limit on hospital expenses per day would surely be a ticket to bankruptcy for many people in the event they needed prolonged hospital care. Until the state exchange is available, it might be a good idea to get a second on any policy that looks good on the surface. Unlike company insurance agents, independent health insurance brokers can compare policies from different Texas health insurance companies. Looking them up online may be your best bet to get help comparing your coverage options.

Life Insurance-Life Settlement

They fought over seas for their country during World War 2; they helped build this nation economy with their own hands. they worked very hard in cooperate America for decades and now they live off their social security , savings , investment and pension funds. God bless the senior citizen of America.When they were young they knew that one day they will have to retire. They tried to prepare themselves to that day and worked very hard for it. Now they know that their current income will not be enough to support them since they are going to live longer.With advance in technology and medicine the life expectancy of all American has been raised to a point where people now live 5-10 years longer than they expected.At the bottom line it means they need more money for retirement. How do they get more money? They have been out of the work force for years now. Whatever solution they may come up with, it must be legal and fast.

Today’s financial market offers many tools and programs to support those senior citizens and satisfied them with their needs. Program such as home equity loan and reverse mortgage have been around for a while now. The only problem with those programs is the price that the senior is paying. In most cases they lose their anchor asset, their home. Other tools would be annuities which will generate fixed income but require a deposit of cash. Life settlement, which is the sale of an unneeded life insurance policy and lately there is a new option that has to do with one home equity.

Equity key option provides an entirely new estate planning tool for high-net-worth individuals.
The Equity Key Estate option is designed for clients whose home is valued at $2 million or more, and who have a net-worth of at least $5 million.The senior home owner gets cash payment, based, in part, on how many homeowners are participating, and in exchange, they share any future appreciation with the Equity Key program.If one homeowner participates, Equity Key option usually pays 10% to 15% of the current value of the property today, and basically share the future appreciation with the client.If there are two qualified homeowners, and both choose to participate, they would collect anywhere between 20% to 30% of the property’s current value now, and Equity Key option program would receive 100% of any future appreciation.
Equity Key option program offers senior’s citizen a new way to address basic estate planning, including a shortage of cash.

Clients have used the funds they received to diversify their assets. Some can choose to invest in other real estate while some choose to invest in various financial markets.

Other Equity Key Estate clients may pursue an Equity Key option in order to experience the benefits of charitable giving now, while they’re in a position to witness the fruits of their generosity.

In conclusion I must say that as due to my interest in both real estate and life insurance I have found this program to be very beneficial to the senior. Since the whole option is being backed up with a universal life insurance where the bank is the owner and beneficiary of the policy and the senior act as the insured and a key man. Due to the fact, that the senior has been approved by a life insurance company and found to be insurable, will open few more option to the seniors. One option will be to apply for a life insurance policy and use the proceeds from the equity transaction to pay for it or to apply for a carrier approved premium finance program and finance the high premium. By doing so the senior will protect the estate from the estate tax and will have more money to live on while alive and more money will be left to the heirs.

Protecting Your Family – Health Insurance

A recent survey by Harris Interactive for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) found that most Baby Boomers underestimate their risk of missing work for an extended period of time due to a disability. Yet they believe that they are more likely to suffer such a disability than to die prematurely. What’s wrong with this picture? Like most breadwinners, Boomers buy family health insurance and life insurance to protect their families while skimping on long-term disability insurance.

How far off are the disability risk guesstimates of most Americans? A study sponsored by the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education called “The Real Risk of Disability in the United States” found that a white-collar worker between 35 and 65 years of age has a 27 to 31 percent chance of becoming disabled for 90 days or longer. Unfortunately, the duration of disabilities has increased substantially in the past few decades. In the 1970s and 80s, a 35-year-old male with such a disability would have been out of work, on average, almost four years. Today it’s six, because better medical care means that people with terminal illnesses are living longer. It does not, however, mean they are able to pull in their pre-disability income while they’re ill.

Steven Crawford, a Maryland-based disability insurance specialist, believes that a well considered policy is the keystone to any sound financial plan. Unfortunately, he notes, most financial advisers, not to mention the media at large, rarely mention the subject, even though a person’s ability to generate income is by far their most valuable asset.

“Everybody should have the maximum [benefits] they can afford,” Crawford says. “Somebody 20 years old-their liability is huge. A 55-year-old’s liability is less.”

Figuring out how to find quality, low cost health insurance suited to your specific needs is a time-consuming process. First, you have to determine how much you’ll need to maintain your lifestyle, remembering to factor in new expenses that could arise due to your disability. Then, you calculate what income you’ll receive from sources beyond a private health insurance plan. These include benefits from your employer’s group plan, your personal savings, and possible government benefits such as social security disability insurance.

“If you’re making a six-figure income, you really shouldn’t be covered by a group long-term plan,” Crawford says. The coverage is cheap, but you’re not going to receive nearly enough of your pre-disability income to sustain your current lifestyle. Sixty percent is the standard rate of income replacement on most plans. Why not higher? According to Crawford, the insurers want to pay “the maximum amount needed for you to get by without removing your incentive to go back to work.”

The subject is unpleasant for many, which may explain why so many people think of injury when they hear the word “disability.” In fact, according to AHIP’s Guide to Individual Disability Income Insurance (www.cap.org/apps/docs/insurance_programs/AHIP_Guide_Individual_Disability.pdf), 89.5 percent of claims are caused not by injury, but by illness. The guide is a great source of information about the many types of policies out there and the enormous variety of choices within each and every one of those policies. It also contains a checklist of questions to ask a reputable, knowledgeable agent when you’re ready to face the realities of your disability insurance needs.

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Life Insurance

While reverse mortgages are becoming increasingly popular, there is another venue by which senior citizens can have extra cash that may be much needed or wanted simply to enjoy. Are you age 65 or older? Do you have any health problems? Do you still own a life insurance policy that has not yet matured? If you answer yes to these three questions, you may be a good candidate for a life settlement.

In a nutshell, a life settlement is simply selling your life policy for a cash amount greater than its cash value but less than the death benefit or face amount. The particulars can get complex so if you seriously pursue settling your policy, you will need experienced advice. To help make your decision, let us look at some advantages of selling a policy:

  • Immediate cash for needs or wants.
  • No more premiums.
  • Extra monthly cash on hand.

The disadvantages of selling a policy include:

  • The settlement money is taxable.
  • The cash can jeopardize eligibility for social services benefits, such as Medicaid.
  • No tax-free death benefits for survivors.
  • Future insurability can be jeopardized.
  • Confidential information can be compromised.
  • No control over policy ownership.

Life settlers look primarily for clients who are age 65 and older, have a life expectancy of 3 to 15 years and own a policy with a face amount of at least $250,000 to $1 million. As this industry grows it is expected to reach for smaller policies but at the moment, only large policies are generally sought. The basic rules to remember are:

  • Sell a policy only if you no longer need or want it and do not anticipate needing life insurance in the future.
  • Consider alternatives to selling, such as using your cash value to buy reduced, paid-up coverage or an extended term insurance. Your advisor should go over the alternatives with you.
  • Compare the financial benefits of selling the policy with keeping it. Again, an experienced advisor has the tools to show you today’s value of future money so you can see if ‘holding’ or ‘folding’ is better for you.
  • Sell only to institutional buyers. This will give you the best price because these companies compete with each other for policies to buy. In fact, they bid for them much like you bid for items on eBay.

If you decide to inquire about a life settlement, seek a life settlement broker or life settlement firm. The fewer people in the chain, the more money for you. If you decide to sell your policy, expect the whole process to take 3 – 6 weeks. At the very least, you will be expected to:

  • Provide your medical records for analysis.
  • Undergo at least one physical examination.
  • Have your finances thoroughly examined.

In addition, you may be asked to certify that selling your policy is not going to bring later legal action. Too many life settlers have been sued by angry heirs claiming that the policy owner, “did not know what he was doing”. Because of this, your own mental competency will be the first thing to be certified.

In working with the broker or buyer, keep in mind:

  • Insist on disclosure of the broker’s fees and all offers that are made.
  • Insist on confidentiality. Your policy may be resold more than once and subsequent buyers do not need to know who you are or where you live.
  • Pre-settlement expenses are part of the investment costs and the buyer should pay them.
  • Once you sell the policy, the new owner pays the premiums. Also, once you have sold your policy, expect to be called periodically about your health.