On March 31st, 2014 the historic 1st year of the Health Care Reform Act enrollment will come to a close. As a last reminder, if you are eligible for enrollment this is what you can expect…
IF YOU ENROLL IN A PLAN
- If you currently have a health insurance plan, you will NOT be able to make ANY changes until the next open enrollment. Generally the open enrollment period will be each year between October-December. Any changes made during this time will take effect January 1, 2015.
- If you are still planning to enroll, policies applied for by March 15th will take effect April 1st. Policies applied for between March 16-March 31st will take effect May 1st. As long as you make a decision by March 31st you will avoid the penalty.
- If you qualified for a subsidy (via the marketplace) be sure to check your results. MANY require that you send additional documentation by the end of open enrollment in order to keep your subsidy. The additional requirements can be sent via mail or uploaded to your marketplace account. If you plan on mailing the documents I suggest sending it certified so you have proof that it was received.
IF YOU DO NOTHING
- You will be locked out of being able to join a plan…unless you fall into a special election period (marriage, child birth, loss of coverage, etc). If you’ve chosen this option I recommend purchasing a critical illness/accident plan. It is NOT the same as health insurance but in the event you injure yourself or are diagnosed with a critical illness, the plan will pay you an allotted amount ($5,000-$50,000). The plans start as low as $2 per month for critical illness and $15 per month for accident coverage.
- You can expect to receive a $95 per person ($47.5 per child under the age of 18) penalty on your 2014 federal tax return (this will increase in 2015)
Have you heard about Critical Illness Insurance and Accident Coverage?
- Critical illness insurance is an insurance product, where the insurer is contracted to typically make a lump sum cash payment if the policyholder is diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses listed in the insurance policy (usually cancer, heart attack, or stroke).
- Accident Coverage is an insurance product, where the insurer is contracted to typically make a lump sum cash payment if the policyholder is involved in an accident at work or play (examples include: broken bones, stitches, sports related injuries and general clumsiness).
Since preventative services come standard with ALL plans you are more likely to use your deductible due to a critical illness or injury. The purpose of these plans are to use the funds towards your deductible.
Rates depend upon age and amount of coverage but can start as low as $2.75 per month with $10,000 in coverage.
Those are probably the two questions I get asked the most on this topic. Many people don’t want to plan for that unfortunate loss of a family member, but avoiding the hard realities of life may leave your family with negative financial consequences in the future.
Life insurance is there as a “safety net” for your family so that they would not suffer financially if you were to die. Anyone that relies on someone financially should have a life insurance policy. Life insurance is the one policy that is guaranteed to pay out one day. According to MSN, “40% of households with children under 18 say that they would have trouble paying their living expenses immediately if the primary breadwinner passed away.” Yet 30% of Americans don’t have life insurance, according to MSN!
In order to know how much you need there are a few ways that you can go about finding that out.
*CNN Money says that one rule of thumb is to purchase enough coverage to replace 5-7 years of your salary or 10 years if you have children. That’s not always the case with everyone.
*Evaluate all of your family’s needs while taking into consideration all of your debts (i.e. house, auto loans, credit cards, etc.). Add up your total debts and take out an insurance policy for that amount at a minimum. That way your family at least has peace of mind knowing that the bills will be covered. Either way is a great idea, but it all depends on what each family can afford financially.
If you have more questions about life insurance or would like a no obligation review, please feel free to contact me so we can discuss how to protect your family’s future.
Life Insurance Awareness Month is coming to an end. This is the time to review your life insurance situations…What will your family do if the primary wage earner dies? What assets are you willing to give up to make ends meet? These are questions that many people don’t think about until it is too late.
The last few months have been pretty interesting to say the least. I have spent a lot of time updating my “internet presence”. You can now see Kelly Burke Insurance on LinkedIn, Facebook, my own website (kellyburkeinsurance.com). My next venture is to start posting informational videos on You Tube. Contact me to be added to my email list.