Monday, September 29, 2014

Initial planning stages: business insurance

When starting a business, you may think about putting together an investment plan, creating a marketing strategy, and developing the right products and services. These are all very important to success, but so is one thing that you may overlook in the initial planning stages: business insurance. The type of coverage that you have can help protect against serious losses that could threaten the future of your operations. By choosing the right policies, you can protect your investment, your products, and your employees.
Here are a few popular types of coverage to consider:
Worker's Compensation
Most states require that your company carries worker's compensation insurance, but it depends on how many employees you have, what type of business you are in, as well as other factors. You must check with your state's governing body to learn about the exact requirements as they apply to your company. However, even if you are exempt from carrying this coverage, you should consider getting it anyway. Even in so-called "safe" environments like corporate offices, employees can still be hurt from slips and other accidents. Having this policy can ensure that you protect your employees and your bottom line.
Professional Liability
Professional liability coverage is an important type of business insurance to have. This covers against loss or damage if you make an error in providing services that results in injury, property damage, or some other type of loss for your customers. For example, it may cover you if you are fixing an air conditioning unit and a piece of equipment is broken off. It may also cover bad advice given during a consultation that results in loss for the customer. The specifics depend on the type of policy and company you own.
Property
Property coverage is a basic type of business insurance that every company should have. This policy may cover you if your property is damaged, including both the physical building and the equipment inside. It can also prevent lawsuits if your actions cause damage to another person's property. As with all policies, the exact protection received will depend upon specific details of the plan. Make sure to read through the full list of what is covered to ensure that the plan will provide adequate protection.
There are many more types of business insurance plans available, but these are some of the most popular and the most necessary. Of course, many companies also buy several types of policies to provide them with the most comprehensive coverage. After spending time and money building up your company, you don't want to lose it all as a result of accident or negligence. Get the right insurance to make sure that your investment is protected.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Problems Associated Individual Insurance

A single visit to the dentist is bound to leave our pockets substantially lighter. In several cases, dental insurance is over lapped with normal health insurance. However, there are also times where one can also get a totally independent policy for the same. Choosing a cheap dental insurance plan is quite difficult as the independent plan is mighty expensive, and the one that acts as an extension to health insurance plans often tends to be inadequate in terms of coverage.

The problem with standard dental insurance is that it tends to have a rather high premium. The average annual premium, ranges from $1,000 to $3,000. The rule of thumb is, more the premium or cost of insurance, more is the coverage going to be. On the whole, the logic says that cheap dental insurance plans and policies are not going to have a very broad coverage, thereby putting your dental health at a substantial risk.

Alternatively, even if you get an independent and individual, full coverage insurance policy, then the coverage would be broad, quite unused and expensive. Apart from that, irrespective of being an expensive policy, some conditions are never covered. Hence the difficulty in choosing an affordable dental insurance plan. But there are a couple of things that can be done. Some of them have been discussed in the following paragraphs, let's take a look...

How to Choose an Affordable and Cheap Dental Insurance?

Having only single, cheap dental insurance plan, without any other backing plan is dangerous, as it covers very few things and tends to have deductibles. However, you can use more than one coverage or insurance policy to make things even, and get a really good coverage.

Employer Facilitated Plans
Several employers often provide a separate plan, which is collectively provided for all the employees and is managed and financed by the employer. The plans that are included in such a spectrum include, Dental Health Maintenance Organization Insurance Plans (DHMO) and Dental Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPO).

The best thing about such a plan is that it provides for periodic dental care facilities, and smaller non surgical and non cosmetic procedures, and often it does not also have a deductible. Another plan is the Direct Reimbursement Plan (DRP), wherein a reimbursement is provided for certain dental care treatments.

Another similar one is the Least Expensive Alternative Treatment (LEAT), where compensation is provided for dental care costs. Now the problem with both these policies is that they tend to have deductibles, and only cover the cost of treatment. This would include eradication of infection, periodic cleanup, and other first aid procedures. However, orthodontic procedures, correction and procedures that tend to have an element of complexity, are not covered.

Hence if you have the aforementioned coverage, you can get a sort of add-on for complex procedures, now again these coverage tend to have a certain deductible, which is of course quite high. However, the plus point is that you get a remarkably good coverage, within a small and affordable dental plan.

Individual Plans at a Low Cost
There are some individually oriented plans which you can consider. Health insurance often covers some parts of dental insurance, such as first aid or some minor emergency procedures. However, dental care or complicated procedures such as tooth removal or orthodontic procedures are not included in the process. Hence, to cover up the dental care aspect of the coverage you can either avail a Dental Discount Plan and a AARP Dental Insurance.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Health insurance for kids

Medical related expenses have risen dramatically in the past few decades. Children are more vulnerable to diseases than adults and suffer a lot if proper medication is not provided in time. Health insurance for kids ensures that parents can afford the medical care their children require, no matter what the cost maybe. Whenever a person tends to spend money, he tries to look for the immediate benefits. This is not the case with insurance plans, as they take monthly installments, but cover the medical expenses at the time of need and are beneficial in the long term.

At times, when the child falls sick or gets injured, parents are able to deal with it quickly, based on their own past experiences. Although this can be done only in cases of minor injuries and a very few basic diseases, it is always recommended to see a physician or a specialized doctor. Insuring your child's health provides an opportunity for parents to keep aside their worry of the expenses involved in the treatment of their child and get the best possible medical care.

Benefits

According to different studies conducted on children across America, it was found that those with insurance are more likely to:

be in a better position to do well in school.
get health care service whenever needed.
receive the needed immunizations as toddlers.
receive treatment for illnesses such as asthma and ear infections. A survey conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and National Center for Health Services Research (NCHSR) revealed that almost half of the uninsured children with asthma problem and one-third of the uninsured children with ear infections, never consulted a doctor.
obtain dental and preventive care at regular intervals.

Lack of health insurance is a substantial barrier for low-income families in obtaining timely and appropriate health care for the child. Sometimes, the idea of insurance is taken casually by parents, thinking that the health-related problems can be taken care of, as and when they occur. But, the trouble starts when they fall short of money to cover up the medical expenses incurred during the treatment of the child. So, it is always better to get the child insured in time to avoid problems in future.

The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) of the Social Security Act, which is one of the steps taken by the American Government to ensure child health, is jointly financed by the Federal and State governments and administered by the States. The Social Security Act provides multiple waiver and demonstration authorities to allow states' flexibility in operating Medicaid programs and SCHIP programs. According to the Federal guidelines, each stState determines the design of its program, benefit packages, eligibility groups, and payment levels for the coverage for the maximum benefit of its people.

According to a survey conducted by Georgetown University Health Policy Institute for the year 2006-07, out of 78,425,000 children in America, 11.7% were uninsured, and the rest insured either through private (59.8%) or public (28.5%) coverage. Texas, with a striking 21.8% of 6,989,000 and Florida with 19.5% of 4,332,000 were two of the states with the largest figure of uninsured children with respect to their population in the state. This large number of uninsured children in the country is because of factors like a family's inability to pay for either forms of coverage, and their limited access and non-eligibility for public programs.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

What is Temporary Health Insurance?

In the US, typical health insurance plans are either traditional or managed care plans. Employers provide insurance to employees via group insurance plans, that carry a lower premium as compared to individual plans. Since managed care is cost-effective, employers started drifting towards them in the nineties.

It is basically a short-term health insurance plan meant to protect an insured person against unforeseen events. It is generally provided for a period of 30 to 180 days. Some plans may be operative for 360 days. This type is meant for people who are temporarily without coverage. Lack of coverage is likely in case of unemployed people, students, people moving from one town to another, and those waiting for their permanent coverage. Although it is a short-term plan, it has a number of benefits, hence, it is suitable for people who enjoy the decision-making flexibility of traditional plans, but are unable to pay the premium for them.

Why Is It Needed?

Not Employment Based: In the US, nearly two-thirds of the population below the age of 65 avail health insurance through their employer. In the year 2000, 69% employers offered it to the employees. Since then, the number has fallen drastically, and today only 60% employers are willing to provide it. Recession has resulted in a number of people becoming unemployed. Temporary health insurance has thus become invaluable for people who are in between jobs, since the cost of the plan is low and can be paid in installments or as a lump sum. Moreover, the plan can be modified to extend coverage to the spouse and dependent children as well.

Alternative to COBRA Insurance: The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows former employees, retirees, spouses and dependents, the facility to avail affordable health coverage at group rates. Generally, a person can continue on his previous employer's group insurance plan for 18 months after getting laid off. Although the premium for this coverage is lower than the premium for individual coverage, it is still higher than the premium paid by a person before he got fired. This is because, when a person is employed, the employer may pay the entire amount of premium, but on getting fired, the former employee is expected to pay 35% of the amount of premium, while the remaining amount is borne by the Federal government.

Indemnity Insurance: In the US, the main types of managed health care plans are: Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), and Point-of-Service (POS) plans. In case of HMOs, a person has to choose a doctor in his or her network, and in order to meet a specialist, he would require a referral from his primary care physician (PCP). PPOs are not as restrictive as HMOs, but there are financial incentives for seeking treatment within the network. POS, on the other hand, is a hybrid between HMO and PPO. In case of temporary health insurance plans, a person is free to choose his doctor. No referrals are necessary in order to meet specialists. Some temporary plans have a network of doctors and hospitals, and a person can lower his medical bills by visiting these doctors. However, a person has the freedom to seek medical assistance outside the provider's network. Thus, the plan offers indemnity insurance, which is a feature of the traditional health insurance plan, but at a lower premium.

Immediate Coverage: Generally, a person can obtain short-term or temporary insurance within 24 hours. The procedural formalities are definitely less than those in case of permanent health insurance.

Disadvantages

Temporary Coverage: The coverage is temporary and meant for a short period of time. Some plans may allow a person to extend the coverage by paying additional premium, but generally, this plan is meant for a maximum of 6 months.

Limited Coverage: Unlike traditional and managed health care plans, preventive and routine medical checks are not covered under the temporary plan. In this respect, traditional health insurance is much better than managed health care, although the latter allows preventive and routine medical checks. Temporary coverage, on the other hand, is meant only for illness and injury. Moreover, most temporary plans do not provide dental and optical treatment.

Since temporary health insurance providers are not covered under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), they don't have to guarantee renewal, issue, or waive pre-existing conditions, for individuals eligible under federal rules. It is clear that temporary insurance has a number of advantages and disadvantages, which need to be borne in mind before opting for such a coverage.