Happy Father’s Day!

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This Sunday is Father’s day. This day brings so many memories to us. From those very special moments in life like dad teaching you how to ride your first bike to playing catch with with him on a warm summer afternoon… Maybe just the two of you having a long talk on the porch and getting some very useful advice. We owe our fathers so much of what we have learned and have in life.

With many fathers working so hard to support their families all throughout the year this is the day that is set aside to give them a day where they can be honored and taken care of. Father’s day is also an amazing day for getting discounts on your insurance. I am going to give you some key discounts you can get for Dad on this special day by focusing on motorcycle insurance and Homeowner’s Insurance and really help to save the family some money.

Getting Dad’s Bike Covered

Many fathers live for taking out there motorcycle on a warm summer afternoon. If you are getting your Dad a brand new motorcycle for Father’s day you must make sure the motorcycle is insured. Motorcycle insurance can be very expensive. One way to lower your Dad’s monthly insurance rate is by having your Dad take a few motorcycle safety courses. Many insurance companies will provide a discount if the owner has completed a safety course.

Be sure to contact the insurance company to make sure the course is approved. If the safety course is approved you could save up to 15% off of your motorcycle premiums. Usually there are two types of programs available the beginner and expert program. Beginner classes teach very basic riding techniques where the more advanced classes teach more advanced biking techniques.

Getting Dad’s Home Covered

Homeowner’s insurance is like your father. You are probably thinking I am way off base but if you think about it your home insurance is always there for you like your Dad. It can help with small or large emergencies. It also gives you a peace of mind at night like your father does when he gives you a late night talk.

There are many different coverages. Standard home insurance is one of the most popular. It helps offer protection from many weather and natural disaster elements. It provided financial help with any damage caused by fire, wind, hail, smoke, theft and other unforeseen disasters. It covers damages up to the limits of your policy.

Also, many policies help with living expenses if, God forbid, you have to live in a hotel for awhile until your house becomes habitable again. Many homeowner’s insurance policies offer discounts. One of the most common is a bundle discount which is granted to someone purchasing a home and car insurance from the same provider.

 

So remember, take time this Father’s day to thank your Dad for everything he has done for you and if you are buying him a motorcycle, remind him to register for his safety course and you will be eligible for some great discounts. Just remember when the wind is blowing through his hair how much more sweeter the ride will be when he has completed everything he has to do to make sure he has the most safe and inexpensive motorcycle ride he can.

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Happy Mother’s day! — Healthcare for the Mother-to-be

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It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday morning on Mother’s Day. What a great day to serve Mom breakfast in bed and then later surprising her with flowers while taking her out for a delicious meal at a nice restaurant.  It’s nice to celebrate your mother and all she has done for you. 

Mothers are so important to each person and can build the very foundation of a person’s life and especially a child’s. For those expectant mothers out there the time is drawing near for buying items such as baby cribs, play pens and lullaby books.

 

Healthcare for the Mother-to-be

One important item which gives many expectant mothers sleepless nights is having no health insurance for their pregnancy care. Today I am going to give you some startling statistics about uninsured, expectant mothers and all mothers can benefit from having health insurance.

It can be a very unsettling feeling for a woman who is about to have a baby and knowing she is uninsured. Pregnancy care in this country is very expensive. An uncomplicated pregnancy that includes prenatal and inpatient delivery costs around $7,600. That can be quite a strain for a mother to be especially on such a joyous occasion.   

One option for these mothers-to-be is if they are working and their employer has over 15 employees they can apply for an employer-sponsored health insurance plan. There is a Department of Labor law made in the 1960’s that requires any employer with more than 15 employees to sponsor health insurance plans and also to provide maternity coverage.  

Another interesting law came into effect in 1996 when Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.  It does not allow pregnancy to be considered a pre-existing condition as it relates to employer-sponsored health insurance plans.  If a mother-to-be is not insured through her employer’s plan because it is too expensive she will not be allowed to enroll until the next open enrollment date.  One exception would be having a qualifying event. 

If a mother to be has the opportunity to enroll in her employer’s plan during the open enrollment period she should take advantage of that.  At this point she will be able to file claims on many pre-delivery, pregnancy related medical costs such as sonograms, pre-natal vitamins and check-ups. 

If an expectant mother is not covered by her employer sponsored plan or is unemployed the options are much less. Finding a position with over 15 employees who offer an employer sponsored health plan may be difficult. If your employer has less than 15 employees they do not have to offer maternity coverage. 

 

The Benefits of Medicaid

Another option many mothers to be use is Medicaid. An interesting fact is that Medicaid funds over 40% of all births in the United States. The good thing about Medicaid is that it pays for prenatal care through pregnancy, labor and delivery. It also pays for 60 days postpartum along with some other pregnancy related care. 

A mother-to-be will be eligible for Medicaid through the end of the calendar month. This stays the same if there is a family change in income. States have the option to provide pregnant women with full Medicaid coverage or partial coverage such as certain pregnancy related services. Full Medicaid coverage would include pregnancy, labor and delivery. It would also include perinatal care for 60 days post birth.

This Sunday when you are taking Mom out for dinner or if you are an expectant mother to find out how much prenatal and pregnancy coverage you have under your health insurance plan. If you are uninsured find out if you are eligible for an employer sponsored plan.  Also, see if you are eligible for Medicaid.  Medicaid will cover many of prenatal and perinatal costs. 

 

Mothers are one of the most wonderful things in this world and a mother-to-be has a lot on her plate. Take care of all of them. They’ve got the hardest job in the world and they do it every day with a smile on their face. 

Understanding Medicare and Protecting Seniors

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Imagine a beautiful summer afternoon. You and grandma sitting on her white wrap around porch with the breeze blowing as you enjoy a game of checkers and sip lemonade. Suddenly, the phone rings so Grandma excuses herself to answer it. From though the screen door you hear “Hello. Yes, this is her… Medicare? My social security number? Yes, it’s…  You run inside and slam the phone down on the receiver.

She doesn’t understand what just happened. Many of them do not because who would take advantage of the elderly like that? Scammers exist in every way, shape and form. Today I am going to lay out some simple you some ways potential scammers try to take advantage of the elderly and use their information commit insurance fraud. I will also explain some ways in which you, as a senior citizen, can protect yourself from these types of scams.

How A Scam Happens

Today scams involving senior citizens are very prevalent. Many of these scammers know the elderly can potentially have substantial amounts of money in their bank account. Scammers tend to choose them because financial scams are very difficult to track and will often go unreported. Many of these scams are just too difficult to prosecute.

Often times you’ll see scammers try to get access to seniors Social Security Numbers, thus giving them endless possibilities in which they can steal money. Many seniors are trusting and feel like the other person is legitimate. By giving away personal information they are sometimes coerced into believing that they are helping someone in need or even protecting themselves from fraud.

Another interesting fact is that you may think it is always strangers who are trying to scam the elderly but in a recent survey it is revealed that 90% of scammers may actually know the person… Which is even more frightening. Many financial scams are considered low risk crime but can be devastating to seniors and leave them in a vulnerable position with little time to recoup their losses.

  • Now I wanted to give you some tips for how seniors can avoid insurance fraud.
  • Be cautious when you disclose your bank account, credit card and social security numbers, too.
  • Never sign any blank insurance forms or give blanket authorization to a medical provider to bill you.
  • Keep accurate records of all your health care appointments. Only give your insurance/Medicare identification only to those who have provided the services for you.

Each year thousands of unsuspecting senior citizens are swindled.  This type of abuse has netted scammers close to 2.6 billion a year.

Seniors and Medicare

In many states there has been an uptick in Medicare cuts After the Affordable Care Act went into effect over 300,000 people lost their insurance. Now on top of that there are huge rate cuts which are going to have a negative impact on seniors. With these rate cuts taking effect it is going to severely hamper seniors from getting the care they need. This will affect senior citizens ability to keep their doctor, hospital and any prevention services they are eligible for.

Many of these cuts will be to Medicare Advantage which is a subset of Medicare run by private insurers and accounts for one-third of Medicare recipients. In 2015 there will be major cuts to Medicare Advantage plans in 2015. Seniors on Medicare Advantage may be subject to loss of benefits and choices once the cuts go into effect.

President Bush originally suggested these rate cuts in order to eventually save people money on regular Medicare. Medicare Advantage is a subset of Medicare run by private insurers. These are very different times we are living in now especially with so many seniors that rely on Medicare.

Remember how precious your Grandparents are and make sure to inform of this information so that why they don’t become a victim. They have worked their entire lives saving for their retirement, they have paid into social security each year they have worked and the money they have earned over a lifetime is well deserved.  Don’t let some random stranger take that away from them.

The End of Open-Enrollment

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With the official start of spring last week that means soon birds will be chirping, baseball stadiums will be full for opening day around the country and the deadline will soon be approaching to sign up for the Affordable Health Care Act. The open-enrollment period to sign up ends March 31st 2014.

Now we’ve all heard about the Affordable Health Care Act, the PPACA, Obamacare, The Marketplace, Universal Healthcare, Healthcare Reform… but what does it mean for you and your family? Signing up for medical insurance is now a requirement by the United States government for all U.S. citizens. So, if you are a United States citizen then you need to #getcovered as they say.

But why should I #getcovered? By choosing to get coverage you will have a variety of different health plans to choose from that can work with your budget. Healthcare.gov lays it out perfectly, “No one plans to get sick or hurt, but most people need medical care at some point. Health insurance covers these costs and protects you from very high expenses.” And while lots of Americans are seeking out coverage, many people still are failing to see that by getting coverage they are subjecting themselves to the dreaded penalty!

 

Here’s how the penalty works:

Those that do not secure coverage will be subject to a penalty posed by the IRS.

  • In 2014 – Penalty is $95 per adult and $47.40 per child (up to $285 for a family) or 1.0% of family income, whichever is greater
  • In 2015 – Penalty is $325 per adult and $162.50 per child (up to $975 for a family) or 2.0% of family income, whichever is greater
  • In 2016 and Beyond – Penalty is $695 per adult and $347.50 per child (up to $2,085 for a family) or 2.5% of a family income, whichever is greater.

 

Here at CBIS it is our desire to help this be a very painless and easy process for you.  CBIS has a vast wealth of  over 25 years of experience in the health industry and has access to all of the major carriers participating in the Health Insurance Exchange.  There are many positives to enrolling through CBIS.  When you enroll with us we can see if you qualify for lower out of pocket costs.  In addition, we can also determine if you are qualified for lower costs on your monthly premium for private insurance plans.

Another extremely important perk to signing up through CBIS is that we can tell you if you qualify for free to low-coverage available through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  It will be our pleasure to help you sign up and let us handle this in a very efficient  quick manner. The next enrollment period begins November 15th, 2014, so don’t delay!

So before you take that long spring walk or head out to the baseball stadium give us a call and let us do all the work for you.