Today’s blog covers one of the big hitters in the insurance world: the deductible. We know that one of the most important financial decisions we make comes in the form of how we and our families are covered when the unexpected happens. Here at Health Benefits Now, we want you to have your best health coverage plan.
Did you know that more than ⅗ of Americans don’t have enough money saved up for unexpected medical emergencies (averaging $1000)?
Want to be part of the ⅖ that do? We can help with that. Take a peek at our little cheat sheet: we’ll break down how deductibles and premiums really work for you and help you find the peace of mind that excellent and extremely affordable health coverage can bring.
Why You Shouldn’t Be Asking About High vs. Low Deductibles
If you’re already weighing the pros and cons of a high vs. a low deductible, we’ll help you cut to the chase: in our opinion, a high deductible with a low premium is the way to go. Which isn’t the answer you’ll hear from the average agent. See, a lower deductible and a higher premium means more kick-back for them (though not necessarily for you). But this combo isn’t always advised with ill intentions, either. Sometimes we humans just go by what looks good.
Lots of things look great on paper, right? Novels, for one. Grocery lists, within reason. But insurance is neither the great American novel nor a simple list of items you need and therefore you get. The good news is, on a complexity scale, we are somewhere in-between. But one of the things that sounds good on paper is getting a low deductible that will (finally) pay off should you find yourself in the hospital, right?
Think about who this actually benefits. Let’s go with a more extreme example. Say you have some major concerns because your daughter has extremely volatile asthma. She’s been hospitalized at different junctures already and you’re concerned that she also see the doctor as often as is necessary. You tell your agent that doctor’s visits and hospitalization are important to you, and on the technical side of things it seems like you’re one of those people who needs a lower deductible to help offset the costs.
Though on paper you are an “ideal candidate,” the reality is that almost nobody is an ideal candidate for a low deductible. Why? Premiums are designed to rise, and using up your deductible is going to raise it regardless. An asthmatic is a high-risk client, to go back to our example. Most Americans only find themselves hospitalized after an accident or similarly unexpected, short-term emergency. This is the pool of people underwriters are comparing high-risk clients with.
But, really, we’re all in the same boat when it comes to premiums: we need to make them serve us, not the other way around.
What Makes Premiums Rise?
Can you imagine how much car insurance would cost if consumers began demanding that their auto coverage cover every oil change, every nick, scratch, and dent--that they provide replacement tires and about a tune-up every year? Prices would spike, for one. But before the 1980s, health insurance worked a lot like car insurance. Nobody goes bankrupt over a $100 doctor’s visit or a $1000 whoops-a-daisy. What people really want (and need) coverage for is potential money sinks like $100,000 hospital bills that nobody could have anticipated needing.
Somewhere along the line, health insurance became about providing not only for the expensive and unlikely but also the affordable and guaranteed--and if a service is guaranteed to take place, the money has got to come from somewhere. Health coverage plans now help cover for doctor’s visits and other yearly “tune-ups.” So the insurance companies charge. Premiums are now, necessarily, higher. But what we all really need, should the rubber hit the road, is help paying for a hypothetical monster-of-a-medical-bill. And so the lower deductible feels like a cushy safety net. Again, it looks good.
We’re aren’t just saying to get a high deductible/low premium and leave it at that. There are affordable ways to bolster that set-up. We’ll help you find a comfortable premium that you can combine with ancillary products (more on that in a minute)--and this is where we start to play smart.
An Example Case
Every plan is balanced differently, and every quote we provide takes into account your specific priorities. Saying that, the following is a generic example of how a high deductible plan has worked out in our clients’ favor when combined with a little something called ancillary products.
Ancillary products are insurance add-ons such as dental, accidental death, and/or bill negotiation. They are not necessarily riders; you can have ancillary products from an insurance company that is not your primary insurance company.
So we’ve brought your primary premium down by choosing the high deductible option, right? You still want to make sure you and your family are covered for your specific needs. Say you know you are planning to have a child within a year or two and are concerned about hospital costs, or you want the extra cushion that AD&D coverage can provide. There are products that are even more specific, such as reducing out-of-pocket costs for heart-related hospitalizations and stroke. Whatever it is--it’s worth asking about.
For example, a bill negotiation group like Karis (more on that in next week's blog) can help negotiate high deductibles when you find yourself in a serious and unexpected situation, such as being hospitalized after an accident. Supplemental hospital products are often more affordable when combined with a low premium than if you try to play the numbers game with a low deductible/high premium.
We care about the nitty-gritty because we care about finding a plan that makes sense for you. Our agents are available to answer any of your questions and get down to crafting a plan as custom as your daily latte. You can even start sketching out some numbers yourself!
Peace of Mind (Or, The Real Reason for Insurance)
There are two ways of looking at anything that costs money: an expense or an asset. Unlike TV subscription services and daily caffeine pit-stops, insurance isn’t an inherently relaxing or stimulating enterprise to think about spending moolah on. The fact of the matter is, who wants to think about sickness and death?
Your family doesn’t; that’s for sure. We know, we pulled out the guilt stick with that one. There’s a positive reason for thinking about insurance today, however, and this one’s for you: peace of mind.
Let’s sum it up this way. Every day we make a decision to get up, go to work, brush our teeth, and fulfill any number of obligations. It all costs time and money, and most of it has to be repeated ad nauseum to do any good. Unlike all of that, however, insurance is a decision you make once--and it keeps taking care of you afterword. Now that’s peace of mind.
You know what’s even better than using your spit to find out how cool your ancestors were? Using said spit to also find out what your DNA tells you about your ideal lifestyle.
In today’s article, we’re not only your friendly neighborhood insurance agents, we’re guiding you through the hidden gem that is Vitagene.
Vitagene is a DNA kit that you can order with a click and have on your doorstep in a breezy 3-5 days. Do the old Q-tip test and send your kit in: batta-bing, batta-boom. Give Vitagene 3-4 weeks to process your 6 billion letters of genetic code (or just to throw out some more crunchy stats, a surprisingly light 1.5 GB of data) and you’ll receive the following reports via email:
And that’s just the basic kit! Different tiers also offer skin reports, personal supplement packages, and periodic updates.
In our own office, one of our co-workers found out she was way more French than her English last name would have led her to believe--and she had a gluten sensitivity she was equally unaware of. But what’s great about the reports you receive is that they also offer practical steps, regimes, and even links to their own flagship supplements. And hey, it’s still the beginning of 2019! What better excuse to invest in self-knowledge than the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions?
Already have your file from a different DNA kit, or want to send your results from Vitagene to another company? No problem! While Vitagene keeps a copy of your data, at your request, they always follow three strict privacy policies:
1) Results and DNA samples aren’t stored with any identifying information, including your name.
2) The saliva sample is destroyed after it has been analyzed.
3) Vitagene does not share your information with any third party without your explicit consent.
What are you waiting for?
You can also save an extra 10% by using our exclusive coupon code at checkout: VITAICA10
You’re going on a cruise soon and it’s going to be a memorable one--for all the right reasons, of course. Why? Buckle up: most people assume that when they go abroad, their medical insurance automatically covers them across the meridians. The truth is, traditional plans offer adequate domestic coverage but simply aren’t built for international fiascos.
Even though we’re insurance agents, we never encourage people to turn into worry-warts--especially when they’re planning a vacation! There are simple facts to consider, however: cars still wreck on foreign highways, natural disasters can strike, and political unrest isn’t unheard-of. Budgeting for traveler’s insurance is as pragmatic as budgeting for renters insurance, and usually just the 1% difference that can actually lead to a worry-free pre-, mid-, and post-vacation.
So, which vacationer are you? Find yourself in one of our two scenarios below, and we’ll direct you to the best insurance for your upcoming cruise!
Hey! I’m 69 & Younger and I’m Just Going On A Single Cruise Trip
Patriot Travel Medical Insurance is short-term medical insurance that covers individuals and families. Renewable for up to 24 months, it provides coverage for repatriation, evacuation, and medical expenses. Depending on the length of your vacation, you can choose to pay a daily or monthly rate. Other highlights include:
Hey! I’m 70 & Older and I’m Just Going On A Single Cruise Trip
Globehopper Senior Single Trip is short-term medical insurance that covers individuals and their spouses. This plan was designed for U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents who are qualified for Medicare, actively enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B and enrolled in a Medigap Plan or Medicare Advantage Plan. Renewable for up to 12 months, with the option to pay in daily or monthly payments, other benefits include:
But no matter what--make it a great trip!
The price of prescription drugs is just like the price of good ol’ gasoline: expect fluctuations by the day, sometimes even by the hour! When there’s so much change (and rumors of change) within the insurance and prescriptions world, it’s a bit of a chore to keep up, isn’t it?
As fellow red-blooded Americans, we are all for the wholesome do-it-yourself grit that has been the American ideal since circa 1776. But there’s one thing we really hope you don’t have to do on your own--and that’s negotiate your own prescription prices. So here’s your handy guide to the world of prescription assistance.
Let’s look at paid and unpaid prescription discount cards. By the end, we expect you to be whistling the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ with some new-found gratitude and a few more Abraham Lincolns in your pocket!
Free Discount Cards
In the Wild West of Insurance-Over-The-Internet, you wouldn’t be wrong to scrunch your eyebrow at anything that claims to be ‘free.’ Rest assured, we’ve procured the hidden gems of the obligation-free in the arena of insurance quotes and prescription discount cards.
Take, for example, Wellcard. If you’ve been prescribed any drug in pill/tablet form, and you happen to live in any of the fifty states of the U.S.A., then this card can provide you discounts ranging from 10-50% off retail price. This card automatically covers all family members living at the same address (irregardless of age). Free to sign up, free to use. Just note that the drug discounts are only available for pill/tablet prescriptions--yet in addition to pill discounts, Wellcard can also be used for the following:
Interested? Just take our Group ID: FJAC2.
What’s a co-pay prescription card? Basically if your Rx is a preferred brand or generic alternative on the card’s formulary, you pay a predetermined fee for the exact Rx prescribed by your doctor.
With co-pay cards, our customers have saved anywhere between 10-80% off both their generic and brand-name prescriptions, including diabetes supplies, pills, tablets, and injections.
Thankfully, we do all the number-crunching for you. When you inquire for one of our free, no-obligation quotes, we work with your budget, needs, and prescriptions to find the best combination of discounts for you. We won’t suggest anything that isn’t saving you time and money. Whether that comes in the form of a free or paid discount card, what we provide is what’s best for you.
Bonus: The Canadian Solution
We wouldn’t want to end this article without mentioning our northern neighbor! We know the topic of this article is the world of American prescription drugs, but in the recent past there’s been a great development in the world of prescription prices and we have only Canada to thank.
Did you know that Canada can sell you the same brand-name prescriptions you currently have for a fraction of the cost you currently pay? And no, that’s not in Canadian dollars!
Want to find out more? We’ve got your covered right here. And here’s another bonus: we’ll even throw in an extra, ICA-exclusive coupon. Just type in ICA5 during check-out and that’s an Abraham Lincoln we guarantee remains in your pocket. ‘Cause we love ya.
And what better note to end on than that?
2. How much time should I give myself to secure insurance before my 26th birthday?
It can take about 1-2 weeks to consider your options, less than an hour to fill out your application, and between 2-4 weeks for the big bad underwriters to review your case. That means it’s ideal to begin the thinking-signing-waiting process no later than two months before your cut off date (we mean, your 26th birthday). You got less than that? No sweat. You’re here, aren’t you? If you’re turning 26 tomorrow, there’s no better time than the present to get started with a free, no-obligations quote. Even if you’ve got a whole year before your next birthday, taking the time to consider your options can take less than the time it would take to watch 5 Youtube videos in a row. Plus, getting used to the new expense ahead of time is a great way to flex your fiscal muscles and adjust to the flow of the new expenses before they’re absolutely mandatory.
3. If I’m young, healthy, unmarried, and with 0 dependents, do I even need life insurance?
Story Time: 35-year-old Stan d’Man is doing well for himself, and now that he has a wife and two kids, he figures it’s time to get some life insurance. His 25-year-old brother, Dan d’Man, is single as the day he was born. Even though he doesn’t make nearly as much money as Stan, and he currently possesses fewer insurable interests, Dan decides he’ll go ahead and get a quote too. But the numbers tell the real story, here. We can all agree here that the prime time we all think about getting insurance is so we can cover the “Full House” years. Typically, we put this window between 30-55, when most people are raising their children. What we want you to consider is how much cheaper your life insurance is in the long run when you apply in your twenties.
You can start sketching out some quotes now to get the picture.
4. Ok, where do I get a quote?
Getting an insurance quote is as easy and painless as a click. In addition to your tried-and-true health and life insurances options, here are two insurance alternatives you might not have considered:
We hope this little pep talk has got you thinking about your future insurance needs. And remember, even if you’re 27-28-29-30 and looking at this article, you’re still in a prime window to get your life and health insurance in order. Our agents are friendly, knowledgeable, and willing to go the extra mile to find the right fit for you. Let’s get started!
Something about the cold dead of winter inspires us to start turning our new year into yet another checklist: gym-worthy abs, new bedtime, cut back on XYZ, and so on. While some people find the magic formula, or simply a hidden reservoir of willpower, statistics show that not all of us actually resolve our resolutions. You know, like starting the quest for better health coverage.
Well, what good is a magic formula or a ton of willpower when our New Year’s Resolutions look like this:
We aren’t going to list the x-amount of qualities that insurance companies are looking for. We are rooting for you to become the person you want to be--whether that’s signing up for Muay Thai or switching out the cigarettes for chewing gum, or whatever it is you want/don’t want in your life. In the face of distraction, excitement, and holiday mayhem, there is only one course we can recommend and--surprise--getting an insurance quote is just an afterthought.
This is the one goal we can honestly recommend: