2018 Health Savings Accounts Limits Are Set

The IRS recently published the inflation adjusted limits for the 2018 Health Savings Accounts (HSA). Deposits made to an HSA are tax free; contributions grow within the account tax free; and distributions are tax free as long as the money is used for out-of-pocket health care expenses, including deductibles.

Here are the new limits:

  • Individual accounts rise to $3,450 (from 2017’s $3,400)
  • Family coverage rises to $6,900 (from 2017’s from $6,700)
  • Maximum out-of-pocket figures are also up: for single coverage to $6,650 (from 2017’s $6,550) and for family coverage to $13,300 (from 2017’s $13,100)

 

 

 

Preventive Health Services

 

 

Did you know that many preventive services are covered by most health insurance policies at no cost to you? Waiting until you need to go to the doctor due to illness should be a thing of the past, practicing a healthy lifestyle and visiting the doctor for routine, preventive services is the key to a longer, healthier life.

 

When you become ill, you have no choice but to pay attention to your health. But, with free preventive services, like immunizations and yearly exams, you can get ahead of something that may have become catastrophic otherwise. Insurance companies want you to stay healthy, and in doing so, it keeps the cost of healthcare down.

Insurance carriers do have some age restrictions on some services, but overall, these preventive services are covered:

*Adult services:

• Laboratory tests

• Contraception

• Procedures; i.e., Pap Test, Lung Cancer Screening (between ages 55 and 80), Screening Mammogram

• Immunizations

• Examinations and Counseling; i.e., Physical Exam

*Obstetrical services:

• Laboratory tests; i.e., Iron Deficiency Anemia Screening, Diabetes Screening

• Breast feeding supplies and support; i.e., Breast Pump

*Pediatric services:

• Examinations and Counseling; i.e., Well-child Visit

• Immunizations

• Laboratory tests; i.e., Newborn Metabolic Screening (younger than age 1),

It may be beneficial to think of utilizing preventive services as a personal investment in your health future. In additional to practicing healthy living habits, like exercising and eating a well balanced diet, getting to the doctor on a regular basis will pay large dividends in your overall health as you age.

 

*Source: Select Health 

Small business owners are voicing their opinions on the President’s ideas to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

When 1,000 small business owners were recently survived, 53.1 percent are against the health care bill passed by the House, while only 13 percent support it.

An impartial position of 34 percent was reported while a large majority of 60.4 percent do not think the bill would have a negative effect on their small business. Almost all agreed at 92.5 percent that insurance companies should provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

At 72 percent, most small business owners agreed that expanding access to health care is most important over reducing taxes and decreasing the federal debt.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: BenefitsPro.com, Fit Small Business

What Else Does Your Home Insurance Policy Cover?

A typical home insurance policy protects you against the costs of repairing or rebuilding your home if it suffers significant damage or is declared a total loss. However, that’s not all that your coverage offers. In addition to protecting home, garage and other structures on your property, your home insurance may offer coverage in other areas.

For instance, your home insurance may offer liability coverage in the event that you injure someone while you’re away from home. If you’re ever sued for medical expenses or other damages, your policy may be able to cover those expenses on your behalf, saving you from paying for those damages out of pocket.

If you have pets, your home insurance may come in handy if your pet accidentally injures a house guest. Most policies cover dog bites under their liability provisions, which means you won’t be at financial risk if someone gets bitten by your dog or any other pet. Keep in mind that certain breeds may not be covered under your home insurance policy.

If you’re moving to another home in the Salt Lake City, UT area or anywhere else, your policy may protect your personal belongings during your move. So if your belongings are damaged, lost or destroyed by fire, theft or any other covered peril, you’ll be compensated based on the coverage limits chosen for this purpose. More importantly, you won’t have to purchase a separate policy from your moving company just to protect your belongings.

Whenever you’re looking for a new home insurance policy, you’ll want to know exactly what it’s capable of covering. The seasoned agents at Ark Insurance Solutions in Salt Lake City, UT can help you find the right policy for all of your needs.

Understanding Mini-Medical Plans

Many industries or small sized employer groups utilize a mini-medical plan, such as restaurants, hotels, maid services, catering services, etc. These limited benefit plans pay for covered services at an affordable premium for both the employees and the employers. But keep in mind, they cost less, so they cover less, and most likely will not protect you from a bankruptcy situation for any catastrophic medical care.

Mini-medical plans provide a basic level of coverage for people who do not have access to a major medical plan or traditional coverage.

Some large employers have a class of employees who are ineligible for their companies traditional health insurance plan for a variety of reasons. For instance, they may be only seasonal or part-time employees. Being able to offer them a mini-medical plan helps to boast employee moral and increases retention.

 

Mini-medical plans are not meant to replace major medical plans, but to fill a specific niche and provide some medical coverage for those who may not qualify otherwise.

 

In Salt Lake City, UT, When Is It Beneficial to Combine Home and Auto Policies?

Ark Insurance Solutions serves residents living in the Salt Lake City, UT area. The insurance agents who work at the office can help both new and existing clients determine what types of homeowners and vehicle insurance are best for their needs. They can also help to determine whether or not combining both types of policies would be cost effective. In many situations, combining both homeowners and vehicle insurance policies can help customers save substantial amounts of money. Even individuals who rent can sometimes combine their policies and receive a discount.

In the past, having several vehicles on one policy was the best way to save money on auto insurance. Now insurance companies are extending the discounts to individuals who are willing to combine home, auto, boat, and RV insurance into one comprehensive, umbrella policy that covers all of their property and investments. Combining insurance policies does not reduce the coverage or change the policies in any way. It does, however, help the insurance company reduce their cost when it comes to billing the customer for each policy. Combining the policies results in one bill that encompasses all policies making it easier to collect and organize.

Salt Lake City, UT residents can call Ark Insurance Solutions and talk to the agents if they have any questions on how to effectively combine their insurance policies. The agents can identify potential discounts that can be offered to those who choose to consolidate their policies into one large, umbrella policy. They can help you save money and protect your property at the same time. Call Ark Insurance Solutions today!

Long-term care insurance, should you have it?

Becoming chronically ill due to a cognitive impairment, or if you’re unable to perform at least two activities of daily living without substantial assistance, qualifies a person for long-term care. Having insurance that covers long-term care would help pay for the care you need. Depending on the level of care that is required, that care may be provided in a nursing home, an alternate care facility, or even your own home.

 

In addition to helping pay the costs of long-term care, long-term care insurance may help to provide these additional benefits:

  • Protect your savings and other assets
  • Preserve your independence
  • Avoid government dependence

 

If you’re unable to pay for long-term care when you or even a loved one needs it, odds are you will need to spend down, or liquidate, your assets to become eligible for Medicaid to pay the costs of the care required. That is a sad reality if you do not have the coverage when you need it.

 

Another option is purchasing a long-term care rider on your life insurance. This option provides care before the client requires long-term health due to age but instead provides coverage become impaired due to an accident or illness.

Is Home Insurance Required In Utah?

As a homeowner in Salt Lake City, UT, it’s important to know what your requirements are. Home insurance is not a state required item. However, it’s a good idea to get a policy anyway for financial protection. It’s also required if you have a mortgage in place. Ark Insurance Solutions will be able to help you determine what you need to have the necessary protection in place.

State Requirements

The state does not require you to have a home insurance policy. They do, however, regulate the insurance companies. This means that the insurance company you choose to work with will have to provide certain levels of coverage to you.

Mortgage Company Requirements

If you have a mortgage, the mortgage company will require you to have coverage. This is designed to protect your real estate investment in Salt Lake City, UT. If something was to happen to your home and you didn’t have a policy, you would likely stop making payments on the home. The companies want to prevent this from happening, and therefore it is a requirement that you have a policy. The home insurance premiums are paid within your escrow account to ensure that you always have the coverage.

The Investment

Ultimately, it shouldn’t matter whether you have a mortgage in place or not. You need to protect the investment of your home, and therefore you need to have a home insurance policy. Otherwise, something catastrophic could happen to your home, and you would have no means of paying for it. It’s much easier to file an insurance claim and let the insurance company take care of the repairs and replacements.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on home insurance. With a call to Ark Insurance Solutions, you get a knowledgeable insurance agent at your side to walk you through the process of finding a reliable, affordable policy.

 

Top Tips to Reduce Your Auto Insurance Premiums

Statistically, the safer your car is, the less likely it is to be in an accident or be stolen. Driving a car with built-in safety features such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, or an engine cut-off system may qualify you for discounts with your auto insurance carrier. Make sure your insurance agent know about the safety features.

You can also take on a higher deductible to lower the premium. Typically the higher the premium you have, the lower your premium will be. However, you will want to carefully look at your finances and make sure that you would be able to take on the higher deductible in the event of an accident.

Another option to lower your premium would be to take a defensive driving course. You should check with your insurance agent at Ark Insurance Solutions before signing up to make sure the class is one that qualifies for a discount with your carrier.

Park your car in the garage. Statistics show that cars that are parked in a garage are less likely to be in an accident or stolen. If you live in one of the apartment buildings in the Salt Lake City, UT area, which has security systems, make sure your insurance agent is aware so that they can look for additional discounts.

If your car is not worth anything, then you may want to consider eliminating your collision coverage. For example, if your car is worth $1,000 and you pay $500 a year for collision coverage you should probably drop the coverage and save the $500 a year.

If you are interested in learning more about auto insurance premiums and additional ways to save, reach out to us at Ark Insurance Solutions. We proudly serve the Salt Lake City, UT area.

Five Factors that can Affect Your Premium.

Did you know there are five factors that can affect how much your health plan’s monthly premium under the health care law? However, individual states can limit how much these factors come into play.

These five factors are:

 

  • Age: Premiums can be up to 3 times higher for older people than for younger people.
  • Location: Where you live has a big effect on your premiums. Differences in competition, state and local rules, and cost of living are the reasons why.
  • Tobacco use: Insurers can charge tobacco users up to 50% more than those who don’t use tobacco.
  • Individual vs. family enrollment: Insurers can charge more for a plan that also covers a spouse and/or dependents.
  • Plan category: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Catastrophic. The categories are based on how you and the plan share costs. Bronze plans usually have lower monthly premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs when you get care. Platinum plans usually have the highest premiums and lowest out-of-pocket costs.

 

In addition, insurance companies may offer more benefits, which could also affect costs. Furthermore, insurance companies can not charge women and men different prices for the same plan, nor can they take your current medical history or health into account when, otherwise known as pre-existing conditions.