Five Insurance Tips for Millennials

 

 

Millennials find themselves in the stage of life that may require them to purchase their own insurance. After having aged out of their parent’s insurance coverage and buying or renting a place to live, coverage needs may not be as black and white as one might think.

Knowing these five tips will help navigate through the sometimes-complicated policies out there.

  1. Shop smart for adequate coverage- Although cost is an important factor, having the coverage you need is equally important. You may be tempted to choose the least expensive plan but when it comes time to make a claim, you will see less of a financial benefit. In fact, a high deductible could cause a unexpected financial burden.
  2. Look for discounts- Often insurance carriers will offer discounts for bundling services, such as your home or rental insurance and your car insurance. In addition, there are discounts for being in school and getting good grades. Be sure to ask your agent about these and other possibilities.
  3. Fill in the gaps- An average policy will provide basic coverage but that may not be enough for all your coverage needs. For instance, a rental or homeowner’s policy may not cover personal items such as jewelry over a certain dollar amount.  Be sure to ask if you have collectables or higher value items. 
  4. Purchase life insurance- Life insurance is important, no matter how old you are. For a millennial, it may also save you money on a policy in the long run. It is especially important if you have children. Life insurance can help your family cover unexpected costs in your absence. If you have children, a life insurance policy can support their education or child care expenses.
  5. Consult an independent broker or agent- Talking with an independent insurance agent is the first step in finding the coverage you need and can afford. An independent broker works with multiple providers and can help you navigate the different policies and coverage. They can also help explain some of the terms and conditions that may be difficult to understand.

 

Health Care Guide For The Self Employed

Tip 5, The Singles Mom’s Guide to Health Insurance

Beware anything that looks too good to be true!

 

Yes, your parents were actually right on this one.

Insurance is just math. If it’s cheaper, there is a reason. I have found that most of the time those reasons look like limits on care.

For example, many “cheaper” policies limit cancer coverage to $500,000. Sorry, but many
forms of cancer can eat that up in a month or less. In those types of plans, you would be
left holding the bag on the remaining cost of treatment, or WORSE, having the hospital or
physician refuse to treat you.

If you are looking at insurance options and one is much cheaper than the others, find out
why before you sign up! They often have clauses that lock you in for a year or may not be
qualified coverage so you can’t get in through the marketplace. It may be cheaper because
it excludes something you don’t care about (like maternity when you are done having kids),
but you need to read the fine print. And I mean the 130+ page document that outlines
everything.

Or ask a knowledgeable local agent who has probably read the contract for fun,
like the insurance nerds we often are.

 

To download the entire guide, click here. 

Single Mom's Guide to Health Insurance

Tip 4, Single Mom’s Guide to Health Insurance

Single Mom's Guide to Health Insurance

Know your max liability

 

So many times, people get hung up on getting a lower deductible and having copays for something to be considered a “good” plan. However, most Americans miss the absolute most important thing in their health insurance documents: The Out-of-Pocket Maximum.

This is the most you would pay in one calendar year if everything went horribly wrong. If
you have health insurance, this is the maximum of liability and it’s a number you need to be
aware of!

For example:

I often have clients tell me they want the “best” plan and are willing to pay for it! They want a
$250 deductible. In my state, the $250 deductible plan has a $7,900 out-of-pocket maximum
and is often 30% higher than an HSA plan for monthly premiums.
However, if they enroll in an HSA they can often get a lower out of pocket maximum. My plan
is a $4,500 deductible, but that is also the out-of-pocket maximum. At 30% less expensive
per month, it’s an absolute bargain! But most people ignore this plan because all the see is
the deductible.

Let’s look at an example:

Johnny needs a $60,000 heart surgery.

Plan 1: He’s paying $500 a month to get the lower deductible. That equates to $6,000 a year
in insurance premiums. When he has his surgery, he will pay $7,900. So, in total he spent
$13,900. Which beats the pants off $60,000 any day! But it’s not the best he could have done.

Plan 2: He is now enrolled in the HSA plan. He is paying $350 a month. That equates to
$4,200 a year in insurance premiums. BUT when he has his surgery, he pays $4,500. That
means he spent $8,700 less than on the “best” plan. But wait! He also got to put that $4,500
through an HSA account and gained the additional tax savings.

 

Read more here: The Single Mom’s Guide To Health Insurance

 

Improve Your Employees’ Health

We are excited to offer Engage Wellness to enhance health insurance plans you are already offering.

 

Engage Wellness is a great way for businesses with group health plans to save money through tax savings while gaining healthier employees through benefits like:

 

 

If you already offer health insurance, there will be no out of pocket expense and will actually lower your benefit costs without changing your plan.

Contact us at 801-901-7800 to learn more!

Reflections on Ark Insurance 10 Year Anniversary

Ark Insurance Solutions Team

I quit my job in the fall of 2009. The next week my daughter and I contracted H1N1. I spent the first actual week of ‘self-employment’ (it was unemployment at that point, let’s be honest!) in quarantine for a pandemic in the middle of the worst recession our country had ever seen. Sound familiar?

I had been working for a large brokerage firm. The company that had pulled me into the insurance industry had sold and lost much of its heart in the transaction. Suddenly I was being told only to help clients that could justify the cost. I knew that if I was going to stay in this industry, an industry that I had grown to love (and be pretty nerdy about), I had to leave. For me, it was never about the dollars, it was always about taking care of my people. As a single parent, the idea of leaving a stable job with a steady paycheck was terrifying, but I had become miserable in the year that the new company had taken over and had to go.

Then the most amazing thing happened. My clients, in a show of loyalty that still brings me to tears, stuck with me. They encouraged me. They fought with me and listened to me cry. They pushed me to make sure I read and understood all the new laws going into place at the time (Obamacare or Affordable Care Act). They helped me stand strong and grow. By the time I was ready to file my corporate documents on April 10, 2010, I had enough revenue to sustain myself and my daughter, and even more, amazing, Ark was already growing.

Soon I realized that I couldn’t do this alone, and in one of the scarier steps in my life, I decided to make my first hire. In February 2011, I posted on Facebook that I needed some help. I believe he posts included something to the effect of I need an intern. Or a college kid who is willing to work on the cheap. Even if it’s only a few hours a week! I’m in desperate need but can’t pay much.Enter one of my former clients. She messaged me and asked why I hadn’t reached out to her. My honest answer was, “I know how much you make, and I can’t afford you.” We still laugh about this. She let me know that the ability to work from home was more important to her than the money and agreed to work with me until we found a budget that fit for us both.

I knew I had gotten lucky but had NO idea HOW lucky I had gotten in that hire. When we lost our biggest client due to an acquisition, BOTH of us cut our pay to make it through. She was unafraid to tell me the truth, willing to suffer with me, and give all she had to make sure our clients, and I, were supported. I can honestly say this company would never have survived if MaryAnn hadn’t joined it when she did. Fast forward after a few expensive learning moments, times when the cash got so tight I was surfing for change in the couch to make payroll, and growing our team to 10+ folks and here we are today. We have won international awards, been given genuinely amazing opportunities to participate in conversations at a federal level that deeply impacted the lives of Americans, and have done it all growing closer as a work family.

We have a team of amazing humans. Our entire company culture has been built on the same principles that brought MaryAnn into the fold: Always do what’s right for the client first, and be supportive and flexible with our team. All of us work different hours and in different locations according to what we need in our lives. Because in the end, our business is here to support and make lives better, both ours and those of our clients.

We’ve built lasting relationships with our clients, and they have given us the most amazing gifts in the form of referrals. We’ve never done extensive marketing. We’ve never had to push or buy leads. We’ve never even been in a place where we were worried about an empty pipeline. We’ve seen massive changes in our industry. We’ve had massive cuts in pay, changes in how we are regulated, shifts in every aspect of how we do business, and through it all our clients have stood by us and helped us grow. Our clients have become our friends. An extension of our work family that we care for like we would make our favorite aunt. We fight for them, cry with them, and celebrate when they have a new baby or get a new job. Serving our clients is an honor, and we are all so grateful that they allow us to be a part of their journeys.

We were supposed to be having a party for the Ark team. We were going to have lunch and then go axe throwing. With social distancing, we have had to postpone our celebration. But the opportunity look back and see where we have come since the last pandemic and economic crisis is one that shouldn’t be passed up. Things feel scary and uncertain. They did before too. What it tells me is while the moment feels bleak, the people are showing up for each other, just like they did in the recession.That even though we are all afraid, we are pushing through, and when we work together, we will come out together, better than before. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next 10 years will take us!

Don't lose your health insurance.

Did you lose your job? Don’t lose your health insurance.

Don't lose your health insurance.

If you lose your job you need to act fast to get the insurance figured out.

There are multiple options for people who have recently lost insurance, but you only have 60 days to enroll through the federal exchange.

COBRA may not be the only option and you may even qualify for Medicaid.

Let us help you navigate the options.

If you’ve recently lost your health insurance (or are in danger of losing your insurance) due to a layoff or job loss, we can help.

Please give us a call or complete the form below and we’ll get back to you within 4 hours (Mon.-Fri. 9am-5pm) for a phone consultation.

Tip # 3 From the Single Mom’s Guide to Health Insurance- Look at your income and cash flow situation.

There are two basic types of plans.

Traditional plans, which often have low copayments for regular visits, and High Deductible health plans.

Traditional plans are what many people used before healthcare reform. They had copayments
(a small amount due at the time of service) for regular Dr. visits and medications. They have
a deductible and coinsurance for unusual things like MRI’s, CT Scans, and hospital visits.

These plans tend to be more expensive every month, but generally require a smaller portion
to be paid by you when a claim happens.

High Deductible health plans are paired with a tax-protected savings account called a Health
Savings Account or HSA. These plans require that your deductible come first unless it is a
preventive service.

 

To download the complete guide, click here.

Offering Health Insurance is Good Way to Attract Millennials as Employees

 

A survey conducted by Anthem Life Insurance Company suggests that one in three millennial workers turned down a prospective job offer either due to insufficient health insurance coverage or none being offered at all.

 

As more millennials are entering marriage and purchasing homes, etc., concerns are shifting. Disability coverage is now part of the conversation and if employers are not offering it, many potential workers will keep walking. In addition, as millennials begin to start families, health insurance coverage, beyond the basics, is also important. Protecting themselves and their families become the forefront. Vision and dental are no longer looked at as optional add-ons, employees want to know they will have the coverage they need, or a loved might need to ensure peace of mind.

 

The Anthem survey also found that millennials are more likely than older workers to have engaged in long-term financial planning over the past year. Twenty-nine percent of millennials responded that they have conducted long-term financial planning, compared to 19% of 35 to 54-year-olds. (Anthem Life Insurance Company, March 2017)

 

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

If you missed the Open Enrollment period and have had a “life” event, read on.

Did you know that certain life changes may qualify you to enroll in health insurance coverage outside of the standard enrollment period?

Did you or anyone in your household lose qualifying health coverage in the last 60 days? If so, you would qualify for the special enrollment period.

Here are some other examples of qualifying events:

  • Marriage
  • Birth of a child
  • Gained or became a dependent
  • Divorce or legal separation resulting in loss of health insurance
  • Death
  • Change in income
  • Change in zip code/primary place of living
  • Denied Medicaid or CHIP
  • Gained citizenship in the United States
  • Released from incarceration

 

If any of these apply to you or your family, please give us a call for a quote today!

 

 

 

Take a look at your providers

Tip #2 from “The Single Mom’s Guide to Health Insurance” – Take a look at your providers

Take a look at your providers
Do you always go to the same pediatrician? Is your nearest hospital your favorite? Make a list of all the providers you have seen over the last year, and add in any others that you plan to see in the next year. Either you, or your agent, will want to run this list through any potential insurance carriers to make sure you can still access your favorite providers.

To get the entire guide for free, click here.

 

If you need any help getting health insurance or if you have any questions, please reach out to us at 801-901-7800.