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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)

 

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.

You may qualify for health insurance assistance

Below is the table that the federal government uses to determine health insurance assistance.

If your income falls between 135% and 400% of the federal poverty level for your family size you may qualify for assistance with your premiums.

Huntsman Mental Health Institute Coming to University of Utah

 

The University of Utah President Ruth Watkins, announced on November 4, 2019  the Hunstman family has pledged $150 million to establish a mental health institute at the University of Utah.

 

“Suicide is increasing as a cause of death,” said Michael Good, University of Utah senior vice president for health services, CEO of University of Utah Health, and Dean of the University of Utah School of Medicine. “There just aren’t enough mental health professionals. We need to do better. This generous gift from the Huntsman family will allow us to support enhanced training for mental health professionals. It will allow us to reimagine care teams and how to better deliver mental health services across our state and across our region.” (ksltv.com)

 

The grant agreement also states the university will work with the Huntsman family to raise additional funds to increase community awareness in regards to mental health issues and will also provide financial support to the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) and to support mental health screenings to the 32,000 students including in rural areas.

Open Enrollment Begins November 1–Five Factors to Consider.

 

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.

Being a specialized caregiver, you do not have to go it alone.

 

Caring for a special needs child or an elderly adult can be met with fear and uncertainty. After all, when a diagnosis is made or the aging process leaves a parent in need of continual help, an uncharted territory lies ahead for the caregiver.

No person needs to take on the role alone. Resources exist to connect caregivers with a community of other caregivers and organizations that can provide both financial and emotional support.

In fact, make that step number one.

 

  • Find a support system, build your tribe. That can be neighbors, friends, people from your congregation etc. People that understand [to the best of their ability] the situation and may even be a similar one. Take to the internet and seek out local organizations that deal with the same specific issue, talk and share with others.

 

  • Knowledge is power. Ask questions, find out everything you can about the diagnosis. Do your research and stay up to date on the latest treatments etc. for the condition. Being armed with the latest information is empowering.

 

  • Take care of you! The stresses of caring for others nonstop can be overwhelming. Take a break from time to time, ask for help from a trusted family member or friend. Often people around us wish to help, they just need to be told how. Local care agencies are another great resource to explore if you need it.

 

 

Preventive Health Service

Understanding Preventive Health Services

Preventive Health Service

 

 

Did you know that many preventive health 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