All Articles Tagged "insurance"
Many of us get so busy with the hustle and bustle of everyday life that our insurance policies typically get overlooked. Now’s the perfect time of year to take a look at all of your insurance policies such as auto, health, life, and homeowners in particular. Here are a few key pointers to keep in mind while reviewing each policy.
Health Insurance: If you are covered by an employer’s plan than typically you have one time of year where you can update or make adjustments to your insurance policies outside of a family life change such as birth, death, or marital status change. “Open enrollment,” for most, takes place in the fall, towards the end of the year. Therefore, any changes you make will take effect starting the new calendar year.
Plan ahead and review your current plan’s premiums, co-pays, out-of-pocket expenses, and annual deductibles. Compare them to other plan choices and possible increases for the next year if possible. Be sure to read each option carefully, weighing the pros and cons because your health plan choices can impact your take home pay tremendously.
Also, contact your benefits department to see if they have a health and wellness program for their employees. Many employers are adopting these programs to help encourage a healthier lifestyle. Extra incentives and cost deductions may be applied to your health insurance just for taking part in your company’s health and wellness program.
Life Insurance: Most people are under-insured when it comes to life insurance. Sit down with a specialist to review your policy at least once per year. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 10 times your annual income in life insurance coverage. This can allow your family to pay for college education, mortgage, funeral expenses, and other necessities to name a few. The aforementioned healthier lifestyle can be a cost savings to you. The higher health risk you are, the higher in cost for your coverage. There is not a “one size fits all” when it comes to choosing coverage. They will ask you questions and have you fill out a questionnaire to see what coverage fits best for you and your family.
This is exactly why people don’t go to the hospital: they’re afraid they won’t come out alive.
The family of Melvin Dillard has filed a lawsuit against the company that operates Beebe Medical Center’s emergency room in Delaware after Dillard died in the hospital’s lobby in June without anyone noticing him there. By the time someone took notice, rigor motis – the stiffness of muscles after death – had begun to set in.
The claim states that Dillard called an ambulance the day before he passed away with chest pains. Even though he had a history of cardiac issues, the emergency room decided he was well enough to be discharged. He died in the waiting room while possibly trying to figure out a way back home after a friend was unable to get him. The claim states that only then was Dillard rushed back into the emergency room where he was pronounced dead.
Dillard’s family states that because the emergency staff was made aware of his prior health problems, he should have been admitted for further testing and not sent home. To that end, they are suing Beebe and Sussex Associates for medical negligence and wrongful death, while also seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.
Hospital officials released a statement saying Dillard had been seen and after medical staff had followed proper protocol, he was released in “stable condition.” Further, hospital representative Kelly Griffin says the incident was fully disclosed to oversight authorities and investigated.
Part of the confusion stems from the fact that the EMS workers noted that when they got to Dillard, he was showing “signs of an impending cardiac event” and when they released him tot he hospital his EKG was abnormal. He died of a heart attack in the lobby.
His family has declined to comment, saying that the lawsuit speaks for itself.
What a very sad turn of events. One has to wonder if Mr. Dillard had “good” insurance. There has long been talk that if you don’t have “proper” health insurance, hospitals will not treat you with the same care and respect as one with, let’s say, “top notch” health insurance.
Of course, no amount of money can bring Melvin Dillard back but his family deserves more clear answers.
Death is never a subject many people like to think about. But there are several financial steps you need to take to prepare for the inevitable.
According to a new Forbes article, “7 Money Musts Before You Die,” there are key things to do to make sure your family not only inherits your fortune but also understands the family´s financial situation.
Here’s what Forbes suggests:
1. Make sure you have adequate life insurance.
2. Update beneficiaries on retirement accounts, annuities and life insurance policies.
3. Research whether you can add beneficiaries to your other assets, such as bank and investment accounts.
4. Draft a will.
5. Consider creating a trust. This is an option to take especially if you have a complex financial or family situation.
6. Try to involve your spouse in family finances.
7. Make a record of where everything is.
Besides these steps there are others things to do, according to Investopedia like take stock of what you own, make a list of your debts, the organizations you belong to and charities you support.
You should also make a list of all your social media passwords, so your family can close your email, Factbook, Twitter and other online accounts, a modern issue that tends to get overlooked.
Hurricane Isaac whipped through the Gulf Coast and, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, caused up to $2 billion in damages. At least 13,000 homes were destroyed, said the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
It is inevitable that natural disasters are going to take place, but you never know where or when they’ll happen. There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself and your home against them.
Before Disaster Strikes
- Check your homeowners insurance policies. See what you are covered for and what you aren’t. “Make sure your plan includes the proper limit, or the assessed amount it would currently cost to replace your home if need be,” advises Forbes.com.
- Don’t scrimp on coverage. According to Forbes, homeowners sometimes “roll the dice, in hopes that they can save money on premiums and get by with minimal insurance. They may get a rude awakening when a major storm, flood, earthquake or fire hits their communities.” If you live in an area prone to earthquakes you should buy coverage for such occurrences. Consider adding flood insurance if you live in area that’s prone to flooding. “Standard home insurance policies won’t cover flood damage,” Forbes adds. “To cover flood damage, you’ll need a policy backed by the federal government with cooperation from local communities and private insurers.” Check into the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which the government created to assist homeowners, renters and business owners.
- Rent and insure. Purchase renter’s insurance to cover your personal property in case of damage.
- Lock it up. Make sure all of your important documents (insurance policies, wills, etc.) are in a secure place. A fireproof metal safety box or cyberlocker (online document storage) are two options.
- Is your home fortified? When you hear a storm warning, secure outdoor furniture. Check for leaks or crack in your house that water can seep into. Make sure your doors and windows are strong enough to withstand a major storm.
TheHousingForum.com offers some tips for what to do in the aftermath of a disaster.
- Get out of harm’s way by steering clear of effected areas.
- As soon as it is safe to do so, assess the damage to your property and report it to your insurance company. If you need additional or immediate help, contact local community and disaster relief agencies.
- Avoid downed power lines. Call the electric company.
- An employee contact list that contains telephone numbers and addresses for each employee and independent contractor working at a firm.
- A list of business continuity team members, a group selected by senior managers (or the senior managers themselves) along with members from the security, medical, human resource, technology and real estate teams.
- Actions to be taken during building evacuations.
- Names and contact information of key clients. Irrespective of your title, if you work with clients, you should have a backup system. An emergency could even be something isolated to a department, like a major computer problem. A business will need to contact clients and notify them of alternative operation plans in the event of a business interruption.
- Alternate work locations. With Internet access, many employees can work from home. However, if you plan to use an alternate work location, regularly check the computers and other equipment in that space.