Traditional Indemnity Health Insurance Plans

October 30, 2020 03:50 newlambertagency

Health insurance has come a long way over the past few decades, witnessing drastic changes. But with the right type of plan, you can still control your healthcare choices in the best possible way.

Also referred to as fee-for-service plans, a Traditional Indemnity plan is a healthcare plan that allows you to choose the doctor, healthcare professional, hospital, or service provider of your choice and gives you the greatest amount of flexibility and freedom in a health insurance plan.

Though you may choose to get the majority of your basic care from a single doctor, your insurance company will not require you to choose a primary care physician.

Following are the types of Indemnity Health Insurance plans:

  • Hospital and surgery insurance coverage
  • Major medical insurance coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage—a combination of hospital and major medical plans

 

How does it work?

Under an Indemnity plan, you may see whatever doctors or specialists you like, with no referrals required. However, an Indemnity plan may also require that you pay upfront for services and then submit a claim to the insurance company for reimbursement.

You’ll likely be required to pay an annual deductible before the insurance company begins to pay on your claims. Once your deductible has been met, the insurance company will typically pay your claims at a set percentage of the “usual, customary, and reasonable (UCR) rate” for the service. The UCR rate is the amount that healthcare providers in your area typically charge for any given service.

However, indemnity plans are not always for reimbursement. It does work like traditional insurance in some cases, where a member simply offers their card for the provider to process all their claims. The premiums are generally half of major medical and the deductible only applies to in-patient services, while the out-patient services are payable with no deductible or co-insurance.

Pros & Cons

As already mentioned, one of the biggest advantages you get from choosing a Traditional Indemnity plan is flexibility. You have the freedom to choose your preferred health care facility and provider without any restrictions.

While one of the downsides to this is that you may have to pay more for your health insurance coverage than if you choose a PPO Plan or an HMO Plan. Also, some preventive care services such as wellness check-ups and other routine care may not be covered by an Indemnity Health Insurance plan.

An Indemnity plan may be right for you if:

  • You don’t want to designate primary care physicians or get referrals to get specialists
  • You want to freely visit any physician you choose

 

Of course, such a type of plan is not right for everyone. Hence it is important to do the needful research and sit down with your family insurance agent to discuss the benefits of each type of health insurance plan, so you can make a decision that will give you and your family the best value on a health insurance policy.

Pros and Cons of Health Share Plans

October 21, 2020 10:43 newlambertagency

With health insurance premiums continuing to rise every year, more and more consumers are questioning whether it’s even worthwhile to have health insurance at all. This is why the subject of healthcare sharing programs as a viable alternative has become very common.

However, there’s still some uncertainty and confusion among people about those plans – what are the risks involved? How do they work? etc.

We have listed down some pros and cons of health share plans so that you make a safe and sound decision. Read on.

What is a Healthcare Sharing Program?

Also known as health share plans, they are faith-based programs that facilitate voluntary sharing among members for eligible medical expenses. The members of this plan send in monthly payments or premiums which are distributed to or on behalf of other members with medical expenses (i.e., benefits payments) in accordance with program guidelines.

These plans are built upon the principle of people with similar beliefs and values that come together to share each other’s burdens.

Let’s talk pros now:

They’re cheaper

The cost has always been an issue with traditional insurance plans. And if you too are worried that you might not be able to cover the cost of your insurance, then you should consider health share plans. The price of healthcare sharing programs is comparatively less than health insurance.

You can join anytime

People tend to miss out on plans because they miss the enrollment dates. But that’s not the case with health share plans. They don’t have any set enrollment dates and you can join anytime you want.

You chose the care provider

You have the freedom to choose your care providers. This means that to some extent, you have control over your health care and treatment. More natural options, such as chiropractors and midwives, are also available, and you can hand-pick them, too.

Apart from the above, they also offer efficient customer service and spiritual support as well.

Let’s talk cons now:

They aren’t DOI regulated

Health insurances are regulated by the Department of Insurance and follow a strict set of rules. But that’s not the case with healthcare sharing plans. And they’re not required to keep reserve or pay for claims promptly.

Pre-existing conditions are often not covered

Some pre-existing conditions (as well as chronic ones) are often not covered by health share plans. This means that it’s important to sign up for a plan on time if you wish to make the most out of it. It’s necessary to add that if you wish to have your pregnancy covered, you will usually be asked to join a plan a set amount of time before getting pregnant or giving birth.

The check takes time to clear

Since they’re not regulated, the checks from such plans often take time to clear – 2 to 3 weeks. Although it could be annoying, it is easy to budget for.

Also, Healthshare ministries are faith-based organizations, which means that they ask their members to follow their religious regulations.

Conclusion

Remember, everybody’s situation is unique, so what might be a great solution for one family might be an inadequate one for the other. Take your expenses and needs into consideration and look up different ministries before deciding if health share plans are a good way to go for you.

Re-Evaluating Your Life Insurance Needs

October 14, 2020 04:13 newlambertagency

If you have taken a life insurance policy, likely, you don’t think about it often. After a while, it seems like a car that drives itself. Life insurance gives you the security and peace of mind of knowing that your family would be financially safe in the event of your death.

But it’s crucial to not get too comfortable or fall into a sense of complacency as life, as we know, is pretty unpredictable. As the economy changes, so will your financial life changes and your life insurance needs.

To be on the safer side, it’s always a good idea to re-evaluate your life insurance coverage every few years, especially after major life changes, such as marriage, divorce, or having children. The changes could be good or bad, depending on your financial needs and condition.

Below are some of the changes to consider after reviewing your life insurance:

Buy more coverage

You may think there’s no reason to buy more coverage now. But what if you have more children in the future?  More children will add many years of child-care and education expenses. The most obvious way to secure more life insurance is to buy another policy that adds to your existing coverage.

It’s even better if your needs are specific. For instance, if you only want to cover the years of your child’s education or the length of a mortgage, then term life is the right type of life insurance for you.

Convert term life to permanent life

Most term life policies are convertible term life insurance. You can easily switch your term life policy to a permanent policy such as whole life or universal life depending on the company that issued the term life insurance.

You don’t even have to convert the entire policy. You can just convert a portion, such as $100,000 of a $1 million term life policy.

Cash-out a permanent life policy

If you feel like you don’t need to own permanent life insurance, you can surrender it for the cash value. However, the downside to this is that your beneficiary won’t be able to make a life insurance claim when you die.

Cashing out is a suitable option only if you have a permanent life insurance policy or you feel like you don’t need life insurance coverage anymore.

Sell your life insurance policy

If you don’t want your permanent life insurance anymore, there’s also the option of selling it. A third party can buy your policy at a price that’s more than the cash value and less than the death benefit. This transaction is called a life settlement. After buying the policy from you, the buyer then makes the premium payments and gets the death benefit when you die.

Before making any moves, do your research and talk to a financial advisor as it’s often difficult to tell whether you’re getting a good deal. You can sell your policy through a life settlement broker or through a life settlement company that buys policies.

And according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the transaction fees can cost up to 30% of the settlement.

Takeaway

Always remember to review your coverage and life insurance needs periodically, even if you recently bought a policy or you purchased one year ago.

What To Do When Term Life Insurance Expires?

October 9, 2020 07:22 newlambertagency

When you buy a term life insurance policy, you purchase it for a set term. You pay the premium and your family gets the complete benefit in the event of your death.

But what happens when the policy expires?

Even if your term life policy is ending, you may still need some sort of insurance protection. Especially if you have house payments, have dependent children, or have major debts.

Here are some options for you to consider:

Buy another term life policy

If you’re reasonably healthy and still have some financial obligations, buying another term life insurance policy is the best option. But as you’ll be older now, you might have to pay a higher price. Though buying a shorter term such as for 5 or 10 years could help lower the cost.

There’s also the chance of getting a better life insurance rates than your former insurer, you just have to shop around. Just keep in mind that you’ll probably have to answer health questions and take a life insurance medical exam during the application process.

Take it year by year

If you’re not interested in buying a new term life insurance policy, you could opt for annual renewable term life insurance, where you decide each year whether to continue coverage or not. This is the best choice for people who have very few financial obligations.

However, the rates can jump quite a bit each year so there’s that. Alternatively, you can ask your agent if you can extend your current term policy one year at a time turning your policy into an annual renewable term life – it’s the best option for people with terminal medical conditions who need life insurance at any cost.

Convert your term policy to permanent life insurance

It is well known that term life insurance is the best choice for many people, permanent life insurance does have certain advantages. Although it costs much more than term life, permanent life insurance lasts for the rest of your life – it includes whole, universal, and variable life insurance.

Your insurance provider may offer the option to convert your term life to a permanent life insurance policy — without taking a new medical exam or answering health questions again.

Most carriers allow you to convert term life to whole life insurance, which has a fixed premium, the investment return, and death benefit. While some may allow conversion to universal life, which offers flexible premium payments and permits changes to the benefit amount. It all depends on your insurance provider.

Although there’d be a deadline for conversion and age cut off, usually 75.

Be sure to browse around or consult an agent to better understand your next step.