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The News section  will alert you to information that may effect your insurance planning, this may include health insurance premium rate increases, change in insurance regulations, deadlines, news, and other special offers that are available.  The news section is updated frequently.  Some of the links on our website require Adobe Reader or PowerPoint Reader.  The shareware versions of these programs are available for you to download.

Updated  November 14, 2017

GENERAL

 

Now that it is Open Enrollment for medical insurance again, you should know that rates have increased and there are now fewer choices to choose from. 

For those of you who use Cedars Sinai Medical Center, you should be aware that they are only accepting Blue Shield PPO plans for individuals and families.   Cedars Sinai is included in both traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans.  Coverage is also available for people who have both Medicare and Medi-Cal (Dual eligble). 

Cedars Sinai participates in Blue Shield 65 Plus HMO, CareMore HMO and HMO Special Needs Plans, UnitedHealthCare Medicare Advantage HMO(AARP MedicareComplete Sercure Horizons.

Important Dates for Open Enrollment For Health Insurance

November 1, 2017 Open Enrollment Starts

December 15, 2017 Last day to enroll for new coverage starting January 1, 2018.

January 1, 2018 Coverage starts for plans enrolled by December 15, 2017.

January 15, 2018 Last day to enroll for coverage to start February 1, 2018.

January 31, 2018 Last day to enroll for coverage to start March 1, 2018.

If you do not enroll by January 31, 2018 you can not obtain coverage until next open enrollment unless you qualify for special enrollment.

Obtaining disability insurance is now easier to obtain than ever before!!  

Through Principal's simplified underwriting program, you can obtain up to $ 4,000 per month of disability benefit with no blood, urine, or medical records.   Through Guardian's Enhanced Quick Issue Underwriting (Not available in CA) you can obtain up to $ 5,000 per month of disability benefit with no blood, urine or medical records.  Standard Insurance will allow you to obtain up to $ 5,000 per month with no blood, urine or medical records.  These programs are not guaranteed issue.  

Ameritas Life has recently had their True Own Occupation disability product approved for the state of California.   If you perform invasive procedures you now have another company to choose from to obtain your True Own Occupation disability insurance coverage.

 The next open enrollment for obtaining health insurance begins November 1, 2017 for coverage effective January 1, 2017.  You may obtain coverage outside open enrollment if you qualify under special circumstances.   

If you have not obtained coverage or would like a different medical plan, please let us know, we can obtain plans on and off the exchange.   You may even obtain your coverage through one of the company's listed on our website. 

You will be pleased to know that we are Covered California Certified Agents.  We can now help you obtain coverage either directly through one of the participating health companies or through the exchange if you require premium assistance or cost sharing.  Coverage is guaranteed issue and everyone who is a CA resident will be able to obtain coverage regardless if you have a health condition.  If you have already obtained a new ACA plan and you do not have an agent and would like an agent to represent you as an intermediary between you and the insurance company, please let us know as we can assist you with that. 

Pay Off Your Student Loans!! If you are a physician in training and are concerned about paying off your student loans in the event of a disability, you will be pleased to know that Guardian Life now can help you pay off your debt through the Student Loan Protection Program.  For more information click on the link above.  Guardian is the only company that provides this type of coverage. 

You will be pleased to know that if you have purchased a life insurance policy within the last four years from one of 90+ insurance companies, now is the perfect time to increase your coverage with Guardian’s Take Advantage Rapid App program. 

You may purchase additional permanent life insurance, up to two times your original policy’s face amount up to a maximum of $ 3 million. All with a simplified underwriting process: no routine medical or lab tests are required.  If you would like additional information, please let us know.  Please see the following link 

Guardian - Take Advantage Program

Medical Management Company has recently been honored as a member of the Guardian Life Insurance Company/Berkshire Life Insurance Company's DI Inner Circle for 2016.   The DI Inner Circle was developed to recognize and reward producers of exceptionally high quality disability business. The rewards include enhanced underwriting, higher non-medical limits, and priority underwriting for all clients and prospective clients.  Obtaining your coverage early in your career has its advantages.  You can lock in your contract, rates and future benefits and obtain enhanced underwriting, higher non-medical limits, and priority underwriting.  There is no better time to obtain your coverage.   Please call us to design a plan that fits your needs.

Principal Life Insurance Company has increased issue limits for physician's who are finishing their training to $ 7,500 per month of benefit.   If you would like additional information, please select quote request.

Guardian Life Insurance Company has announced a new disability product offering.  The new products are the Provider Plus 1400 and the Provider Plus Limited 1400. The new product will include, 1) Lower rates, 2) Choice of True Own Occupation or Modified Own Occupation definition of total disability, 3)  A lump sum or continuous monthly payment of benefits.

Principal Life Insurance Company has upgraded their disability insurance portfolio and own occupation coverage is now available for invasive specialties which include anesthesiology, emergency medicine and surgical specialties.   Increased Issue and Participation Limits, True Own Occupation Definition for Physicians.  Benefit periods To Age 67 and To Age 70 and NEW combined Residual Disability and Recovery Benefit Rider.  If you would like to obtain a comparison quote between the leading carriers, please select quote request and a quote will be emailed within 24 hours.

Guardian Life Insurance Company recently announced that they have increased their Issue and Participation Limits.  If you are earning $ 220,000 per year you qualify for $ 10,000 per month of disability benefit.  If you are earning $ 350,000 per year you qualify for $ 15,000 per month of disability benefit.  If you are earning $ 750,000 per year you qualify for $ 20,000 per month of disability benefit.  If you have not increased your coverage lately, this might be the time to do so.  Please contact our office and we will help you obtain additional coverage.

If you are a house staff physician finishing your training Summer 2016,  please contact our office if you would like to have your employment contract reviewed by legal counsel, obtain individual health insurance and/or obtain a "Specialty Specific" disability insurance policy.  It is advantageous to obtain your coverage before you finish training.   If you have received an employment contract you may be able to obtain coverage based on your new income level.  However, if you sign an employment contract which provides group disability insurance, you may not be able to obtain an individual "Specialty Specific" disability coverage.  It is always prudent to obtain your individual coverage before you sign an employment contract otherwise you may not be able to obtain your own individual policy.  We also provide review and analysis of your employer sponsored benefits including health, dental, disability and life insurance programs. 

Union Central will issue up to $ 5,000 per month of disability benefit for those physicians in their last two years of training including fellows.  Standard Insurance will insure up to $ 5,000 per month. Guardian will insure up to $ 5,000 per month and Mass Mutual will insure up to $ 7,500 per month of benefit. 

Guardian Life discontinued the sale of their Long Term Care product effective December 31, 2011.   Other carriers that are available are Genworth Financial, John Hancock, MetLife and Transamerica to name a few.  If you would like to obtain a quote, please select quote request to the left. 

For those of you who have estate planning needs.  We encourage you to discuss your needs with us as we have planning methods that will help you increase your estate's value, reduce your estate taxes, increase your charitable deductions and reduce your children's taxable burden.  How would you like to increase your estate by 100% and still provide your children with 100% of your estates value?  

The specimen policies from the  leading DI carriers are now available for viewing by accessing our products section and selecting the Disability Button.

We are pleased to announce that you can obtain residential/commercial loans including refinancing.  To obtain a good faith offer click the button Home Loan

If you are a physician in practice, you will be pleased to know that you can now obtain up to $ 26,500 of monthly disability benefit depending on the state you reside and your adjustable gross income.  

If you are an internal medicine physician in training, you will be pleased to know that you may obtain a crash course for the American Board of Internal Medicine Certification/Recertification Exam by visiting the following link. http://vitalboardreview.com.

 

Retirement Protection in the Event of Disability 

Ok, so you are smart enough to get a good individual disability insurance policy with all the right bells and whistles such as the own occupation definition, residual disability, and cost of living benefits.  You get disabled and you receive benefits and live until 65/66/67 or lifetime.  What's missing?  Your retirement money.  When you became disabled you no longer had earned income and you and/or your employer stopped making contributions to a retirement plan like a 401(k), SEP, profit sharing or other pension plan.  What could you do about this?  There's an additional new disability program available that will cover your retirement contributions up to $4,350 (individual pay) or $ 6,650 (Employer paid), per month if you're disabled.  This would be in addition to any disability insurance you already have.  The way this program works is after disability and after 6 months or 12 months of disability (depending on how you set it up) the contributions - up to $ 49,080 (Individual pay) per year, go into a trust for you for retirement.  When you get to age 65 the money gets paid out to you as a retirement benefit.   If you should die before age 65, your heirs would get the value in the fund.   It's a great idea. It really could be a multi-million dollar idea when you add up what it could be worth to your retirement.  Please contact us for more information. Click here for presentation.

If you are a house staff physician you can obtain a "Specialty Specific" own occupation disability policy regardless of your post graduate year or any group disability insurance provided to you by your employer.  By obtaining coverage early in your career you can lock in your rates and benefits to age 65/66/67 or lifetime.  Ask us about the special Student Future Purchase Option for physician in training.  To obtain a quote, please click quote.

 If you are a house staff physician, you will be pleased to know that you receive a discount when you use our tax preparation services.  Please contact us for your 2014 Tax Organizer and 2014 Expense Worksheet.    Please click on the following links for the 2014 Tax Organizer and the 2014 Expense Worksheet.  Please click on Advanced for information on expenses that are common to young health care professionals.  Please mail your 2014 Tax Organizer and tax documents to our office address.

DISABILITY INSURANCE

Metlife ended sales of their disability product September 1, 2016.  

In other news, Mass Mutual has announced that in California, they have made major enhancements to their Radius disability product.  Mass Mutual now includes a Catastrophic Disability Benefit Rider, an Own Occupation Rider, and a RetireGuard Rider.  Additional Benefit periods also now include 10 years and to age 67.  A graded premium and a level premium payment option is available.  A Guaranteed Insurability Option Endorsement for life insurance is available with the Radius product.  Resident and Student discounts are available for medical interns, residents and fellows.

Medical Management Company has recently been honored as a member of the Guardian Life Insurance Company/Berkshire Life Insurance Company's DI Inner Circle for 2017.   The DI Inner Circle was developed to recognize and reward producers of exceptionally high quality disability business. The rewards include enhanced underwriting, higher non-medical limits, and priority underwriting for all clients and prospective clients.  Obtaining your coverage early in your career has its advantages.  You can lock in your contract, rates and future benefits and obtain enhanced underwriting, higher non-medical limits, and priority underwriting.  There is no better time to obtain your coverage.   Please call us to design a plan that fits your needs.

If you have long term disability benefits provided to you by your employer you may  not be eligible for individual coverage, depending on your annual earned income.  Group coverage is less liberal than individual coverage.  Please contact our office to discuss your specific situation.  For an online quote, please select On-Line Quote

If you are a Senior Medical Student you may apply for $ 2,500 per month of coverage without providing income documentation.  Apply now to lock in your rates and contract.  For a quote select On-Line Quote.

LONG TERM-CARE INSURANCE

 

LIFE INSURANCE

You will be pleased to know that if you have purchased a life insurance policy within the last four years from one of 50+ insurance companies, now is the perfect time to increase your coverage with Guardian’s Take Advantage Rapid App program. 

You may purchase additional permanent life insurance, up to two times your original policy’s face amount up to a maximum of $ 3 million. All with a simplified underwriting process: no routine medical or lab tests are required.  If you would like additional information, please let us know.  Please see the following link 

Should you purchase level term or level term with a Return of Premium (ROP)  feature.  Usually the ROP rate would be 250% more than normal level term.  If you invest the difference you would save by not purchasing the ROP term and if you received an 8% average return in a mutual fund over the term period, you would be 46% further ahead.  You would owe tax on the mutual fund proceeds, but your federal tax rate would have to exceed 40 percent for the ROP level term to be a better deal.  If you cancelled the ROP plan during the term period you would lose all the extra funds you invested and if you were to die before the term period, the face amount paid to your beneficiary would be the same.  Medical Economics September 21, 2007.

Return of Premium products are available from many companies.  Would it be great to get a portion of your premiums back if you do not die.  If this is the type of term insurance that you are looking for, please let us know and we will search our database for the lowest cost ROP plans

HEALTH INSURANCE

Important Dates for Open Enrollment For Health Insurance

November 1, 2017 Open Enrollment Starts

December 15, 2017 Last day to enroll for new coverage starting January 1, 2018.

January 1, 2018 Coverage starts for plans enrolled by December 15, 2017.

January 15, 2018 Last day to enroll for coverage to start February 1, 2018.

January 31, 2018 Last day to enroll for coverage to start March 1, 2018.

If you do not enroll by January 31, 2018 you can not obtain coverage until next open enrollment unless you qualify for special enrollment.

IRS has raised HSA limits for 2018.  The maximum individual HSA contribution has increased to $ 3,450 per year.  The maximum family HSA contribution has increased to $ 6,900 per year.     For reference please click the following link: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-14-30.pdf  Also, you may contribute the maximum allowable amount regardless of deductible amount and you may make contribution for the entire amount anytime during the calendar year.

Anthem offers employers in California with 10 to 50 employees can add short-term and long-term disability coverage to their benefit packages. Anthem already offers these products to larger groups. But now, for the first time, as a small group employer, you can offer your employees this valuable coverage.

By adding disability coverage, Anthem now offers a total benefits package for small group employers.

Check into obtaining a HSA qualified high deductible health plan.  These health plans are combined with a Health Savings Account (HSA).  An HSA gives you the ability to pay for qualified health care expenses with pre-tax dollars.  Please contact our office for details.  For more information about an HSA, please check out articles found under Health Insurance heading by selecting the button Links to your left.   HSA plans are now available through most health carriers.  Please speak to your tax advisor to see if you are eligible for a Health Savings Account.   You may increase the allowable amount for retirement by obtaining an HSA qualified health plan and savings account.

If you are a business owner and want to provide your employees with benefits, you will be pleased to know that we have many insurance companies and plans that you may tailor to fit your needs.   Please click Group Quote.

So that we can help more people adequately protect their families, please let your friends,  family and co-workers know about our services. Click the button below.

 

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