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Why your business needs extra expense coverage

By Cincinnati Insurance

open-for-business

Extra expense coverage can help keep you open for business.

If your business is like most, you can’t afford a shutdown. Fire, windstorms and other perils might cause physical damage to your location, but what about the potential loss of customers?

Extra expense coverage is designed to meet the needs of businesses that can’t afford to be closed for an extended period. Extra expense covers costs incurred to minimize disruption to a business and reduce the potential for lost customers.

When this coverage is triggered, extra expenses might include:

  • Moving expenses to a temporary location for continued operations
  • Rent, heat, power and communication at temporary locations, along with any necessary alterations to the facility
  • Office equipment, such as computers and copiers
  • Special advertising expenses to announce you’re still open for business

The classic example of a business needing extra expense coverage is a dry cleaning operation. A dry cleaner that suffers a covered property loss can’t afford to lose customers to a competitor even temporarily. Extra expense could cover the opening of a temporary location to reduce the chance that customers might get used to taking their dry cleaning elsewhere.

Some businesses can’t set up shop easily in a temporary location, so extra expense coverage could also pay for the additional cost to subcontract manufacturing or processing by others while your property is being restored after a covered loss.

Ask your insurance agent about extra expense coverage to help you continue operations and retain customers until the grand reopening of your restored location.

Submitted by Joel Davenport

Filed under: Business insurance Tagged: business, expense, extra, open, temporary
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Final Regulations on the Individual Mandate

Vice President of Benefits

Vice President of Benefits

In late August, the IRS issued final regulations on the individual mandate and Health Insurance Marketplace premium subsidies, both of which take effect in 2014.

The final regulations largely adopt the proposed regulations issued on February 1, 2013. Recall that while employers received a one-year delay from the shared responsibility penalty, individuals have received no similar delay. Starting in 2014, individuals who do not qualify for an exemption and have no health coverage will be subject to a $95 penalty for the year (half that amount for family members under age 18). The penalty increases significantly in 2015 and beyond.

Here are some highlights of the final regulations:

• Former employees who were once eligible for COBRA/state continuation or retiree coverage, but did not enroll in it and are not eligible for other employer-sponsored coverage, do not have minimum essential coverage (MEC) and can potentially qualify for a premium subsidy.
• For MEC purposes, a plan offered to an employee by an employer through a professional employer organization (PEO) or leasing company constitutes a plan offered to an employee on behalf of an employer.
• For purposes of determining subsidy eligibility, the characteristics used to identify the applicable plan include tobacco use, if relevant.
• The Nonappropriated Fund Health Benefits Program, provided to Department of Defense employees, is considered MEC.

The guidance on COBRA should be welcome news to many employers and COBRA qualified beneficiaries. People on COBRA often use group health plan benefits more than similarly situated active employees, resulting in adverse selection. Many who are offered COBRA may qualify for a premium subsidy in the Marketplace and thus be able to obtain coverage at a lower price tag than COBRA’s 102 percent of total cost. Keep in mind that the core employer COBRA requirements remain in force and will not go away in 2014 or any later year, absent additional legislation.

 

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Health Insurance Marketplace

Vice President of Benefits

Vice President of Benefits

In a little over 49 days the Health Insurance Marketplace will be open.  Millions of people that have struggled to find affordable health insurance without pre-existing conditions, riders, or exclusions will now have new options to choose from.

I have had several people ask me if their doctors would take the Government Insurance (Obama-care…if you will).  Many do not realize that Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN, Cigna, Humana, Coventry, and a new COOP called Community Health Alliance will be the insurance companies offering policies.

Open enrollment begins on October 1st and will run though March 31st.  If you apply for a policy before the middle of December, you can get a January 1st effective date.  This is the earliest effective date you will be able to get.

Many also do not realize that depending on their Household Income (HHI), they may qualify for subsidies that will reduce the amount of premium they will need to pay on a monthly or annual basis.  For example, a family with a HHI less than $94,200 may qualify for a subsidy.  I feel that the hardest thing for individuals to understand it their eligibility for the subsidy.  Many do not know that they may be disqualified from the subsidy if their employer offers them affordable coverage.  This simply means that you would not qualify for a subsidy if your portion of the “Employee Only” premium is less than 9.5% of your income.

In 2014, most small employers will be forced to change their plan designs due to Healthcare Reform.  Employers with less than 50 employees will not be able to have an individual deductible higher than $2,000.  Many employers renew at different times of the year.  That said, it may be the middle of the year before you find yourself in a situation where the employer had to make the health plan more rich, and consequently has to raise your contributions to help pay the additional premiums.  This may either take you past the 9.5% of income, or force the employer to drop the health plan entirely.

One thing is for sure; Full Service Insurance is certified and ready to help you and your employer navigate through this changing landscape.  The government has their website ready to assist those that want to go at this alone.  We suggest you work with certified specialists here at Full Service Insurance.

Make sure you check out our dedicated Health Insurance site by going to www.healthxchangetn.com.

 

 

 

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How can I get an estimate of costs and savings on Marketplace health insurance?

Vice President of Benefits

Vice President of Benefits

Until the Marketplace opens, you can use tools like the Kaiser Family Foundation calculator to get a rough estimate of how much health insurance may cost in 2014.

The Kaiser Family Foundation health insurance cost and savings calculator

The health insurance costs and savings calculator we link to below provides only an estimate. Your final premiums and costs may differ from the estimates, perhaps significantly, depending on where you live and the coverage you select. You’ll learn your final costs for specific plans when you apply in the Health Insurance Marketplace as soon as October 1, 2013.

Before you use the Kaiser Family Foundation calculator, there are a few important things to know:

  • The calculator provides a rough estimate of costs for insurance, based on national averages and factors that may not apply to you. It will give you an idea of what someone with circumstances like yours could pay for Marketplace insurance in 2014.
  • The calculator accounts for some factors that may determine plan costs in the Marketplace: age, family size, and tobacco use. Individual plans will weigh these factors differently to determine final prices.
  • The estimate doesn’t account for differences based on where you live, which will significantly affect Marketplace prices and offerings.
  • The prices are based on a plan in the Silver category. Plans in different categorieswill likely have higher or lower premiums.
  • You won’t be able to get your exact costs for a specific plan until you fill out a Marketplace application after October 1, 2013. Then you’ll see all of the plans available to you, compare features and prices side-by-side, choose a plan, and enroll. You should expect that your final cost will be different from the rough estimate provided here.

Background on the calculator

The calculator was created by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit research organization, for use by the general public. The Kaiser Family Foundation is solely responsible for the tool. The Kaiser Family Foundation has no connection with Kaiser Permanente or any health care provider.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services did not participate in the creation of this calculator. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of estimates provided by the calculator.

Use the health insurance costs and savings calculator

If you’re ready to see the estimates, visit the Kaiser Family Foundation website and use the Kaiser Family Foundation’s health insurance costs and savings calculator.

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