News : Life Health Financial

Retroactive Life Insurance Gift from Aviva

As an independent agency, we represent many fine carriers. One of these carriers is Aviva Life insurance Company. This video shows the recipient of one of their most recent “Retroactive Life Insurance” award gifts. From time to time, Aviva selects someone in need that has experienced the loss of a loved one and gives them the opportunity to speak with a trusted insurance adviser to complete life insurance planning as if the individual had not passed. They then award the death benefit to the family.

What a great reminder of the quality companies out there in the insurance industry that understand why we are in the insurance business.

By:Patrick Baggett- Vice President of Commercial Lines
pbaggett@fullserviceins.com 

 

 

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Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?

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Affordable Term Life Insurance

Value and security have probably never been more important to you as they are right now. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, most investment portfolios and retirement savings have suffered declines of 25 to 40 percent, and full recovery to previous market values may be many years away. That could mean that the financial security for your family or your business may be in jeopardy if a premature death occurs. Term life insurance can offer you the protection you need at rates that are at their lowest levels ever. All indications are that rates will soon be increasing for many life insurance companies. We represent many financially strong companies that offer very competitive term rates. We have listed below just a small sample of competitive rates from The Cincinnati Life Insurance Company. It would be more beneficial if we could give you a personal quote that fits your needs. It’s time to review the personal protection you have for your family, your estate and the business protection you need for buy-sell funding, key-person coverage and coverage that banks may require for business loans.

The Woman Men Adore…and Never Want To Leave
LifeHorizons Termsetter – Guaranteed Level Term$1,000,000 Coverage, Select Plus, Monthly Bank Draft Rates
Male Female
Age 10 Yr. 15 Yr. 20 Yr. 25 Yr. 30 Yr. 10 Yr. 15 Yr. 20 Yr. 25 Yr. 30 Yr.
35 33.00 43.56 58.52 91.96 94.60 30.36 38.28 50.60 73.48 74.36
40 47.96 59.40 78.76 129.80 135.96 41.80 54.12 68.20 99.00 101.64
45 72.60 97.24 128.92 227.48 230.12 63.80 79.64 100.76 153.56 164.12
50 111.32 157.96 197.56 339.24 351.56 89.32 114.84 145.64 226.60 223.64
55 180.84 256.52 313.72 624.36 NA 130.68 165.88 221.32 393.80 477.40
60 286.44 406.12 518.76 1,095.16 NA 195.80 262.68 366.52 709.72 NA
65 519.64 737.88 1045.00 NA NA 319.00 437.80 668.36 NA NA

The Select Plus underwriting classification is not available to all applicants. Applicants are subject to the underwriting guidelines of The Cincinnati Life Insurance Company. This term life insurance plan is available in most states. Premiums are guaranteed for the initial guarantee period and are subject to change after the guarantee period.

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The Family Long-Term Care Insurance Decision

Despite the recent economic downturn, more and more people of all ages are buying long-term care insurance policies. You, too, may be wondering if long-term care insurance is the smartest decision for you and your family. In this article, a long-term care industry specialist explains the key factors in making the long-term care insurance decision.

Despite the economic downturn in the U.S. over the past few years, public interest in long-term care insurance is quietly and steadily growing. In fact, more than four million people held individual long-term care insurance policies at the end of December 2003.1

The recent interest in long-term care insurance is likely due to three factors: the evolution of these insurance products, limited alternatives for financing care and growing consumer awareness of the benefits of long-term care insurance.

Product evolution

Long-term care (LTC) insurance policies have evolved over time to be far more flexible than they were in the early days, when they were known as nursing home policies. Today, most policies allow the insured to receive care in the setting of their choice, whether this is at home, in an assisted living facility, adult day care center or nursing home.

Industry standards have developed as well. Most policies offer benefits when a person can no longer perform two out of six “activities of daily living” (such as bathing, dressing, toileting or eating), or when they need substantial assistance due to a cognitive impairment. New benefits have come on the scene, such as additional cash allowances on top of basic coverage which pay for extras, like home modifications and home safety checks. Benefits like this make it easier for people to receive assistance at home.

Limited alternatives

Almost every day we read that the public safety net is slowing disappearing and the Social Security system may be in jeopardy 20 years from now. Even today, publicly-available options for managing long-term care expenses are severely limited.

For example, Medicare typically covers only certain types of care for a limited period of time, leaving many long-term care costs uncovered. Medicaid also is an imperfect solution because it requires people to spend down their assets to state required levels to qualify. In addition, Medicaid primarily pays for care received in a nursing facility, not at home. Perhaps this explains why even the Government recently decided to offer its employees the option to buy long-term care insurance through a special Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program.

Consumer awareness

In part, LTC insurance sales have been driven by a growing consumer awareness of the benefits of long-term care insurance coverage. With more than 25 million adult caregivers in the U.S. today, many people are experiencing long-term care within their own families.2 Some have witnessed the positive effects of long-term care insurance, which may have allowed their loved ones to remain in their own homes by paying for in-home care.

But many families without long-term care insurance coverage in place have seen the opposite effect—that is, limited choices and the impact of the high costs of long-term care on their family’s financial foundation and security.

What advisors recommend

For the majority of the population who cannot afford to self-insure this risk, some financial planners are beginning to recommen

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d LTC insurance as a core element of a family’s financial plan. The advantages of planning ahead and purchasing the insurance at younger ages (under age 55) include:

•     The younger you buy, the cheaper the premiums.

•     Younger buyers are more likely to be in a healthy condition to qualify for coverage.

•     If long-term care is needed at an earlier age, the family’s finances will be protected as the policy will help to cover the costs of care.

•     The coverage can pay for caregivers to come into the home, where most people prefer to receive care.

This may explain why the average age of a long-term care insurance buyer has dropped from 72-years old in 1990 to almost 58-years old today.3

Is it worth it?

Few people regret purchasing car insurance or home insurance policies when an accident takes place. The coverage earned is far greater than the annual premiums paid, especially when you consider the alternative: paying for a new car or a new home out-of-pocket. The same is true of long-term care insurance. The benefits paid out under a long-term care insurance policy for one year alone often can exceed the cumulative premiums a client pays into a policy over many years.

For example, if a 55-year-old man purchases a policy that costs $2,000 per year and pays premiums for 20 years until he needs long-term care at age 75, he will pay a total of $40,000 in premiums over those 20 years. Compare this to the cost of care at a skilled nursing facility, which can reach $58,000 per year and is expected to grow five percent per year.4 In 20 years, the average annual cost of long-term care may be well in excess of $100,000.

In addition, new policy options available on the market today allow partners and family members to share the benefits of a single policy. This gives policies even greater value by making it more likely that the benefits will be used by one family member or another at some point in time.

Tips for a positive buying experience

1. Engage in a family discussion and plan ahead

If you are helping your parents, make sure you understand their future wants and desires. If you are a couple planning for your own long-term care needs, think through your own priorities and those of your children. Long-term care is a family issue.

2. Seek assistance

Long-term care insurance is best understood with the help of an insurance agent or financial planner who can assess a family’s situation and specific needs. Experienced LTC insurance advisors will help you through the buying process by explaining the various features of a policy and how they will benefit you at claim time.

3. Investigate your LTC insurance carrier

When you look at the various LTC insurance carriers, consider their relative financial strengths and stability, in addition to their years of experience in the long-term care insurance market. S&P (Standard and Poor’s), Moody’s, Fitch IBCA and A.M. Best rate most long-term care insurance carriers.

Sources1.        2003 LTC Insurance and Medicare Supplement Sales and In Force Survey, LIMRA International 2.        “The Economic Value of Informal Caregiving,” Arno, P.S., Levine, C., and Memmott, M. M. Health Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 2, 1999.3.        Long Term Care Insurance in 1998-1999, Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA), 2002.4.        Metlife Mature Market Study, 2003.

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CD Rates Got You Down?

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Making sure you have enough Life Insurance

Do you have enough life insurance to pay off your home, car, boat, motorcycle, children’s college, and medical bills?  Make sure your family is protected.

Healthy Male (Non-Smoker) for $250,000 worth of fixed premiums over 30 years would cost per month:

Age 25 – $20.68

Age 30 – $22.44

Age 35 – $24.68

Age 40 – $32.56

Age 45 – $48.18

Age 50 – $73.92

Healthy Female (Non-Smoker) for $250,000 worth of fixed premiums over 30 years would cost per month:

Age 25 – $17.16

Age 30 – $18.70

Age 35 – $20.90

Age 40 – $26.18

Age 45 – $39.16

Age 50 – $53.90

Contact our office today to request your personal quote, or click here to submit your information to our office securely online.

**Final Rates will have to be submitted to underwriting in order to see what class you will qualify for.

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Key Republican says on "edge" of US healthcare deal

By Deborah Charles

WASHINGTON, July 29 (Reuters) – Republican and Democratic senators negotiating financial details of healthcare reform have made great progress and are on the verge of a deal, a key Republican senator said on Wednesday.

“We have made great progress. Every day we make some progress,” Senator Charles Grassley, one of the three Republicans from Senate Finance Committee involved in the talks to overhaul the healthcare system, told NPR radio.

“Will we get it done so we can get a bill to the other members by this weekend because there is a certain time you've got to give people to study it? We're on the edge, and almost there,” he said in the interview.

President Barack Obama has pinpointed healthcare as his top legislative priority and has pushed lawmakers to quickly reach a deal to rein in healthcare costs, improve care and cover most of the 46 million uninsured Americans.

Obama had asked both the Senate and House of Representatives to come up with initial draft bills before they leave for the August recess but this deadline looks increasingly unlikely to be met.

Grassley said lawmakers “wanted to do it right,” noting that lawmakers are trying to revamp one-sixth of the economy.

PUBLIC PLAN IDEA DIMS

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee said on Tuesday the six negotiators were close to success in bipartisan talks, even if the full panel does not take up the bill before Congr

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ess goes on a month-long break on Aug. 7.

Senate Finance negotiations have focused on a plan that would use nonprofit cooperatives to compete with private insurers to drive down costs, not the public plan favored by Obama and many other Democrats.

Shares of U.S. health insurers rose broadly on Tuesday on hopes that negotiators were moving away from the public plan idea, which has drawn strong opposition from insurers who fear it would destroy the private marketplace.

The Senate panel also is likely to back a tax on high-cost insurance policies to raise revenue and keep costs down.

Democrats in the House are also trying to reach agreement with conservative members of their own party on their version of the bill, but say a vote is unlikely before they head home on break at the end of the week.

Obama, who has put considerable political capital on the line in the healthcare debate, travels to North Carolina and Virginia on Wednesday where he will hold campaign-style events aimed at telling Americans why insurance reform means more security and stability for them and their families.

The White House said Obama would outline eight specific consumer protections he thinks are needed. They include: no discrimination for preexisting conditions, only reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, no dropping of coverage for serious illness, no gender discrimination, no annual or lifetime caps and extended coverage for young adults.

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Department of Labor Issues Long-Awaited Rules

The Labor Department issued 750 pages of final revised regulations for the Family and Medical Leave Act on Nov. 14, marking the first major regulatory update of the 1993 law in more than 13 years.

The new rules will take effect 60 days after publication in the Nov. 17 Federal Register (73 Fed. Reg. 67,934). In addition to addressing certain interpretive issues that have arisen over the years, the regulations implement statutory amendments signed into law by President Bush in January allowing family members of wounded military personnel to take up to six months of unpaid leave to care for them during their rehabilitation process.

Assistant Secretary of Labor Victoria A. Lipnic told BNA Nov. 13 that the final rules “will improve communications between employees, employers, and health care providers to make the law operate more smoothly, and provide needed clarity for both workers and employers about their responsibilities and rights” under the FMLA.

Lipnic said the final rules have been in the works since shortly after her nomination in March 2002. She said the process involved numerous meetings seeking input from employer and employee “stakeholders” and included the unusual step of making a request for information from the public before issuing proposed regulations this past February and seeking public comments on them. Lipnic said she personally reviewed about 20,000 comments during the process.

FMLA Amendment Added Military Family Leave

The Defense Department authorization bill for fiscal year 2008 included provisions amending the FMLA to provide two new leave entitlements—military caregiver leave and qualifying exigency leave.

Eligible employees who are family members of covered service members will be able to take up to six months (26 workweeks) of leave in a single 12-month period to care for a servicemember with a serious illness or injury that was incurred in the line of duty during active duty. The 12-month period begins when the employee starts using military caregiver leave. Employers will not have the option of using the calendar-year method as they do for other types of FMLA leave, Lipnic said. She explained that entitlement to 26 weeks of military caregiver leave is provided for each service member and for each illness or injury incurred and covers more extended family members than are covered by FMLA leave for other reasons.

Qualifying exigency leave is intended to help families manage the affairs of National Guard and Reserves members while they are on active duty or called to active duty status in support of a contingency operation. Family members may use all or part of the regular allotment of 12 weeks of FMLA leave. The final rules define “any qualifying exigency” to include a number of broad categories of reasons and activities, including short-notice deployment, military events and related activities, child care and school activities, financial and legal arrangements, counseling, rest and recuperation, post-deployment activities, and any additional activities agreed to by the employer and the employee.

The regulations also address the definition of a “serious health condition.” One of the six definitions of a serious health condition is three consecutive days of incapacity plus two visits to a health care provider. The final rules state that the two visits must occur within 30 days of the start of the period of incapacity and that the first visit must occur within seven days of the start of incapacity.

The employee must obtain a medical certification regarding a serious health condition. The final rules allow the employer to contact the employee’s health care provider to obtain information required by the certification form, but specify that the employer’s representative doing the contacting must be a health care provider, a human resources professional, a leave administrator, or a management official. Because of privacy concerns, the rules forbid the direct supervisor of the employee from contacting the employee’s health care provider.

If the employer views a medical certification form as incomplete or insufficient, the new regulations require the company to notify the employee in writing, specify what information is lacking, and give the employee seven calendar days to provide the additional information.

The final rules codify a 2005 opinion letter from DOL’s Wage and Hour Division stating that employers may require employees to provide a new medical certification every 12-month FMLA period for medical conditions that last longer than one year (56 BTM 340, 10/25/05). But the new rules also allow an employer to request recertification of an ongoing condition every six months in conjunction with an absence.

Employer Notice Requirements according to a copy of the final regulations obtained by BNA, the new rules consolidate in one section all the particular types of notice employers must provide their employees, as well as reconciling certain conflicts and time limits in the provisions.
The regulations require employers to provide employees with a general notice about the FMLA, an eligibility notice, a notice of rights and responsibilities, and a designation notice. The time period for the employer to provide various notices has been extended from two to five business days.

Under the previous regulations, employees had up to two business days after an absence to notify the employer of the need for FMLA leave. However, the new rules require employees to comply with an employer’s usual procedures for reporting an absence, unless unusual circumstances prevent this.

The FMLA allows employees to use accrued paid leave as a substitute for unpaid FMLA leave, and it allows employers to require employees to exhaust paid leave before taking unpaid leave. The old regulations treated the use of vacation or personal leave differently than sick leave, but the new rules treat all forms of paid leave the same. However, an employee seeking to substitute paid leave must comply with the employer’s uniform policy for use of such leave, such as providing a minimum amount of advance notice, unless the employer chooses to waive procedural requirements.

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2002 decision in Ragsdale v. Wolverine World Wide Inc. (535 U.S. 81, 7 WH Cases 2d 1153 (2002)) and other court decisions invalidating categorical penalty provisions in the old FMLA regulations, the new rules remove those provisions and instead state that the employer may be liable when its failure to follow the notification rules causes individualized harm to the employee.

The final regulations codify DOL’s longstanding position that employees may settle or release FMLA claims without obtaining court or agency approval, in contrast to a recent federal appeals court decision, but that prospective waivers of FMLA rights are prohibited, according to DOL.

In contrast with some court decisions, the rules provide that time spent working a light-duty assignment does not count toward an employee’s FMLA leave allotment and that the employee’s right to job restoration is held in abeyance while the employee is performing light duty or until the end of the applicable 12-month period.

Under current rules, employers are permitted to apply uniform policies requiring employees who take medical leave to submit a fitness-for-duty certification in order to return to work. The new regulations also will permit employers to require that the certification specifically address the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the specific job. If reasonable job safety concerns exist, according to the regulations, the employer may require a fitness-for-duty certification before an employee returns to work after taking intermittent leave.
By Susan J. McGolrick

The final rules can be accessed at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-26577.htm.

— Life, Heal

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Operation Shout!

Do you want to stay up to date on the legislation in Tennesee regarding your health insurance?  Please click on the link below to find out more.

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How much can I contribute into my 401(K)?

What is the maximum amount that I can contribute to my 401(k) plan?

The maximum amount an employee can contribute to a 401(k) plan is determined annually. You may be allowed catch up contributions in addition to annual limit, if you are age 50 or older. Refer to “Elective Deferrals” in Publication 525,taxable and Nontaxable Income. The maximum amount applies to an employee’s aggregate pre-tax contributions to a 401(k) plan and 403(b) plan. There are several different limits that apply to a 401(k) plan in addition to the overall contribution limit. These limits, your salary, and the type of 401(k) plan to which you are contributing may limit your 401(k) contributions to a lesser amount.

The rules for retirement plans are complex. Your plan administrator should have written information about your particular plan that explains these limitations as well as other regulations that apply.

Click here for more information and Contribution Limits.

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