Open Enrollment – Employer Group Life Insurance

For some, open enrollment is going on as employees scramble to make elections for the coming year. I consulted with a client today on their options.

The family has been covered under a family major medical plan but his wife has recently returned to work and has been offered a benefit package. The health plan is good and very inexpensive for her after factoring in the employer contribution.

Like most employer plans, the heavy cost is shifted to the employee that has a family looking for coverage. After reviewing the benefits of their current plan vs. the one through the employer and weighing the cost of both plans the husband decided to keep what he has now.

The husband and children will remain on the current plan, the wife will choose the employer plan.

We then looked at other benefits such as life insurance, dental and vision. The dental and vision plans both have nominal premiums (due to heavy employer subsidy) and were essentially a no-brainer.

He dismissed the life insurance but I encouraged him to look at it further. Like many plans, the employee will receive life insurance at no charge that is a multiple of salary.

Free is good.

They also have a dependent life insurance plan that allows the wife to buy $50,000 of life insurance on her husband. Since this is open enrollment he can pick up the insurance without evidence of insurability.

This last item is a key in the decision process.

My client has cancer.

He has been battling cancer for 2 years. He applied for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) in January and was approved in three weeks.

No one is approved that quickly.

If he were to apply for life insurance in the open market he would be denied. I strongly encouraged him to pick up as much life insurance as he can get under the employer plan.

After I explained the way the plan will work, that he will not be required to answer health questions or submit to a physical exam, he agreed that purchasing life insurance through the employer was a good idea.

Faking It

Late for your own funeral? Almost . . .

MSNBC reports a bricklayer showed up at his own funeral . . . but was very much alive.

A Brazilian bricklayer reportedly killed in a car crash shocked his mourning family by showing up alive at his funeral.

What family members didn’t know was that Goncalves had spent the night at a truck stop talking with friends over drinks of a sugarcane liquor known as cachaca, his niece Rosa Sampaio told the O Globo newspaper. He did not get word about his own funeral until it was already happening Monday morning.

If he doesn’t have life insurance, maybe now is a good time to buy it.

NWML Buys Gold as a Hedge Against Tough Economic Times

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., the third-largest U.S. life insurer by 2008 sales, has bought gold for the first time the company’s 152-year history to hedge against further asset declines.

“Gold just seems to make sense; it’s a store of value,” Chief Executive Officer Edward Zore said in an interview following his comments at a conference hosted by Standard & Poor’s in Brooklyn. “In the Depression, gold did very, very well.”

Northwestern Mutual has accumulated about $400 million in gold, and Zore said the price could double or even rise fivefold if the economy continues to weaken. Gold gained 10 percent last month, the most since November. The commodity has more than tripled since 2000, rising for eight straight years. Gold futures for August delivery slipped $4.80 to $975.50 at 4:03 p.m. in New York.

“The downside risk is limited, but the upside is large,” Zore said. “We have stocks in our portfolio that lost 95 percent.” Gold “is not going down to $90.”

Policyholder-owned Northwestern Mutual, based in Milwaukee, ranks third by 2008 life insurance premiums according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The data excludes annuities.

ROP Term Life Insurance Increase

If you are a fan of ROP term life insurance (return of premium) prices are headed up. According to a general agent buddy for several life carriers, premiums on new ROP term life plans will increase 40 – 50% within the next 6 months.

Buy now and save.

The Pitfalls of Online Shopping for Insurance in Georgia

Although most of the topics here involve issues about health insurance in Georgia, but from time to time we branch out into other lines of coverage. This is one of those times.

I participate in several online forums, including those frequented by consumers. Based on the information provided, I try to help them out by responding to their questions.

An individual looking for term life insurance decided the easy way was to “go direct” through an online term life insurance quoting service. For whatever reason, they opted to apply to two difference insurance carriers through two separate online services.

As the application progressed, this individual was contacted by both agencies, indicating the underwriting process would stop unless they provided checking account information (account number & routing). The individual thought this was odd and, after dealing with an anonymous, online agency decided to ask additional questions on an anonymous, online forum. [Read more…]

Taxing Beyond the Grave

Life insurance proceeds are, with few exceptions, received free of any income tax. But that may change if the Oregon taxer’s get their way.

“Oregonians who purchase life insurance and annuity products to assure the financial security of themselves and their loved ones would be hit with a tax that undermines their carefully-made financial protection, long-term savings and retirement income. H.B. 2854 would impose a tax on the life insurance benefits received by Oregon families suffering the death of a loved one. It would also impose a new tax on savings through life insurance and annuities.

Sorry your spouse died. Here is a check, less the state’s cut. We need it more than you do.

Good public policy encourages financial security and self-reliance. This is especially so today when Oregon is facing 11 percent unemployment and struggling through a financial crisis that has drained the savings of so many of its citizens. Yet, H.B. 2854 goes in the opposite direction, taxing already beleaguered savings plans and penalizing families when they suffer a loss.

Is there no end to the money grabbing taxer’s? Just one more example of stupid government tricks.

So far at least, the taxer’s in Georgia have not moved in this direction. Looking for  low cost life insurance? We can get you covered.

Stretching Your Dollars

Need to make every penny count? There are lot’s of ways to save money without really trying.

From Dollar Stretcher come these tips.

I liked using the Wrinkle Free spray’s on the market today but didn’t like paying the price. So now I make my own. I bought a bottle of liquid spray starch and mixed it with water (at a ratio of one part starch to three parts water). It works great, and it’s a whole lot cheaper.
Paula B. in Memphis, TN

Don’t have any cash? You don’t need any. Just use your Target$$$ for the purchase!

Almost like magic! a website where you can trade what you have, for what you want!

It’s free to join and by special arrangement … click on this link to get a $1000 line of credit to start . It’s easy just Click, Join & List An Item To Trade !

Saving money on term life insurance is quick and simple. If you have not checked rates in a while, now is a good time to buy. Many carriers will soon increase rates by as much as 40%. Compare rates on multiple plans here by using the Instant Life Quote Link.

Life Insurance . . . DENIED

If you have serious health issues, it might be impossible to obtain a life insurance policy. The exception is a graded benefit plan that only returns the premium if death occurs in the first 2 – 3 years.

But once the policy is issued, there should not be a problem, right?

Not so fast!

Life insurance policies have a contestable period that usually runs for 2 years after the policy is issued. So . . .

You could be room temp and your beneficiaries get stiffed. That’s what happened to the family of Andrew Kissel. [Read more…]

Life Insurance Rates Headed North

The cost of life insurance may be going up.

A lot.

In some cases as much as 40%!

And very soon.

Some carriers are pulling existing products with long term guarantees off the market. These plans (20 & 30 yr term, life expectancy term, ROP term and well as UL and whole life) will soon be replaced with much higher rates.

Run life quotes now. Apply soon.

Here is a link.