Monthly Archives: October 2017

Information About Approved Rates for January 2018 Health Plan Offerings on DC Health Link



Open Enrollment for Plan Year 2018: The open enrollment season for DC Health Link is Nov. 1, 2017 – Jan. 31, 2018. DC Health Link is an online marketplace created for individuals, families, and small business owners in the District of Columbia to shop, compare, and select health insurance that meets their health needs and budgets. For more information, visit dchealthlink.com or call (855) 532-5465.

This page contains approved health plan rate information for the District of Columbia’s health insurance marketplace, DC Health Link, for plan year 2018.

4 major insurance companies – Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare –have proposed health plan offerings for individuals, families and small businesses on DC Health Link. Overall, 177 plans were filed, compared to 171 last year. There was no change in the number of small group 151, and individual plans increased from 20 to 26.

The average increase in 2018 premiums across all insurers is 15.64% for individuals and 7.26% for small group plans. The same 4 major insurance companies as last year – Aetna, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare – will have plans on DC Health Link. CareFirst and Kaiser Permanente plans cover individuals, families and small businesses for the 2018 plan year. Aetna and UnitedHealthcare plans are only available in the small business market.

To view the approved health insurance rate filings, follow this link.

The links below include tables of approved rates for individual and small business plans to be offered on DC Health Link in 2018. The tables show low, high and average premiums by company, product type and metal level for ages 27, 40 and 55. The previous tables of proposed rates are also available for reference below.

Related Press Releases and Notices

Individual Rates
Below is a comparison of rates from all individual plans to be offered on DC Health Link in 2018.

Small Business (SHOP) Rates
Below is a comparison of rates from all SHOP plans to be offered on DC Health Link in 2018.

Comparison of Year-over-Year Rate Changes
The chart below is a comparison of year-over-year rate increases for those plans that were offered in both 2017 and 2018. The tables are broken down by carrier, product type and metal level.

Sample 2018 Approved Premiums

The charts below compare premiums for the plans that are included in DC Health Link for both 2017 and 2018. In 2017, there were 20 individual plans. 6 new individual plans were added and one plan was terminated for a total of 26 individual plans for 2018. In 2017, there were 151 small group plans. In 2018, 30 new small group plans were added and 30 small group plans were terminated for a total of 151 small group plans for 2018, 121 of which are available in both 2017 and 2018. These comparisons look at the average difference in premiums for plans offered in both 2017 and 2018 under various scenarios for both individuals and small groups by carrier and metal tier level.

Carrier Plan Counts
This chart shows changes to plans offered from 2017 to 2018.




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Big rate hikes for health insurance will slam Washingtonians



by: Deedee Sun
Updated: Oct 20, 2017 – 7:14 PM

Open enrollment for health insurance in 2018 starts on Nov. 1 and thousands of people in Washington state will see big increases in their premiums. 

The state’s insurance commissioner will officially release rates next week, and his office is warning that hundreds of thousands of people who do not get their insurance through an employer, will see a rate hike in the double digits. 

Some 330,000 Washingtonians don’t get health insurance through an employer.

“I’m one of the folks who has to go out and get insurance on my own,” said Edward Weatherly, who is currently working a temp job. His monthly premiums? 

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“It costs me about $430 a month,” Weatherly said. 

And the state’s insurance commissioner, Mike Kreidler, says rates for 2018 will go up – by a lot. 

“We’re looking at rate increases that are going to be in the 20s (percentage). We haven’t seen that, except going back before the Affordable Care Act,” Kreidler said. 

The ones hardest hit will be the middle class – people who don’t qualify for a subsidy. 

“It’s that person who doesn’t receive any help that I’m worried about. That’s going (to) say, ‘I’m going to hit the wall and I can’t afford this any longer,’” Kriedler said. 

Weatherly is one of those individuals. He says it’s already difficult to make ends meet.

“In addition to the rent, it’s pretty tough every month,” Weatherly said. “And there have been a couple of times I’ve thought about letting the insurance go.”

It gets worse – the insurance commissioner says people who are not subsidized with the most popular “Silver Plan” could see even more dramatic rate hikes.

“On top of the mid-20 percent rate increase, they could see a 9 to 27 percent (increase) on top of that,” Kreidler said. 

He says one reason for the steep increases is the uncertainty coming out of Washington, D.C. 

“I don’t care if they call it ‘Trumpcare’; whatever it is. But you’ve got to do something to make sure you’re taking care of the people. Access to affordable quality health insurance,” he said. 

Weatherly says he’s hoping for a change. 

“I’m hoping we just get to a point where it becomes a right. So many things that we argue about, at both the national and the state level, that to me in the overall scheme of things don’t mean anything. It’s not life and death. Whereas health insurance, to me, is life and death,” Weatherly said. 

The state insurance commissioner plans to release official rate hikes Thursday. Where you live could also impact how much your rates will go up, and the rates will be broken down by region, insurer and plan. 




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More music artists buying terrorism insurance




  • U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty shares highlights of first 8 weeks on the job

    U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty shares highlights of first 8 weeks on the job

    Saturday, October 21 2017 12:05 AM EDT2017-10-21 04:05:47 GMT


    Bill Hagerty (WSMV)
    Bill Hagerty (WSMV)

    Nashville businessman and newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty was in Tennessee Friday, sharing some of the highlights of his first 8 weeks on the job.

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    Nashville businessman and newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty was in Tennessee Friday, sharing some of the highlights of his first 8 weeks on the job.

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  • More music artists buying terrorism insurance

    More music artists buying terrorism insurance

    Friday, October 20 2017 10:52 PM EDT2017-10-21 02:52:17 GMT

    Jason Aldean was on stage in Las Vegas when a gunman opened fire on the crowd, killing dozens and injuring hundreds more. (WSMV / NBC)Jason Aldean was on stage in Las Vegas when a gunman opened fire on the crowd, killing dozens and injuring hundreds more. (WSMV / NBC)

    You have insurance for your car, health and home just in case the worst happens. Now more and more artists are buying terrorism insurance, and it could be directly impacting your wallet.

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    You have insurance for your car, health and home just in case the worst happens. Now more and more artists are buying terrorism insurance, and it could be directly impacting your wallet.

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  • Suspect arrested in pharmacy shooting

    Suspect arrested in pharmacy shooting

    Friday, October 20 2017 9:40 PM EDT2017-10-21 01:40:05 GMT

    Dionte Breedlove (Source: Metro Nashville PD)Dionte Breedlove (Source: Metro Nashville PD)

    Metro police have arrested a man accused of shooting a security guard security guard during a robbery at a pharmacy earlier this month.

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    Metro police have arrested a man accused of shooting a security guard security guard during a robbery at a pharmacy earlier this month.

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  • Mom charged in 2016 death of 6-month-old son

    Mom charged in 2016 death of 6-month-old son

    Thursday, October 19 2017 2:14 PM EDT2017-10-19 18:14:08 GMT

    The mother of a 6-month-old boy was indicted on a charge of felony murder, according to a news release.

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    The mother of a 6-month-old boy was indicted on a charge of felony murder, according to a news release.

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  • Nashville woman killed in Williamson County crash

    Nashville woman killed in Williamson County crash

    Friday, October 20 2017 10:42 AM EDT2017-10-20 14:42:49 GMT

    One person was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Rutherford County on Friday morning.

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    One person was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Rutherford County on Friday morning.

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  • FBI rescues 3-month-old, 5-year-old sister in nationwide sex trafficking crackdown

    FBI: Baby girl, 5-year-old sister saved in sex trafficking sting were being sold for $600

    Friday, October 20 2017 8:53 AM EDT2017-10-20 12:53:52 GMT

    2 sisters, one 5 years old and the other 3 months old, were rescued in Denver by undercover agents during this year's FBI-led sting operation against sex traffickers, officials said. (FBI)2 sisters, one 5 years old and the other 3 months old, were rescued in Denver by undercover agents during this year’;s FBI-led sting operation against sex traffickers, officials said. (FBI)

    2 sisters, one 5 years old and the other 3 months old, were rescued in Denver by undercover agents during this year’;s FBI-led sting operation against sex traffickers, officials said.

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    2 sisters, one 5 years old and the other 3 months old, were rescued in Denver by undercover agents during this year’;s FBI-led sting operation against sex traffickers, officials said.

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    Fast and Easy Insurance Coverage for your Vehicle



    Permanent General Assurance Corporation | Permanent General Assurance Corporation of Ohio | The General Automobile Insurance Company, Inc.

    Shaq, Shaquille O’;Neal and Dunkman are trademarks of ABG-Shaq, LLC. Rights of Publicity and Persona Rights are used with permission of ABG-Shaq, LLC.

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    The flood insurance market, before and after Harvey




    Express-News columnist Michael Taylor is seen Aug. 11, 2016 in the Express-News photo studio, Photo: William Luther, Staff / © 2016 San Antonio Express-News


    Photo: William Luther, Staff

    Express-News columnist Michael Taylor is seen Aug. 11, 2016 in the Express-News photo studio,

    Like everyone with a home mortgage, I have homeowners insurance that covers most catastrophes, although the list of covered catastrophes specifically does not include flooding.

    I sometimes worry because my house backs right up to the San Antonio River. Fortunately, my yard and house are outside the boundaries considered to have a 1 percent chance of flooding per year, a so-called 100-year flood plain.


    So up until now I’;ve never had flood insurance, nor have I been required to have it by my bank.

    We’;ve recently had a bit of rain here in Texas, which you may have heard about. It got me thinking again about flood insurance, and about how reliable our current risk-assessment methods are.


    Translator

    To read this article in one of Houston’;s most-spoken languages, click on the button below.

    As a financial rule, I’;m usually in the “don’;t buy too much insurance” camp, urging people to self-insure whenever possible. Or as the French might say, I adopt an “après moi, le deluge” approach to many insurable risks – meaning “I don’;t care what happens after I’;m gone,” according to Wikipedia.

    Flood insurance, however, might be in the special category of things for which self-insuring doesn’;t work as well. Meaning, even though my house sits outside of the 100-year flood plain, I really cannot afford the unexpected but catastrophic loss of my house due to flooding.

    I called up my insurance provider this past week to get a quote on flood insurance for my house. I learned a few things.

    I received an annual premium quote of $499 for up to $250,000 in damage to my house, plus an additional $100,000 for personal belongings, subject to a $1,250 deductible in each loss category.

    Interestingly, I learned my insurance provider is acting not as the underwriter of flood insurance, but rather as a broker for the federal government’;s National Flood Insurance Program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    In fact, everyone has to go through a private insurance company to get this federal flood insurance. Almost nobody gets private flood insurance.

    I mean, there’;s also a private market solution, but barely. I went to one provider online and entered all my data to match the quote I got from my regular insurance provider. The annual premium would be $3,219. So, more than 6 times as expensive as the FEMA quote. With that difference, you can sort of see why the federal government dominates the market.

    Matthew Hartwig, a spokesman for insurance provider USAA, told me that its flood insurance call volumes rose up to 9 times its regular rates right before, during and after Hurricane Harvey made landfall Aug. 25. Customer inquiries even now continue at a higher than normal rate, he said.

    Unfortunately, none of those flood insurance sales in late August and early September can help Hurricane Harvey victims There’;s a 30-day wait rule before recently purchased flood insurance becomes effective. Buying now only helps for the next flood.

    Interestingly, engineering and flood risk specialists are re-evaluating how we deal with flood risk these days. The old way of risk assessment is to simply map out whether a property is, or is not, in a 100-year flood plain.

    Patrice Melançon, watershed engineering manager for the San Antonio River Authority, described to me at least a few engineering discussions underway in the wake of Harvey.

    She cited her counterparts in Houston who are actively discussing whether the right level of “risky” should be to look closely at properties previously considered to be in a so-called “500-year flood plain,” or areas that have only a 0.2 percent chance of flooding per year.

    Of course, a common-sense reaction to that news is to wonder whether things have changed, possibly due to climate change, such that previous rainfall data informing the 100-year flood plain is no longer accurate in 2017.

    While FEMA still relies on maps that show the 100-year flood plain, it is developing, in conjunction with local partners, a more sophisticated set of maps that show the likelihood of flooding within 30 years, as well as the probabilistic severity of flooding inside and outside the 100-year flood plain.

    The new maps are “informational” and “consultative” rather than being used for regulatory purposes like the 100-year flood plain maps, but nevertheless represent the next level of risk analysis.

    I’;ll be checking out those new maps. Even now, about 25 percent of flood claims occur on houses outside flood zones. That’;s on houses that are deemed safely outside the flood plain, like mine.

    Finally, Melançon mentioned to me that her agency expects to get, in another 3 or 4 weeks, updated computer modeling and analysis of what would occur if Harvey-level rainfall fell on San Antonio. I’;m pretty interested in those results, too.

    Personally, I don’;t want to pay $500 to protect against a thing that’;s never going to happen.

    On the other hand, “a thing that’;s never going to happen” just happened all over the city of Houston and in towns up and down the Texas coast.

    Also, 4 Category 4 and 5 hurricanes were never supposed to make landfall within 4 weeks of each other until hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria actually smashed all normal expectations of weather patterns. So, yeah, we’;re buying flood insurance.

    As a scary epilogue, you know what else is not covered by regular homeowners insurance? Property damage due to nuclear war. That’;s never going to happen either, right? Anyway, enjoy your morning coffee and breakfast, everybody.




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    barbuda-fishers-impacted

    Catastrophic hurricanes underscore need to press ahead with risk insurance for fishers, says CRFM





    River Wharf, Barbuda: vessel with damaged outer hull. Photo: Hilroy Simon

    BELIZE CITY, Belize (CRFM) — Several Caribbean countries have been recently devastated by 2 catastrophic hurricanes, Irma and Maria, underscoring the need for member states of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) to press forward with risk insurance for the fisheries sector, which is being developed by the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC, formerly known as the CCRIF) in collaboration with the World Bank.

    This initiative to develop risk insurance for the fisheries sector in Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states is supported by the United States government under the Caribbean Ocean and Aquaculture Sustainability Facility (COAST).

    At the 6th meeting of the CRFM Ministerial Council, hosted in Georgetown, Guyana, on October 5, 2017, policymakers underscored the need for CARICOM member states to move ahead with adopting risk insurance that would enable the fisheries sector and fishers to bounce back more quickly after a hurricane strikes.

    So far, there has been no payout provided specifically for the rehabilitation and recovery of the fisheries sector, although there have been other payouts under the broader umbrella of the CCRIF scheme. Since its establishment in 2007, the CCRIF SPC has made payouts of a little more than US$100 million to 12 of its 17 member countries – all within 14 days of the disaster event.

    “Having such an insurance scheme is one of the good things we can do to help fishers get back on their feet as soon as possible after a disaster,” said CRFM executive director, Milton Haughton.

    The development and implementation of the livelihood protection policy for individual small-scale operators and the sovereign parametric policy for States that the CCRIF SPC is working on, now assumes greater urgency for the sector, he underscored.

    Haughton expressed the hope that, in light of the destruction and devastation that the recent hurricanes have caused in CRFM member states such as Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Haiti, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, that all parties will redouble their efforts to get the risk insurance facilities for the sector established as soon as possible and certainly before the next hurricane season. He said that the insurance policies are being designed to provide quick relief to those fishers who experience distress as a result of disasters such as hurricanes.

    A report published by the Fisheries Division of Antigua and Barbuda in September, titled ‘Hurricane Irma – Preliminary Damage Assessment for Antigua and Barbuda’s Fisheries Sector,” said: “In terms of the impact Hurricane Irma had on fishers and their families, considering the role the sector plays with respect to employment, food security and as a ‘safety-net’ for other economic activities (i.e., occupational pluralism), a total of 778 individuals were affected including 193 fishers and 585 financial dependents… This accounted for 25.5% of the population of Barbuda (1,800) (i.e., one in every 4 persons) and 0.3% of the population of Antigua (91,440).”

    The report notes that there were 37 boats, over 2,000 fish traps, and 17 gill nets destroyed. An aquaponics facility at which fish and vegetables are farmed together suffered minor damage and damages were also reported to some fisheries facilities, such as wharves and public buildings.

    The CRFM Secretariat is currently developing a model disaster management plan for the fisheries sector of the region to facilitate adequate preparation by stakeholders before disaster events and to ensure speedy, coordinated assessment and recovery efforts after such events.





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    Letter raises questions; confuses residents over homeowners insurance




    <!–

    –>

    Letter raises questions






    Some local residents are upset with City of Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls after they got a homeowners insurance letter in the mail with the mayor’;s signature on it, suggesting that the mayor endorsed the company.

    It’;s a legitimate business that has an agreement with the city that allows them to use the city logo and to promote their services within the city.  

    But residents are upset because it looks like the letter came directly from Mayor Doug Nicholls and they don’;t think the mayor should be endorsing any products or services. They believe it’;s a conflict of interest.

    The mayor said he has no relationship with the company, that he did not sign the letter and that he personally does not receive money from the insurance company, Service Line Warranties of America; but, the mayor said the company pays a royalty fee to use the city logo. 

    “It’s $5,000 the first year and then for every policy they sell through this effort then we get a little bit of a commission, if you would, off of that. It’;s not great, I mean this isn’t a huge revenue generator. But the idea from council was to have something that would be a source of revenue and provide something to the citizens that they might want to consider,” said Nicholls.

    The mayor said because of the incident there are now internal procedures in place within city administration so that he will be notified when his name is used. 

    The mayor also said the city did not release any private resident information.

    “The mailing list the company received was from a third party,” said Nicholls.  





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    IRS Says It Will Reject Tax Returns that Lack Health Insurance Disclosure



    The I.R.S.’s guidance makes it clear that taxpayers cannot simply ignore the Affordable Care Act. While the penalty applies only to people without insurance, all taxpayers are required to say whether they have coverage.

    Legal experts say the I.R.S. has been clear that the law was in effect, despite repeated efforts by Mr. Trump and Republican lawmakers to repeal it. Congress would have to specifically repeal the mandate, they say, even if the administration has significant leeway over how aggressively it enforces it.

    “This guidance should put to rest speculation that the I.R.S. is no longer enforcing the individual mandate and improve compliance,” wrote Timothy Jost, an emeritus law professor at Washington and Lee University in a recent analysis.

    But there has been substantial confusion among taxpayers and insurers. Many insurance companies raised their rates for next year’s plans because they were worried the administration would essentially stop penalizing people who refused to buy coverage, leading to fewer enrollments, said Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown University.

    People may have also mistakenly believed they did not have to comply with the law’s reporting requirements. The new guidance suggests taxpayers will now face a sharp reminder that they need to provide this information, when they go to file a return electronically or submit the appropriate paperwork to get any refund they are due.

    Under the law, an individual who does not have insurance can face a penalty of $695 a year for an individual, up to a maximum of $2,085 for a family. People are exempt from the penalty if they have too little income or the cost of high-deductible plan exceeds 2.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. There are a variety of other hardship exemptions that apply.

    The I.R.S. had initially held off rejecting returns because the law was new, but then it delayed its plans to assess the effect of the executive order, said Nicole M. Elliott, a tax lawyer for Holland & Knight and a former I.R.S. official involved in putting into effect the Affordable Care Act.

    “It is curious, given the executive order,” Ms. Elliott said. “It’s a little unclear where the agencies are going and how heavy-handed they will be in enforcing it.”

    In evaluating its stance, the agency may have decided the requirement eases the burden on taxpayers by making it clear they need not worry if they have insurance or are exempt from the penalty, she said.

    But the I.R.S. may still decide not to actively enforce the mandate, Ms. Elliott added. While the agency is taking steps to be sure it collects all the information necessary to levy the penalty, it could also take a very lenient view of how aggressively it goes after anyone who does not sign up. “It’s dangerous to read too much into this,” she said.

    The White House declined to comment.

    The I.R.S.’s decision to actively prepare to enforce the mandate only adds to the uncertainty about where the president stands about the future of the law. Just this month, he issued a second executive order aimed at allowing the sale of skimpier plans to both individuals and small businesses, the same day he announced he would abruptly stop funding subsidies for low-income individuals. He has abruptly switched positions on a new bipartisan proposal aimed at providing short-term stability to the insurance marketplaces under the law.

    The proposed bill, drafted by Senators Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, and Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, would restore the government subsidies called cost-sharing reductions for 2 years. While the draft legislation is unlikely to reduce insurance premium prices for 2018, it could serve to reassure jittery insurance companies that the law has a future beyond next year. On Friday, a group of health plans, hospitals and doctors, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, came out in support of the proposal.

    The I.R.S. action does make it easier to see who should be buying coverage under the law, said Gary Claxton, an executive with the Kaiser Family Foundation. “This was the best way to enforce the mandate,” he said.

    But much still depends on what happens next. As part of the second executive order he issued, Mr. Trump seemed to raise the possibility that the A.C.A. market could be further disrupted by the introduction of new plans that would not have to comply with the law. These plans, short-term policies sold to individuals and association plans sold to employers, would be much cheaper and offer far less coverage. If those plans were widely available, younger and healthier individuals and groups could buy them, causing turmoil on the exchanges and soaring prices for A.C.A. plans.

    “That would be a bigger deal than this,” Mr. Claxton said.

    Continue reading the main story



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    Whole Life vs. Term Life: Which Type of Insurance Is Right for You?




    Whole-Life-vs-Term-Life-Which-Type-of-Insurance-Is-Right-for-You?

    Shopping for life insurance can be confusing if you haven’t purchased it before. This can be especially true when comparing the differences between term and whole life insurance.

    But understanding these differences is crucial to picking a life insurance policy that’s right for you and your family. Knowing the pros and cons of each will help you make an informed choice and protect what matters most.

    Why do you need term or whole life insurance?

    Before you decide whether you should buy term or whole life insurance, first determine your needs and what you want the insurance to do. Are you looking for an insurance policy that protects you and your family from a life event, such as the loss of income from your death, or are you looking for more comprehensive protection?

    Answering this question is important because the coverage amount for term and whole life policies can vary greatly based on several factors, such as the policy’s cost and qualification requirements.

    If you are looking for something to help cover your final expenses, a specific type of whole life insurance called final expense insurance (also known as “burial insurance” or “funeral insurance”) may be best depending on your age. But if you’re looking to protect your family from a loss of income, a term policy may be better suited.

    Your circumstances and needs will determine which type of life insurance is right for you.

    How does term life insurance work?

    Term insurance covers a fixed span of time – or “term” – and is generally considered temporary insurance. The term can be as little as one year and can be scaled from there depending on the provider. The average span of a term life insurance policy is between 10 and 20 years, but the term can also cover someone until they reach a specified age.

    These policies generally pay the death benefit if you pass during the term of the policy. If the term of the policy ends before you pass, then the policy typically expires and no death benefit is paid. Fortunately, there are types of term insurance that are more flexible, such as:

    • Renewable term – this typically allows the policy to be renewed for a set period of time when the policy expires
    • Convertible term – this typically allows you to convert the insurance to a different plan

    To qualify for term life insurance, you may have to take a medical exam because of how high the coverage amounts are. Because this type of insurance is straightforward and doesn’t accumulate cash value, the cost is relatively low (depending on your age and overall health) compared to whole life insurance.

    For the most part, term premiums are lower than whole life premiums because the coverage is for a specific period of time. The premium of a term life policy depends on several factors, including whether you are a smoker or non-smoker, your age, and any pre-existing health conditions you have.

    How does whole life insurance work?

    Sometimes called permanent insurance, a whole life insurance policy provides coverage for your entire life as long as premiums are paid. This type of insurance can develop what’s called “cash value” which is the money that builds up in the policy as premiums are paid. Depending on the provider, a policy’s cash value may be withdrawn in the form of a policy loan or may be applied towards the policy’s premium. Any unpaid policy loans are typically subtracted from the death benefit.

    A whole life insurance policy provides death benefits that are payable to the primary beneficiary at the time of your death. Unlike term insurance, whole life policies provide coverage for your entire life. As long as premiums are paid, the policy stays in force until you pass.

    Another advantage of whole life insurance is its policy premiums are usually locked in for the life of the policy. This means the policy’s premium will remain the same even as you age. This is important because life insurance typically costs more as you get older and can be difficult to qualify for. Locking in an affordable premium early on can make a huge difference.

    If you have health problems, it may be easier to qualify for whole life insurance depending on the amount of coverage you’re looking for. Because the coverage amount is usually smaller for whole life policies, some don’t require a medical exam to qualify. Depending on the provider, you may be able to qualify just by answering health questions on the application.

    Next steps

    Life insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. If you still have questions about which type of life insurance is right for you, check out some of our articles listed below.

    What is Final Expense Insurance?

    Life Insurance for Seniors – 5 Questions Everyone Should Ask

    < Back to Consumer Resources



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    Maryland Insurance Administration to consider insurance rate hikes after Trump cuts subsidies



    The Maryland Insurance Administration will hold a hearing Monday on new premium rates proposed by insurers in response to the Trump Administration’s decision to eliminate subsidies that help low-income people pay out-of-pocket expenses.

    CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States have requested permission to increase rates on individual plans sold under Obamacare.

    The insurers said they need to raise the rates to replace the money they would have gotten from the federal government, called cost sharing reductions, to cover co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles.

    CareFirst officials were not available for comment.

    “As a result of the federal decision to stop funding cost share reductions, we have filed adjusted premium rates with the Maryland Insurance Administration that reflect this loss of funding,” company officials said in a written statement. “This will affect only those individuals who qualify for cost share reduction subsidies, but we are hopeful (and expect) that these same individuals will receive higher premium tax credits that will ease this unfortunate and unnecessary higher burden.”

    Kaiser executives were also not available for comment.

    “As a result of the Administration’;s recent decision to stop funding Cost Sharing Reductions, Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States refiled proposed 2018 rates for their individual and family plans in Maryland with state regulators,” Kaiser regional president Kim Horn said in a statement. “The revised rates reflect our assumed true costs of care for these members. Kaiser Permanente remains committed to striving for affordability, providing access to care for individuals and families, and participating in the Maryland Health Insurance Exchange.”

    amcdaniels@baltsun.com

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