Serving over 200 companies and more than 2000 families since 1988

2882 Sand Hill Rd. Ste. 119 - Menlo Park, CA 94025 - (650) 854-8963 - (800) 564-4476
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Posts made in September, 2015


First the good news: Thanks to better health care, life spans are increasing. You’re more likely to live a long, healthy life. This could mean ten, twenty, or even thirty years of retirement! Now the not-so-good news: As we age, we’re more susceptible to injuries and illnesses that can necessitate long-term nursing care. That doesn’t mean you will languish in a nursing home for years; often seniors need long-term care for a period of a few months before they’re back on their feet. But it does mean you could incur a large expense as you age, and Medicare often does not cover this type of nursing care until you have depleted your own savings. In the past, the task of providing nursing care usually fell upon younger family members. But with a wider gap between the generations nowadays, your adult children may be busy tending to their own, very young children when that time arrives. The task also tended to fall on female family members, as part of their roles as homemakers, but these days your adult daughter or granddaughter is likely to have a career of her own. In short, counting upon family members to provide full-time nursing care is probably not a great idea. With the median cost of a nursing home reaching $87,000 per year (on a national level; numbers vary between states), it’s easy to see that a single accident or illness could eat a large hole in your retirement savings. Even if you recover from your health condition and are able to return home, you could then face the possibility of outliving your money. A long-term care insurance policy can solve this problem, but make sure to consider two things: How much coverage do you need, and when should your purchase your coverage? Long term care benefits are usually paid on daily or a monthly basis. For example, your benefits might cover 200 dollars per day or 6,000 dollars per month. If paying a home health aide or nursing home exceeds those costs, the balance will still fall upon you. Consider the average cost of nursing care in your area before deciding upon an amount of coverage. Also, long term care insurance premiums depend partly upon your age at purchasing the policy. If you purchase the policy at age 55, your premiums will be significantly lower than if you wait until age 65 to enroll. Of course, this is because you’re less likely to need long-term nursing care when you are younger. In general, it is best to purchase your policy in your late fifties, before you retire. As you plan for retirement, remember...

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As prices on group health insurance plans continue to rise, small and mid-sized businesses are looking for ways to cut corners on costs. If you keep in mind that premiums are at least partly based on how much money health insurance companies must shell out each year toward health care, it’s easy to see that lowering health care spending will benefit everyone. As an employer providing group health insurance, you have the ability to encourage employees to take preventive measures for their own well-being. Not only will healthier workers translate into fewer sick days for everyone; you can also help to control health insurance premiums. It’s not that instituting these measures will help you achieve instantly lower premiums, but they will help to mitigate the rising cost of health care for everyone. You don’t necessarily need to spend big bucks instituting a company wellness program. Incorporate the following measures into your policies, and you can help your workers while also protecting your own bottom line. Encourage exercise. Regular exercise is one of the most reliable predictors of future health. Encourage your employees to get fit by: sponsoring a company sports team (softball, volleyball, basketball, etc) sponsoring a team for a charitable walk or run, and creating a training schedule for employees who sign up offering some sort of reward or bonus for employees who participate in one of these programs rearranging work hours to accommodate a fitness schedule. Many workers might want to exercise anyway, so offering them a longer afternoon break if they spend 30 minutes on a walking track or exercise machine is a good trade-off for everyone. Encourage responsible nutritional choices. Aside from regular exercise, a healthy diet is another main cornerstone of good health. make sure your employees have access to a fridge and microwave so that they can bring healthy lunches to work ensure that employees have access to fresh, clean drinking water if you have a company break room or cafeteria, consider various vendor options to include health food choices sponsor an annual company-wide weight loss challenge, with rewards for the winners. Lower workplace stress. Chronic stress takes it toll on the body, and over time can contribute to the development of major health problems. Take these steps to lower stress in the workplace: provide employees with information on mental health, through brochures or special presentations offer seminars on conflict resolution, managing priorities, and so on institute an open-door policy, in which employees feel comfortable coming to you with workplace concerns. institute flexible scheduling, allowing parents to work from home when they or their children are sick, if possible offer childcare or after-school...

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Each fall, the health insurance marketplace conducts Open Enrollment. This is the period during which all Californians can compare policies, apply for a credit to help cover premiums, and make a choice about which health insurance plan they want to use. If you’re satisfied with your current plan, you might not need to do anything at all during this time. But most of the time, it’s still a good idea to compare policies and make certain that your current one is still the best fit for you. You might have new options available to you. The health insurance market is unlikely to change drastically in only one year’s time, but new plans are usually made available each fall. Even if you like your current plan, there might be a new one that is a better fit for your needs. Prices might also shift, so it makes sense to do a little comparison shopping each year. Your circumstances might have changed. A change in family structure, employment, income, and many other factors could mean that your current plan is no longer the best fit for your needs. For example, if you’re now making more money, you might now be comfortable with a policy that carries a higher deductible. If your eligibility for the credit has changed, this could have an impact on your choice of policy. Your medical needs might be changing. If you’ve developed a chronic condition over the past year, you might need to switch to a health insurance plan that offers better prescription benefits, or covers a certain specialist that you need. If you’re planning a pregnancy or major operation in the next year, it might make sense to switch to a plan that carries a lower deductible. There are many reasons that it makes sense to check out your options before allowing your health insurance policy to automatically renew. At the very least, log into Covered California this fall to update your financial information, so that your credit (if any) is calculated correctly. Keep in mind that unless you experience a qualifying event next year, you won’t be able to make changes to your health insurance plan until the next Open Enrollment...

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