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
Pleasure Point - (831) 464-9600

Posts made in November, 2015


For most of your career, you might not have spent much time worrying about the cost of health care. Your employer might have provided a comprehensive plan, or perhaps you simply didn’t experience many health scares in your younger years. But as you plan for retirement, health care will become a more central concern. In particular, you will need to find some way to manage your out-of-pocket expenses, because contrary to popular belief, Medicare does not always cover everything you will need! Plan ahead. The first step to managing your health care expenses in retirement is to know what you’re facing. Medicare charges premiums for both Part B and Part D coverage. These plans cover doctor visits, testing, and prescription drugs. However, if you need dental, vision, or hearing services, you might incur additional out-of-pocket expenses. These expenses may be covered by a supplemental insurance policy, or you might choose to pay for them on your own, but either way you should estimate your expenses well before you ever retire. Plan for a secure income. According to most estimates, a couple retiring today will spend about $266,000 on health care over the course of their retirement years. And of course, keep in mind that that number is an average. Your own costs could vary considerably according to your life span, where you choose to live, and your health status. Take the right steps now. Aside from planning for a secure income, there are steps you can take right now to lower your out-of-pocket health care spending later. For example, long-term care insurance will cover the cost of nursing care. Stashing money in a health savings account before retirement, if you are eligible to contribute to one, can help you save for future health care needs while reaping certain tax advantages. And of course, prevention is always the best medicine. Take care of your health today, by reducing alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, exercising more, and eating healthy foods. When you prevent health problems in the future, you also prevent large health care bills. Call our office for more information on preparing for retirement. We offer various insurance products ideally suited for the needs of retirees, so that you can protect your future income from the rising cost of health...

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In the past, small businesses often found it difficult to provide health insurance coverage to employees. But with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which established state-run health insurance exchanges, small businesses now have the options of purchasing group health insurance through a program called Covered California Small Business. In many cases, federal tax credits help small business owners to offset the cost of health insurance premiums. Group health insurance helps businesses to attract and retain the best workers, and keeps those workers healthy and productive. In turn, business owners can often receive tax credits for providing this important benefit to their workers. It’s a win-win situation for everyone! In the past, a business owner needed to employ between one and fifty full-time employees, and have at least one employee who receives a W-2, in order to qualify for small business coverage through the exchange. However, the program has announced an important change for the upcoming year: The employee limit has now been raised, so that businesses with 100 or fewer employees can now access health insurance plans through Covered California Small Business! The program even allows business owners to select a level of coverage based upon their budget. All Covered California plans fall under the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum labels, according to coverage provided. In general, plans that offer more coverage and have lower deductibles also carry a higher premium. To aid in greater flexibility, business owners can actually choose two levels of coverage to offer their employees. For example, the owner can provide a Silver level plan to employees, with the option for employees to pay the difference and move up to a Gold level plan. Employer budgets are accommodated, while employees are offered a great range of choice! For more information on the Covered California Small Business program, give us a call to schedule an appointment. We can review your budget and options with you, help you determine whether you’re eligible for a tax credit, and aid you in selecting the right health insurance plan for your...

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As you probably already know, the Affordable Care Act established open, state-run health insurance exchanges. Here in California, those who are not covered by employer-provided health insurance can opt to purchase insurance via Covered California. Depending upon your income and family size, you might even be eligible for help with the cost of your premiums. But what if you’re covered by health insurance through your employer, but the premiums are too high for you? Are you able to log into Covered California, select a plan, and receive help with the premiums? That depends. In general, if you opt out of your employer’s health insurance plan, you can’t receive subsidies to cover the cost of the health insurance plan you select through Covered California. But there is one exception to this rule: If your employer-provided health insurance fails the “affordability test”, then you can apply for, and receive, help with your premiums through Covered California. According to the IRS, a health insurance plan is “affordable” if the employee’s share of the cost amounts to less than 9.5 percent of their income. If your premiums fall above this threshold, then you can opt out of your employee plan and shop for a new one, and apply for subsidies, on the Covered California exchange. Additionally, keep in mind that some families have difficulty affording dependent coverage for their children. But you can log into Covered California and apply for health insurance through Medi-Cal, which covers low income children. Approval is based upon income and family size. Remember that you can always call our office if you have questions about health insurance or affording your premiums. There are many different types of health insurance plans on the market, and often we find that our customers just need a little guidance to find a policy that suits their needs and...

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