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 February, 2016


You want your family to be protected under any circumstances, which is why you probably already have a life insurance policy. To make sure you got the most complete coverage, you completed a needs assessment, researched the different types of life insurance, and finally chose one that offered you peace of mind. You did everything just right. But over time, your needs might have changed, and now you’re wondering if that old life insurance policy is still a good fit for you. Are you stuck with it, or can you upgrade to a better policy that provides for your new needs? We have good news: You can exchange your old life insurance policy for a new one. In fact, people do this all the time, for many different reasons: to achieve a lower premium to obtain more coverage for your family – you now have more dependents, or your needs have changed in some other way to switch life insurance providers – you’re concerned about, or dissatisfied with, some aspect of your current provider to access additional benefits or add riders that are not available on your current policy to get a different type of life insurance policy altogether – for example, you want to exchange a term life for a whole life policy Exchanging an outdated life insurance policy is not only possible; it’s often recommended! We recommend that everyone perform a new needs analysis every two to three years anyway, because the factors that determine your needs can change greatly over time. If your needs analysis demonstrates that your old policy is still a good fit, then you have earned greater peace of mind in the time frame of one short appointment. Regularly reviewing your needs is the best way to ensure that your family remains protected by the appropriate insurance coverage. However, if you discover that you need a different life insurance policy, we can help you use a 1035 exchange to make the transition. This maneuver can be tricky, but when performed correctly you can change plans or providers without becoming vulnerable to tax penalties. Your first step is to call us for an appointment, and we can go from there. Once we perform your needs assessment together, we can advise you on the different types of life insurance coverage available to...

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Many business owners want to provide their employees with valuable health care benefits, but face the challenge of dealing with rising insurance premiums. For the business owner who wants to control overhead costs, but also offer a competitive benefits package, a Section 125 Premium Only Plan can provide the solution. Under a Premium Only Plan, the employer can define a fixed dollar amount that he will contribute toward each employee’s health insurance premium. Employees then use this dollar amount to select their own plan from a menu of options offered thru the employer’s benefit package. If employees desire a more expensive plan, for example one with a lower deductible, he or she can pay the difference through payroll deduction using pre-tax dollars. Both employer and employee can reap valuable tax benefits from choosing a Premium Only Plan. Under Section 125 of the IRS code, employees can save 20% to 40% of their pre-tax premium deductions in just federal income taxes alone. Under a Section 125 POP employees take-home pay is increased which helps reduce the high cost of providing health coverage for family members. Employers benefit from Premium Only Plans by gaining better control over their budgets. They also save time and promote a happier workplace, by taking themselves out of the arduous process of selecting a health care plan that suits every employee. Workers are equally grateful for the arrangement, because they gain more control over their own health care plan, and are able to select one that matches their own needs and budget. We recommend that employers offer a variety of health care plans in different tiers (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum), so that their employees can choose a plan with acceptable out-of-pocket costs. For help deciding upon a Premium Only Plan menu, or for answers to your questions about group health insurance, give us a call! We specialize in helping employers provide important health benefits while managing their own...

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Now that Covered California’s annual Open Enrollment period is closed (as of January 31), most people who want to add or change their health insurance coverage will have to wait until enrollment reopens in the fall. However, in certain cases you might be eligible for special enrollment period. If any of these qualifying life events occur during the year, you can still enroll in, or make changes to, a health insurance plan. You lose health care coverage. If you become ineligible for Medi-Cal, or lose the health insurance you enjoyed through your job, you can apply for a new policy through Covered California. Your income changes significantly. If your income changes so much that you become newly eligible for a subsidy to help with premiums, you are no longer eligible for your subsidy, or you are now eligible for a larger subsidy than you were receiving, you can utilize the special enrollment period. You turn 26 years old. On your 26th birthday, you can no longer enjoy coverage under your parents’ health care plan. You can enroll in your own plan via Covered California. You are released from jail or prison. You should apply for health care plans via Covered California. You move into the state of California. If you had health insurance in your former state, or don’t have health insurance at all, you can utilize the special enrollment period under Covered California rules after you move here. You welcome a new child into your family. Whether by birth, adoption, or foster care, you can add this child to your current plan or change from an Individual plan to a family plan. The reverse also applies if you place a child for adoption or into foster care. You get married or enter into a domestic partnership. You and your new spouse can shop for an insurance policy together. You become a citizen, national, or lawfully present. This change in residency status qualifies you for special enrollment. You are a member of a federal recognized Alaska Native or American Indian tribe. You can enroll in health insurance or make changes once per month, at any time of year. You experience some other exceptional circumstance. Covered California will decide on a case-by-case basis whether you qualify for a special enrollment period. If you experience one of the above qualifying life events, you have 60 days from the date of the event to log into Covered California and make your changes. Otherwise, you will have to wait until Open Enrollment in the fall. Remember, you don’t have to approach this decision alone. Call us for help, and we can assist you...

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