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

Posts made in October, 2016

Smart employers recognize that offering valuable benefits to employees is one of the best ways to attract and retain highly skilled, dependable workers. That’s why we often discuss the value of offering group health insurance in our blogs. There’s another terrific benefit that you can provide to your employees, and it’s easier than you probably think. A group term life insurance policy can be issued to people who have a common interest or association (such as an employer), and gives this group of people convenient and affordable access to necessary life insurance coverage. There are many reasons to consider a group term life insurance policy, but they mostly fit into the following categories. This might be the only life insurance policy your employees have. Whether because they simply haven’t addressed this need in their lives, or because individual policies are too pricey, some of your employees might not have a life insurance policy at all. Enrolling in a group policy can provide a unique benefit to these workers. Term life insurance provides a guaranteed benefit. You select a policy based upon a desired benefit amount, and that “death benefit” is guaranteed to beneficiaries in the event of the covered individual’s death. This provides your employees with some security, knowing that their loved ones will receive a certain degree of financial assistance in their theoretical time of need. Premiums are tax deductible. You can choose to pay your group term life insurance premiums for employees, or pass on that cost to them. But if you pay the premiums, you can deduct them as a business expense on your taxes, as long as the value of coverage is less than $50,000 for each individual. In other words, you get rewarded for making choices that help you attract great workers. It’s a proposition that benefits you in multiple ways! Premiums are very affordable. Group term life insurance is an inexpensive way to provide quality coverage for a surprisingly low price. For example, the monthly premium for a $25,000 policy (per employee) amounts to: $1.75 for 25 year olds $2.25 for 30 year olds $3.25 for 35 year olds $4.50 for 40 year olds … and so on. As you can see, premiums do increase according to the ages of your employees, but a group term life insurance policy is not cost-prohibitive at any age. For more information on a group term life insurance policy, give us a call. We can help you select a plan that offers true value to both you and your...

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Aside from opening the health insurance market to everyone, and helping us all to afford a healthcare plan, a large part of the Affordable Care Act was aimed at regulating the health insurance market itself. Providers are required to meet certain standards, helping to ensure that everyone can access a quality healthcare plan. While these changes are overwhelmingly positive, increased regulation means the introduction of new terminology. And that’s where some consumers get confused. So what do you need to know, before navigating the health insurance marketplace? First of all, the Individual Mandate part of the ACA does indeed require most Americans to enroll in a healthcare plan. Otherwise, you could face a penalty on your taxes in the spring. However, don’t just rush out and enroll in any old health insurance policy! Since you’re spending money on this plan anyway, take the time to evaluate your needs and choose a plan that provides real value for you and your family. The second thing you should know is that healthcare plans are divided into “tiers” according to cost and value. These tiers – Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze – are standardized, so that each plan in a particular tier offers the same benefits. But that does not mean the plans are all identical. Premiums, coverage for prescription drugs, and provider networks can vary from one plan to the next, even within the same tier. That means consumers can’t simply decide which tier of plan is right for them, select a policy at random, and enroll. In particular, provider networks provide a challenge here in California, due to shortages of providers and facilities in some areas. A health insurance plan that works well for someone of your same age, health status, and income in one part of the state might not suit your needs where you live. What does this all mean? It means that when you look at a health insurance plan on paper, you might be tempted to base your decision upon factors like the deductible and premium costs. Those are important considerations, but a bit more detective work is required, in order to ensure that your plan will be a good fit for you. Be sure to investigate prescription drug coverage, particularly if you need any particular medications on a regular basis, and inquire about covered physicians and facilities in your area. You want to make sure you can continue seeing your regular doctor, access necessary specialists in the area, and receive care in quality facilities near your home. As you can see, the selection process for a quality health insurance plan is more complicated than it...

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