Going to London in 2012

Going to London in 2012

Are you going to London in 2012?  You need to have a travel medical insurance plan.

Are you planning overseas travel? If so, Say Hello to Worry Free Travel with TravelGap from HTH Worldwide.

TravelGap Single-Trip Insurance from $2.00 — $5.00 per travel day*
Travel medical insurance that responds anytime, anywhere.

TravelGap Benefits Include:

Worldwide Medical Evacuation benefits
Hospitalization, Surgery, Physician Office Visits, RX and more
Access to Profiled, Elite Providers in 180 countries who accept direct payment from HTH Worldwide

Member Testimonials

“HTH Worldwide initiated a comprehensive plan to help bring me to the nearest source of medical care with the highest standards (more).”

Enjoy SAFE and SECURE travel with AFFORDABLE travel medical insurance. Read this HTH in Action Case Study to see how critical having the right plan is.

About HTH Worldwide
HTH Worldwide provides travel health insurance plans and assistance services to 650,000 travelers per year. HTH programs are distinguished by a contracted community of over 6,000 elite providers in 180 countries.

HTH Travel Gap (Brochure and Application)

*TravelGap rates vary by age of traveler. Daily rates shown assume traveler is 69 years or younger.

Missionary Medical Insurance

Missionary Medical Insurance

The Global Navigator is Worldwide health insurance and services for career missionaries and volunteers.  The Global Navigator health plan meets the needs of missionaries and volunteers by offering comprehensive worldwide benefits – inside and outside the U.S. – without the typical limits, eligibility conditions and benefit exclusions common among traditional plans.  Unlike plans that limit furlough coverage, Global Navigator covers stateside tours of any length, delivering the continuity and convenience of benefits that are truly seamless, portable and renewable.  Global Navigator is the premier health plan for missionaries and volunteers because it combines these benefits with concierge-level medical assistance and easy access to an elite community of carefully selected hospitals outside the U.S. and a network of over 700,000 doctors and hospitals inside the U.S.  Global Navigator gives missionaries and volunteers peace of mind, knowing they always have the freedom to access top medical care and benefits no matter where their ministries take them.

The brochure and paper application Global Navigator Missionary Medical Insurance (Brochure and Application)

 

Discount Dental Plans now available in Washington State

Just got an email saying that discount dental plans are now available in Washington State.  This is great news.  While they are not dental insurance, they do offer a lot of features that regular dental insurance does not.  Goto http://www.briangruss.com/links/dental-plans or give Brian a call today 509-927-9200

Medicare and Long Term Care

Medicare and Long-Term Care

Quick…how are you going to pay the costs of nursing home, assisted living, or home care should you or a family member ever need one of them?

Medicare, right? Actually, that answer is almost always wrong. And, even if Medicare pays, it only pays part of the cost and only for a short while. Worst of all, it only pays for skilled nursing care following a three day/three night hospital stay. Think about how few people actually spend three full days in the hospital any more-it’s more likely to be three days and two nights, and then Medicare does not pay for follow-on nursing home (or similar) care, regardless of the illness or injury.

Very few people who need long-term or follow-on care need skilled nursing care-they need custodial care. If skilled care is needed, it is not usually needed for very long, and not many people meet the 72-hour hospital stay requirement anyway. Think about it-if you have a serious illness or injury (for example a hip fracture or bypass operation), you may be in the hospital for several days or weeks, but when you are released you rarely need skilled nursing care. You are far more likely to need help dressing or getting to appointments or cooking your meals, and may not be able to care for yourself and end up in a long-term care facility. But, the care you need is easily given by semi-skilled or unskilled workers-not RNs or other medical staff.

Assuming you need skilled nursing care, Medicare actually does pay for 20 days at 100% and days 21-100 at $128.00/day (more or less, depending on your state). That is nowhere near the average cost of a day in a nursing home or similar facility. Depending on whose statistics you use, a day in a long-term care facility costs $110-$300 or more.

Of course, you could buy a Medicare supplement plan, but that plan only supplements the benefits provided under Medicare. Since Medicare does not cover custodial or unskilled care, a Medicare supplement policy is not likely to be of much help.

So, what can you do? There are a few options.

First, many people will need long-term care, but many more won’t. If your family history doesn’t include stays in long-term care facilities, maybe you don’t need to do anything. But, if your medical condition is not as good as that of other family members, you might be the exception. So, gambling isn’t always a good idea.

If you have a pension, a house, and few other assets, Medicaid may well cover your expenses. It is a good idea to find out before the need arises. Keep in mind not all care facilities accept Medicaid, and those that do may put you in a separate area. And, you are very likely to have a roommate (and it is not likely to be your spouse!).

If you have substantial assets and are prepared to spend them if needed, just make sure you have checked out the various care facilities so your family knows where you want to go.

Finally, if you have significant assets above any pension payments, consider purchasing a long-term care insurance policy. It could be the best investment you ever make. And, in some states the premium may even be tax-deductible.

Each state has somewhat different coverages. It is useful to visit the www.medicare.gov site for complete, state-specific information.

Contact Brian Gruss 509-927-9200 about your options with Medcare and Long Term Care Insurance.

2012 Medicare and You

The 2012 Medicare and You booklet is now available.  To save you the hassle of trying to find it on the medicare.gov website, I have put it here in it’s entirety for you to be able to download.  Medicare and You 2012

Exploring the Lesser Known Features of Long-Term Care Insurance

Exploring the Lesser Known Features of Long-Term Care Insurance

Buyers of long-term care insurance often focus on just the coverage basics, such as the level of daily benefits, length of coverage, and under what conditions the policy will pay a claim. While these basics form the chassis of the policy, long-term care policies offer a host of other options that may prove beneficial to the policyholder.

Let’s take a look at some of these available options:

Survivorship Premium Waiver– If both spouses obtain long-term care policies from one insurer, some policies will provide a waiver of all remaining premiums if one spouse dies within a certain number of years after the policy is issued. For example, the policy may provide a premium waiver if the policies have been in effect for 10 years before one spouse passes away. The policy might also stipulate that no claims could have been paid during the period.

This feature may be included with the policy automatically or it may be offered as a rider to the base policy for an extra premium.

Shared Pool of Benefits- Instead of each spouse having an individual policy with separate benefits, they can elect to share each other’s benefits if needed. For example, each spouse might have a policy with a 3-year benefit period. Once one spouse has expired 3 years of benefits they have no further coverage, but the other spouse may still have 3 years of coverage remaining. With the shared pool of benefits rider, the spouse receiving care could also access the other spouse’s benefits.

This feature is most commonly offered as rider to the base policy for an extra premium.

Alternate Plan of Care– With our population continuing to age, new ways of delivering long-term care will continue to be developed. Not too long ago, no one had ever heard of adult day care or assisted living facilities.

With the alternate plan of care feature, you can ensure that your policy will never grow obsolete. You, your physician, and the insurance company will develop a plan of care which best serves your needs based on currently available options.

Look for this feature to be included in the policy with no additional cost.

Accelerated Premium Payment Options– Many insureds worry about their ability to afford premium payments during retirement when their income is reduced. Some insurers offer policyholders an option to pay accelerated premiums for a shorter period of time with the benefit of a contractually paid up policy after a certain period. For example, a 10- or 20-year accelerated payment period with no further premiums due afterwards.

This option has several benefits. Business owners may be able to deduct premiums from their taxes during their working years with no further premiums due in retirement. Additionally, with the cost of long-term care increasing rapidly, a contractually paid up policy means no exposure to premium adjustments made by insurers in future years to account for higher than expected claims experience.

Enhanced Elimination Periods– While all policies provide several elimination period options ranging from a 0 day to a 180 day elimination, it’s important to understand how the elimination period can be satisfied.

For example, some policies may credit a week towards your elimination period with just one day of home care received per week. Still another policy may have no elimination period for home care benefits while nursing home or assisted living facility care may require an elimination period.

These are just a few of the lesser-known features of long-term care insurance. There are many other options to consider when selecting a policy, but be sure to compare not only the basics of each policy but the included features and available riders.