Would your bills be covered if you were unable to work?

Often times, people underestimate the issues they may face if they’re out of work and their paycheck stops. Income Protection coverage could be a huge help… if you have it.

You probably have an insurance policy in place to cover your home, your car, your liability, even your life… but what about your income? Disability Insurance can help replace a portion of your paycheck if you are faced with an injury or illness that makes you unable to work. And unlike most insurance policies that pay the benefit directly to a provider or company, Disability Insurance is paid to YOU.

According to the Social Security Administration, one in four 20-year-olds will become disabled before age 67. One in five Americans (that’s over 60 million people!) live with a disability of some kind and one in ten of those disabilities is severe.

Speaking of Social Security, there are benefits there but tend to be rather modest. The average Social Security Disability Insurance payment is only about $1,165/month. Rest assured… You have options. Many employers that provide employee benefits offer short term and long term Disability coverage and typically at pretty competitive rates. However, there could be stricter guidelines or limitations when provided by an employer. You can also elect to purchase individual Income Protection coverage and protect a greater amount than you think.

You may not be able to predict the future but having a plan in place will make it much more pleasant for you and your family. As always, please reach out to us with any questions at (352)371-7977 or you can email Nick Deas at nick@mcgriffwilliams.com. We are happy to help and want you to feel as comfortable and protected as possible.

Hurricane season is coming… Are you and your home ready?

The inevitable hurricane season is approaching quickly so we’ve composed some information to help better prepare you for potential damage to your home and belongings. While we hope and believe that this year will have a rather uneventful storm season, we want you to feel ready and as comfortable as possible, should we encounter a hurricane.

Here are a few ways you can prepare your home:

  • Trim any trees or branches, especially those that hang over your roof or fence.
  • Tidy up any loose debris in the yard or equipment parked around the house.
  • Secure windows with shutters or boards.
  • Have your roof inspected to ensure no missing shingles, nails, or clips.
  • Stock up on water, non-perishable food, batteries, flashlights, generator, cooler of ice, etc.
  • Be sure any required medication is purchased or prescriptions filled.

In addition, here are some tips to think about regarding your homeowners insurance policy:

  • Read through your declarations page to be sure you understand what coverage you have and what each limit is.
  • Pay attention to your All Peril deductible and Hurricane deductible, which are almost always very different. Any named storm or spinoff damage will have the Hurricane deductible applied.
  • Remember that flood insurance cannot be purchased and used immediately. Unless it is a requirement for loan closing, there is a 30 day wait for the coverage to be effective.
  • Other Structures coverage can add up quick. Typically, that limit is 2% of the dwelling amount. Evaluate this amount if you have fencing, a shed or workshop, screen enclosure, etc. There are usually endorsements available to increase that coverage if need be.

We would be happy to review your policy with you anytime. Please feel free to contact us at (352)371-7977 or info@mcgriffwilliams.com. Thank you.

What you need to know about Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage

Approaching 65 or retirement can be a time of celebration, but also a time of confusion and overwhelm when it comes the transition from health insurance to Medicare. There are Parts A and B original Medicare, then what’s referred to as Part C for Advantage Plans, but also Supplements and Part D Prescription Drug Plans. It’s a lot, right? Although it sounds like an alphabet soup puzzle, it doesn’t have to be over complicated. Let’s focus on the Part D Prescription Drug coverage for now. This is sold by private companies, in addition to the medical coverage on a Supplement, that goes with original Parts A and B.

 

How do I choose a Part D Plan?

  • You can visit medicare.gov and select the tab titled “Drug Coverage (Part D)”. If you are going the route of an Advantage Plan, there will be Part D coverage built into that plan. But if you’re opting for a Supplement, such as the ever-so-popular Plan F with Florida Blue, you’ll need a separate Part D Plan.
  • This Part D section of medicare.gov is a great tool to compare plans that are specifically offered in your zip code. You can also look up actual medications in their formulary to see what your cost would be, based on what plan and pharmacy you prefer.
  • As you compare coverage, you may see things like copays and coinsurance that apply to certain drugs. There is also a coverage gap referred to as the “donut hole”. In 2019, the guideline is that once you and your drug plan have spent $3,820 on covered medications, you enter the “donut hole”. Once in that coverage gap, you’ll pay no more than 25% of the plan’s cost for covered brand-name drugs. In 2019, Medicare will pay 63% of generic drugs during this time as well.

 

When can I enroll?

  • Time frames to consider: You can choose and enroll in a Part D plan within the same 7 month window as regular Medicare…. 3 months before your 65th birthday month until 3 months after. Outside of that period, the late enrollment penalty will apply. And if your health status or prescribed medications happen to change throughout the year, you can switch Part D Plans during open enrollment, which begins October 15th, 2019.

 

What if I don’t enroll on time or choose not to have a Part D Plan?

  • It is advised that even if you don’t currently take any regular medications, still enroll in some sort of Part D coverage to avoid the late enrollment penalty. The current penalty fee in 2019 is 1% of the “national base beneficiary premium” of $33.19 times the number of full, uncovered months you didn’t have Part D or creditable coverage once becoming eligible. The monthly penalty is then rounded to the nearest $.10 and added to your monthly Part D premium…. Forever.
  • Keep in mind that your health can change or decline quickly and the cost of prescription medications are at an all-time high. It’s more important than ever to have Part D coverage and it’s worth every penny to avoid astronomical out of pocket expenses and the forever-haunting penalty that comes from going without.

 

This can all seem very complicated so it’s really best and most accurate if you look up your specific medications and compare plans based on your actual needs. We are always happy to help guide you through this process and make recommendations or answer questions anytime.