Disability Insurance Awareness Month

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month. Sometimes disability insurance is overlooked, but if it weren’t important would it have a whole month dedicated to its awareness? It’s safe to say that many Americans are unaware that they may need disability insurance beyond what their employer offers.

Do you need it though?

When most young people think of disability insurance they may think of ailments relating to age or serious occurrences. In reality there are several common and chronic injuries or illnesses that could keep you from working. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, more than 25 percent of 20-year-olds today can expect to be out of work for at least one year before they reach the age of retirement. With odds like that it seems that many young people need the coverage.

What could keep me from working?

The Council for Disability Awareness has released a great website for learning about all things disability insurance, RealityCheckup.org. The top five reasons they listed, according to an Integrated Benefits Institute database, are:

  1. Back and joint pain
  2. Cancer
  3. Pregnancy Complications
  4. Mental health challenges
  5. Accidental injuries

Even if you believe you are being careful or that nothing could happen to keep you from work there are instances that throw wrenches in your plan. Wouldn’t it be better to be prepared?

Why do I need more coverage than my employer offers?

Disability insurance is a great benefit that an employer may offer you. The only problem is that this coverage may come with limitations, as Nick Deas, our Financial Insurance Advisor, discusses in the video below. According to the Council for Disability Awareness, you will likely need 70 percent of your income covered. If your employer does not offer this then you may need private supplemental coverage.

If you have questions about disability insurance please give us a call at 352-371-7977 or email Nick at nick@mcgriffwilliams.com.

New Medicare ID Cards

Starting in April 2018, Medicare will be sending new medicare ID cards. As a part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, social security numbers must be removed from all Medicare ID cards by 2019. What’s changing and when will you receive your new card? Keep reading to find out!

New Medicare ID Cards

The new Medicare cards will replace social security numbers with an 11-character Medicare Number. The new “numbers”, known as Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers or MBIs, are meant to decrease the risk of identity theft and fraud. Your card will automatically be sent to you and you need only ensure your address is current.

When will I receive my new card?

Medicare began sending cards in April 2018. If you are a Florida resident your replacement card will be sent after June 2018. Until then, you can continue using your current card.

What do I do when I receive my new card?

Once you have received your new card you should begin using it immediately and destroy your old card. There will be a transition period from the time you receive your card until January 1, 2020 when only new cards will be accepted. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan then the card you hold for that will still be your main identification, but you should carry your new Medicare card as well.

If you need more information please visit the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services website.

Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?

When you consider your workplace benefits package, how much value do you see in your employer offering life insurance? This coverage can oftentimes be overlooked or undervalued but it can be very beneficial to your loved ones in the event something were to happen to you. Then there’s the question of whether or not the coverage your employer provides is enough. According to most experts, the answer is no.

There are several things to take into consideration if you depend on employer-sponsored coverage alone, especially if you are responsible for the care of others. The biggest mistake most people make is that they do not truly understand their need for life insurance and do not realize that the amount they have is inadequate. More individuals than ever before are using their employee perk as sole coverage over buying outside coverage, according to LIMRA. If you have a family, outside coverage will aid in paying bills, debts, and future expenses that employer-sponsored coverage could not fully pay.

Do not worry if you haven’t purchased life insurance separately because it’s not too late and we’re here to help! Those who are single, mostly debt free, and do not have dependents will probably be fine with their work coverage. Determining if you need more coverage is the first step.

At any point in the process, you can give us a call at 352-371-7977 and speak with Nick Deas, our resident life insurance expert. Nick can help you determine what type of life insurance your lifestyle requires and how much coverage you’ll need. Although discussing life without a loved one can be very difficult and a topic many people avoid, it’s extremely important to be prepared and all on the same page. Feeling confident and comfortable with your family’s financial stability can bring a lot of peace to an otherwise negative subject.

Florida Blue Member Website

Did you know Florida Blue has a member website? Did you know that creating a login for the site makes updating contact information easier, provides details about your claims and deductibles, and can earn you discounts?

Member Website

Setting up your account is quick and easy! Follow this link and the instructions. All you need is your Member Number that is on your member ID card. Once you are registered you can access your health insurance account on a completely secure and accessible site. You can view recent claims and the status of you and your family members deductibles. There is also information about your spending toward your out-of-pocket maximum. You have access to a provider directory and information about what is included in your specific plan as well. Another benefit of the account is the ability to compare costs. You can choose a service, provider, and location to estimate costs of x-rays, MRIs, surgical procedures, and specialty visits.

Need more reasons to create an account? By becoming a user on the site you have access to tons of deals. Go to https://www.blue365deals.com/browse-all-deals to get deals ranging from discounts on hearing aids to access to some of the top fitness centers at a reduced cost.

Mobile Application

Florida Blue also offers a free mobile application on Google Play and in the App Store. The mobile app provides the same great information as the member website on the go! When you need to find a provider in a hurry, the app ensures that you choose someone who is included in-network for your specific plan and based on your current location. If you need your member ID card the app also provides a digital copy.

Creating a Florida Blue member account helps to ease stress, provide convenient and quick information, and keeps you up-to-date on your plan and Florida Blue. Take the time to create your account today!

1095 Tax Forms

 

It’s tax season, and if you’re like most Americans the task of filing your taxes can seem daunting.  Last year we offered advice on how to tackle your taxes. This year we’d like to help out by offering some information about certain tax forms!

1095 Tax Forms

With the Affordable Health Care Act come three forms. 1095A comes straight from the Marketplace to subsidized members.  1095B comes straight from Florida Blue to individual members or small group members.  Members can access these themselves directly on their floridablue.com member sites as well.  Then 1095C forms come from large group employers directly to their employees.

These forms help individuals determine if they are eligible for an additional tax credit or if they will be required to pay.

1095-A

The form that is relevant for most is the individual form that those with marketplace plans receive. You should have received it by January 31. The form provides information about your coverage so it can be determined if you and your family was covered for the entire year or if there were months without coverage. Only the 1095A forms are required by the IRS to be included with the return due to the subsidy reconciliation.

Some CPAs require their clients to bring the forms in when completing their returns. Some do not. To know for sure contact the individual or company you use to complete your tax return. If you have any additional questions about your health tax forms please call us at 352-371-7977. Don’t forget you only have until April 17, 2018 to file your 2017 tax return!