Business Interruption Insurance

In a time like the current pandemic of COVID-19, we are all experiencing some serious interruption. As individuals, it’s come in the form our personal relationships, children’s schools, sports, social events, networking, and even the everyday errand of running to the grocery store. Those restrictions are inconvenient and may be aggravating but in the end, not totally life changing. After all, some may even be enjoying the forced slow down and more time at home with their families.

But for businesses, it’s a different story. Think about your favorite restaurant, retailer, hardware store, caterer or event venue… your dentist, your hair stylist, your daycare and your gym. Think about how difficult it would be to tell employees of 20 years that you can’t afford to pay them or that you have to close the doors. Think about the students that work hourly to pay their way through school and support themselves, already living paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet.

This is a tough time, no doubt about it. It’s terrible. And it’s forcing business owners to look anywhere and everywhere for options. One avenue business owners are exploring is Business Interruption coverage on their commercial insurance policy, which is what we’d like to clarify.

Unfortunately, in most cases, this type of coverage does not apply to any type of disease or outbreak. In the event of a natural disaster or man-made crisis, this coverage would help protect businesses against financial losses if they had to suspend operations or operate at a reduced rate/capacity.

Some of the things Business Interruption typically covers are:
• lost revenue
• rent and lease payments
• mortgage payments
• other loan payments and taxes
• employee payroll or relocation costs

This coverage may not extend for the situation we’re in right now but it’s comforting to know it’s there when applicable. If there’s property damage, closure, or lack of operations that does qualify for coverage, this could get a company back up and running rather quickly. Suffering from economic shock and financial losses is stressful enough, so the silver lining in those situations would be that this is there to help.

There really isn’t a great solution or magic answer to how we’ll recover from this Coronavirus situation but if we can stay positive, band together, and help where we’re able… surely, we’ll come out of it okay and as best prepared as we can be to get to work on recovering.

Benefits of Auto Pay for Your Insurance Premiums

We currently happen to be in a time of uncertainty with some businesses temporarily closing or being short staffed due to Covid-19 social distancing recommendations. One of the concerns that has developed is people still being able to pay their bills, such as insurance premiums.

Thankfully, most insurance carriers accept payment either online or via an automated phone system but Auto Pay could alleviate any worry or doubt you might have about these payments being processed correctly and on time. There are several benefits to Auto Pay, depending on what type of policy it is.


• When it comes to life or disability insurance, a lapse without timely reinstatement could mean that you will now require an underwriting review, sometimes involving medical evidence… or you could even have to secure new coverage at your current, older age and possibly lesser health.


• For a health insurance policy that cancels due to late or non-payment, it cannot be reinstated at all and you would be left without coverage until the next open enrollment period for the following year. Scary, right?!


• For auto or home insurance, it would depend on the company if they were willing to reinstate or rewrite the coverage. The biggest risk here is that something detrimental and very expensive could happen in that lapse period where you would have no coverage at all.


Auto Pay is convenient, yes. It saves paper and printing costs, yes. It’s peace of mind and one less thing to worry about, yes. But it’s also imperative for maintaining some pretty important coverage. This is coverage that you may not be able to get back if you elect to receive a paper bill that gets lost or doesn’t get paid. An Added bonus is cost savings as well… you can almost always save on installment fees by going this route.


If you’re able to arrange Auto Pay either through EFT (electronic funds transfer from a checking account), recurring credit card, online bill pay with your bank, or whatever options there are… it’s definitely the safest way to ensure that your coverage will not be interrupted or affected.


If you have questions about a specific policy or company that we work with, please let us know anytime at info@mcgriffwilliams.com or (352) 371-7977.

Emergency Coronavirus Bill Passed by the House

Terin Cremer of Barbas Cremer, an Employment and Business Law firm, explains why employers should be paying close attention to this pandemic and how it can directly affect their teams:

https://www.barbascremer.com/latest-news

In the event you should need to utilize Barbas Cremer’s services, their contact information is below. Hang in there and stay well!

Barbas Cremer: https://www.barbascremer.com/contact

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.

Don’t be fooled by surprise medical bills this April 1st!

Yes, it’s April 1st but don’t be fooled!

If you’ve ever heard “Be your own advocate!” when it comes to health care, or ever been in a situation where that would apply… you know how true it is. Things are happening in health care. Big things. And while some of them are huge innovations, strides with technology and more knowledge than medical professionals ever dreamed of… there’s still a bit of a dark side that the average consumer needs to be aware of. Billing. Womp womp.

Now before this gets misconstrued as a negative connotation of doctors, nurses, hospitals or anything else specific to the medical world, we are not by any means speaking generally or negatively about all things health-related. This is simply a warning to patients to pay attention.

Here are some quick stats from a healthline study to ensure that we are providing facts rather than opinions on this:

  • Up to 80% of medical bills have errors
  • Nearly 1/3 of Americans learn that their health insurance doesn’t pay what they expected
  • 59% of the time Americans are contacted by debt collectors is for an outstanding medical bill
  • 16% of Americans’ credit report includes medical debt totaling over $80 billion

Instead of pointing the finger at medical professionals or facilities for over charging, let’s discuss a few ways you can prevent being on the receiving end of those not so fun surprise charges:

  1. Speak up. If you don’t understand a procedure, diagnosis, treatment plan or medication, find your voice and use it. Ask questions. Make notes. Do some research. You know your phone is close by, look it up online and educate yourself. Yes, you should trust the licensed and very well educated professional that spent a lot of time in school to do this for a living but understand what they’re telling you and be sure you’re on board.
  2. Price shop. Find out if certain facilities perform procedures for less and why. This is common with teaching hospitals. This also applies heavily to prescription drugs. Don’t just use the pharmacy closest to your house because it’s convenient and they have a drive-thru. Look at goodrx.com or call around to others to see what their cost is. Now obviously, keep in mind that if you have health insurance, there may be certain pharmacies they work with or providers that are in or out of their network. But don’t just default to the most popular or most convenient. Your wallet will thank you.
  3. Request details. Ask for an itemized bill/Explanation of Benefits. Keep documentation for your records. Don’t just pay whatever you’re told without knowing what exactly it’s for.
  4. Channel that feisty preteen 7th grader in debate class that we know is still in you and fight for yourself. It might amaze you at how much health care providers are willing to negotiate if you can come to an agreement of either a payment plan, pay in full discount or overall reduction if it can be justified.

Your health is not a game and you can’t put a price on a medical necessity… so you should by all means get the best care possible. However, a little awareness and self-advocacy can go a long way and may even help facilitate a more proactive approach to good health… now that you’ll be able to afford it.