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.

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.

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!

Auto Insurance When It’s Not Your Car

In most instances, borrowing a car or renting, your auto insurance will follow a vehicle rather than a driver.

Rented Vehicle

Typically, the insurance you obtain for your personal vehicle will carry over to a rental car. Seems easy enough, but there are some stipulations to this rule. The rental vehicle cannot be used for business. In order for your coverage to carry over the rented vehicle must be used for 30 days or less and inside the United States. Only coverage that you currently have carries over. If you have no comprehensive and collision coverage then you’re left without it on the rental car. Knowing this information can save you a lot of money. You can get away with not purchasing extra insurance in some cases.

Auto

Borrowed Vehicle

Say that you have a friend who needs to borrow your vehicle to run errands or move. If they have your permission to use the vehicle then your auto insurance will follow the vehicle and transfer to them. They cannot be previously excluded from your insurance in order for the transfer to work.

Make sure to check your policy as these rules can vary. If you need more information feel free to give us a call today, 352-371-7977.