The second leading cause of bankruptcy is due to medical bills. In the
U.S. doctors, hospitals, and drug companies have free reign over what
they may charge patients. The government does not negotiate or set limits
such as in other countries. There is a large amount of people without
insurance due to its skyrocketing costs. The average cost of one night's
stay in a NYC hospital is about $1,000.
The four basic designs are:
HMO (Health Maintenance Organization)
– In-network benefits only, need referrals from your main doctor
to see specialist. One of the lower cost options and the carrier has more
control of your care via referrals from your main doctor (primary care
EPO (Exclusive Provider Organizations)
– In-network benefits only, no referrals necessary. One of the lower
cost options with more flexibility. Some carriers allows you to see the
specialist without a referral from your main doctor.
POS (Point of Service) – In
and out of network benefits, need referral from your main doctor while
in-network. More flexible and one of the higher cost options. When you
do go out of network you face deductibles and coinsurance.
PPO (Preferred Provider Organization)
– In and out of network benefits, similar to POS. More flexible
and one of the higher cost options. When you do go out of network you
face deductibles and coinsurance.
many plans and different designs to "suit" someone's budget.
Companies usually pay for 75% of the costs as an employee benefit.
|Very expensive if not
subsidized by the employer. The cost of not having coverage can be
in the form of financial distress.
Permanent Life Insurance
Permanent Life Insurance typically lasts until age 100 and sometimes longer,
there are many different types to suit your needs, each with different
premiums and payoff structures.
The three main permanent ones are:
Whole Life (WL) -builds cash value,
guaranteed cash value, consistent premiums, and dependent upon the returns
of the company portfolio and expenses, therefore dividends are not guaranteed.
Universal Life (UL) - builds cash
value, cost of insurance changes with time, flexible premium, and returns
are affected by interest rates.
Variable Universal Life
(VUL) - builds cash value, cost of insurance changes with time, flexible
premium, returns affected by the investment choices of policy owner.
|In the beginning there
is very little cash value but as time goes by and given the right
conditions the policy's cash value grows and may eventually pay or
offset the premiums. Cash values can be used for any purpose and may
be accessed in the form of a loan, surrender or partial surrender.
It is similar in concept to a home equity loan but without having
to qualify. Loan interest will be charged.
|Usually it is expensive,
the older you are the more unaffordable it may become due to higher
insurance costs, greater risk statistically of death, and decreasing
health factors, make it harder to qualify.
Temporary Life (Term Insurance)
Has time limit. Usually 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 year periods. Different types
are beginning to be created. Some even have return of premium options.
On the return of premium option, if you out live the term, your premiums
paid is refunded.
|You get a great deal of
coverage for a minimal amount. It's good to use when there is a specific
need with a known time frame such as a mortgage.
|You don't know when you
will die. No cash value. All the premiums paid are foregone (unless
there is a return of premium option). The longer the time of coverage
the higher the cost will be. There is an age limit to purchase. Cost
increases with age and health.
One out of three people over the age of 30 may become disabled for a period
longer than 3 months. The problem with being disabled is that financially
it is worse than being dead. Expenses increase drastically, income disappears
and then eventually savings. All your money is being spent on basic necessities.
|It provides a cushion
for you in the event that you become physically unable to do your
current duties at work or any duties at any job, depending on the
definition of “disabled”. There is a limit of 60% income
|Does not build cash value,
if you never become disabled the money you paid for protection is
gone. The price increases with age and certain health factors, unless
purchased through a group plan.