• Basics of Insurance


    Life Insurance Made Simple

    Buying life insurance is arguably one of the most important financial decisions you can make, and one of the most confusing. The number of policies to choose from, and the complexities of some forms of life insurance, can make comparison shopping difficult, if not impossible.

    The stories below were constructed to help you cut through the confusion, and determine the type and amount of life insurance you need.

    When Should You Buy?
    If no one depends on your income for support, you probably don't need life insurance at all.

    How Much Do You Need?
    The answer is based on a formula that considers immediate and future needs and how much income your dependents will have when you're gone.

    What Kind Should You Buy?
    For most people, term insurance makes the most sense. If you're looking for a savings component, get ready for some real confusion.

    How Do You Get the Best Policy at the Best Price?
    Here's our guide to getting the most bang for your coverage buck.

    Understand Your Health Insurance Options

    Deciding whether to buy health insurance is a no-brainer. Think of what would happen if you didn't have insurance and someone in your family suffered a serious illness requiring extended medication or a long hospital stay. How quickly would snowballing medical bills wipe you out?

    Conclusion: You should have as much health insurance as you can reasonably afford. That's a clear and simple enough rule. Unfortunately, nothing else about health insurance is either clear or simple. Your choices are more complex than ever. Rising costs and the efforts to control them are affecting your options almost daily. On top of that, employees are being asked to pay for a bigger portion of their companies' health insurance premiums, and insurers are trying to steer you to doctors and hospitals who have agreed to hold down costs, thus restricting your choice of health care providers.

    What to do? The smart thing to do is to learn about each kind of coverage you'll encounter because you'll probably have to choose among them, and the choice you make can have a major impact on your finances.

    What to Consider When Picking a Plan
    Cost can be a key factor, but you also need to consider quality and continuity of care.

    Fee-for-Service Plan
    You choose the doctor and the insurance picks up part or all of the tab.

    Health Maintenance Organizations
    You'll pay a flat monthly fee but little to no deductible. But if you go to a provider outside the plan, you probably will have to foot the bill.

    Preferred-Provider Organizations
    You can choose from a group of providers who've contracted with your insurer to offer services at a discount rate. And there is more flexibility when it comes to seeing doctors outside the plan.

    When You're on Your Own
    Get tips on finding an affordable plan and learn how to control costs.

    When COBRA Kicks in
    The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act lets you keep your health coverage when you leave a job.

    Take Advantage of Tax-Deferred Accounts
    Health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts let you set aside pre-tax dollars to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses.




McMullen Financial & Insurance Services, greg@mcmullenfis.com, (858) 922-0195

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