Air Bags, Medicare and more

Faulty Airbag Warning

ADOT is warning the public that independent repair shops around the country may have been installing faulty air bags. An announcement will come soon to provide a process for the general public at large to determine if their vehicle may be at risk. The situation may involve insurance carriers who have paid claims for air bag replacement. Stay tuned!

Medicare Choices Not Always Easy for Dependents

According to Bruce Osterweil, President of Medicare Rights Center, spouses and dependents of a Medicare recipient do not qualify for care under the program. This creates a time of uncertainty and confusion.

Anyone in this position can rely upon private health insurance – assuming they qualify due to pre-existing conditions or COBRA, which everyone knows can be terribly expensive. A person can keep COBRA for three years.

A younger spouse of a Medicare beneficiary (assuming they were denied coverage and uninsured for 6 months) can apply for medical coverage through their state’s high risk pool. However, Obamacare contains a provision that will prohibit insurance companies from denying adults coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

Osterweil advises anyone who is employed and nearing age 65 to contact their human resourced department for direction or call social security directly.

United Health Expanding into Brazil

United Health Group Inc is buying, Amil Participacoes SA, Brazil’s largest health care company, for $4.9 billion. With 36 million customers UHG is already America’s largest health care company. In Brazil only 25% of the population has private health insurance compared to 80% in the States.

Other insurance carriers have been also making purchases, primarily due to thin profits as a result of the new federal healthcare mandate. Wellpoint recently acquired Amerigroup Corp for 4.9 billion and Aetna acquired Coventry Health Care for 5.6 billion.

Chairman of Mercury Insurance

The Chairman of Mercury Insurance, George Joseph, has supplied roughly 99% of all funding for California’s proposition 33. This proposition would give California insurance companies the right to offer a new prior-insurance discount for anyone who switches insurance carriers and receive a discount in their premiums for having prior insurance.

Arizona offers this discount currently. Not only that but Arizona drivers without insurance often find themselves being penalized in their auto insurance premiums for not having previous insurance.

In 1988, California voters passed Proposition 103 that made it unlawful to hold a person’s lack of insurance against them in the rate calculations.

Florida Insurance Fund May Fall Short

Florida has a state fund that backs up private insurers but is believed to be about 1.52 billion short, particularly if a major hurricane were to land inland.

Florida created the state fund after hurricane Andrew caused widespread damage some 20 years ago. A storm the same or large size as Andrew could deplete the fund. The state has avoided major hurricanes since 2005.

Thinking Long Term Care? Read this

Long Term Care Insurance can pay for home health care, which accounted for 50% of long term care insurance claims last year. This included 3.5 home visits per week by a licensed health professional.

When buying long term care insurance one of the choices you will face is what elimination period to choose. The elimination period is the waiting period between the time you need care and when the policy kicks in.

More often than not, agents select 90 days as the elimination period but research shows that a 0 day elimination is often a viable option. Usually, the longer the elimination period the lower the premium. But the next time you shop for long term care insurance ask for a zero day elimination period versus a ninety day and compare the costs. If the premium difference is not major opt for the smaller elimination period.

Gary Brown, Agent/Owner
(480) 659-0229