Change your kids health insurance during open enrollment time – Happening right now!

It’s Open Enrollment Time!  In Washington State, beginning on 9/15/11 and ending on 10/31/2011, you can buy or change health insurance for kids under 19 in the private, individual health insurance market.

It’s a big deal.  

Right now you have choice for your kids health insurance.  The insurance carriers can’t deny them insurance or apply a pre-existing insurance clause to them because of medical history.  Basically, there are no health questions asked, they will accept your children for health insurance when you complete an application and meet other requirements such as living in their coverage area, among others.

Why some of my customers are considering changing:

  • Their reasons for purchasing the plan they currently have, changed.
  • The current insurance company took an annual rate increase, and they can’t afford to stay on the plan they have.
  • They are ready to buy a policy for their children.
  • They want to move their children to their own plan, off of the family plan they have been on.
  • They have discovered that it is less expensive to move them off of their employer group plan and have them purchase a plan in the individual market.

Whatever the reason, now is the time to do your research and see if a move is beneficial to your family.  Talk to a local agent who can help you figure out if you really should change your coverage.

Why do I need Life Insurance?

It is the only insurance you are guaranteed to use.    Imagine your spouse/parents/partners/children receiving an envelope when you die.  Does the envelope contain the life insurance death benefit that is going to help them get through the entire process of dealing with your death and all of the financial responsibilities you created?   Or instead, without life insurance,  is the envelope empty?   Where do they begin?  Life Insurance will provide them with the primary financial tool to begin to try and  maintain their lifestyles.

Are the eligibility requirements for group health insurance changing?

Yes!  October 1, 2010, in Washington State, one of the biggest criteria to qualify for a group health insurance plan changes from a minimum of two individuals to one.   This change is incredibly positive and you have to ask yourself:   How often does this happen in the health insurance arena!   For an individual business owner, like myself, this is a tremendous option and one that has me very happy.  I will now be able to move from an individual and family plan, which for those of us who have had to stay with this option, are relegated to high deductibles and limited coverage.    I can now purchase a group policy which will have richer benefits, lower deductible choices and prescription coverage.   My premiums will be higher, but we actually get something for the dollars spent.

When should I review my insurance?

Once a year, at a minimum, and June is a great time of year to put it on the calendar. Nobody wants to have an “insurance ouch” at claim time.

Follow this checklist for an easy way to accomplish it:

1. Call your agent for the most current declaration page (shows your coverages and what is covered) and policy and have them email or mail it to you.  You should be able to log in to a site and have easy accessibility to this information as well.

2. Ask your agent what policy options you don’t have on each policy.

3. Ask your agent what new systems are in place to make a claim and what are your responsibilities at claim time.

4. Read your declarations and policy and ask questions.

5.  Google any topic you have questions on, do your homework, and talk to your agent.   Fortunately, in today’s times, it is easier to get the info we need to make our best decisions.

Remember:  Your agent can offer you every coverage under the sun, but it is up to you to purchase it.  I am a believer that as consumers we want our agents talking to us.  I want my agent offering me all the coverages I don’t have and trying to discuss what I do have.  My life is constantly changing and I want to always make a conscience decision on what I pay for and not leave it up to the agent to decide what they think is best.