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Health Insurance Relief for NY Business

Health Insurance Relief for NY Business

Finally some good news for New York business owners actively insured in the small group commercial health insurance market. Effective April 1, 2017, businesses with 1-99 employees will now have 7 health insurance carriers to choose from, which is almost double what the market offered in 2016. In January of 2017, New York welcomed Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, which was the first of three new carriers to enter New York’s commercial health insurance market. Just recently, both Healthfirst and Oscar health insurance companies also announced that they will be participating in New York’s commercial health insurance market beginning on April 1, 2017. Here is what you’ll need to know about these two new carriers: 

Healthfirst:

Healthfirst is a not-for-profit managed care organization sponsored by several prestigious and nationally recognized hospitals and medical centers in New York. Currently, Healthfirst is a major player in the New York individual market offering Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Child Health Plus, and Managed Long Term care plans for more than 1.2 million members in downstate New York.
Healthfirst’s history in New York indicates a strong track record and has analysts optimistic regarding the carrier’s decision to join the New York commercial health insurance market.
Fun Fact: Healthfirst plans are the only plans in the NY small group market offering dental insurance as additional insurance for no extra cost. When you buy your health plan it comes with a complimentary dental plan at no cost.

Oscar:

Similar to Healthfirst, Oscar has made their reputation in New York’s individual health insurance market. Know for its cutting edge technology, Oscar appeals mainly to a millennial business demographic, keen on simplicity and innovation. Oscar has made an emphasis on enhancing the member’s experience and has created a mobile application allowing users to:

  • Search for symptoms, providers, and drugs
  • Use Doctors on Call to talk with a doctor over the phone at anytime
  • View you Oscar health history
  • Send questions to Oscar’s customer care team
  • Access your digital ID card
 

The Oscar mobile application also rewards members:

  • Track your steps and earn rewards for just hitting daily goals and staying active.
  • By connection to Apple’s Health App, you can see all your steps tracked by your phone and compatible step tracking devices, and get rewarded for your hard work.

Customer Reviews: “Tracks my steps to earn Amazon rewards, links to my watch’s app and account for the steps my watch records.”


Both of these carriers will be available effective April 1st, 2017. It is okay to switch carriers during your plan year. If you are currently insured you do not have to wait until your renewal to change carriers. If you have questions and/or would like to see if these rates and plan designs work for your business please contact Skyline Risk Management, Inc. at (718) 267-6600 for consultation.  

If you have questions and/or would like to see if these rates and plan designs work for your business please contact Skyline Risk Management, Inc. at (718) 267-6600 for consultation.  

4 Reasons Women Must Have Life Insurance

4 Reasons Women Must Have Life Insurance

Women have been changing their roles in the home and at work for decades now. They have found that more opportunity and options are available to them now than before. These days, we see women with full-time careers and women who take care of the home full-time – and pretty much everything in between.

Women have found a new work-life balance that was never available before. Due to these factors, many females also have found solvency and greater financial independence. However, there seems to be one huge gap in some women's financial plans.


Do Women Need Life Insurance?

 

Many financially independent women do not have life insurance. While certain insurance policies like health, homeowners, and auto insurance are necessities, many females forget about life insurance; like most men do. LIMRA found that nearly 48% of women do not have any life insurance. This could be problematic.


Here are four reasons why women must have life insurance:

1. Income Replacement

While it may be unpleasant to think and plan for one's death, life insurance is an easy way to ensure your family won't have financial worries when you pass, as they'll already be mourning your loss.

Life insurance covers funeral costs and more. For full-time homemakers, the cost of paying someone to handle the household duties is often covered under a life insurance policy. As hiring a maid or caretaker can be costly, this could be a substantial help to a family.

For women with full-time careers who have an income that supports a family, a policy can cover funeral expenses along with other day-to-day living costs. These type policies could ensure your family doesn't miss a beat if you were to pass.


2. Financial Gains

Life insurance policies tend to gain financial value over time. For women, your employment or marital status rarely matters when talking about life insurance plans. Agents should understand that this is even more important for women making more than their spouses.


3. Protect Her Interests

There can be situations where a woman does not need life insurance. If she is single without children, then life insurance could be put off. However, certain circumstances permit taking out a policy.

For example, a single woman may consider a life insurance policy if she has a lot of debt and someone co-signed for her loan. By doing so, she could protect the co-signer from taking her debt if she passes.

As well, a woman who is taking care of an aging or ill family member may benefit from taking a life insurance policy. Many policies cover those she cares for if she were to pass.


4. Less Expensive For Women

Life insurance policies and premiums are typically priced based on life expectancy for age groups and genders. As such, women typically pay less than men. This is due to the fact that men have shorter life expectancies on average. Women tend to outlive males by nearly five years.

One of the main contributing factors to gender lifespan is cardiovascular problems. Women tend to avoid heart attacks and strokes earlier in life. Men typically find these problems at a younger age than women.


What is the right life insurance plan for me?

There's no exact math when looking at life insurance. Each woman will have different wants and needs. On average, a woman will want to purchase a life insurance policy 5-15X her income at the moment.

For example, if a woman is making $100,000 per year, then she could purchase a life insurance policy from $500,000 to $1,500,000. Her needs, family, and age will contribute to what type of coverage she chooses. A young, single woman may only want 5X her income in coverage, but a married woman could want up to 15X her income. 

For more information on life insurance contact Skyline Risk Management Inc. (718) 267-6600 to voice your concerns. 

Replacing Obamacare Will Be Harder Than Any Republicans Thought

Replacing Obamacare Will Be Harder Than Any Republicans Thought

President-elect Donald Trump has made many promises as he campaigned for the Presidential election. While no one knows which promises he'll keep and if he'll be able to accomplish many of them, repealing the Affordable Care Act will be difficult. Here's why:


The Repeal

It took President Obama several years to create and complete Obamacare. The system is vast and complex. Plus, it took years just to approve the legislation before any implementation could be completed. Repealing the system is not going to happen overnight.

Millions of people utilize Obamacare. And many Republicans agree that instantly repealing the system could cause a shock to the industry – and not in a good way. No matter what happens, most predict change is inevitable.

Trump could sign a repeal of Obamacare in his first days in office. Then ensure it doesn't go into effect for some time. This would allow Republicans to draft complex plans and policy for the replacement of the Affordable Care Act. Everyone in Congress is confident that repealing the act will be much easier than replacing it.

For example, certain provisions will be included in the new health care laws and mandates. Many Republicans, including Trump, like the age provisions that allows young adults to stay on their parent's insurance plan. Other Republicans are found of provisions that offer guaranteed coverage to all.


Health Insurers & ACA

Health insurance companies are essentially playing a waiting game at this point. The Affordable Care Act was a complete and utter shock to the industry. Many insurers struggled to cope with the various regulations and costs. However, now that the act is in place, things seem to be running smoothly.

Repealing and replacing Obamacare will be anything but smooth. Many health insurance companies are crossing their fingers in hopes of a minor disruption. Most people in the industry don't want to see the shock and chaos that implementing Obamacare brought just a few years back – again!


Getting Into the Details

Obamacare, repealing, and new replacement legislation is going to get tricky. For instance, most believe that guaranteeing coverage for pre-existing conditions is an important piece of legislation. However, many argue that the mandate requiring all Americans to have health coverage is unjust.

Alternatives to the mandate have been discussed. However, most agree that the financial penalties found in the mandate ensure more Americans get coverage. Without the financial penalties, there would be many people who wouldn't buy coverage

Many Republicans, like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, have proposed similar legislation to Obamacare. He'd like certain people to receive tax incentives to help people afford the type of coverage they need. He's also interested in protecting people from rising rates for illness – when they maintain continuous health insurance coverage.


Breaking Records

While Obamacare has taken certain hits here and there, the people of the United States have hit a record low of uninsured. More people have coverage in the United States than nearly ever before. In this way, the Affordable Care Act was a success.

Not every aspect of Obamacare has been successful, though. Major insurance companies like Aetna and UnitedHealth Group both withdrew from the program. Premiums have skyrocketed, too. Plus, many Obamacare plans feature high deductible – ensuring many couldn't afford care if they got ill.  


The Reality of Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act will be repealed. With Trump as the President and a Republican House and Senate, the legislation doesn't stand a chance. The reality of the situation is this:

Once the bill is repealed, Republicans and Democrats will have to work together to replace the parts of Obamacare that everyone agrees on. It will take time, a lot of time – as that's just how things work in Washington. Hopefully, the time and change won't have too negative of an effect on the health insurance industry and the American public. 

For more information about health insurance contact Skyline Risk Management, Inc. - (718) 267-600.

What is Long-term Care Insurance?

What is Long-term Care Insurance?

There are roughly 76 million baby boomers in the United States with an approximate average age of 60 years old. It is no secret, as people age, they may require assistance for activities of daily living. Understanding this concept and considering the large population of aging baby boomers, insurance carriers have created a product to help reduce the costs of long-term care. This product is called long-term care insurance (LTCI) and this article well help educate anyone who is considering purchasing this product. 


What is Long-term Care Insurance (LTCI)?

Long-term Care Insurance (LTCI) is an insurance product, which helps to cover the expenses associated with long-term care beyond a predetermined period of time. People who require long-term care are those who have an inability to preform two or more basic activities of daily living.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL):

1. Mobility - ability to "transfer" your body. For example, a persons ability to walk or get out of bed. 

2. Bathing & Showering - the ability to shower yourself

3. Dressing - the ability to dress yourself

4. Feeding - the ability to feed yourself

5. Personal hygiene - the ability to brush your teeth, comb your hair, and other grooming practices. 

6. Bathroom - the ability to use the bathroom independently. This includes being able to get to the toilet and your ability to get up off the toilet. 

If a person is unable to complete two or more of these activities of daily living (ADL) then they are eligible and would certainly benefit from long-term care. 


Who does Long-term care insurance (LTCI) benefit?

Long-term care insurance has many benefits for various people. A common misconception is that long-term care insurance is a benefit only for the person in which the policy is meant to insure.

This is not the case!

Actually, the family members of the insured are the ones who benefit the most. In many cases, long-term care is expensive so when a loved one is no longer able to perform two or more actives of daily living the responsibility of caring for this person often falls to family members. Depending on their financial situation, some families cannot assume this responsibility and cannot afford to hire professional help. 

By purchasing LTCI a person is not only protecting themselves but also the financial well-being of their loved ones.


What does Long-term care insurance (LTCI) cover?

Long-term care insurance covers certain expenses for those who participate in any of the following care facilities:

  • Home Care - this allows a person who requires help with ADL to receive aid right in their own home.
  • Adult Daycare - this is a non-residential facility, which caters to adults who require help with ADL.
  • Hospice care - this services provides care to support people with advanced or terminal illnesses. 
  • Nursing homes - private institutions, which provide aid for elderly people and/or people who require help with ADL.
  • Assisted Living  - provides housing for elderly people and/or people who require help with ADL.
  • Respite Care  - temporary care for a person who requires aid with ADL.

Does my health insurance and/or medicare cover long-term care insurance?

No, traditional health insurance and medicare does not cover you for long-term care. Although under certain financial circumstances medicare may cover a portion of long-term care, an individual will still have to cover the costs of the majority of long-term care expenses themselves.


There is a price associated with everything. The important thing to remember is that if you require long-term care this could really become a financial burden to yourself and your loved ones. Be prepare, be protected and please do not underestimate the impact of long-term care insurance. 

For more information contact Skyline Risk Management, Inc. at (718) 267-6600.

2017 ACA Health Insurance Plan Increases

2017 ACA Health Insurance Plan Increases

2017: ACA Average Plan Increase by State

Alabama - 71%

Alaska - 26%

Arizona - 145%

Arkansas - 1%

California - 5%

Colorado - 12%

Connecticut - 27%

Delaware - 19%

D.C Washington - 22%

Florida - 17%

Georgia - 13%

Hawaii - 32%

Idaho - 27%

Illinois - 48%

Indiana - (-4%)

Iowa - 6%

Kansas - 46%

Kentucky - 3%

Louisiana - 13%

Maine - 19%

Maryland - 24%

Massachusetts - N/A

Michigan - 5%

Minnesota - 55%

Mississippi - 25%

Missouri - 8%

Montana - 32%

Nebraska - 18%

Nevada - 8%

New Hampshire  - 2%

New Jersey - 7%

New Mexico - 39%

New York - 24%

North Carolina - 40%

North Dakota - 9%

Ohio - (-2%)

Oklahoma - 67%

Oregon - 20%

Pennsylvania - 51%

Rhode Island - (-1%)

South Carolina - 29%

South Dakota - 45%

Tennessee - 49%

Texas - 13%

Utah - 20%

Vermont - 5%

Virginia - 7%

Washington - NA

West Virginia - 23%

Wisconsin - 16%

Wyoming - 9%

 

2017 is certainly going to be a year of decisions. If you are concerned about your health insurance rates for 2017 contact Skyline Risk Management, Inc at (718) 267-6600 to discuss the best health insurance options for you. 

Keep Your Business Protected With Active Shooter Insurance

Keep Your Business Protected With Active Shooter Insurance

Sadly, we see it all the time. There are active shooter situations happening more and more frequently these days. Social media shows us new ones nearly every week. While this is sad for society, you have a business to run. So you have a responsibility to stay prepared and protect your hard work.

Enter active shooter insurance. As a business owner, your clients’ depend on you to provide them with a safe environment and to keep them protected from risks they could face at your business at any given moment. This means preparing your customers for active shooter situations.

The easiest way to do just that is by educating customers on the perils of these scenarios outside of the obvious – tragedy. Businesses need to realize that the fallout from these chaotic events can cost companies a lot of money.


Shooter Scenarios Rising

Over the past 10 years, we've seen the three most deadly shootings in United States history. These shootings were all active shooter situations. Scenarios where someone enters a confined or populated area with the intent to kill people, usually with the use of a firearm.

Typically, these attacks occurred at work or school. They stems from the fact that these shooters often relate their pain and anger to these places combined with the fact that many people can be found at these places, and a lot of damage can be inflicted quickly.

The United States has become a hotbed of active shooter situations. Over the last four decades, the U.S. has seen nearly 31% of mass public shootings throughout the world, but we only have 5% of the world's population.


How to Prepare

While getting an active shooter insurance policy can protect a business financially, most companies also feel a certain amount of responsibility for keeping their employees, students and customers safe while at these places. In legal terms, this is referred to as "duty of care" by most.

In addition, a business owner could be held liable if certain precautions are not in place before a situation like what was stated above were to occur. Insurance companies should work with business owners and organizations to stress the importance of implementing training regarding these types of situations. Another major key is to make sure emergency exits are easily accessed during open hours.

If you have a high traffic company, then hiring a well-trained security staff could be crucial in keeping your organization safe at all times. While this will cost resources, you'll find an increased customer safety and trust does benefit the bottom line.


Active Shooter Insurance For All

Active shooter policies are not an end all, be all. Nothing can eliminate the risk of an active shooter attacking a school or business. And nothing can prepare us for the potential that could result from such actions.

Still, businesses can mitigate these risks as much as possible by following the tips found here. Get an active shooter insurance policy. Train your staff, students, etc. to be prepared for the potential of an attack. Then focus on allocating any available resources to hiring a well-trained security staff.

Having an experience with an active shooter can be traumatizing to say the least. The effects of such an experience can stay with a person throughout their lifetime. Limit your risk and protect yourself. For more information about active shooter insurance, contact Skyline Risk Management, Inc. at (718) 267-6600 to voice your concerns. 

How To be Healthy and Save Money on Health Insurance

How To be Healthy and Save Money on Health Insurance

Have you ever heard of a Gym Reimbursement?

Many health insurance carriers offer a gym reimbursement option, which is an incentive for a healthy lifestyle.

The trade-off is simple!

Health insurance carriers offer to reduce health insurance premiums if the person who is insured consistently goes to the gym. Requirements vary depending on the insurance carrier.


The requirements for United Health Care Oxford in 2016 are:

“1. Visit the gym – You must complete a minimum of 50 visits per six-month period. Reimbursements will not be issued until six months have passed, even if 50 visits are completed sooner than six months.”

(For more information about Oxford Gym Reimbursements Click Here)

To find out how much you can save you should contact your health insurance broker or plan administrator.

 

Why Should Employers Care?

Employers should care about gym reimbursements for 3 reasons, which include premiums, claims, and culture.

1. Premiums:

Employers have a significant upside for encouraging gym reimbursement participation. Companies electing to pay for employee benefits, including medical will benefit from a premium reduction for all employees who decide to participate. For an employer who pays for the medical benefits of its employees, encouraging gym reimbursement participation is a great way to offer essential benefits while also cutting costs.

2. Claims:

Encouraging healthy habits can be a great way for employers to save money on claims. This is especially important for companies who elect to offer self-funded medical benefits. Self-funded medical benefits are benefits offered by the employer at a lower premium. In a Self-funded plan the employer assumes responsibly if anyone on the plan submits a claim. To offset this risk employers collect a portion of the premiums, which is allocated specifically in the event that a loss occurs. 

For employers who elect self-funded medical insurance reducing claims is essential. Utilizing a gym reimbursement option is a great way for employers to help their employees stay healthy and hopefully reduce claims.

3. Culture:

Culture is a key factor for a prospective employee when deciding to join an organization. Employers can enhance the attractiveness of their organization by establishing a healthy work culture. A prospective employee understands the commitment of joining a new company. There are a lot of unknown factor and risks involves, however having an upbeat and healthy workplace is a great way to reinforce the positive experience of working at your company.


SKYLINE's Bottom-Line

The bottom line is this… Why not encourage employees to utilize the gym reimbursement program offered by your business’s healthcare carrier? The carrier, employer, and employee all benefit! If you are a leader in your organization with the power to reduce premiums, claims and enhance the well-being of your workforce wouldn’t you promote this?

For more information about your business's gym reimbursement program, or for more ways to add benefits to your organization, contact Skyline Risk Management, Inc. at (718) 267-6600.