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P.O. Box 1750, Cockysville, MD, 21030
Life and Health Bulletin
How To Meet Your Deductible Before The End Of The Year
As the end of the year approaches, schedule time to review your medical needs. You may want to seek treatment that improves your health and allows you to meet your deductible.
Your health insurance deductible is the amount of money you pay before your insurance kicks in and covers your medical bills. Depending on your health insurance, you may have a low or high deductible that covers every type of medical treatment or applies to specific treatment. Call your insurance company or read your benefits paperwork to verify the deductible you owe. Your deductible will also be listed on your Explanation of Benefits (EOB).
Why Meet Your Annual Deductible
You’ll want to meet your deductible early in the year, if possible. However, it's not too late to meet your deductible in November or December as you gain several benefits.
First, you'll maximize your insurance coverage. After you meet your deductible, your insurance benefits will cover additional medical treatment. You pay for insurance and might as well use it.
Second, postponing important medical treatment and preventative care can increase your pain, suffering and treatment expenses. You could end up needing an even more expensive operation or extra therapy and other treatment in the future because you don't prioritize your health now.
Finally, your deductible may rise if you switch insurance policies in January. In this case, your medical expenses will increase, so utilize your benefits and save money before your coverage switches.
How to Meet Your Deductible
Consider these ways to meet your deductible before the end of the year.
Order a 90-day supply of your prescription medicine.
Spend a bit of extra money now to meet your deductible and ensure you have enough medication to start the new year off right.
See an out-of-network doctor.
Now’s the time to get a second opinion or see a specialist that’s not covered in your insurance network. You’ll pay the total cost of the visit out-of-pocket, but it generally counts toward your deductible. Then, the next step in your treatment could be covered fully by your insurance.
Pursue alternative treatment.
Visit a chiropractor, acupuncturist or other professional that provides alternative treatment for your health concerns. This specialist can help you discover your optimal health and reach your deductible.
Get your eyes examined.
If your health insurance covers eye exams, visit the optometrist. Invest in your eye health, and purchase the new glasses or contact lenses you need.
You will save money and protect your health when you meet your annual deductible before December 31. For more information on your deductible or health benefits, reach out to your insurance agent.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Seven Tips For 20-Year-Olds Who Are Planning For Retirement
When you start your very first job, you probably don't think about retirement. However, you owe it to your future self to start planning for retirement now at the beginning of your work career. Here are seven tips that help you grow your nest egg.
Be serious about saving for retirement now.
By saving now when you're young, you take advantage of compound interest and give your nest egg the chance to grow over time. For example, invest $25,000 before your 25th birthday in an account that earns a 12 percent rate of return and you'll have $2 million by the time you turn 65.
Save as much or as little as you can.
Ideally, you want to save as much money as possible. However, even a small investment makes a difference. Invest $23 per week in an account that earns a 12 percent rate of return, and you will accumulate over $1 million when you retire.
Be thoughtful about your spending.
It's easier to spend money on a nice car or something fun rather than retirement. Thoughtful spending now secures your future, though. Prioritize your needs, avoid as much debt as possible and be thoughtful about your spending.
Take advantage of matching funds.
If your employer offers to match your 401(k) contributions, take advantage of it. That money is essentially free and helps your nest egg grow.
Diversify your investments.
The 401(k) account you open at work is a smart move. Consider supplementing it with other investments, too, like a traditional or Roth IRA. Be sure to balance risk and return as well to increase your nest egg.
Automate your savings
Automatic savings increase the likelihood that you will actually save for retirement, and you won't miss that money if you don’t see it in your paycheck. Set up automatic transfers from each paycheck to your retirement fund. Also, consider increasing your automatic withdraws every month or at least annually when you receive a raise.
Save an emergency fund.
It's tempting to borrow from your retirement account to pay off student loans, buy a house or pay daily living expenses. This action can include penalties, taxes and fines as it decreases your retirement savings. Instead, establish an emergency fund that covers at least three to six months of living expenses, and resolve to safeguard your retirement account.
With these seven tips, you make planning for retirement easy. However, you can also hire a financial planner if retirement savings are confusing, intimidating or boring. He or she will analyze your finances and prepare an investment strategy that meets your needs and gives you financial security for the future.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Why Millennials Need Life Insurance
Millennial adults in their 20s and 30s anticipate living a long, healthy life. Life insurance may be the last thing on their minds. However, if you’re a millennial or know a millennial, consider compelling reasons to purchase life insurance now.
Qualify for Lower Premiums
Life insurance premiums often depend on your health, age and other factors. If you wait until you’re older to buy a policy, you could develop health problems that cause the premiums to increase. Buy a policy now when you’re young and healthy to lock in low premium rates, save money and gain valuable protection.
To earn your college degree, you may have taken out thousands of dollars in student loans. Outstanding federal student loans are forgiven after you die, but your parents, relatives or other co-signers will have to repay private student loans. Your spouse may also be liable for your student loan debt in certain cases. With your life insurance death benefit, your co-signers can pay off loan balances rather than incur the burden of that debt.
Replace Lost Income
Even though you’re fairly new to the workforce and may still work in an entry-level position, purchase life insurance to replace your income. Your current income pays for your housing, daily living expenses and loan or debt repayment. Life insurance helps your survivors continue to make these payments, which is particularly important if you support a spouse and kids or plan to take this step in the near future.
The U.S. Census Bureau calculated that millennials get
for the first time at age 29.2 for men and 27.1 for women. Despite delaying marriage after college, millennials can purchase life insurance with the intention of protecting their family. The death benefits give a spouse financial support that allows him or her to care for children, pay bills, cover debts, or take time off work to grieve. With life insurance, you can continue to protect for your family after your untimely passing.
Pay for Home Expenses
Remember the joy you felt after you worked hard to buy your first home? Protect your investment with life insurance. The payout gives your beneficiary the funds to pay the mortgage, taxes and other home expenses. Your loved ones can then continue to live in the home or sell it rather than worry about how to pay for the home.
Life insurance is a valuable investment for millennials. Talk to your insurance agent about your options. With professional help, you can compare policies, choose term or whole life coverage and determine the right amount of life insurance coverage for your needs.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Who Should Get A Flu Vaccine This Fall?
Every fall, your doctor or pharmacist probably asks you if you want a flu shot. This important vaccination can prevent you from getting the flu. Learn more about who should get a flu shot as you decide if it’s the right choice for you.
What is the Flu Vaccine?
The flu vaccine is an injection that contains inactivated flu virus. Once it’s in your body, it takes two weeks to build antibodies that help you fight the flu virus and stay healthy during the fall and winter flu season.
What Does the Flu Shot Protect Against?
Influenza is a respiratory infection that can cause serious complications, including hospitalization or death. This year’s flu shot protects against the H1N1 flu virus and two additional flu strains. Adults over the age of 65 may also request a vaccine that protects against four additional flu virus strains.
Why do you Need an Annual Vaccination?
You want to protect yourself every year with a new vaccination. Flu viruses change quickly, and this year’s strain may be different than last year’s strain. Plus, flu antibodies decrease over time, leaving you vulnerable to the flu.
Where is the Flu Vaccine Available?
You can get a flu shot in several convenient locations. Schedule an appointment with your physician or visit your pharmacy, a health clinic, an urgent care center or a college health center. You can even ask your employer about getting a flu shot at work. In many cases, the vaccine is covered by your health insurance.
Who Should get a Flu Shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases flu shot recommendations every fall. This year, it recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over the age of six months.
The vaccine is especially important for people who are vulnerable to flu complications. These people include pregnant women, older adults and young children as well as anyone with the following chronic medical conditions:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Liver or kidney disease
Also, remember that the flu vaccine protects others. When you protect yourself from getting sick, you don’t share germs with others, and everyone stays healthy.
Should Anyone not get a Flu Shot?
In certain situations, you may choose not to get the flu vaccine. Discuss the flu vaccine with your doctor if you have a severe egg allergy or reacted severely to a previous vaccine.
Now that you know more about who needs a flu vaccine, you’re prepared to make an informative decision when your doctor or pharmacist asks you this year if you want a flu shot.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
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