Life Insurance

Life insurance provides peace of mind and security for those you love. Think of it as a life preserver that keeps financial security afloat in the event of a loss of a loved one or business partner. Life insurance is a smart investment for a number of reasons. It helps pay debts and taxes after a death. It allows family members to maintain an adequate standard of living. It provides immediate access to cash to help cover funeral costs and pay bills. It helps support surviving families goals and dreams.

Who needs Life Insurance?

You may not think you need life insurance if you are single, retired or have grown children. Think again. While you needs may change, life insurance is a great investment to help protect any demographic.

Married people purchase insurance to protect their children and spouses in the event death occurs. Even if a spouse has income, death benefits can help fund college costs and daily living expenses such as rent, utility bills, and credit card debt and car loans.

If you're a single parent, you carry even more of the burden as the sole source for paying the bills, cooking, chaffering and more. In the event you should die, protecting your child financial future is more important than ever.

Even if your children have left the home, you still need to protect your spouse. Ask yourself, do I have the assets on hand for my spouse to maintain the same lifestyle in the event I die? Protecting each other provides comfort and peace of mind.

If you are retired, your heirs could be hit with an estate tax payment. Proceeds of life insurance would pay off these costs, allowing them to take care of taxes, funeral expenses and other debts you may have incurred. Life insurance assets are generally income tax free so it won't add to income tax liability.

Life insurance can also protect a business. In the event a business owner dies, life insurance can be structured to fund a buy-sell agreement. A buy-sell agreement provides funds to the surviving business owner to buy the companies interests of the deceased owner at a previously agreed upon price. The surviving family gets the money originally agreed upon and the surviving business owner keeps the business.

If a key employee dies, key person insurance can protect a business. Key person insurance provides flexibility to a business to either hire a suitable replacement or work out other arrangements.

If you are single without children you may think you don't need insurance and you may not. However, insurance rates are lower if you're healthy and young. Furthermore, if you provide support for aging parents or siblings with special needs, life insurance would cover debt in the event you die.

There are So Many Types of Life Insurance. How Do I know Which One is Right for Me?

Term Life Insurance provides a predetermined death benefit and covers you for a predetermined number of years. Typically five years to thirty years. Annual premiums are fixed and are based on your health and life expectancy when you apply for a policy. This type of coverage is very common and protects the surviving spouse in the event of a death.

Permanent Life Insurance is a combination of a savings or investment account with a death benefit and covers the policy holder until they die, even if they live to a ripe old age. Depending on the policy, the premiums may be fixed or not and are based on your health and medical history. These types of policies accumulate some cash value the longer you hold them. However, the premiums are generally higher than Term Life. A benefit to permanent life insurance is you can borrow against it. Once done however, it would diminish the value.

Mortgage Protection Life Insurance protects against loss of income or a catastrophe and helps pay for the mortgage on your home. This is often purchased for those that do not meet the underwriting criteria for term life insurance. One other benefit. Mortgage Life Insurance can often be written without passing a medical exam.

Long-Term CareInsurance is becoming increasing popular due to higher life expectancies and the high cost of long-term care. Statistics show that 70% of people 65 years or older will need some form of long-term care. With costs averaging $250 a day for nursing homes, assisted living centers and home care, many middle income individuals could deplete a lifetime of savings even for short term care. Most people believe that Medicare covers long-term care. It does not. Medicaid does cover various kinds and amounts of care for the poor. But, many states are cutting back on benefits.

Long-term health insurance can also help protect your family against the burden of care that could fall on family members.

If you have considerable savings, then long term care insurance probably isn't necessary. Which means, you can probably outlive your resources. Ask yourself, do you have enough financial security to pay for over three months or more of care? Additionally, consider your own health history and any family history of illness such as Alzheimer's disease or any other long term illness.

If you do decide long-term coverage is right for you, purchase it at an early age when your health is good. In doing so, the policy will be more affordable. Coverage when purchased early can also help protect you in the event you have an accident at an early age requiring long-term care.

Long-term care premiums can be expensive. Ask us if long-term care insurance or a partnership policy is a good fit for you. We can review your current cost of care, where you live or plan to retire and help estimate your needs.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance and Part D Coverage

What is Supplemental insurance and why should a person with Medicare coverage consider purchasing it?

Supplemental Insurance is designed to cover Medicare deductibles and copays that would typically be paid out-of-pocket. Additionally, the biggest reason people purchase supplemental insurance is to cover unexpected catastrophic health related issues. Furthermore, since there is no cap on health care costs and they increase yearly, you may be placing your assets at risk without an additional plan. In the event you suffer a serious illness, supplemental insurance will ensure that you don't deplete your retirement savings. It also provides peace of mind.

As of 2015, 10 Medicare supplement plans have been implemented that are labeled by a letter, like plan A or C. Supplemental Plan A and C only cover copayments and deductibles from Medicare. All of these plans are standardized with private insurance carriers. At B&J we recommend that you inquire with your insurance agent about each insurance carrier's monthly premiums and the level of customer service provided. While benefits are the same with each insurance carrier, the amount you pay per month in premiums can differ. At B&J, we can help your compare and save using our instant quote program. Our program provides comparisons with different carriers instantly.

Depending on your prescription drug coverage and needs, you may need to buy a separate Part D Prescription Drug Plan to cover the cost of your medications. This is commonly referred to as "gap" coverage since it fills in the gap between Medicare coverage with prescription costs.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage is a private health insurance plan that is purchased directly through an insurance company. It provides the same level of coverage as original Medicare plans with the exception of hospice care. Many Medicare Advantage Plans include Part D prescription coverage which means an additional gap coverage policy is not needed. These plans may also include dental, hearing and extra vision coverage.