What Will Your Health Insurance Look Like in 2019?

A new minister is called at the last minute to do the funeral rites of a homeless man. He follows directions to what he thinks is the poverty section of the cemetery. There’s no hearse or mourners, but this was a homeless guy. He does see the backhoe and the crew and the big hole, so he begins a service.

As he says the prayers, his heart is opened to the idea of being homeless and friendless and he pours his heart out to show the deceased some love. The crew is moved, too. They began to add “Amen” and “Praise the Lord” and “Hallelujah.”

When the young preacher finishes, one of the workers shakes his hand and says, “I ain’t never seen anything like that before, Preacher. And I been digging septic tanks for 20 years.”

 

What Will Your Health Insurance Look Like in 2019?

Open Enrollment for 2019 health insurance is November 1- December 15. Small Group Special Enrollment is November 15-December 15. Here’s what 2019 looks like for individuals, families and entrepreneurs.

Tax Penalty Removed.

Last November, Congress removed this penalty for not having ACA-compliant health insurance

 

New options in non-ACA plans.

Providers like Humana and United Health Care will offer indemnity plans that should be available without penalty. These plans are considerably less expensive than ACA. If you are healthy, they are an excellent new option. But you must understand how they work. Ask an expert.

 

Congress extends Catastrophic Health Insurance coverage periods.

If you are between jobs, between semesters, these are excellent plans at a very low cost. In May, Congress said you could buy one for up to 364 days. But there is a bill on Gov. Rauner’s desk to limit the coverage period to 6 months.

Again, you must understand how catastrophic health insurance works. Ask an expert.

 

Blue Cross and Cigna file for new premiums.

It is reported that Blue Cross will reduce individual/family health insurance premiums slightly for most plans in 2019.

Cigna will increase premiums 10+%.

 

Premium Assistance for ACA plans continues.

We’re almost 100% successful in determining if you are eligible and getting you assistance paying premiums and cost-sharing. We’re ready to help again

 

Group Health Insurance is more attractive

Blue Cross reduced group health insurance premiums in July. We’ve helped establish groups for entrepreneurs and sole practitioners. Check out the Group Special Enrollment Period November 15-December 15. It waives an employer’s obligation to pay any part of the employees’ premium.

 

Once again, Jerry Pearlstein and Rebecca Bloomfield are fully accredited and licensed nationally and by the state to get the latest and best health insurance for you.

We’ll be holding free information sessions on New Options in Health Insurance

Sept. 24 Blossom Café 8349 W. Lawrence, Norridge 8:30-10am Networking and $16 for breakfast.

Oct. 3 Northbrook Chamber office 2002 Walters Ave, Northbrook  Noon-1pm Brown bag lunch

Oct. 4 Skokie Library Business Center 5212 Oakton St. , Skokie 5:15-6:15pm

Oct. 11 LifeWorking Coworking 717 Forest Ave, Lake Forest Noon-1pm Brown bag lunch

Start a conversation with us now. Call us at 847-362-8888.

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Is Long Term Care Insurance or Investing My Money the Best Decision?

A chemical engineer, an electrical engineer, and a Microsoft engineer are on a road trip. The car breaks down.

The electrical engineer looks under the hood and can’t find anything wrong.

The chemical engineer checks the oil and fuel and can’t find anything wrong.

The Microsoft engineer says, “Close all the windows, and try again.”

 

Where’s the best place to invest?

The husband of a couple who came to talk to us said, “I can take the money I’d pay for Long-term Care Insurance premiums and invest it and I’ll be way ahead.”

“That’s magical thinking for all but the very wealthy,” says a Ladies Home Journal article. They looked at a 52 year-old male investing his long-term care insurance premiums annually over 10, 20 and 30 years. Even with a 6% annual return, the investment  yielded less than 30% of what is actually needed for skilled long-term care today.

Richard Eisenberg, Forbes Contributor writes: “The average American underestimates the cost of in-home long-term care by almost 50%. Home health care happens to be the most popular long-term care option — compared to institutional nursing homes and assisted living facilities.”

Financial advisers who refer their clients to us lack confidence in a consistent 6% return. They also cite liquidity, market conditions, taxes, lost investment opportunity, legacy issues, the years needed to grow the funds needed and the “Death Spiral”, (liquidating assets that have been allocated to generate income), as reasons they do not advise self-funding long-term care. For more details, visit this page.

Terry Savage, nationally known expert on personal finance and blogger for The Huffington Post writes: “…consider one of the new ‘combined’ policies that offer both long-term care benefits and a death benefit (or cash value withdrawal) if you don’t use the care benefit.”

Check out our “15 for Life” policy. You’ll see what Terry is talking about.

Then call us 847. 362.8888. Contact Rebecca Bloomfield, partner at Jerry S. Pearlstein Insurance holds a national Certificate in Long Term Care. She and Jerry will put together a plan that is the best investment in you.

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What’s the Best Health Insurance for College Students?

A new guy stops at a bar after work and orders 3 mugs of beer. He sits in a booth, drinking a sip out of each one in turn.

The bartender approaches and says, “You know, a mug starts to go flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time.”

The guy replies, “Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is an Airborne Ranger, the other is a Navy Seal. They’re serving overseas. When they left, we promised that we’d drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So, I drink one beer for each of my brothers and one for me.”

The bartender is touched, salutes and leaves it there.

The guy becomes a regular, always drinking the same way. Until one day when he just orders two beers.

The bartender hesitates. “Oh, he says quietly, “Condolences on your loss. Which brother?”

The man looks puzzled and then the light dawns: “Oh, no, everybody’s just fine.” Then he explains, “My wife’s insisting I have to lose some weight and cut out the beer. Hasn’t affected my brothers, though.”

With kids going off to college, the question arises: do I keep my child on my health insurance or drop them and buy health insurance offered by the college?

Some considerations:
• What does the school require? Just their insurance? Just yours? Both?
• Is the policy good all year or just for the semesters your child is registered for classes? If there is a gap, keep your child on your insurance even if you buy the school’s.
• If something serious happened, is the school in a community with excellent health care facilities and does their plan cover care there? If you’d want to bring your child home for care, keep them on your plan.
• Is your health insurance an HMO? These policies do not provide coverage out-of-state. In this case you’ll want to use school health insurance when out-of- town care is needed.

Please note: You will need a Power of Attorney to access information for a child 18 years of age or over. That includes medical care and claims.

The Affordable Care Act permits children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 whether they’re in college or not, living at home or not, married or single.

Our clients tell us that this insurance decision is a great learning experience for their kids about real world considerations. They do it with their kids and have had their kids call us. We love being part of your family Call us at 847-362-8888.
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New Health Insurance Options Coming

It was New Year’s Eve in the local pub when Bridget stood up and said, “It’s time to get ready. At the stroke of midnight, I want every husband to be standing next to the one person who makes his life worth living.”
Well, it was kind of embarrassing.

As the clock struck twelve, the bartender was almost crushed to death.

NEW HEALTH INSURANCE OPTIONS COMING

The Affordable Care Act has required all individuals and families to buy ACA compliant health insurance. Now, the tax penalty for those who do not is repealed effective January 1, 2019. With no penalty, the door is open to other options.

Remember, before the ACA there was health insurance available to those who buy their own. The plans asked for medical history and could refuse coverage. They were considerably less expensive than today’s ACA plans. We see a reappearance of these plans from providers who stopped selling individual health insurance in Illinois because they didn’t want to meet the universal coverage required by the ACA.

All insurance providers filed their plans and prices for 2019 with the Illinois Department of Insurance last month. IDOI will announce approval in August-September.
We’ll be fully licensed and accredited to find the best coverage for you in 2019 whether you can take advantage of non-ACA plans, need ACA plans, want premium assistance, want small group coverage.

Online quoting and purchase has proven to be unreliable and really difficult to correct. Remember the Pearlstein Principle: “Never buy insurance alone.”
If you’re receiving this information, you’re already on our mailing list. You can also tell us now what your situation will be for 2019 and we’ll specially flag you for the insurance answers you need. Call us for more information at 847.362.8888.
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Is COBRA the Right Insurance for You?

Funny notes from the choir.

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be ‘What Is Hell?’ Come early and listen to our choir practice.

Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

Miss Charlene Mason sang ‘I will not pass this way again,’ giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

Is COBRA the Right Insurance For You?
COBRA AND ALTERNATIVE HEALTH INSURANCE

Every month Rebecca Bloomfield, partner in Jerry S, Pearlstein Insurance Ltd., gives “COBRA and Alternatives” seminars to the clients of outplacement services. Download more info COBRA_10ThingsYouShouldKnow_JerrySPearlsteinInsuranceLtd.

If you are let go from a company with 50 employees or more, the federal government requires them to keep you in the company’s group health insurance plan for 18 months. This program is called COBRA.

Why do people want to choose their own health insurance instead of taking COBRA?
•The employee must now pay the whole premium for their group plan plus a 2% administration fee. This might be costlier than individual health insurance.
•The government offers assistance to pay premiums and out-of-pocket costs like deductibles for people whose incomes are within certain ranges when they buy an
Affordable Care Act approved private health insurance plan. We are very successful in getting this help for people suddenly without an income,

Why may it be better to take COBRA?
•You may have met your annual deductible and out-of-pocket maximum in your group plan. You will have to meet them again with individual health insurance.
•You can use the money in a Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay COBRA premiums. You cannot use HSA funds to pay premiums for private health insurance.
•Private health insurance might not cover the doctors and hospitals you use.

When do you have to decide between COBRA and alternative major medical health insurance?
•You have 60 days from the end of your benefits as an employee to make your choice.
•You can leave COBRA when the Affordable Care Act offers Open Enrollment November 1 – December 15.
•COBRA is not extendable. You must put an alternative major medical health insurance policy in place to begin when COBRA ends.

Call us if you’re in transition. We’ll be happy to use our expertise to explain your options and get you the health insurance you need.
Free. No obligation. 847.362.8888.

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3 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Whole Life Insurance.

A priest and a nun are taking a rare afternoon off and enjoying a round of golf.
The priest steps up to the first tee. He takes a mighty swing, misses the ball entirely and curses, “@*!!* I missed!”
The good Sister tells him to watch his language.
On his next swing, he misses again. ”@*!!* I missed!” erupts again from the priest.

“Father John, God is going to strike you dead if you keep swearing like
that.” says the nun.

But a few holes on, the priest misses and swears like a sailor. Sure enough, there’s a terrible rumble all around. Lightening comes out of the sky. It strikes Sister Marie dead in her tracks.

And then a voice booms from the heavens. “@*!!* I missed!”

3 things you probably don’t know about Whole Life Insurance

You may know that Whole Life Insurance has been called the first best investment a person can make. It provides protection, world class savings and liquidity. For more info, visit this page.

And here are three benefits you may not know:

1. Whole Life Insurance is tax-free vs. tax deferred. You can take withdrawals – whenever you need to – of cash value up to the paid premiums income tax free. You can borrow against the cash value of the policy and maintain tax-free treatment. (You know that investment earnings and 401ks, SEPs, etc. are subject to income tax.)

2. Your Whole Life Insurance is creditor proof in many states including Illinois. Nobody but the owner and the beneficiaries can touch what you’ve paid in, what those payments have earned and the death and/or Long- Term Care benefits your policy provides.

3. Funding for Long-Term Care is now available as part of your Whole Life plan. You can receive up to 90% of the policy’s death benefit, paid to you not the provider, when you need care. Don’t need it and the death benefit is intact.

Just starting out, mid-life, married or single, let us help you take advantage of this remarkable saving-earning-available-multi-use insurance you can benefit from during your lifetime.

For more information, contact us at 847.362.8888.

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Now Entrepreneurs Can Benefit From Small Group Health Insurance

A leprechaun appears at an Internal Revenue Service office.
“How can I help you?” asks the agent.
“I found me a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”, says the leprechaun. “Right there in me own backyard.”
“Luck of the Irish!” exclaims the agent. “Is there a problem?”
“Aye,” sighs the leprechaun. “The government says I have to pay taxes on it.”
“Right,” says the agent. “Luck of the IRS.”

Now Entrepreneurs Can Benefit From Small Group Health Insurance

What’s better about group health insurance for 1, 2, 3 person businesses:

•Group health insurance offers PPO plans that individual/family health plans do not. That gives you access to more health care.
•Blue Cross is reducing group rates as of July 1, so premiums may be even lower than individual/family plans.
•Group availability still exists if only one owner, partner or employee in the business signs up for coverage.
•While group health insurance can be started at any time, a Special Enrollment Period, November 15 -December 15, allows owners to offer group health insurance without
having a minimum of employees participate and without having to contribute to employees’ premiums.

How your business can qualify for group insurance:

•If you are an owner, you must have at least one employee (not your spouse) to whom you pay wages and state employment taxes.
OR
•If you are a sole-practitioner, you may form a partnership (may be with your spouse) and file it with the state. No wages are necessary.

Get more information about qualifying for small group health insurance.

Talk to your lawyer about your structure. Talk to your financial adviser about the requirements and tax advantages of group health insurance.

We’ll work with you to coordinate this beneficial move for you. Begin by asking for a rate quote here.

Or call us at: 847.362.8888.

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A Mother’s Day Promise to My Daughter

At the movie theater, a young man returning to his seat taps the arm of a woman in the first seat in the row.

“Excuse me,” he says, “but did I step on your toe on the way out?”

“As a matter of fact, you did,” says the woman, expecting an apology.

“Oh good,” says the man, “then this is my row.”

A Mother’s Day Promise to My Daughter

I am blessed to still have my mother. She’ll be 98 in June.

Her mother lived to 96. Her grandmother (my great grandmother) lived to 94. They lived with a daughter or granddaughter to the end of their lives. Now, my mom lives with me.

You see, while she has Medicare and my dad thought he was leaving his wife “well-fixed”, it hasn’t come near to providing the care she’s needed since she turned 95 when she developed disequilibrium and is always in danger of falling.

I didn’t learn about her lack of l-tc until Mom was 80. Too late to get long-term care insurance. (35-55 is the best time.)

So, I made a promise to my daughter she’d never have to spend the money (over $60,000 annually for help in our home) to take care of me.

I urge you to make such a promise.

Here’s what you can do to keep it.

  • Don’t wait. Even if you’re just starting out with life insurance, learn how it works for long-term care. You’ll save tens of thousands of dollars getting adaptable plans now.
  • Learn what long-term care is and who pays for what. https://www.jpearlsteinltd.com/blog/long-term-care/
  • Get long-term care insurance in a form that is not use-it-or lose it. There are life insurance plans that give you access to up to 90% of your death benefit if you need long-term care AND if you don’t, the earnings of the policy and its legacy are available in full.
  • Get long-term care insurance that gives you (not the provider) the money so you can pay for the care you want and need.

If I need long-term care, I’m probably going to have my own robot companion and telemedic clothing and lots of fun stuff I can’t even imagine right now. (If we’ve met networking you know I’m all about fun….even when dealing with life and long-term care insurance.)

I love working with Moms: married, single, the aunts whose nieces and nephews wish they were their moms.

Just call us: 847-362-8888. Promise?


Alert – New Medicare Cards. New Scams.

New Medicare Cards. New Scams.

Seniors beware.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) began sending new cards to Medicare recipients in April. That’s when telephone phishing scams and social media scams started being reported.

  • SCAM: People claiming to be from the Social Security Administration or CMS want your information “to make sure you have the right card”.
  • SCAM: You are asked for money to obtain a “temporary card” until you get your new one from CMS.
  • SCAM: You are told your Medicare benefits will be cancelled if you don’t cooperate.

CMS says Medicare will never call you uninvited. They will not ask you for personal information over the phone. They will not ask you for money.

If someone asks you for your information or for money or threatens to cancel your health insurance benefits, HANG UP!

Report the call to CMS by called 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227).


This May Be the Answer to Aging and Living Well

An Irishman lived with his son who was always getting into trouble. In fact, the young man was in jail for bank robbery and was refusing to say where the money was stashed.

The father wrote to his son, "Tell them where you hid the money, son. It's time to plant my potatoes and I need you here to turn the field."

The son wrote back, "I swore never to tell, Da. But take care when you plant."

The next day trucks of government men arrived with shovels, spades, hoes. They dug through the father's field not once, but twice. But no money was found.

The father wrote immediately, "Stop the blarney! No money here and you're still in jail there."

"Ah!", replied the son. "But I bet that field's just ready to be planted."

This May Be the Answer to Aging and Living Well

Just as growing up goes through stages, growing older does too. What will you want in your long and wonderful retirement years? What will you need? Will you have to move around to get it? Jan Steiner, Senior Transitions Concierge, may have just the answer.

Continuous Care Retirement Communities (CCRC'S) are communities that offer the entire range of senior living options all in one location. You can progress from independent living all the way to skilled nursing.

Living Accommodations:

  • Independent Living – your own villa or apartment with a kitchen
    • Dining services are provided, you choose the plan best for you
    • Housekeeping available
    • Other services available for additional fees
  • Assisted Living – Aid in Activities of Daily Life (ADL) such as dressing, showering, toileting, and medication reminders.
    • The necessary services are provided daily along with 3 meals, laundry, linen, housekeeping, security and emergency response system.
    • Residents remain in Assisted Living as long as they do not require 2 people to assist in ADL and are not a wander risk
  • Memory Care – This is provided for those with cognitive issues needing a safer, secure environment.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility – This provides nursing assistance around the clock, handling a variety of medical issues
    • Short term – Rehab
    • Long term

CCRC'S offer Life Contracts allowing you to live there forever, however, they require significant financial data to prove you can afford to live there throughout your life.

For more information about them, contact Jan Steiner 847-340-7073, Jan@Seniortransitionsconcierge.com.

For how to pay for a wonderful life in a CCRC, call us: 847-362-8888.